Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 38.81930°N / 110.9077°W
Additional Information GPX File: Download GPX » View Route on Map
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 7460 ft / 2274 m
Sign the Climber's Log

Overview

Rank: Sagebrush Bench is Utah’s 1835th highest ranked peak

Prominence: 320 ft

 

Sagebrush Bench rises in the western parts of Utah’s San Rafael Swell near San Rafael Knob. The eastern, southern and northern face of Sagebrush Bench create walls that drop 300 vertical feet. To the northwest, elevation goes down over what looks like a juniper covered sloped plateau.

 

Sagebrush Bench had come to my attention when I was looking at the map searching for a mountain I could explore on my own. I had not found any information on the internet about Sagebrush Bench. Looking at Google Earth and satellite photos, it appeared that reaching the base of the northwestern slopes of Sagebrush Bench involved hiking up canyons where one might come across obstacles (I have no real information about this). In the end, I came up with a convoluted path that involved hiking a four wheel drive road for 4.5 miles and then hiking 2.5 more miles off trail. To my surprise, where I left the road, I came across a trail that followed the exact path that I had chosen myself all the way to the summit.

Sagebrush Bench northeastern face
Sagebrush Bench northeastern face

Getting There

Take Exit 116 on I-70 and go to the south side of the highway. Get on a road that turns east and goes parallel to the highway (there is no other place to go on the side of I-70). I went 1.4 miles to a place called Justensen Flats where I decided to start my hike (in dry conditions, any vehicle should be able to make it to this spot). With 4WD, you can go 4.5 more miles on the road.

 

Route/Trip Report

Hike Length: 14.05 miles

Maximum Elevation: 7460 ft

Minimum Elevation: 6720 ft

Total Ascent: 1950 ft

 

Left the motel in Ferron, Utah at 6:30 a.m. Drove to Exit 116 on I-70 and first went to a view point/rest area on the north side of the highway that had a good view of Eagle Canyon.

 

Eagle Canyon
Eagle Canyon

 

Took a picture and then went to the south side of the highway getting on a dirt road that headed east parallel to the highway. The road turned out to be covered by ice and had some uphill. I had a Jeep Wrangler rental but was still concerned about getting stuck on the ice. After 1.4 miles, I reached a flat dirt area known as Justensen Flats. I could have driven 4.5 more miles on the rough icy road but I wanted to enjoy the beautiful cross country hike, not worry about getting stuck on the road so I decided to park at that area. I was very close to I-70 but did not see any other people during the hike. Started my hike at 7:30 a.m. It was 19 degrees F and elevation was 6950 ft. Headed east on the road that slowly went up in elevation. I saw what looked like wild horses not too far away but they ran away as I approached.

 

Near Justensen Flats
Near Justensen Flats
Near Justensen Flats
Near Justensen Flats

 

 

After 0.9 miles of hiking, I was up to 7090 ft in elevation where the road made a near 180 degree turn going down into a canyon. A number of flat-top benches could be seen to the west/southwest. I knew Sagebrush Bench was one of those but at the time could not tell which one (second from the right in the picture below).

 

Sagebrush Bench second flat-top from right
Sagebrush Bench second flat-top from right

 

San Rafael Knob and a bunch of other nameless “needles/towers” came to view.

 

San Rafael Knob
San Rafael Knob
Looking south
Looking south
Point 7500 ft and Sagebrush Bench
Point 7500 ft and Sagebrush Bench

 

I could finally identify Sagebrush Bench (7460 ft) and Point 7380 ft to the right (north) of it.

 

Sagebrush Bench and Point 7380 ft
Sagebrush Bench and Point 7380 ft

 

Down to 6720 ft, the road crossed the sandy bottom of Devils Canyon and then began to head south climbing out of the canyon. Where the road split, I went right (west).

 

Points 7300 ft and 7220 ft
Points 7300 ft and 7220 ft
Devils Canyon area
Devils Canyon area

 

 

Up a switchback, the east face of Point 7380 ft came into good view. On Google Earth I had noted that if I could traverse the east face of Point 7380 ft, I could make a big shortcut to reach the base of Sagebrush Bench. Google Earth had shown a big canyon cutting into the east face potentially creating an obstacle so I had decided not to even try that path. The canyon scarring the east face was then visible.

 

Point 7380 ft
Point 7380 ft

 

Sagebrush Bench and Point 6940 ft.

 

Sagebrush Bench & Point 6940 ft
Sagebrush Bench & Point 6940 ft

 

Looking north (behind)

 

Looking north
Looking north

 

A beautiful tower, which I referred to as the 7020 ft tall tower.

 

7020 ft tower
7020 ft tower
7020 ft tower
7020 ft tower
7020 ft tower
7020 ft tower

 

 

Another nameless tower.

 

Tower, near Copper Globe Plateau
Tower, near Copper Globe Plateau

 

At 9:36 a.m., 7085 ft elevation and 4.54 miles of hiking, I reached a plateau called Copper Globe. The eastern wall of Sagebrush Bench could be seen rising above the west end of the plateau.

