Day two of a little road trip through Garfield and Wayne Counties to bag a couple of county high points. We got into the high country and were rewarded by seeing some of that famous Henry Mountain Deer Herd. The bucks were awesome! The hike was great and the weather beautiful. We returned via Notum Road, The Burr Trail, The Million Dollar Highway to Boulder, Bryce Canyon and Cedar Mountain.
This was our first time in the Henry mountains. We loved the drive, the hike and the views. It was fairly windy ahead of a front coming in, but nothing would have deterred us.
Mommy and Daddy brought me to the summit of Mount Ellen, the high point of the beautiful Henry Mountains! Daddy carried me because I am only 10 1/2 months old. Thunderstorms in the deserts to both the east and west were really scary!
Hiked with my wife and carried DayHikerJr, age 10 1/2 months. Thunderstorms in the area, in the deserts to both our east and west, prevented us from continuing north to the slightly lower Ellen Peak. But we got the high point, Mount Ellen.
The hike to Mount Ellen was great, with spectacular views of Utah's canyon country, my favorite part of the Universe. But, for peaks in the Henry Mountains, the real epic journey is the vehicle approach.
For the approach, we took the Fairview Ranch Road (N38.23918 W110.64902), which is off UT95, 10.0 miles south of the junction of UT24 and UT95. Fairview Ranch Road connects to Sawmill Basin Road at N38.21454 W110.74112.
For the return, we tried to take a different road back to UT95, so we turned southeast instead of northwest at Wickiup Pass. When we reached the lower elevations, thunderstorms dropped heavy rains in the area, causing some serious flooding. We were forced to stop for about 45 minutes while we watched a flooded wash (N38.07938 W110.67426) tear perpendicularly across the road in front of us. After the water slowed enough to allow safe crossing, we continued across, only to find the road 1/10 mile ahead completely flooded and destroyed by a larger wash running parallel to, and on, our road! (N38.08055 W110.67281)
We could find no detour around this mess to get to UT95, so we had to return the way we came, all the way back over Wickiup Pass, and then to Sawmill Basin Road. Instead of using Fairview Ranch Road again, we decided to stay on Sawmill Basin Road all the way to where it becomes 100 East in Hanksville.
In the lower elevations, the roads (when dry) were 2WD passable, and even the higher roads could probably be driven with a 2WD passenger car by someone (me) who is really determined to get to a trailhead. But luckily we had higher clearance and AWD for this day, because we needed it for all the flooding and wet sandy roads. I was prepared to pack up DayHikerJr, along with some food and water, and hike out to UT95.
Dale Millsap and I were on our marathon COHP run. This was 5 of 7 for me in two days. It was a 45 minute run to the summit and a nice brisk jog off.
Dean thanks much for a great page about the directions, summit, and history. The real challenge with this hike is getting to the trailhead. It takes ~ 90 min. from Torrey to arrive at the pass. The road was clear when I was there but obviously had been cleared of trees frequently. High clearance is recommended and I was glad to have 4X4 at times. Once on top it's a challenge to complete all of the summits but worth it once you've made the effort to be there.
Enjoyed a very windy day hiking to the top of Ellen. The non-literal highpoint of the day was the drive down where we saw three bison grazin near the road.
Saw a lone bison in the early a.m. from my truck. Too cool. Snowed on the way up, cleared as I descended.
My wife and I met Duane at the junction of SR24 to Notom, then rode in his Explorer to Bull Creek Pass. After nearly a year of lamenting our failure to summit Ellen in the dark last September, Duane and I finally got this one off our backs. We had stopped one hump short on the previous attempt.
Did the short hike from Bull Creek Pass, but only after being accosted by a group of very drunk hunters who were up there scouting out mule deer hunting possibilities. Apparantly the Henry Mts is the premier Mule Deer hunting area in the lower 48. The place was crawling with guys in camo clothes and atvs going around video taping deer and such. Very surreal experience, and the incident with the three drunkards (they told us they had brought 90 beers with them, yes 90) had a Deliverance feel to it, although it never got that far. They kept asking me and my buddy, "Are you gay?" and "Are you sure?" Enter at your own risk. The only time in my life that I wished I was a gun owner.
Fun times and spectacular views with Cliff Moser.
With MOCKBA reached the summit after starting maybe a mile up the road from Wikiup pass. Very windy on Bull Creek Pass and Mt. Ellen Peak! Outstanding views in 360 degrees. We could even see what we thought were the San Juans. A fantastic winter trip with what seemed like very low snow amounts for January.
We drove in on the dirt road from Hanksville but there's a better way. Take the highway to the water tank then turn west onto the dirt road. Good graded dirt up to the foothills where damage from the rains was evident.
Exciting voyage up the recently washed-out road with a little road building to warm us up. It had rained during the previous two weeks and at one point it was not obvious where the road was!
Started hiking at the car park at Bull Creek Pass and followed the trail up the south ridge. Round trip was 3 or 4 hours. Many people have commented on the winds but there were no winds this day. Wonderful views.
In the 1890's the record for the longest-distance message was set between Mt. Ellen and a peak in Colorado. Sun-reflecting mirrors were used.
A nice mellow hike with spectacular views. The wind was particularly intense at Bull Creek Pass, but otherwise it was a fantastic day and hike.
Climbed with Dean on a beautiful day.
Good views of the desert country.
We came in from the Burr Trail (to the south) after doing some peaks such as Mine Camp, Fishlake Hightop and Bluebell Knoll (Boulder Top) prior. Traversing the Hells Backbone road and then heading east via the Burr Trail were special highlights of this trip. We drove north towards Sandy Junction and turned
east towards McMillan Springs Campground where we spent the night. The next day, we drove the five miles up to Bull Creek Pass and did the easy hike to the top of Mount Ellen. No buffalo were spotted although we did see many deer.
After, doing Mount Ellen, we tried to go east from Bull Creek Pass but were stopped by snowbanks. Haze kept our views down but this area is an incredible place. I'll be back to do more of the Henry mountains in the future.