So. Tent Peak as seen from No. Tent area
This peak is the county highpoint of Sanpete County and as such entices those who are interested in climbing Utah's county highpoints
Located in the Manti-La Sal National Forest, it is in a very actively used outdoor area for this part of Utah. At one time in the past, this area was used for the grazing of sheep and cattle and literally thousands of these animals trod the beautiful high country of the Wasatch Plateau. Unfortunately this led to serious overgrazing and created serious problems for the valley dwellers below when heavy rain or thunderstorms hit the area in the summers. Towns were flooded, typhoid fever ran rampant and children sickened as a result. The locals asked the federal government for help and this ended up with range management which helped to resolve many of the problems. In their book "High in Utah", Weibel and Miller commented that North and South Tent mountains probably got their names from the way they resembled "A" frame tents. Hmmmm.
The Wasatch Plateau is a gorgeous area
. We saw whole fields of wildflowers in solid purples, or yellows, or reds. The views are outstanding with Mt. Nebo prominent to the northwest and the other mountain ranges of Utah visible in all directions. Unfortunately, the road up from Eprhraim at this time is a mess as construction is taking place of a better road and a huge mud section almost stopped us in early July. I'm sure this will be fixed but check with the local ranger station for updated information before you attempt this road.
From Salt Lake City, head south on I-15 to Nephi Utah and take Utah highway 132 towards Ephraim. When you get past the town of Moroni
, watch for Utah highway 117 and take a left to Spring City
. (Thanks to Stansbury and Moogie737 for this information on directions from Spring City - see comments) From Main St. in Spring City take either 100 South or Center St. to 700 East (~ .6 miles) and the Canyon Rd. (no sign that I saw) is between those two streets at 700 East. Stay left at the first fork you encounter (at 2.1 miles) and 1.0 mile later is a cattle gate marking the national forest entrance. From the cattle gate to the skyline road is 8.3 miles. Although a few forks are encountered the main route seemed obvious. At the skyline road turn right/south and, as mentioned, it's ~ 3.3 miles to a meadow area below both North and South Tent Mt. peaks. Skyline Drive road, a dirt road which is generally in good shape but avoid in rainy weather due to treacherous slippery mud and deep ruts. Turn right and proceed south 3.3 miles to a signed intersection that now says "Dead End" road, the original "South Tent Mtn" sign is evidently gone. Turn east on this road and find a parking spot since the road becomes washed out and badly rutted.
is a college town
and has plenty of places to get a quick meal or find a motel to stay at. Manti
down the road is a beautiful sleepy town that has a Mormon temple
that is distinct in its design and beauty and is worth visiting the grounds should you go that direction.
You can also access Skyline Drive from Ephraim but the road at the present time is horrible due to a huge mud hole a few miles down from the top. Access is possible from Castledale and Joe's Resoirvoir too if you are thinking of adding nearby East Peak to your agenda but you'll need to study the maps a bit for making the connection from Skyline Drive.
The HikeHigh in Utah
has this succinct description of the hike from the south:
"Hike up along the dirt road to the top of North Tent Mountain. Then follow animal trails right/southeast down the saddle and up the left/northeast side of So. Tent Mountain. The summit is surrounded by survey markers. This is an easy and enjoyable hike."
Elevation gain is 763 feet
Distance 3 miles (roundtrip)
Time: allow 1.5 to 2.5 hours
They went in from the south near the yellow diamond I show on the map.
However, for a good trip report and some additional useful information on hiking from the south side, read Jennifer and Gerry Roach's Sept 28, 2004 trip report HERE
They point out that the road to the top of No. Tent mountain has been destroyed.
For a description of the No. Tent traverse route, see routes as listed at the left side of this page.
Basically, no red tape that I can find. More information could be found at:
Manti-La Sal National Forest
Sanpete Ranger District
150 South Main Street
P.O. Box 692
Ephraim, UT 84627
This ranger station is located on the east side of the highway on the north side of Ephraim and has brochures, campground information and a friendly ranger on duty from 9a.m-4p.m. monday to fridays.
You could car camp off of Skyline Drive of course but here is a listing of the Forest Service campgrounds in the area:
is a National Forest Campground located about 6 miles east of Ephraim along Hwy 29. It offers RV, tent and group sites with drinking water and toilets.
is a National Forest campground located 7 miles east of Manti, along the Manti Canyon Road. It offers RV, tent and group sites with drinking water and toilets.
is a is a National Forest Campground located 7 miles west of Moroni. It offers RV, tent and group sites with drinking water and toilets.
Palisade is a Utah State Park with campground, located 2 miles east of the town of Sterling, off Hwy 89. It offers RV, tent and group sites with hot showers, drinking water and toilets.
is a is a National Forest Campground located east of Spring City on Forest Road 036. It offers RV, tent and group sites with drinking water and toilets.
Twelve Mile Flat
is a National Forest Campground located 19 miles east of Mayfield. It offers RV, tent and group sites with drinking water and toilets.
Chicken Creek Campground
, 4 miles SE of Ephraim
Want to know a little more about the county where So. Tent Mountain is located? Sure you do. Here we go:
As of 2000 the population was 22,763 and by 2005 it had grown some with an estimated at 24,000. It was possibly named for a Ute Indian chief named San Pitch, which was corrupted to Sanpete. Its county seat is Manti
and its largest city is Ephraim
. Snow College is a major contributor to Ephraim and one of the most historic of the Mormon temples is located in Ephraim.
Sanpete County is a primarily agricultural region of the state and is dotted with small farming towns having a rural lifestyle. Small local-run businesses and restaurants comprise most of the job opportunities in the county. The only industry of any size in the county is the Norbest Turkey Processing Plant in the town of Moroni. It and the Moroni Feed Co-op employ roughly 850 people. Numerous turkey pens and sheds dot the landscape, primarily around the northern towns. Alfalfa fields and other animal feed crops make up the bulk of the agricultural activity and economy of the county. I can tell you that it smells depending on which way the wind is blowing.
External Links and other informationWILDLIFE
Dennis and I saw a nice herd of at least 12 Elk while we were traversing over the North Peak ridgeline. In doing a little research on the area, here are some of the other denizens of the Wasatch Plateau:
Deer, elk, black bear, coyotes, mountain lions, and the somewhat rare Black-footed Ferret. Also beaver and other small mammals are present. Bald Eagles have been seen in the area as well.
Edward Earl's trip report
Charlie and Diang Wingers Trip report
Jennifer and Gerry Roach's trip report
High in Utah book via Amazon
Mountaineering in Utah by Michael Kelsey
It has a short section on North and South Tent peaks.
History of Ephraim
Outstanding informational link on the area
So. Tent Mtn even has cell service if you need a connection
My ancestor John Lowry, was involved in starting an Indian war
. You find Lowry Peak just to the north of So. Tent Mtn and the name Lowry scattered all through the area to the east. The town of Molen Utah
was named after some other of my pioneer ancestors who tried to scratch a living from a tough land. I need to go back and totally explore this area and learn more about my pioneer relatives who helped to settle this area.
Another trip report
A trip report with some nice pics can be found HERE