Peak and Routes Overview
This formally nameless peak, the 65th highest peak in Utah, is a must-do non-technical climb for anyone visiting Upper Rock Creek Basin / Priord Pass area of High Uintas.
The ascent isn't long and the views from the top are truly breathtaking. You can see at least eight of the 13,000'er peaks, all the way to the giants of Gilbert and Kings-Emmons Ridge!
For those travelling from the Right Hand Fork / Priord Lake to the North, or planning to descend there, the preferred route to the summit is along its West Ridge from Priord Pass.
For the hikers camping in Upper Rock Creek Basin, or passing along on the High Variation of the Highline Trail, a faster way to the top would be up South-West slopes, angling right from the South base of Priord Pass.
If you are in the area, please consider climbing Priord Peak as well. The views from the top aren't as far-reaching there, but the sustained 400 ft climb on 4th class rock of its East Ridge has no rivals in the Uintas.
One can get to Priord Pass either by a 10 mile ascent from East Fork Bear River TH (just up valley from East Fork Scout Camp, which can be reached by taking North Slope Road from SR 150, then turning South in two miles from the pavement) or from the Rock Creek side, typically by following Highline Trail - Lightning Lake Spur for 13 miles from the Highline TH on SR 150. Upper Rock Creek Basin may also be reached from Rock Creek Reservoir downriver, or from Hades TH on the other side of Grandaddy Mountains.
Since the Northerly approach to Priord Pass is the quickest, it deserves a few more lines of details. After following the trail along the East bank of East Fork Bear River for 4 miles, you come to a marked junction. The trail to Allsop Lake splits to the left, and the trail to Norice and Priord lakes continues straight, fording Right Hand Fork 3 times. On the meadows past Norice Lake the trail is hard to follow; just remember that Priord Lake is nested in a hanging valley to the West, and so keep angling slightly right above the valley bottom.
The old trail, marked by numerous cairns, re-emerges again at the timberline SSE from Priord Lake. After a few short switchbacks, it cuts a long upward traverse to the right, becoming less and less distinct. Anyway the saddle of the ridge is now close!
Red Tape; Camping
This is a part of High Uintas Wilderness area and group size limits apply. There are currently no special restrictions on camping since the area, being fairly remote, does not yet receive excessive visitation, unlike the more accessible basins across Rocky Sea Pass to the West. The nearest developed campgrounds are along the Mirror Lake Highway (UT 150) and down by Rock Creek Reservoir