Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Activities Activities: Hiking
Sign the Climber's Log


[Note: August 2020. I adopted this page after it was orphaned by the original author. I have made no substantive changes to it - utahjimk]


Dude Benchmark is a highpoint on a long ridge between Salt Lake City and the city of Bountiful. This prominent ridge divides Salt Lake and Davis Counties and is well known and visible everywhere. It is the backdrop for the downtown in many pictures. Because the west running ridgeline extends so far west from the main north/south Wasatch peaks, the views are spectacular. With the relatively low elevation, the hike can be done most of the year, with snowshoes required up higher. Although trails crisscross the area, to really experience the ridge, I'll describe the 5 mile, 2,500+ foot gain route below.

Dude BenchmarkDude Benchmark from Little Black Mountain Trail

Getting There

Drive to the State Capitol Building. Take East Capitol Blvd. (on the east side) north into the residential area. Turn left on North Sandrun Drive (940 N). Go one block to a Y in the road at a church. Take the right fork (behind the church), to the trailhead in a block. The trailhead is one of the best signed trailheads in Utah with a huge sign saying Ensign Peak, you can’t miss it.

Dude Benchmark MapDude Benchmark Map

Ensign Peak Route:

The Ensign Peak trail climbs 400 feet in a half mile to a ridge top, just feet below the summit of Ensign Peak. Left is Ensign, turn right following a smaller trail along the ridgeline. This trail will continually climb knoll after knoll bringing you higher and higher up the ridgeline. In a few places, roads appear from the north. You’ll always be on the right path if you keep the slope down to City Creek near. At 6,700 feet is a final 500 foot climb to the summit. Much of the way before the final climb is gently sloping and even one or two small sections of downhill. The top doesn’t offer much but big views and the experience of hiking this long ridge visible from Ogden to Draper.  

Oquirrh Mountains
Oquirrh Mountains
Salt Lake Valley
Looking south, Salt Lake Valley
City Creek Canyon
City Creek Canyon
Lower Ridge
Starting up the ridge
View to the summit
Looking to the summit
Dude Benchmark
Looking to the summit
Moose on the trail
Looking North
Looking north to Frances Peak area
View down ridge
Showing route up, upper section
Looking at route
Showing route up, lower section
Little Black Mountain
Little Black Mountain
Grandview Peak
Grandview Peak