Lookout Peak had never really caught my attention before, but with the avalanche danger forecasted to be high, it seemed like a good option on this warm and sunny day in March. In the summer months this would be a relatively easy hike, but with many of the slopes still covered with deep snow I ended up badly underestimating the difficulty of the hike. Choosing to approach from the Affleck Park trail near Emigration Canyon also added an additional 4 miles round trip to the hike, since the road to East Canyon was still closed for the winter near Upper Dell Reservoir, resulting in a 2-mile walk up the road to the standard summer trailhead at Affleck Park. With the road and surrounding hills free of snow we elected not to carry snowshoes and left them in our vehicle, a decision we of course later came to regret. By the time we hiked the 2-miles to the Affleck Park trailhead the road had changed from dry to completely snow-packed, and as we began moving up the standard trail the hike immediately became a grueling slog through soft knee-deep snow. The post-holing quickly grew tiresome, and the irritating thought of our snowshoes back in our vehicle almost caused us to abandon the hike. At this point Shelley had a little extra pep and convinced me to keep forging ahead, in the hopes that conditions would improve further up. Our route soon turned and headed in a more northerly direction, where the direct sun on the south slopes had completely melted away the snow in many spots. We eventually intersected the trail which approaches from Killyon Canyon, which was occasionally covered in more of the deep wet snow, but generally easier going than we'd encountered earlier. As we neared the ridge leading to the first of several false summits the snow became deeper, but was generally more consolidated and made for fairly easy walking - the only thing slowing us down now was our tired legs. The true summit was actually the last of several false summits along the rolling summit ridge, and was somewhat flat and unspectacular as far as summits go. It was noticeably cooler on the summit but I still managed to get by with just a t-shirt. The views to the south at the still heavily snow covered Wasatch front mountains was excellent, as well as a nice view of Grandview Peak to the north-west. We could also make out the western summits of the Uintah range to the east. The hike down went much quicker as we enjoyed one of my favorite hiking conditions - plunge stepping down steep slopes in soft Spring snow. It was nearly dark by the time we arrived back at our vehicle, and we were very glad we'd completed the hike despite nearly aborting several times. A long strenuous day and not one of my favorite hikes, so I probably won't repeat this one anytime soon.
View this trip report with photos here
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