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South Porcupine Mountain

South Porcupine Mountain

South Porcupine Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Utah, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 40.75348°N / 110.48313°W

Object Title: South Porcupine Mountain

County: Duchesne

Activities: Hiking

Season: Summer

Elevation: 12729 ft / 3880 m


Page By: ZeeJay

Created/Edited: Sep 20, 2008 / Aug 8, 2010

Object ID: 444841

Hits: 5938 

Page Score: 88.61%  - 27 Votes 

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South Porcupine Mountain
Northwest face of South Porcupine Mountain


At 12729 feet, South Porcupine Mountain with prominence of 369 feet ranks 34th on Scott's list of Utah 12,000+ Foot Peaks with 200+ Feet Prominence. South Porcupine Mountain sits just southwest of Porcupine Mountain (12892) which sits just south of Porcupine Pass (12236). This pass is one of the high passes reached via the Highline Trail which runs in a generally east/west direction through the Uinta Mountains of Utah.
South Porcupine and Porcupine Mts
South Porcupine Mt, Porcupine Mt, and Porcupine Pass

South Porcupine Mountain is one of five peaks over 12000 feet which line the ridge which forms the west boundary of Garfield Basin. From south to north/ smallest to largest, it is peak number four. From the south, it is only 680 feet up from its saddle with bump 12459. From the north, it is only 369 feet up from its saddle with Porcupine Mountain.

The closest 13000 footer is Wilson Peak (13060), Utahs 17th highest, which lies 1.9 miles to the NE. Kings Peak, Utah's highpoint lies 6 miles to the ENE. To the north lies stunningly red Squaw Benchmark (12990) across the upper reaches of Oweep Creek.
Squaw Benchmark
Squaw Benchmark (12990)

South Ridge of the Porcupines
Getting close to the summit
On the ridge of South Porcupine (12,729)
The northern tower

The summit of South Porcupine is interesting with two sloping towers. The southern one is the highest.

There are no short routes to the summit. It is about 28 miles round trip from the Center Park Trailhead to the south. Most people would not want to climb this peak by itself but would do it as part of a multiday trip to several summits. The best months to climb are July, August, and September.
Nearing the top
Getting close to the top from the southwest ridge

Getting There

Access from the south is via the Center Park Trailhead.

Red Tape

The top of S Porcupine Mt
The top

Group size is limited as per wilderness area rules. Many lakes have proximity restrictions. These restrictions change from time to time so check the sign board at the trailhead to see what restrictions are currently in place.


South Porcupine Mountain
S Porcupine viewed from Garfield Basin

There are 5 established campgrounds near the Center Park Trailhead as described in the trailhead page. There are numerous places to camp in Garfield Basin.


From Center Park on the south
S Porcupine Mt Topo map
Topo map

Nearing the top
Getting close to the top

Start at the Center Park Trailhead and head north on the trail to Garfield Basin. After about 11.7 miles, leave the trail at the north end of Superior Lake and head cross country northwest to the south saddle with 12459. From the saddle it is a class 2+ boulder hop to the top. Total roundtrip mileage is about 28 miles. The total elevation gain on the way up is 3840 feet and on the way back is 1600 feet.

South Porcupine Mountain
South Porcupine Mt from the north

Alternatively, one can also ascend from the north saddle with Porcupine Mountain. This is just a simple class 2 boulder hop.

I don't actually recommend going this way however. If you are in the area you might as well do all of the other peaks on the ridge as well. There are seven peaks above 12000 feet ringing Garfield Basin and they all can be done in one trip. See Garfield Basin Rim Loop.


South Porcupine MountainPorcupine Pass GentianSouth Ridge of the PorcupinesSouth Porcupine MountainOn the ridge of South Porcupine (12,729)South Porcupine MountainSouth Porcupine and Porcupine Mts
South Porcupine MountainThe top of S Porcupine MtSquaw BenchmarkNearing the topS Porcupine Mt Topo mapNearing the top