I tried this via Bair Canyon on 3/17/2020; had to use microspikes after 30 minutes (packed snow/ice on trail), snowshoes at one hour... got up to the end of the tall trees and started trying to ascend the snowfield (no idea where trail was), snow was deep and wet, kept post-holing thigh-deep even with snowshoes and turned around. I could see the GWT on the ridge, Francis Peak RIGHT THERE, so close... it was 50F out that day, my own fault not thinking through that the snow would be wet.
Tried again 7/2/2020 and was successful (also summitted Peak 9471 -- the one with the two boxy buildings now empty of weather monitoring stuff/antennas), no snow on trail; only the occasional snowy clump left on shaded parts of ridge. The switchbacks my map promised for the last climb to the GWT are gone, but funnily enough from Peak 9471 you can see the old switchbacks clear as day... they're just grown over and not maintained anymore. The last section of trail through the tall trees had newly placed trail markers (can bottoms, zip ties, etc.) Started 6:30am, summit Francis Peak 9:45am, picked up Peak 9471 and then down and back at my car by 1:15pm. Only a few people and a camper along trail past the bridge, but lots of large families before the bridge. Group of 10 mountain bikers on summit of Francis Peak. The view from the GWT in that area is amazing.
Just before the trailhead for Bair Canyon, there's a newly expanded Froot Loops parking lot for all of the biking trails. I ended up there by accident the first time I tried to find the right parking lot.
The beginning of the trail had several flyers posted stating the Gutsman annual race is still on for 8/1/2020. https://www.bairgutsman.com/
Up Wolverine Ridge Down Webb Canyon Holmes Creek
Very steep biking from the locked gate until near the top! Hands really hurt on the way down because of all the braking. Great views on top. To be clear, I did not just start biking at the locked gate!
My dad and I cimbed Francis Peak, Peak 9491, Thurston Peak, as well as one other un-ranked summit today. It was a very scenic climb and with great views. Thurston Peak and Francis Peak are two of the few remaining peaks I still hadn't done in the Wasatch. Most of the hike was easy, but getting around the big cornices was rather challenging.
drove ~ there up Farmington Canyon, then a series of county line peaks north to Thurston (with Wasatch Mt Club group).
If there's a lot of snow and you go early in the season watch out for the stream crossings. They are absolutely no joke and don't make for easy travel. And then all the snow was kinda lame too
Had the trail to ourselves and didn't see anyone until we reached the dirt road at the end of the Bair Canyon road - a couple 4 wheelers. No matter what maps you see for this trail, don't get fooled into thinking there are switchbacks once you get out of the trees. Completely overgrown and you go straight up through the runoff channel coming down the hill. Not a lot of fun climbing down that part of the trail but the views on top were astounding. Pretty significant elevation gain and probably the most of any peaks we have done in Utah.
Drove up to the base of Francis then bagged it on the way to Thurston. Great road conditions. Got up there in a sedan. Like everyone else says on this site, the views from the top are quite breathtaking.
Nine hours round trip from Baer Canyon on a 97 degree day. There were still three snowy areas, but only the second one needed crampons. Way cool to see the radar towers up close - very high tech. Solo ascent.
Climbed up this on the way to Thurston, and back because the snow drift and cornices on the back side were a bit iffy. It was fine on the way up, took it out on the way back.
Great day hike, not easy, but not difficult. Views are well worth the climb, and radio towers are interesting to look at.
My fourth attempt was in 2015. I again hiked via Bair Canyon, this time with my oldest son and my daughter. When we got to the ridge, there was a huge cloudburst that turned into sleet and wind. We had ponchos, but we still got cold and wet. We hiked up the road to the towers and huddled next to the building until the storm let up. On the way down, the trail was wet and muddy and we fell several times. The trip took nearly 12 hours! It was great to finally reach the top.
My third attempt was in the fall of 2014. My father, my youngest son and I again hiked via Bair Canyon, but had to turn back after my father's arthritis started to bother him.
My second attempt was in the summer of 2014. My oldest son and I again tried to hike to the summit via Bair Canyon, but had to turn back after about a mile because of a sore foot.
My first attempt (of four) was in 2013. My oldest son and I tried to hike up Bair Canyon to the towers, but got caught in a thunderstorm. We tried to sit out the rain, but then the lightning started hitting the mountain and we didn't think it would be a good idea to get anywhere near the top. We hiked back to the car, soaking wet and vowing to do it another day.
Just wanted to drive up there first and yes I was successful at getting up there with just a corrolla. No 4 by 4 necessary this time of year!
7/4/2015: With Deseret Peak.
6/5/2016: With Thurston Peak & Snow Horse Ridge.
Thurston, 9491, then this one. Really fun day.
Drove up from Bountiful, past Bountiful Peak, to the FAA towers. Did a quick little summit of Francis before heading over the ridge to Thurston.
Hit Francis on the way back from Thurston + Peak 9491. One of the prettiest sunsets I've seen in a long while! My stomach was getting super angry, though. More food next time.