I highly recommend this hike. It's gorgeous from top to bottom. I highly suggest that you hike around the false peak just north of Notch Peak to get into the stand of Bristlecone Pines and unforgettable view of Notch Peak.
This was my first summit of the running peakbagging season. We had a great day driving in from Utah County (left around noon), running up to the top, and eating at JC Mickelson's in Nephi around 8:30. The roads are in decent condition with dirt road stretches of 4.2, 5.1, and 3.2 miles. Each dirt road gets progressively rougher than the next. We made it in my low clearance car with sports suspension, but I would definitely take another car next time. We were constantly worried about busting the oil pan or getting a flat tire. The drive was tougher than the climb IMO!
Once there, there is a sign for the trailhead and we ran and followed Sawtooth Canyon 3 of the 4 miles to the top. The last mile had some bushwacking and cairn following/route finding but it was pretty straightforward. Like others have said, I was pretty underwhelmed with the saddle/summit area until we came to the edge of the world! That is one big cliff...very impressive. The breezes near the summit were a nice break from the near 90 degree heat we had at the trailhead. We continued on to the summit where the views are even better. We had a nice run down, especially once we got back in to the canyon.
I went along on this hike because Golden wanted to do it and I had no idea what to expect. The hike up was nice. The car was reading 98 as we were leaving Delta and since we started actually hiking at 3 I was afraid it would be hot. It good cooler the higher we got and there was a fantastic breeze. We hiked, I mean ran, up the sawtooth canyon variation. It was very pretty with lots of flowers in bloom. Plus there was plenty of shade as you steadily climb up the canyon. The summit appeared to be a little anticlimactic until we got to the ridge line and we could see off the cliffs. Golden made me crawl up near the edge to look down which made me even more nervous that I had walked as close as I had. It is impressive and I would really like to drive around to the bottom sometime and look up.
The view is amazing, a storm caught us when in the saddle it was rain hail thunder and lighting but it was worth it....
Easy hike up to the cliff.
Went alone and spent a lot of time getting lost on dirt roads and then getting lost leaving the wash too soon. Was grumbling and cut by cacti and thinking it could not have been worth it until the very last step and then the cliffs came out of nowhere and were amazing. Don't miss it. Check the pics. But its so much better in person.
It's so scary on top! I highly recommend that Austin Robert English climb this peak.
The reason to hike this peak is to see it cliff faces. The north facing cliff falls over 4450 feet to the drainage in the valley floor below, making it the tallest cliff in the USA. Looking down the cliff it feels as though the face is vertical for its entirety, but the pure vertical portion is 2200 ft. In comparison El Capitan in Yosemite has a pure vertical drop of 3000 ft, and the largest purely vertical drop on the plant is 4,500 ft down the face of Mount Thor on Baffin Island, Canada.
This hike is one of my new favorites! The view of the gorge from the top is unbelievable. It was warm today, and no wind on top. Absolutely gorgeous day!
Hiked Notch Peak from the drainage to the east, it was quite the experience. A recent snowstorm left the semi-slot canyon below the peak fresh and white, with desert hare(?) and bobcat tracks in the narrowest parts. The "steps" section was covered with slick snow, so we worked our way around the shoulder to the right (up canyon) to bypass the potential danger.
The wind was blowing quite hard as we reached the summit. Looking down the gaping jaws of the notch to the canyon and Tule Valley below was closer to terrifying than breathtaking. I normally enjoy heights, for some reason, this day it was different.
The whole trip up and down we didn't see another soul. This, after driving several miles on a lonely dirt road, off of the "Loneliest Highway in America." It's one thing to stand on the edge of a precipice with a guard rail and photo-snapping crowd all around, quite another when it's a lightly visited, relatively unknown, nearly 3000' cliff at the end of the season in (seemingly) absolute isolation. Of course, it doesn't remotely compare with scaling the face of Notch Peak from the cliff base, but it was one of the most "raw" wilderness experiences I have been able to partake in.
Lost the trail at one point, so I got in some bonus scrambling.
Lovely evening on top.
Climbed on a foggy and snowy day. The rising fog out of the notch added an element of fright. Awesome peak, would like to explore more of this area
Went up the easy herdpath, down a hairy dryfall (see map). The best way to appreciate the drop is to view it from the northeast, via the lower summits.
Didn't see another soul on this hike to the summit. Surprising to find low-elevation bristlecone pines in the canyon on the way up. At the summit I laid down on my belly with only my head over the edge to peer down into the 'notch'. Awesome feeling. I could see raptors circling up from the depths and for a moment felt the urge to join them in flight. A comment in the summit register stated only 'if I ever decide to end my life, this is the place I will do it'.
Great all-around trip and nice snowshoe trek in the canyon. Did Swasey Peak that afternoon as well. Nobody signed register in 3 months...crazy. Full report with pics and map at http://www.willhiteweb.com/utah_climbing/western_desert/notch_peak_280.htm
Best Vertigo in Utah!
AMAZING! This hike is one of the best. My favorite part was looking off the cliff - incredible.
Camped at Painter Springs, had an amazing sunset - the sun was pure, bright red.
Amazing mountain, the sheer drop from the summit is breathtaking. I met two guys coming down when I was going up the canyon. Got a late start and summited at 4 pm. No wind, just a perfect weather day. I have to go back with an extension for my camera cuz I was too wussie to get close to that edge. ; )
This has to be one of the best hikes in Utah. We had snow in the canyon that made things difficult, so we had to do more bushwhacking than we would have liked. The views were amazing and the bristlecone pines were out of this world cool. Had an enjoyable day. (see trip report)
Climbed up to Noth Peak via Sawtooth Canyon with Scott W. We encountered sections of snow in the drainage with plenty of post-holing. I've never been on top of such an extremely tall cliff. We also visited the nearby Bristle Pine forest.