 

Sagebrush Bench from Copper Globe Plateau
Sagebrush Bench from Copper Globe Plateau

 

Point 7500 ft at the south end of the plateau.

 

Point 7500 ft from Copper Globe Plateau
Point 7500 ft from Copper Globe Plateau

 

Left the road and made an almost 180 degree turn heading northwest and then north on the plateau following the path that I had entered into my GPS. Could see one big tree among a sea of junipers. Was jokingly thinking about some sort of a commercial about being the only true one among all the fake .

 

Big tree & Sagebrush Bench
Big tree & Sagebrush Bench

 

Half the ground was covered with snow. Where there was no snow, to my surprise,  a trail appeared that seemed to follow the path that I had entered into my GPS myself.

 

Sagebrush Bench
Sagebrush Bench
Sagebrush Bench
Sagebrush Bench

 

The trail soon seemed to want to go a different route than what I had entered into my GPS. I did not know what that trail was and where it went so I left it and went up a slickrock slope to reach a slickrock saddle.

 

Slickrock Saddle
Slickrock Saddle

 

North face of Sagebrush Bench from the saddle.

 

Sagebrush Bench from slickrock saddle
Sagebrush Bench from slickrock saddle

 

From the slickrock saddle, I had to go down some 50 vertical feet into a drainage. The north slope of the saddle was made of slickrock covered by snow. I did not want to slip and break a bone so had to look a lot until I found a safe path down. Once at the bottom of the drainage, the trail appeared again. I was at that point at the southern base of Point 7380 ft.

 

Point 7380 ft
Point 7380 ft

 

Followed the trail up a snowy juniper covered slope.

 

Up the slope
Up the slope
Point 7380 ft from upper parts of the slope
Point 7380 ft from upper parts of the slope

 

 

North face of Sagebrush Bench and San Rafael Knob.

 

North face of Sagebrush Bench & San Rafael Knob
North face of Sagebrush Bench & San Rafael Knob

 

At an elevation of 7290 ft, the trail went through a short rocky area and then I was suddenly on the top plateau. Followed the trail south through the juniper covered sloped plateau. It was hard to say where the exact summit was but I had entered it into my GPS. When close, I left the trail and hiked 200 feet to reach the summit at the edge of the eastern wall that dropped down onto Copper Globe Plateau. A pile of rock identified the summit. It was 11:00 a.m. and I had hiked 7.07 miles. Looking south at Point 7500 ft.

Point 7500 ft from the summit of Sagebrush Bench
Point 7500 ft from the summit of Sagebrush Bench

 

Henry Mountains 48 miles to the south. Zoomed views.

 

Henry Mountains from the summit of Sagebrush Bench
Henry Mountains from the summit of Sagebrush Bench
Zoomed view of Henry Mountains 48 miles away
Zoomed view of Henry Mountains 48 miles away

 

San Rafael Knob 3 miles to the east.

 

San Rafael Knob from the summit of Sagebrush Bench
San Rafael Knob from the summit of Sagebrush Bench

 

Looking west.

 

Looking west from the summit of Sagebrush Bench
Looking west from the summit of Sagebrush Bench

 

Another view of San Rafael Knob.

 

San Rafael Knob from the summit of Sagebrush Bench
San Rafael Knob from the summit of Sagebrush Bench

 

Had lunch, enjoyed the views and left at 11:25 going back the way I had come. Went down the juniper covered slope until I was back in the drainage north of the slickrock saddle.

 

San Rafael Knob
San Rafael Knob

 

Sandy area at the base of Point 7380 ft.

 

Sagebrush Bench from sandy area
Sagebrush Bench from sandy area
Point 7380 ft from sandy area
Point 7380 ft from sandy area

 

Instead of going back up to the slick rock saddle, I chose to follow the trail. It made a nice bypass around it.

 

Sagebrush Bench & slickrock saddle
Sagebrush Bench & slickrock saddle

 

More views from Copper Globe Plateau.

 

Sagebrush Bench
Sagebrush Bench
Copper Globe Plateau
Copper Globe Plateau
Copper Globe Plateau
Copper Globe Plateau

 

Reached the road a little farther south than where I had left it at 12:35 p.m. After a short rest, began to follow the road back.

 

San Rafael Knob plus Points 7300 ft & 7220 ft
San Rafael Knob plus Points 7300 ft & 7220 ft
7020 ft tower
7020 ft tower
7020ft tower plus Points 7220 ft & 7300 ft
7020ft tower plus Points 7220 ft & 7300 ft

 

 

Devils Canyon area.

 

Devils Canyon area
Devils Canyon area

 

Up out of Devils Canyon.

 

Up out of Devils Canyon
Up out of Devils Canyon

 

Last look back at Sagebrush bench (the flat-top on the right).

 

Sagebrush Bench & Point 7500 ft
Sagebrush Bench & Point 7500 ft

Reached the Jeep at 2:32 p.m. It was up to low 40s degrees F. No one was there. 

 

 

Red Tape

No fees or permits needed. 

 




Parents 

Parents

Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

San Rafael SwellMountains & Rocks