The beautiful view from the North Fork of Strawberry Creek A close-up from the south
Haystack Peak in some ways is one of the premier peaks of the Salt River Range. It is a steep and sharp peak with a vertical north face. You can see it from Star Valley, so it is well known. From most other points in the range it is very visible with its distinctive shape. It towers over the beautiful Strawberry Creek drainage in one direct sweep. It gets skied frequently because of its easy access. It must be skied in safe conditions because it has some huge slides that come off of its flanks. There is no trail to its summit, only steep off trail hiking. For that reason it does not see too many summer ascents because it is such a grunt. The summit view is as good as it gets, from the Tetons to the Winds. It is a small summit that makes you feel as though you are on top of the world. The view of Haystack from the surrounding peaks is amazing. I do not know when it received its name and there is not much local history of the peak. The Strawberry Creek drainage is definitely one of the most beautiful areas in the Salt River Range.
The north side of Haystack from near White Peak, August 2009 A close-up view from the ridge leading to Virginia Peak The view from the south ridge from right below the west summit of Haystack
The ascent can be made from different directions, but the south seems to be the most practible. Drive to Strawberry Creek from the road that passes through Bedford. This road is accessed a few miles south of Thayne turning left just past the rest area. Follow the road past the power station where it turns to dirt. For the ascent up the south ridge do not go all the way to the end of the road. You have to find the south ridge that leads to the west peak and park at the base of it. It is not obvious and you might have to drive past it to look back and see the ridge leading up. There are many turnouts to park at near the beginning of the hike.
The complete south aspect taken from below the summit of Strawberry Mountain in September 2009
There are a few decent places to camp right on the road. Some of the turnouts have enough space to park and camp. The end of the road near the reservoir has some more places to car camp.