Everybody Loves Raymond - NE Ridge

Everybody Loves Raymond - NE Ridge

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Aug 13, 2013
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Summer

Wasatch Three-For-One

Kessler Peak from Butler Fork Trailhead
Kessler Peak from Butler Fork Trailhead



Ever since reading that Mount Raymond was one of the top five favorite Wasatch peaks of Mr. Wasatch (who’s been to the top of all of the range’s major peaks), I figured I just had to do this hike.  At first I figured David and I could do it in the same day as Devil’s Castle (driving up Little Cottonwood to do that one first, and then back up Big Cottonwood to do Raymond second), but in hindsight I’m glad we didn’t do that since it would have been a long day hiking in the hot afternoon sun.  We instead decided to sandwich a summit of Mount Raymond in between Circle All Peak and Gobblers Knob for a fun Wasatch three-for-one hike.

Butler Fork aspens
Butler Fork aspen trees


Big Cottonwood Canyon
Looking back at Big Cottonwood Canyon













We met at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon at 7am and then rode up to the Butler Fork Trailhead together.  The start of the trail was a little steep but we made good time through the initial part which went through an evergreen forest, and after crossing a little bridge, we then entered some aspen groves.  Maybe it was just the way the early morning light was filtering through the trees, but I’d say the aspen groves along this early part of the trail were among the most scenic ones I’ve ever been in.  We caught sight of a deer a couple hundred feet ahead of us, which isn’t unusual, but it was probably the first male deer I’ve seen in the Wasatch. 

Butler Fork Deer
On the way up we saw a deer ...


Butler Fork Moose
... and a moose with ninja skills.















I figured we were already lucky to catch sight of a buck on our hike, but just a short while later we came across a large moose.  My previous encounters with moose usually started out by hearing a crashing noise as the moose made his way through the trees, but this moose somehow snuck up on us.  Luckily we were talking and still had a good fifty feet between us when we spotted him.  After pausing to observe us, he turned away from us and started walking along the same trail we were on.  We followed him up the trail, but upon rounding the corner he’d gone past, we could no longer see him.  I would have expected him to cause a noisy ruckus in the trees wherever he had gone, but somehow the moose had completely disappeared into thin air.  I guess this one had ninja skills.

Kessler Peak
Kessler Peak from Circle All Peak


Mount Raymond from Butler Fork
Mount Raymond













Monte Cristo from Butler Fork
Monte Cristo


Upper Broads Fork
Triple Traverse Peaks


A short time later we arrived at a split in the trail, at which point we turned left to go to the top of Circle All Peak.  Our views were still obscured by trees, but after walking a few hundred yards from the split we topped out on the peak.  From here we had a nice view of Kessler Peak and the Cottonwood Ridge to the south of us on the other side of Big Cottonwood Canyon.  After a short break we turned around and took the other trail at the split to continue up towards Mount Raymond.  We could now see our main goal on the left when looking to the north, along with what we thought was the summit of Gobblers Knob to the right (but was actually a false summit).


Butler Fork wildflowers
Some wildflowers we encountered ...


Mount Raymond wildflowers
... just below the saddle connecting Mount Raymond and Gobblers Knob













Wildflowers below Mount Raymond
Wildflowers ...


Aspens below Mount Raymond
... and aspens below Mount Raymond





We continued through more impressive aspen groves as we made our way closer to the saddle between these two peaks.  Seriously, if you like aspen groves then this is the hike for you.  I usually don’t care for them, but this hike was changing my mind about them.  Some of the trunks of these aspen trees were especially thick compared to ones I’ve seen in other areas of the Wasatch.  We passed a few sparse patches of wildflowers as we got closer to the saddle between Raymond and Gobblers Knob, and then turned west. 

Mount Raymond over wildflowers
Getting closer ...


Mount Raymond summit
... to the summit of Mount Raymond














Downtown SLC
Salt Lake City behind Grandeur Peak


At this point it started getting hotter at the same time that the trail steepened again, which made me glad that we had not tried starting this hike in the afternoon after already doing Devil’s Castle the last time we’d been hiking.  We definitely could have done it, but that wouldn’t have been a very enjoyable experience.  We noticed the expired remains of what were likely some really bright wildflowers about a month before (summer conditions had come early for the second year in a row), and as we made our way higher we could now see downtown Salt Lake City off in the distance to the northwest. 

Mount Raymond scramble
A short scrambling section ...


Raymond summit over Big Cottonwood Canyon
... just below the top














Raymond summit slabs
Smooth slabs to the south ...

