I am often asked, "How do you find all these trails you do?" The honest answer, is when I am out hiking, and I see a peak I think to myself, "I gotta do that peak" or "I gotta check that area out!" So then I do a little research on those peaks/trails and just get out and go for it!
Lookout Peak was no different for me. Last weekend when I hiked Little Black Mountain, I saw Lookout Peak from afar, and just had to hike it! I think its safe to say I'm a little obsessed!
Lookout Peak sits at an elevation of 8,954 ft up Killyons Canyon in Salt Lake County. The summit is not the most spectacular, but the ridge on the hike up offers amazing views of Parley's Canyon, Emigration Canyon, and City Creek Canyon. Although it is considerably lower in elevation compared to the more famous peaks of the Wasatch Front, Lookout Peak still rises over 4,000 ft above SLC. Though there is a well defined trail, Lookout Peak gets much less traffic compared to other peaks. Many people just do not know about it. This peak would not be good to hike in spring or after a big rain/snow, since it gets very muddy.
From SLC, head up Emigration Canyon past the Hogle Zoo for 6 miles. At the hairpin turn, turn left onto Pinecrest Canyon
Rd for 0.4 miles. At the first Y, veer right for another 0.5 miles and park at the very end of the road. You will drive through a neighborhood, so please be kind and drive slow. **UPDATE** As of October 2016 you can no longer park right at the TH nor in Killyons Canyon Rd. You have to park all the way down the road, then walk up about 1-1.5 miles just to get to the TH via this route.
Distance: 8.5 miles round trip
Elevation gain: 2,900 ft
Time: 5-7 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes, but only for the 1st mile or so
Here is what the current conditions of the parking area & TH look like. It seems like they are trying to improve the parking area. There are enough parking spots for 5 cars.
**UPDATE** As of October 2016 you can no longer park right at the TH nor in Killyons Canyon Rd. You have to park all the way down the road, then walk up about 1-1.5 miles just to get to this spot.
10 minutes into hiking, you'll see the "Killyon Canyon Conservation Preserve" sign. So glad to see this area is protected!
Stay right for everything! I wonder where Left goes?
After one small switchback, you will come to a 4-way intersection. Head left (north) from here. If you go straight it will take you to Affleck Park, and right follows the ridge south.
Up on a small saddle, you will finally be able to see Lookout Peak.
Working our way up to the ridge. We had amazing views! We hiked here right after a snow storm, and were hiking in 4-5 inches the whole time.
Charlie found an old mine pit!
The ridge seemed to get steeper and steeper. Because of the snow, we got off trail slightly, and had to do a little bushwhacking. My poles and microspikes really helped. To my right is my friend Janus, and to the left is Tor. They are amazing hikers from the Wasatch Peak Baggers club on Facebook. If you love hiking to peaks year-round this is the group for you!
Charlie looks at his view from a false summit. This peak is sneaky, making you climb over 4-5 false summits. Just when you think you are there - it keeps going!
What made our hike even more challenging besides the elevation gain, was that we broke trail along the ridge in a foot of snow at times. This is looking back from where we've come so far.
Snow clouds started to move in...sometimes a clear view of where you are going isn't always going to happen. You need to push through the clouds to see the light again.
Finally, Lookout Peak is in view! I was surprised to see that this peak is basically a large, open meadow.
The best way to keep warm on a summit? A dog in your lap, and hot chocolate in your hands!
This is the route looking North East.
This is the route looking South East. You can see Little Dell Reservoir in the top right corner.
This is the route looking West.