NOTE: Centerville Peak’s location, like yetis, Atlantis and the perfect cup of coffee, is the subject of great debate. Everyone talks about it, but nobody can seem to define it with total confidence. Overall, the consensus has narrowed the location down to three possibilities and place Centerville Peak as either Zig-Zag Hill (6470), Hill 7382, or Peak 8904. Even the US Government has failed the taxpaying summitpost voting block by refusing to name Centerville Peak on the USGS Topo maps. Having extensively hiked the area, 8904 seems the most logical and worthy location as it is the highest point at the end of the trail and is directly above Centerville. In any event, call it what you want, but the hike to the top of 8,904 is most definitely worth a day in your life….
Centerville Peak (8,904) is located on the Bountiful Peak Ridge approximately 1.75 miles south of Bountiful peak. This peak also shares the ridgeline with a series of small peaks and is not officially marked on the USGS topo maps. Reaching the top rewards you with a nice rocky place to sit and have a snack while enjoying spectacular views of the Wasatch basin to the West and the Wasatch National Forest to the east. Centerville peak can be climbed any time of year, but is especially pretty in the fall and spring.
Shoe shoes are near mandatory for winter hikes. You can expect at least some snow into late May.
There are two common ways to summit Centerville Peak: The Hard Way and the Easy Way
THE HARD WAY VIA PARRISH TRAILHEAD:
~ 9+ miles round trip
~ 4,204 feet elevation gain
~ 8+ total hours of hiking
Park at the Parrish Creek trailhead in Centerville and hike up the hill (Trailhead location 40.9191229, -111.864080). There are a number of trails right out of the parking lot but you can’t go wrong heading “east” and “up”. The trail is steep but well maintained. After following the switchbacks, you’ll reach a small forest and the trail turns south (and runs along the west face of the hill). The trail turns slightly and runs South East. From here you can see Centerville Creek Canyon far below. The trail again goes through light scrub and you can see the Peak 6,470 on your left. After passing 6,470 (about 2 miles into the hike) and the primitive camp, the trail goes east and level for short distance. It then continues east and goes steadily up through the forest. After passing Point 7382, the trail will zig slightly and then continue east at a steep pitch. At about 4 miles the trail turns to a dirt road that shortly meets up with the Skyline road. That puts you at the base of the peaks. Follow Skyline road north about a ¼ mile and then pick your spot to scramble. The final scramble goes through thick brush for about 100 yards and then steeply up the side of the mountain to the peak. Summit and enjoy the view!
This route gets extremely hot in the summer and early morning starts are recommended. Most of the trail is on west-facing slopes and is exposed. There isn’t a place to resupply water, so you’ll have to carry your own.
THE EASY WAY VIA SKYLINE/SESSIONS JUNCTION TRAILHEAD
~ 2.5 miles round trip
~ 790 feet elevation gain
~ 1.25 total hours of hiking
From Bountiful, drive about 5 miles up the Skyline Road to the Session Mt Road/Skyline Junction trailhead (40.930298,-111.793061). From the trailhead, go north following the old, mostly overgrown motorcycle trail through the brush and steeply up the side of the mountain (650 foot gain in ½ mile) to the top of Peak 8775. Once on top, the trail becomes very faint. Continue north following the ridgeline traverse and going peak-to-peak. After 8,775, you’ll cross peak 8,874 and then reach 8,904 (Centerville Peak). Sit on the rocks and enjoy the view!
Parrish Lane Trailhead (The Hard Way)
Parrish Lane trailhead is located at Long/Lat 40.9191229,-111.864080 in Centerville.
From I-15, take the Parrish Lane Exit (319) to Centerville. Follow Parrish Lane east past Target, Wal-Mart, and DQ. Continue on Parrish Lane to where it comes to a T at 700 East. Turn left (north) onto the windy and narrow road, watching out for idiots in large vehicles. Park in the big, dirt parking lot.
There aren't any restrooms or water available at the trailhead (nor is there any along the route), so plan accordingly. The trailhead parking lot is big enough to accommodate horse trailers and has space for about 15 vehicles.
Skyline/Sessions Mt Road Junction (The Easy Way)
The Sessions Mt Road/Skyline Junction Trailhead is located 40.930298,-111.793061 on the Skyline Road.
From I-15, take exit 317, turn right onto 400 N and go east toward the mountains for 2.6 miles. Take a sharp left toward Skyline Drive for .3 miles, then a slight right onto Skyline Drive. You will pass the Big B on the side of the mountain in a ritzy neighborhood. The road passes a huge dirt parking lot full of motorcycle and ATV trailers and becomes a well maintained (no potholes) dirt road that winds up the mountains for about 5 miles. The trailhead is where the road splits with Skyline Road continuing north and Sessions Mt Road going east. It is an obvious trailhead Park in the dirt parking lot.
The trailhead has space for over a dozen vehicles and is sometimes crowded with ATV trailers. There isn’t water available and no bathroom facilities.
Skyline Road is closed for a large portion of the winter after the first snow and doesn’t reopen until May/June.
There isn't any restrictive Red Tape I know of. You are on forest service land in the Wasatch National Forest for the whole hike. Be careful with any fires (they are prohibited during the summer on the west face) as the entire mountainside is a forest fire waiting to happen. In addition, the USFS cautions you about disturbing the wildlife (particularly deer and moose) during calving season.
From the Parrish Lane trailhead, Dogs/horses are allowed but the route looks like it’d be difficult for a horse. Mountain bikes are impossibility and no motor vehicles are allowed on the trails.
Motor vehicles of all sorts are allowed on Skyline Road, including ATVs, dirt bikes, mountain bikes, cars, and pickups. No motor vehicles are allowed from Skyline/Sessions Trailhead up the ridge. Dogs and horses are okay.
There is a good primitive camping spot next to Peak 6,470. There isn't any water available, but it is at a great location right at the base of the peak. It looks like it gets a lot of use during deer hunting season.
Camping at the top is allowed but few spots are desirable along the ridgeline. There is the occasional fire ring on several of the peaks, but they didn’t really appear to be places where people overnighted; just too windy. There are several USFS sanctioned camping areas along Skyline Road.
Animal life is typical of the Wasatch Range and consists of moose, wild-turkey, grouse, deer, elk, squirrels, rabbits, bobcat and fox. If you look closely along the route you’ll see lots of signs of animal inhabitants including dens, scat, and tracks. Rattlesnakes are very common along the route, so exercise caution. Bugs are pretty minimal and there doesn’t seem to be too much of a mosquito problem but DEET always comes in handy.
Most of the Flora is typical Utah dry climate. Because most of the traverse is well over 8,000 feet and exposed, there are very few trees along the ridgeline. There is, however, a huge abundance of wildflowers even into August. The rest of the flora includes stunted sage, grasses, wild roses, and some small trees.
On the lower trail, there are pretty wildflowers in the spring, two large grassy meadows, Gambel Oak, Canyon Maple, white fir, and Sagebrush.