Farnsworth Peak (UT)

Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Lat/Lon: 40.65961°N / 112.20234°W
County: Salt Lake & Tooele
Activities: Hiking
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Elevation: 9060 ft / 2761 m

Overview

Farnsworth and Kessler Peaks are the most northern big mountains in the Oquirrh Mountains. Everyone in the Salt Lake Valley can see them though few know their names. Farnsworth Peak gets more notice, especially since there are local news antennas on the summit. Access to this area from the Salt Lake City side is completely restricted, including roads that go up both peaks from that side. But, much of the west side is BLM land. It extends all the way to the summit so Kessler is legal to climb. I've drawn the property line on the map. The final few hundred feet up Farnsworth is not BLM. In spring, with the right conditions, I was able to do this route with no brush at all. I spent considerable time scouting this route before hand and believe it is the most direct with the fewest issues. Spring is also preferable as you won't see anyone up there as the roads on top are deep in snow. Farnsworth Peak is named after Philo T. Farnsworth, one of the inventors of Television, so expect a lot of antennas.

Farnsworth from East KesslerFarnsworth from East Kessler

Getting There

Take the Tooele exit off I-80. At the first possible left turn into the gas stations. A sign says Frontage Road. Follow Frontage Road as it parallels I-80 heading back eastward. Less than a mile beyond the gas stations, the road does a hairpin turn at the base of the mountains. Now it heads south. Follow for a short distance looking for a dirt road next to some rock cliffs with graffiti on them. I parked right there. There are no signs indicating private property, I think it is owned by the railway. If you don't like the parking situation, you could always park at the gas stations and bike there.

Red Tape

None for Kessler Peak, Farnsworth is on private property near the summit.

Farnsworth Peak MapFarnsworth and Kessler Peaks Map


Kessler PeakPanoramic of Kessler Peak in Route

Route

The dirt road continues off the pavement up a steep hill adjacent to the railway. Follow the road up and down a bit, get on the railroad tracks and head south. Walk the tracks a short distance then begin your traverse toward the west ridge of Kessler. There is a powerline road as well to walk but it starts descending after awhile. There are several drainages so you don't want to go too high too fast. One could also just walk a powerline road at the base of the mountains cutting up further south near Rodgers Canyon. Once you are on the ridge to the south of Rodgers Canyon, it is straight forward ridge climbing until you are on the summit. No obstacles, no brush with spring snow coverage. The traverse between the two peaks is a basic snowshoe as well. My time was 4 hours for Kessler and an additional hour to reach Farnsworth.

Route up Kessler PeakKessler Peak and route


Upper portion Kessler PeakKessler Peak and route upper


Kessler Peak final feetKessler Peak final feet


Farnsworth PeakFarnsworth from Kessler Peak


Salt Lake Valley


View NortheastView Northeast


Stansbury RangeStansbury Range


Farnsworth to Kessler Peak


Great Salt LakeGreat Salt Lake


Farnsworth Peak summitFarnsworth Peak summit



Bonus Peaks - Kennecott 6 Loop

To the north and east of Kessler are 4 more peaks. Unfortunately, they are on private Kennecott property. I'm not saying I did this loop but if I did, it might have taken me 13.5 hours, over 22 miles, 6 peaks total with 7,400 foot elevation gain.

Map of Northern Oquirrh PeaksKennecott 6 Loop


East Kessler RouteRoute to peaks east




Additional Information

If you are interested in climbing all the peaks in the Oquirrh Mountains, keep an eye on my Oquirrh Mountains Page on my website HERE. Within a few years, I should complete them all with maps and trip reports for each...except those on private property which I will strictly deny I climbed but possibly have pictures from the summit if you like to see them.

Video

Here is a video of what you might see upon Farnsworth or Kessler at night although it is taken from a much lower summit to the east of Kessler. Peak 6996. Video starts out dark showing the few lights up on Farnsworth Peak but then pans around to show the lights of the Salt Lake Valley.


HERE

Philo T. Farnsworth

Like to learn more about Farnsworth and your television? Here is a link.
Wikipedia
Philo T. FarnsworthStatue inside the Utah State Capitol