Failed from the North. Failed from the west. Decided to brute force this one and drove up to Francis Peak. Even with the elevation bonus, it is still an 8.5 mile out and back. Made many bad choices (which turned out interesting) and turned a relatively easy hike into a 7 hour epic. Gotta do it again!
First time via the Francis Peak route. 1+12 in spite of getting off the trail several times. Windy. Farmington Canyon sucks. #2 9-15-12 via Kay's Creek trail. This is a long trail on which one becomes adept at following switchbacks and then enduring lengthy stretches of contouring. Plan a full day if using this route. :) #3 9-29-12 Solo. Explored some new nuances to the route. Once on the west "summit" ridge, the better way is to head directly up the ridge to the summit. A small amount of bushwhacking will be necessary. 3+45 up, 2+35 down. Gorgeous fall colors in the maples. Found a full grown Golden Eagle drinking at the spring!
I started this hike at 6:05 am after sleeping by my jeep at the trailhead. I was back by 8:30 including a summit of Pk 9491. This enabled me to bag Weber & Box Elder Co. highpoints and still drive to McCall, Idaho later in the day.
Completed in approximately 4:40. Incredibly steep, hurting just as much going down as going up. Took the Kays Creek trail. Requires bushwhacking for the last 0.25-0.5 mile to the summit (depending on where you jump off the Great Western Trail).
My wife and I decided to climb Thurston from the west side using the Kays Creek Great Western Trail from Fernwood picnic area. The Farmington Canyon access road to Francis has been closed all year and who knows when it will be reopened. The trail up was very long and quite steep in places. Below Layton Peak and Chin Scraper there was lots of hard icy snow. Being without our crampons and ice axes we elected to bushwack up to the ridge north of Layton Peak. Very time consuming and tough. From Layton Peak we traversed south losing as little vertical as possible. Eventually we bushwacked again, working around some icy snow patches, up to Thurston Peak. Found the mailbox buried in dirt near the monument. Put it under some nearby boulders. After a small break we followed our ascent route backwards including all the bushwacks getting back to our car minutes before darkness. Counting all breaks and visiting a few hikers down low it took us 10 hours round trip. This ups our Utah County highpoint total to 17. Climbing Utah's county highpoints has been a new challenge and adventure for us since completing 49 state highpoints in 2010. Great Fall colors on a perfect weather day made this hike very rewarding.
After work, drove to Francis and hiked across. Beautiful sunset.
Summited via long west ridge from Adams trailhead. Overnighted at Adams Cabin. Friend and I had it to ourselves. Stocked with good food so we left supplies for karma. Good consolidated snow last two thirds of ridge. Didn't need snowshoes until descent. Snowed most of the day. Hardcore bushwacking to be done for about 45 minutes after one passes the cabin to regain the ridge. Still no trail past cabin. Stayed on the rock to do some scrambling although not necassary. No view from summit because of storm.
My wife, and my son and I made an attempt on Thurston on July 4th 2010 via the Great Western Trail. We managed to summit Layton Peak that day, but turned back due to heavy winds and cold temperatures we were not prepared for. My son and I took a crack at Thurston today and this time opted to try the Community Trail Route from the same Fernwood parking lot. This trail is steep, but gains elevation quickly. After two hours of hiking we were just below Chinscraper and Layton Peak. We traversed across the big drainage between Layton Peak and Thurston to the saddle just below and west of Thurston. From there it was a steep bushwhack to gain the summit as we could find no discernable trail. It took us 4 hours exactly to summit. We stayed on the summit for 30 minutes as temperatures were cold, but the wind was moderate. We ate lunch in the saddle and were back to the car in under 8 hours. The fall colors were magnificent, and I enjoyed a day in the mountains with my boy, and finally topping out Thurston!
Did the ridge run from Francis. Tried to hit all of the sub peaks on the ridge. Still some significant snow fields on the east side. Nice day in the mountains
Dropped the truck off just before the radar towers and made the trek. I should have consulted a map or paid more attention to Kadee's instructions as we covered more ground than we needed to, but we had a great time.
We ended up hiking up and over the Francis summit, and then up and over 9491. Coming off that we saw/heard a rattlesnake, which seemed odd at that elevation and for as relatively "chilly" as it was that day.
We met two guys at the top of 9491 who were ready to take a photo with a sign saying they were on Thurston. We corrected this and then the larger group made our way to Thurston. Again, I should have checked a map as I missed the easy path to the peak and had to scramble up from the west side.
Still some snow to walk through on the trail. Great views! Great day.
My iPhone GPS app showed that our return distance was 4.2 miles.
Hiked up Thurston on snowshoes today, a warm but windy January day. Not too much snow down low, but up higher I was postholing even in snowshoes in unconsolidated snow and a breakable crust. Not that much snow up high either, but the base was near the ground.
Hiked with the wife and kids. Don't miss peak 9491, trail goes just below the summit on way to Thurston. Map and pictures at http://www.willhiteweb.com/utah/county_highpoint/thurston_peak_080.htm
Had to grab this one cuz kirt was one peak up on me. lol
Hiked with Kadee. We started on the main road by Francis Peak, (didn't want to take the truck on the smaller back road) So we started at 8:38 in the morning, Nice day, followed the road to the head of Adams canyon then the trail the rest of the way. Found a Rattlesnake "Big one" right at the Peak. 9700 ft. Thats the highest I have ever seen a Rattler. Great Hike. Great company, 4 hours total
Via Francis Peak... It's about 4.5 miles, and who knows how much in elevation gain. The snow really slows you down, and you'll lose the trail completely in sections. But there's no scrambling needed to stick to the ridge, just be patient as you climb up, and then down, and then up, and then down... typical ridge hike. But it's beautiful, and a good early-year peak-bagging opportunity if you're attempting to bag them all in one summer.
The hardest part of this was the drive up Farmington Canyon!
Traversed ridgeline from Francis in deep snow. The trail's in bad shape. Climbed to ridgeline from Fernwood Dr. trailhead twice (Feb '08 and early May '08) and got caught in whiteout conditions both times. Finally had clear skies and lots of sun in late June.
Drove up Farmington Canyon, started hiking where the dirt road turns into the trail. Had great weather until coming back, when my father-in-law and I got caught by a thunderstorm. Would love to do an early spring summit via Adams Canyon.
I traversed over from Layton peak, which was quite a bushwacking adventure. I could not find a trail to go down; I made my own way down to the Great Western trail and then headed out. Summit log is in a jar under some rocks on the peak.
Fun Ridge Run