Willard BasinOn August 18, 2006, after tagging the highpoints of Cache and Rich Counties in Utah and Franklin County in Idaho, I headed for Weber County, Utah. I wanted to climb Willard Peak from Willard Basin. It was a nice drive to Mantua on Hwy 91/89 and I found the access road heading up to Willard Basin. First, I called Dean to tell him I was on schedule to meet him the next day about midmorning to climb American Forks Twin Peak in Salt Lake County.
I headed up the road. At first it didn’t seem to be as bad as it was advertised. I made good progress, passed a couple of ATV’s and was soon about 6 miles up the road. From here the road deteriorated and I had to slow down considerably. There were lots of rocks to slowly climb over. I climbed steadily up. I met a couple of trucks coming down and managed to pass them without either of us going over the side. The pace was slow.
I reached a pass at about 8,700ft with a big sign commemorating some conservation work done back during the Great Depression. From here the road descended a little before going back up and finally reaching a camping area at thee head of Willard Basin at an elevation of about 8,700ft.
The forest service has done work in the basin recently and blocked off ATV access to the pond/lake at the head of the basin. This is a good thing. I parked at the trailhead and car camped here for the night.
In the morning I followed the nice trail up to the little pond/lake at the head of the basin. The trail then headed east before turning west and traversed while climbing up a steep slope to a little saddle between Willard Peak and Willard Mountain at about 9,200ft. I turned east here and followed the trail up the ridge towards Willard Peak.
As I got closer to Willard Peak I saw 3 Mountain Goats on the rocks ahead. They didn’t like me here, so they moved south around some rocks and out of sight. I continued up following a climber’s use trail towards the summit.
About this time a dirt bike rider made his way up the same trail I had climbed to the saddle and then continued on another trail south. This disturbed my morning tranquility, but he was soon gone and I was left to my peaceful solitude again.
I soon arrived on the summit and was enjoying the view. I could now see a herd of about 12 Mountain Goats below me to the west. They didn’t seem to mind me up here and didn’t move away. I relaxed for a few minutes before heading back to the trailhead.
The entire hike took about 1 3/4 hours and covered about 2 3/4 miles. The elevation gain was about 1,000 ft. Driving the 11 miles back to Mantua took about 45 minutes.