Thursday, May 11, 2017

Hiking the South Ridge to Mt. Wire

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Hiking the South Ridge to Mt. Wire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Mt.Wire is a small mountain that overlooks the University of Utah, Emigration Canyon, and Red Butte Canyon. It is conveniently close, and can be hiked year round. Unfortunately, Mt.Wire isn't much to look at, but what this little hill lacks in prestige, it more than makes up for with steep trails, nice views of the valley, and a spacious top to stretch out and enjoy the scenery. Plus, if you are brave enough, you can climb up the old radio tower! There are two main routes to get to the summit - this way up past The Living Room, or up the South Ridge, the route I will be describing.

Both routes are great, it just depends on what you want out of the hike. The main route takes you past The Living Room which is a great place to take a quick break, but once in the gully you don't have much of a view until you reach the ridge and because you are on more of the North slope, can often be very muddy well into Spring. The South Ridge has amazing views the entire way and is usually dry earlier. Both routes are dog friendly and both are popular. Neither route has water nor very much shade. 

If driving from SLC, use this map.

Distance: 5 miles RT
Elevation gain: 2,069 ft
Time: 2-4 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? No
Fees/Permits? None

Hiking the South Ridge to Mt. Wire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
I've marked the map of where to start. The cool thing about hiking The South Ridge of Mt. Wire is that there are multiple starting points and routes. This way is my preference.

The parking lot is on the North side of the road, just beyond the Rotary Park (this is where you can also park and use the restrooms then cross the road). When you park, you should see this old barn and telephone pole.
Hiking the South Ridge to Mt. Wire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Follow paved path past the old barn. You will come to this kinda gross and dirty picnic area - hike past this until you reach the main path just up by those trees and turn right.
Hiking the South Ridge to Mt. Wire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
At this point you should be hiking East, and looking at the mouth of Emigration Canyon. Follow this as it wraps around the south side of the hill and past Wagner Springs. When you come to the first 4-way intersection turn left.
Hiking the South Ridge to Mt. Wire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Once you turn left you should now be on a very wide dirt path. This is part of the lower BST. At the very first right turn you see heading uphill, follow that.
Hiking the South Ridge to Mt. Wire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
You basically follow the old telephone poles for the first little bit. When you come to a 3-way intersection, stay left and just follow the trail as it aims North. In person from here, you can faintly see the trail going up the ridge.
Hiking the South Ridge to Mt. Wire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
At this point it's easy as all you need to do is follow the ridge trail the rest of the way. It does keep steep at times, so having a hiking pole is helpful to keep from slipping.
Hiking the South Ridge to Mt. Wire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
The trail cuts right though these slabs of rock.
Hiking the South Ridge to Mt. Wire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Working my way up!

We didn't start hiking until 11am, and boy was it HOT! If you are hiking with dogs you'll want to start pretty early to beat the heat. Charlie was having fun with a neighbor dog this day so we didn't bring him this time.
Hiking the South Ridge to Mt. Wire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
As you can see, no shade! You won't be able to see Mt. Wire until you reach this false mini summit.
Hiking the South Ridge to Mt. Wire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
SLC is the distance, still hiking up....
Hiking the South Ridge to Mt. Wire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Finally, you can see the tower!
Hiking the South Ridge to Mt. Wire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Are you brave enough to climb this?!
Hiking the South Ridge to Mt. Wire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 I've hiked up Mt. Wire more than I can count, and this was my first time actually climbing to the top of the tower. I'm not afraid of heights but I was pretty nervous climbing this. I think I was nervous because of how rickety it felt and how small the ladder steps were. Thankfully my partner encouraged me to keep climbing! This is looking East up Emigration Canyon.
Hiking the South Ridge to Mt. Wire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Heading back down! Finally a breeze kicked in and it felt so much nicer to be able to cool off!
Hiking the South Ridge to Mt. Wire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
With Charlie on the summit, March 2016!
Hiking the South Ridge to Mt. Wire, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
All the flowers were in bloom in May!


South Ridge of Mt. Wire Trail Map

Again, there are several ways up could access the trail to reach the south ridge. This is one of probably 5-6 different ways you can initially start the hike.
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1 comment:

  1. You knew I was going to ask where Charlie was!! Glad you added that little note. Good to see he was having a play date:) Nice workout with nice views.

    ReplyDelete