Monday, August 8, 2016

Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond

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Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
Gobblers Knob (10,246 ft) and Mt. Raymond (10, 241 ft) are two peaks every Peak Bagger wants to summit. Both are on the Big Cottonwood Canyon (BCC) & Millcreek Canyon ridgeline, so they can be accessed via either canyon. The most popular route is up Butler Fork in BCC, and is heavily visited on weekends during summer months.
Because both Gobblers Knob & Mt. Raymond are so close to each other, I recommend doing both on the same day to avoid have to come back and redo all the same elevation gain again. Although Mt. Raymond is a few feet lower than Gobblers Knob, it is a much more visually appealing peak and more interesting to hike up since it requires a little bit of scrambling. Both summits are steep - each are 1 mile from the saddle; Gobblers Knob to the East, and Mt. Raymond to the West. 

The best time to summit both peaks are Mid-June through October. Summer months offer a scenic, and very green trail, while Autumn has a lot to offer with the fall colors. You'll want to avoid hiking/snowshoeing here in Winter, due to high avalanche terrain. Butler Fork has many "terrain traps" that increase the risk of getting caught in an avalanche. A few people have died in this area during Winter over the years. If you must go during winter, be sure to have all the necessary backcountry gear, including a beacon, probe, shovel, and other survival necessities.

From SLC, head south heat on I-80, then south on I-215. Take exit 6 for 6200 S/Wasatch Blvd, and turn left. At the entrance to BCC (where the 7-11 is on the corner), turn left into the canyon. The Butler Fork Trail starts right after mile marker 10, on your left.

Distance to (one way):
The saddle: 4.1 miles
Gobblers Knob: 5.1 miles
Mt. Raymond: 5.1 miles
Total mileage: 10.8 miles RT
Elevation gain: 4,082 ft
Time: 4-6 hours
Dog friendly? No, dogs are not allowed in BCC due to watershed rules
Kid friendly? No
Fees/Permits? None
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 I arrived at the TH at 6am, so this photo was taken when I got done, around 11:30am. It was too dark to get photos. The nice thing about starting really early is the cooler temperatures and no people.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 At the first trail split, turn left for Mill A Basin.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 I was amazed at how overgrown this trail is, for being such a popular area. I don't know if it had rained the night before if it was dew, but my shoes and shorts got soaked with water. As I hiked past the brush, my clothes seemed to soak the water right up. I was not happy about that!
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 Though the trailhead map shows about 3 switchbacks, I actually counted 12. The overgrowth never seemed to end!
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 Finally, you'll reach the first ridge line, and the overgrowth goes away. You'll also have your first full view of Mt. Raymond to the left, and Gobblers Knob to the right.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 At the 2nd trail split, turn left again. 
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 The trail levels out, and gradually gains a little elevation over the next 1/2-3/4 mile.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 It will feel as if you've missed the trail split for the saddle, because you will start to head further West and be near the base of Mt. Raymond. However, you can't miss it. There's no sign for it, but there's an obvious split to the right.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 Work your way up to the saddle. Once on the saddle, you can choose which peak to do first. I chose Gobblers Knob simply so I could hike in the shade for as long as possible, and it seemed further away. In reality, they are both about 1 mile from the saddle.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 Looking into BCC. Smoke still lingers in the canyons from recent fires.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 Hiking up the ridge to Gobblers. Gobblers Knob is a little easier than Mt. Raymond, only in the sense that no scrambling is required.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 Looking back to where the saddle is and a great view of Mt. Raymond from a distance.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 Gobblers Knob is only a few feet away!
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 Gobblers Knob summit! I made it from the car to summit in 2 hours exactly. 
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 Exploring the summit. I had the peak all to myself! This is looking North, into Millcreek Canyon. You can access Gobblers Knob via the Bowman Fork Trail in Millcreek, and dogs would be allowed this route since it's not apart of the watershed. I have a trail guide up to White Fir Pass, then after that you would continue following the Bowman Fork trail to the peak. 
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 Summit marker for Gobblers Knob.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 I can't eat really early, so I save my first snack of the day until I got to the first peak. This was my first time trying Stash Bites by Kate's Real Food. They were super tasty - a perfect morning snack! Not too filing, and just the right mix of sweet and salty.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 Stash Bites are cut perfectly into little 1/2 inch squares - great for when you just want one or two bites, or want to share with a friend.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 After a 15 minute photo and snack break, it was back to the trail. 
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 To get to Mt. Raymond, head back down to the saddle, then up the other side.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 You are about to start your light scramble when you reach this very large, old tree. I made sure I put everything inside my pack, including my adjustable hiking poles.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 This scramble isn't tough at all - its actually one of the easier scrambling sections you'll find in the Wasatch. There is no knife edge or sheer drop offs on either side, but you'll still want to watch your footing. Don't take any of the trails that drop down - you'll create more work for yourself by having to hike back up. Stay on the ridge, and you'll reach the peak.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 The last push to Mt. Raymond!
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 I wasn't able to sign the summit register, simply because there was no paper that wasn't dry and crumpled!
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 Walking along the edge of Mt. Raymond. Many people ask how I get photos like this, especially when I hike solo. I use my awesome RIF6 Mini Tripod then set my self-timer on my camera. Do a little editing and easy peasey, done!
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 Mt. Raymond summit looking over to Gobblers Knob, where I came from.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 Somehow I got a rash and tiny red dots all over my leg. Some people on the trail told me it was probably Stinging Nettle, since they had seen some on the trail earlier. I don't know how nor remember rubbing up against anything! It started to itch, and spread quickly. All I could think to do was squirt water on my leg to try and wash it off. It seemed to work.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
 Admiring the awesome rock slab on top of Mt. Raymond.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
Mt. Raymond summit marker.
Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
By the time I got back down to the parking area at 11:30am it was completely full! I'm always glad I start super early to beat the crowds - on my way down the Butler Fork trail I passed around 25 people!
Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond trail map via Butler Fork
 Butler Fork/Mill A Basin trail map to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond.
Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond trail map via Butler Fork
Close up of the trail map.
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Hiking to Gobblers Knob and Mt. Raymond
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8 comments:

  1. So nice to meet you on top of Mount Raymond. I started reading your blog to see where I could take my dogs. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Yes! Very cool to see you ladies up there! Thanks for letting me know about the stinging nettle! - Alicia

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  2. good stuff. I did Gobbler's knob once but from the Alexander Basin trailhead--so so very steep. Need to get back and do Mt Raymond as I didn't take your advice and do both in one fell swoop.

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  3. Thanks! I tried Alexander Basin within the first week of moving to Utah - I remember thinking it was extremely steep as well, and there were horrible horse flies so I never went back that way. -Alicia

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  4. I know this is an old entry but I wanted to comment for anyone who's has a four legged hiking partner. Dogs are permissible if you come up from Millcreek Canyon.

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    1. Yes, true! Guess I should add that into the description somewhere. -Alicia

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