"NW Wasatch" is an rather remote peak, which is located in the High Uintas Wilderness Area
, and is one of Utah's 13'ers (there are 17-21 of them, depending on the list). Note: Wasatch is the name of the benchmark to the southeast of the peak. The peak is officially un-named.
NW Wasatch is a seldom visited summit. This is one peak where you can usually have solitude, but ever so slowly, bagging the 13’ers of Utah is becoming more popular.
In 1979 the Utah Wilderness Association proposed a 659,000 acre High Uintas Wilderness. The Forest Service responded a year later with a 511,000 acre recommendation. In 1983 the Utah Wilderness Association succeeded in pushing the Utah congressional delegation to introduce a Utah Wilderness Bill. Emerging in 1984 was a 460,000 acres High Uintas Wilderness. Although smaller than the Forest Service recommendation, the creation of the High Uintas Wilderness marked a major wilderness stepping-stone.
The Uinta Mountains are one of the few mountain ranges in North America that run east to west rather than north to south. Within the Uinta Mountains are about 2000 lakes, and some 900-1000 are full of trout. Along with the San Juans in Colorado, the Uintas have more contiguous area above timberline than any other area in the Continental United States. This is a beautiful area with many lakes, meadows, wildflowers, and some rugged peaks. Solitude is usually easy to come by once you leave the popular fishing holes behind.
One thing that makes Utah's 13'ers different, then say the Colorado 14'ers, is that the distances from the nearest roads are usually much greater for the Utah 13'ers.
"NW Wasatch" makes the 200 foot prominence list, but missed the 300 foot prominence list.
Utah's 12,000+ Foot Peaks With 200+ Feet Prominence
Utah's 12,000+ Foot Peaks With 300+ Feet Prominence
Left to right: Tokewanna, NW Wasatch, Wasatch Peak.
Getting ThereEAST FORK BLACKS FORK TRAILHEAD
From The West
From the traffic light in Kamas and the intersection of route 248 and 32, head north 0.1 to SR 150 (Mirror Lake Highway). Turn right onto SR 150 and follow for 49 miles to FR 058, turn right onto FR 058 (gravel road) and follow for 21.2 miles to the intersection with another dirt road heading north south. Turn right and follow road south for approximately 6 miles to the parking area at the East Fork Blacks Fork Camping area and trailhead.
From The North
Exit I-80 at exit 30 and head south on CR 207 for 7.9 miles to a “T”. Turn left onto CR 204 and follow southeast for 2.4 miles to another intersection. Turn right onto CR 271 and follow southerly for 15.2 miles to the Utah – Wyoming state line. Continue south following same road (FR073) for 2.7 miles to an intersection with FR058. Stay left or straight, continue on FR 058 for 0.7 miles to an intersection with FR 065. Stay Left here, 058 bears right at this intersection. Continue South on FR 065 for approximately 6 miles to the trailhead and campground.
WEST FORK BLACKS FORK TRAILHEAD
From the traffic light in Kamas and the intersection of Route 248 and 32, head north 0.1 to SR 150 (Mirror Lake Highway). Turn Right onto SR 150 and follow for 49 miles to FR 058 aka "North Slope Road", turn right onto FR 058 (gravel road) and follow for 16 miles to the 4-way intersection with the West Fork Blacks Fork Road turning south. Turn right and follow the rough dirt road to where it crosses the river. It is highly recommended you park here, no matter what type of vehicle you own. The river crossing is very rough and driving through the meadows along the heavily rutted 4wd road is at best, environmentally insensitive, not to mention damaging to your vehicle.
NW Wasatch as viewed from near EJOD Lake.
Routes OverviewVia Northwest Ridge
This is the shortest and perhaps easiest route to NW Wasatch, alone. It is rather rugged, steep, and slow. It is not an easy route, and has loose rock. Unless you want to climb NW Wasatch alone, you can reach the summit from Tokewanna or Wasatch.
Via Wasatch Peak
The majority of people climbing NW Wasatch probably do so via over the summit of Wasatch Peak itself and sometimes in a combination with Tokewanna Peak. See the Wasatch Peak
page for various routes to the summit of Wasatch Peak. From the summit of Wasatch Peak, NW Wasatch is an class 3 ridge scramble to the northwest for 1.1 miles. Some of the ridge is gentle, but there are several rugged sections.
Via Tokewanna Peak
This is yet another route to the summit of NW Wasatch. See the Tokewanna Peak
page for various routes to the summit of Tokewanna Peak. From the summit of Towewanna Peak, you can follow the ridge south to NW Wasatch. The ridge is more rugged than it appears from some directions and includes some scrambling. The distance is only 1.2 miles, but is slow going in a few places.
Tokewanna-NW Wasatch-Wasatch Ridge
If you want to knock off three 13'ers at once, this is your route. The route is rather rugged and can be exposed to the elements, so beware of thunderstorms.
Other routes seem plagued with loose scree and rock, so most other routes are not recommended once the snow melts. When snow covered in early summer, there are more route possibilities on the mountain.
No permits are required. Use Leave No Trace
when traveling in the wilderness.
CampingEast Fork Blacks Fork
There is a rustic campground near the trailhead that is located in a grove of lodgepole pine and aspen. There is no charge for camping.
West Fork Blacks Fork
There are many unofficial campgrounds on the road to the trailhead.
Backcountry campsites are many on either of the main trails to this area.
Many good campsites are around. Early summer photo of Wasatch Peak near center of photo with NW Wasatch at the right.
When to Climb
July through September is the normal climbing season. Since access roads are not open in the winter, winter ascents are almost never done and would take most climbers at least a week. As of 2007, there seem to be no known winter ascents of this peak.
Information regarding the conditions of the forest roads to the trailhead - Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Evanston Ranger District, 1565 Highway 150, Box 1880, Evanston, WY 82931; (307) 789-3194.
Click here for forest service information
Information regarding the conditions for climbing these peaks can be obtained from Wasatch-Cache National Forest, 8236 Federal Bldg., 125 S. State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84128, (801)524-3900.
The National Weather Service has a new weather link for the Central Uinta Mountains.
Weather Forecast for Central Uinta Mountains
Here are some average highs and lows from the 13,123 foot elevation (4000 meters) in the Uintas (about the same altitude as the summit):