Indian Farm Bowl
Haystack is the 2nd highest summit of Deep Creek Range, just 60 ft lower than its better-known neighbor to the South, Ibapah Peak. The granite massif has a horseshoe shape, opening to ENE. Of the two lesser summits making up the sides of the horseshoe cirque of Indian Farm Canyon, the Northern, higher one, at 11,987 ft, has a name of Ibepah Azimuth. The other, lesser pyramid, crowning the East arm, we shall call Eastern Shoulder.
Upper East slopes of Ibepah Az
Ibepah Azimuth is properly the designation of an 1889 benchmark used by the original Ibapah survey crew to orient their theodolites. The description of the old station (KO0485 in the NGS system) didn't survive, but the precise coordinates did, and that's how the name got onto a topo and stuck to the mountaintop itself (The follow-up crews didn't even bother with this very remote azimuth mark and established a different one half-way between Ibapah Peak and Granite Creek saddle, so we can surmise that the 1889 mark wasn't a very durable one, probably nothing more than a stake in a cairn. But you are welcome to investigate the question - please visit in summer and take a good look :).
Red Cedar Bowl and Ibapah Peak
On the Eastern slope of Deep Creeks, Indian Farm Creek drains from the summit cirque, while Red Cedar Creek starts in the wide bowl between Haystack and Ibapah to the South, and Toms Creek from the rolling hills to the North. The only published description we could find, in Kelsey's Green Book, suggests bushwhacking along Indian Farm Creek, although he also mentions possible descent into Toms Creek. The Western slope is more difficult to access since it requires tribal permission from the Goshutes.
On our April trip of 2006, we looped all around the massif, and it looks like we've got better routes to offer than Indian Farm Canyon.
Indian Farm Bench
The shortest access to Haystack is provided by Toms Creek road, which climbs to nearly 9,000 ft elevation North of the peak, and its Indian Farm Cabin fork, which crosses the divide to the South, winding its way between the granite outcroppings of Indian Farm Bench between 8,000 and 8,200 ft elevation.
North Ridge of Ibepah Az
From Upper Toms Creek road, one can follow North ridge or direct North slope to Ibepah Azimuth.
From Indian Farm Bench or the cabin at the track's end
, one can ascend either side of the horseshoe-shaped cirque of Haystack Peak, or reach the bottom of the cirqe. One can also cross Saddle 10,340
into Red Cedar drainage, and access both Haystack and Ibapah Peaks from there.
The main crest of Deep Creeks just South of Ibepah Azimuth has a section of easy scrambling along a knife-edge. The crux of the main crest between Ibapah and Haystack is a 45° slope NE of Hill 11,686
. In addition to the high traverse along the Haystack-Ibapah ridge (which Grizz chose), there is a Red Cedar Bowl-bottom variation bypassing the cliffs 800 feet below (which is where I chose to ski).
Indian Farm Bowl
Our 4/22/06 routes are shown in red, other variations in blue.
Indian Farm Bowl area: the last segment of Indian Farm Cabin trail, and the cabin, are shown as a purple line and dot. Our uptrack begins just short of the cabin and climbs to the West, passing through Saddle 9,300. Our return track comes from the SW over Saddle 10,340.
Red Cedar Bowl
Red Cedar Bowl area: note the two traverse variations, the one high on the ridge and the other one skirting the cliffs down below. One might prefer to drop even lower on a return trip to Indian Farm Cabin (blue line)
Haystack from Pony Express Trail near Callao
access point to the mountain. It used to have Pony Express station since 1860, and a gas station through 1920s back when the main highway to California still followed the original Pony Express Trail, but don't count on any services now. At this remote location, you must have full tank, water, and a good spare tire at the very least.
Deep Creeks from Pony Express - Ibapah jct
The most recommended road to Callao is through Wendover South to Ibapah turnoff, to graded road to Gold Hill
and left to Callao. On our April 2006 trip, we tried a different variation, staying additional 16 miles on Ibapah blacktop, and turning left to Pony Express Trail
from there. A winding 18-miler section of the trail down Overland Canyon probably balances off any advantage of staying longer on the paved road, but at least we got to see the Deep Creeks from the unusual direction.
Following the paved road all the way to the "town" of Ibapah gives access to the Western slopes of the range. Coshute Tribal permission is needed to proceed South of town. Consult with Doug Springmeyer's route description for Ibapah Peak about the details.
Other ways to get to Callao are from Tooele Valley by Pony Express route, from IPP access highway over Sand Pass, and from the State Line gas station and Great Basin NP by the main graded road through Trout Creek.
Indian Farm Cabin track climbs out of Toms Creek
The officially marked Toms Creek turnoff
is a mile and a half South of Callao. The road is very rocky at first, then it climbs a sandy ridge, forking at its Western end. The left fork crosses a gully and meets an alternative road there. This unofficial alternative road starts off Callao - Trout Creek graded highway
further South, a hundred yard short of the marked Indian Farm Canyon turnoff, on the North bank of Toms Creek. This road isn't so full of boulders but it's got eroded ruts and steeper grades. Both roads meet at the bottom of switchbacks
at 6,150 ft. After the first switchback, driving becomes quite a bit more challenging. We couldn't quite get through a foot-high rock step at 6,500 ft, and camped at an excellent ridgetop site
just below. If you can make across this hurdle, the road condition improves dramatically. There were a few splotches of snow just before the road cleared the ridge into Toms Creek, but even this early in spring, it would have been smooth saling all the way to, and across, the ford of Indian Farm Cabin road
, at 7,450 ft. There are good campsites on the both sides of Toms Creek there, and it's about as far as a regular-track 4WD would be able to make towards Indian Farm Cabin. Further up Toms Creek, the road remained quite good where we left it.