Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Thaynes Canyon Peak

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Hiking to Thaynes Canyon Peak, Hiking in Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Thaynes Canyon Peak (8,656 ft) is a high point in Millcreek Canyon - not many people summit this peak, as it is not well known and fairly steep. The trail follows a south facing canyon the entire way, so it is very well shaded. Thaynes Canyon Peak is also lower in elevation compared to some of the surrounding peaks such as Mt. Raymond & Gobblers Knob, therefore it is typically not high on a Peak Baggers "to do" list. However, don't let these things stop you from hiking the trail - the solitude and views you'll get on this peak are still worth at least one trip to the summit.

From SLC head South on I-215 and take exit 4. Turn left at the bottom of the ramp, then turn left again on Wasatch Blvd. At the next light, turn right, which will lead you into Millcreek Canyon. Drive past the fee station (fee collected upon exit), and just past the Millcreek Inn, is the Desolation Overlook TH parking lot on your right. This is also where the Thaynes Canyon trail begins. There is one restroom. Here is a map link.

Distance: 6 miles RT
Elevation gain: 3,000 ft
Time: 3-4 hours
Dog friendly? Millcreek allows dogs off leash on ODD days only; dogs must be leashed on EVEN days
Kid friendly? No
Fees/Permits? There is a $3 fee upon exit, of FREE if you have an Annual Millcreek Canyon Pass. The National Park Pass, Mirror Lake Highway, nor American Fork Canyon passes are accepted.
Hiking to Thaynes Canyon Peak, Hiking in Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Thaynes Canyon Peak starts at the Desolation Trail (another great overlook to hike to!).
Hiking to Thaynes Canyon Peak, Hiking in Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
You'll pass this large sign with all the surrounding trails and mileage listed.
Hiking to Thaynes Canyon Peak, Hiking in Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
And then you'll pass one more sign - stay left. Going right will take you to the Desolation Overlook.
Hiking to Thaynes Canyon Peak, Hiking in Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
In the beginning, the trail is very wide and well traveled.
Hiking to Thaynes Canyon Peak, Hiking in Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Entering the Mt. Olympus Wilderness area. Charlie has a stick in his mouth as usual...
Hiking to Thaynes Canyon Peak, Hiking in Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
You'll see several trails going to the right - those all connect back with the Desolation Trail. Stay left at every trail split for Thaynes Peak. This is also when the trail becomes really steep.
Hiking to Thaynes Canyon Peak, Hiking in Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Last signed trail split. Make sure you stay left at every trail split.
Hiking to Thaynes Canyon Peak, Hiking in Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
We could finally see Thaynes Canyon Peak through the forest. Not too much further! Once you reach the saddle, go left again.
Hiking to Thaynes Canyon Peak, Hiking in Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
The last 200 ft up the peak are the steepest yet - hiking poles will be very helpful here. 
Hiking to Thaynes Canyon Peak, Hiking in Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Once it seems like you are on the first high-ish point, go about another 100 yards. You'll have to find your way through scrub oak, but there will be a summit register hidden in some rocks to sign!
Hiking to Thaynes Canyon Peak, Hiking in Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Enjoying the view looking SE at Gobblers Knob to the left, and Mt. Raymond to the right. 
Hiking to Thaynes Canyon Peak, Hiking in Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
It took us 2 hours 12 minutes to reach the summit, and I felt we were moving at a slower pace on this day.

Whoever reads this and decides to hike up to the peak, please bring some fresh paper to sign for the summit register - it was pretty old, and not much space to write. I should start carrying paper with me...
Hiking to Thaynes Canyon Peak, Hiking in Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Here's my route from my Gaia GPS app.
Hiking to Thaynes Canyon Peak, Hiking in Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Trail map to Thaynes Canyon Peak, looking SE.
Hiking to Thaynes Canyon Peak, Hiking in Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Thanyes Canyon Peak trail looking North.
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Hiking to Thaynes Canyon Peak, Hiking in Utah, Hiking in Utah with Dogs