A week in Utah - day two (July 2nd)
After climbing up Naomi Peak
in the snow, I had attempted Rich County's Bridger Peak only to be driven off of even attempting that county highpoint by the relentless swarms of insects that I encountered at the trailhead. I had then headed south, back through scenic Logan Canyon to Logan and hence onto Salt Lake City and a bit south of it to the town of American Fork where I had taken a motel room at the Day's Inn just off the interstate. My son in law Andrew had driven down from Portland Oregon to stay with my daughter who lived in nearby Pleasant Grove. I had decided not to stay with my daughter and her family since I really needed a chance to get organized a bit better for the upcoming week and a chance to get some rest as well. They had offered me the couch but a bed sounded so much better. I did make a visit over there to help Andrew get his stuff loaded into my truck so we'd be ready to leave as soon as Dennis made it down from Medford Oregon. Dennis had left work and would be driving throughout a good chunk of the night to get to American Fork. Before I went to bed, he was somewhere in Nevada.
In the morning, Dennis
was still in Nevada but only three hours away as he had stopped and grabbed some shut eye near Elko for several hours. He pulled into the Day's Inn around 9 a.m., grabbed a bite to eat with me at a local eatery and by 9:30, our two trucks were loaded up and rolling out of my daughter's place in Pleasant Grove with Andrew riding shotgun in my vehicle. We had the two hour drive to Richfield ahead of us and drove down I-15 to the town of Scipio where we exited on highway 50 to get to I-70. Getting to Richfield was exciting to Andrew since his dad had grown up there. Lunch was provided for a fee at the local Subway in Richfield and from there we headed through town a bit and then west onto the dirt roads that provided our route to where we would park our vehicles for the short hike to Mine Camp Peak. It was a bit over 18 miles from Richfield before we pulled our trucks to a spot where we could conveniently park them off of the road and although it took us most of an hour to get there, I was pleased with the condition of the road. A bit rough in spots but decent enough that one could maintain speeds from 15-30 mph most of the way.
The area itself was enhanced by the color of the reddish soil and the greens of the forested slopes as we gained elevation. Considering that we parked our vehicles at 9800 feet of elevation, that was a nice gain via the road from Richfield (elevation around 5000 feet)You can see from the elevation alone, that in a heavy snow year, planning on late June at the earliest would be a good idea. Snow? Yes, there was still some snow on the northside of Mine Camp Peak but first I better describe the hike to get up there.
Rolling summit area
After parking our vehicles, we walked up the road to a saddle and a cattle grate and left the road, dropping down about 200 feet to a saddle before ascending up 400 feet to the broad rounded summit. No real trail of any kind but it is easy to pick a line and head for the summit. So, 400 feet in and 200 feet on the way out makes for a grand total of 600 feet involved in getting Mine Camp Peak from this approach. It took us about 1/2 hour to hike it and actually less than an hour round trip. Not much of a hike but in county highpointing, the object is to get to the highest spot of a county, regardless of what it entails. As we approached the highest spot on the mountain, we could see a rock cairn and tuc
ked into some rocks on the cairns north side was a register, containing many familiar names as well as those of locals from Fillmore and Richfield. One interesting entry was one by Dale Milsap and Rik Dunham, both noted Utah mountaineers who were doing the county highpoints. Their entry dated Aug 15, 2004 indicated that on the 14th, they had done Delano Pk, Mt. Ellen, and Bluebell Knoll, all in the same day. That's a lot of driving. Also, earlier on the 15th, they had already done Fishlake Hightop before signing the register atop Mine Camp Pk. at 12:30 pm. Determination had brought them 5 county highpoints in two days.
A short distance away was a lingering snowbank that was a reminder of what blanketed this area in the winter time and with the road system, Mine Camp Peak might be approachable via snowmobile. Views were nice, down into the Fillmore area with the whole town of Fillmore laid out below us. East we had nice views of the neighboring peak, White Pine Pk. (marred with a tower set up on its top)
White Pine Peak
After thoroughly reading the register, snapping off pictures and calling our wives, we headed back down the hillside and then back up to the road to our vehicles that were awaiting us. It took us an hour to get back to Richfield and after gassing up, we headed for our next goal, Fishlake Hilltop. BTW, we used two vehicles the whole trip as no one wanted to ride in the jumpseat for any extended length of time and it was kind of reassuring to have two vehicles in some of the places we had to go.
Fishlake Hilltop will be given its own Trip report and I'll elaborate on the remainder of day two as it pertains to that mountain. However, here is the summary of our Utah trip in a day by day listing.
In the month of July
, this is what I was able to do and see:
Day 1 - Naomi Peak
of Cache County and the aborted Rich County effort.
Day 2 - Mine Camp Peak & camped out at 11K feet 2 miles from Fishlake Hightop.
Day 3 - Fishlake Hightop
and Blue Bell Knoll. Drove to within 5 miles of
Mt. Ellen and camped. Went via Boulder & Burr Trail to Capitol
Reef Nat'l Park and then east into the Henry Mtn Range
Day 4 - Mt. Ellen
and then drove via Hite, Natural Bridges Nat'l Monument
and up to a spot where we camped close to Mt. Peale
Day 5 - Mt. Peale.
Then some time in Moab and drove to a spot where we
were close to Mt. Waas
Day 6 - Mt. Waas
. Then spent time in Arches Nat'l Park before we drove to
a spot where we camped close to East Mtn.
Day 7 - East Mtn and a long drive to So. Tent Peak. Then drove to a spot a
few miles from Monument Peak.
Day 8 - Monument Peak and then drove up and did Eccentric Peak in the
eastern Uintas. From there I started my drive home. Left Eccentric TH at 5pm and drove into Kennewick the next morning around noon.
I hope to put up a trip report for each day. In the 8 days, I did 11 peaks, saw two National Parks and a national monument, drove the Burr trail and went over Hell's Backbone into Boulder. Car camped every night and loved every minute of the trip.
Register EntryClick here
to get the register entry referred to earlier
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