Raymond north ridge
... and north of Mount Raymond

The dirt trail led us to the base of a little knife edge ridge which is what had first drawn my interest when looking for pictures of this hike.  I was curious to see if I could make it to the top without using my hands, but after making it most of the way up without doing so, it became more awkward so I decided not to be a hero and just use them.  The south side of the ridge is a little exposed, with trees somehow growing straight out of the rock on most of the north facing parts of the ridge.  There were only a few short spots where it helped to use our hands, but for the most part it was just off-trail hiking over the terrain which was now composed mainly of big fractured stone slabs.  The final section was clear of trees, with impressive views in every direction from on top of the summit knob.


Summit view west
Looking west from the summit of Mount Raymond

Brandon on Raymond summit
Summit shot




The summit offers some of the best views around.  Despite Mount Olympus having a slightly better summit view in my opinion, you can’t see downtown Salt Lake City from that summit, which you can see from Mount Raymond.

Back down steep trail
Making our way back down ...


Back over rocky ridge
... the steep northeast ridge of Mount Raymond




















We made our way back down to the saddle between Mount Raymond and Gobblers Knob, and luckily there was a cool breeze and more shade on the early part of the ridge leading up to Gobblers Knob.  We topped out on a couple false summits along the way, but eventually made it to our third and final peak of the day.

Northeast ridge meadow
Scenic meadows ...


Northeast ridge trail
... along the trail between Mount Raymond and Gobblers Knob













Gobblers Knob trail
Hiking up the trail ...

Gobblers Knob summit
... to the summit of Gobblers Knob





While snacking on top, an older hiker (I’m guessing in his 70’s) joined us, who told us that he had come up the steeper east ridge coming up from Millcreek Canyon.  I’m hoping I can still be doing what I love when I’m his age.  He was only the second hiker we’d seen the entire day (the other just grunted at us as he was coming down from Raymond and we were going up), which I guess is to be expected since we were hiking on a Tuesday.

Gobblers Knob summit view
Making it to the top of Gobblers Knob


Gobbler Knob summit
Our third summit of the day














The hike back down was easy and uneventful, besides me getting a minor ankle sprain.  I sprained it playing basketball earlier in the summer, and had unfortunately sprained it once on each hike since then as well (this time it happened stepping on a patch of loose dirt covering the root of a plant on the side of the trail).  Guess I don’t heal as quickly as I used to.

Gobblers Knob scenery
Awesome views ...


Gobblers Knob trail
... going back down Gobblers Knob













Mount Raymond northeast ridge
Mount Raymond northeast ridge




Mount Raymond was definitely the highlight of the day, although the views from all three of these little peaks were quite nice.  I don’t think I’d put it in my top five, but it would likely crack my top ten favorite Wasatch hikes.  It’s another one of those nice hikes that you can do in half a day as well (after our hike I took my car in for some repairs and worked a half day at the office), which is nice when you may not have the time for something longer.  All in all, it was a fun hike that I’d recommend for anyone.  While it did have a couple little scrambling moves, I think they’d be easy enough for any first-timer who isn’t overly afraid of heights.


Looking back on Mount Raymond
David descending the Butler Fork trail ...


Back through the aspens
... through some more aspen groves


Circle All Peak, Mount Raymond, & Gobblers Knob Stats

DISTANCE: 10 miles roundtrip
ELEVATION GAIN: 4,150 feet
TIME: 6 hours

Mount Raymond from Big Cottonwood Canyon
... from Big Cottonwood Canyon Road


Mount Raymond fall colors
Mount Raymond ...


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-6 of 6
David Mortensen

David Mortensen - Sep 10, 2013 10:44 pm - Hasn't voted


Thanks for doing another awesome trip report. I like reading these and looking at the pictures almost as much as the hike. Nice work!

Rocky Alps

Rocky Alps - Sep 12, 2013 3:43 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Thanks!

Thanks, David. The end of summer snuck up on me this year, so I'm glad we were at least able to do a couple cool Wasatch hikes.


TyeDyeTwins - Sep 13, 2013 1:43 am - Voted 10/10

Nice 1

Always a joy to see the local Wasatch on the front page. When I read that you were starting up Butler Fork I thought to myself.....betcha they saw a moose!

I am hoping to summit Raymond when the fall colors get into full swing. Love skiing Circle Awl and Gobblers....the main summit couloir of Raymond is definately on my "to ski list".

Thanks for posting!

Rocky Alps

Rocky Alps - Sep 16, 2013 2:59 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Nice 1

Butler Fork looks like a great place for fall colors so I'll have to come back then. Skiing that couloir on Raymond looks pretty gnarly!


harbor - Sep 16, 2013 1:02 am - Hasn't voted

Great pics

and a nice little report. Moose are always fun to see. =)

Rocky Alps

Rocky Alps - Sep 16, 2013 3:00 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Great pics

Thanks. I'm always amazed by how big moose can get.

Viewing: 1-6 of 6



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