I went up the Loafer Mountain trail this past summer. It was great! I feel like this is a very underrated mountain.
There are several "northwest ridges" - the one we took is the one that at around the 7000' level intersects the end of a trail that appears to come from the water tanks area in Woodland Hills. That trail is probably an easier way to do the lower part of our route.
This was a second try. On Dec 30, 2007 we tried to ascend this ridge from Loafer Canyon, starting at the point where our borrowed jeep got stuck in the snow. That morning we bushwhacked a few hundred feet to the ridge only to discover a McMansion development right there that wasn't on our map. We got up to around the 8200' level and were out of time and wet and exhausted due to a blizzard and deep upside-down snow.
This time we parked in that development (guess it's good for something after all) near our ridge to save those few hundred feet, and had perfect weather, and at least some sections of the route had somewhat consolidated snow. It was a strenuous 7 hours to reach the summit, but only 2.5 hours to descend. 5000' vertical total across only 2.6 miles each way according to GPS/altimeter. We left the car at dawn and arrived there again at dusk, perfect timing. Dramatic views the whole way, but especially at the top, and also enjoyed all the pretty rimed limber pines in the upper parts.
I took the standard trail. It was an enjoyable hike, but there was a lot of haze in the air that week. It was a shame because the views would have been great.
I did Santaquin first and then went up from the saddle to the summit ridge of Loafer Mtn. I found a cairn on the westernmost "hump" of Loafer but also checked out the other high spot on the eastern part of the ridge. Santaquin has a great view and is the more interesting of the two but if you are into collecting prominence peaks, then Loafer must be climbed. A 12 mile day with over 4000 feet of elevation gain. Met Spengy (see above log entry) on the summit.
April 7, 2012. Took the NW ridge of Santaquin peak up from Woodland hills. It took us 5.5 hours to reach Santaquin Peak, then 1 hour to Loafer Peak. Descent time was 2.25 hours. On this map http://tinyurl.com/88lp8b9 we followed A-C to peak 1, C-E to peak 2, and E-G back to A for the descent.
July 29, 2006 - Via the Loafer Mountain Trail. I enjoyed the solitude of this hike. Passed a couple of hiker also going up, and passed only one hiker who was going down. Had the peak to myself. Views into Utah County were nice.
Unsafe snow crossing area right below the summit. The ice axe was in the car, and I didn't want to risk it..... Very nice hike and I hope to repeat it with a mountain bike descent next time!
Climbed with my friend Kent on a beautiful, sunny Friday. Nebo Loop road was closed at Maple Lake campground, so we started there and followed the Loafer Mountain ridge all the way east until we got to the cirque between Santaquin and Loafer. We traversed the cirque to the col between Loafer and Santaquin, and then followed Santaquin's southeast ridge to the summit.
We left the campground at 5:30 am and got back just before dark (around 8:00 pm). Distance: 11 miles; car-to-car time: 5:30 am to 8:15 pm (14.75 hours); elevation gain: about 5500 feet.
See my trip report for more details.
Started from Payson Lakes area and took the Mud Hollow route. We made it to the saddle that overlooks Loafer Canyon, and then started traversing north in the Loafer-Santaquin cirque. The snow was pretty deep from a recent storm, and we didn't have snow shoes. After hip-wading through snow for a while we reached our turnaround time and had to go back.
Santaquin is a deceiving peak because you can see the summit right across the canyon, but the traverse takes a lot longer than you'd expect. I took snowshoes the next time and made it successfully.
Will do it again someday. Chances are good you'll have it all to yourself.
Fantastic Hike. One of the best in Utah Valley. Saw a 7 foot bear at the 4 mile mark. There was a section of about 3/4 of a mile in which I had to hike through a foot of snow.
We hiked to the top of Loafer Mt., but there was too much snow blocking the trail over to Santaquin Peak. The views from Loafer's summit of Nebo, Payson Lakes, Sanpete Valley are great, but couldn't see too much of Utah Valley. Trail was good, but there seemed to be very little elevation gain the first few miles. Enjoyed the scenery and the solitude. We climbed on a Saturday in July, but didn't have any company on the mountain. One weird thing--someone had taken a plastic lawn chair most of the way up and left it there.
I climbed this one with Scott Towsey. My wife, Lori, hiked with us to the halfway point and then waited there for us on the way down. Nice view from the summit. On the way down, we found someone's camera. It had their name on it. So, after taking a picture of Scott hanging upside down in a tree, we looked the name up in the phone book and delivered the camera to their house.
Actually summitted Loafer and not Santaquin. The route between the 2 peaks was 6 feet deep and soft. Since I didn't have skiis or snowshoes, I was post holing up to my chest. I would advise waiting until late summer. Cool views back to the South.
This was a long hike, but very nice. Plenty of great views Payson Lake, Utah Lake.
This is a long, pleasant, under-rated hike.