Monday, October 2, 2017

Hiking to Ant Knolls

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Hiking to Ant Knolls Midway, Utah
Ant Knolls (9.852 ft) is a nice peak on the backside of the Wasatch Mountains, near Midway, Utah. The summit offers amazing views into American Fork Canyon, and into the Heber Valley. There are several starting points to reach the summit. The most popular is via Pole Line Pass along the Snake Creek Road, and is a mere 2 miles to the summit. We had all day to explore the area, so we started from Big Flat also along the Snake Creek Road. This extends the hike to 6 miles RT and also creates a small loop.

Driving up Snake Creek Road is gorgeous, especially in Fall, and because of that you will see tons of Razors and dirt bikes. The trail is also open to dirt and mountain bikers, so you'll want to start this hike early in the morning or during the week when there's less traffic. Also be advised that during Fall there are many hunters in the area, and it's wise to hike with bright colors and put some blaze orange on your dogs, like the Ruffwear Track Jacket for pets. Also keep in mind that the Snake Creek Road is only open during summer months.
Most cars should be able to make the drive to Big Flat (FR420). Past that, you'll need 4x4. 

Use this map, if driving from Midway, UT. You don't want to drive this road after a big rain storm, as it can get really muddy.

Distance: 6 miles RT
Elevation gain: 1,700 ft
Time: 3-4 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes, age 10+
Fees/Permits? None

Hiking to Ant Knolls Midway, Utah
Driving up Snake Creek Road was beautiful - the Fall colors were bursting mainly in reds & oranges.
Hiking to Ant Knolls Midway, Utah
 Park at Big Flat, and start hiking up the road just to the right of the large wood sign.
Hiking to Ant Knolls Midway, Utah
 You'll follow the 4x4 dirt road for awhile.
Hiking to Ant Knolls Midway, Utah
 The views open up as you reach Big Flat Meadow.
Hiking to Ant Knolls Midway, Utah
 The road gets extremely rutted out, and during a rainstorm, as you can see it's also gets extremely muddy.
Hiking to Ant Knolls Midway, Utah
 You'll see a trail leading up the North face of the hill - follow that to meet the ridge. You can actually see Ant Knolls from here, with the snowy top.
Hiking to Ant Knolls Midway, Utah
 Once you reach the ridge, head East.

You'll come to a trail split signed "157". To make the loop, stay right until you reach the same trail "157" at the next split and then turn left, uphill.

If you want the shortcut, stay straight at that first trail split. Otherwise, if you do the loop you'll end up hiking down that section.
Hiking to Ant Knolls Midway, Utah
 As we hiked below Ant Knolls on the West side, you could hardly see anything because the clouds were so thick. On a sunny day you should be able to see Devil's Castle and American Fork Twin Peaks.
Hiking to Ant Knolls Midway, Utah
 Like I mentioned before if you take the loop, you'll see a 2nd trail split for trail 157. You should be hiking uphill now towards the Ant Knolls. 
Hiking to Ant Knolls Midway, Utah
 To get to the first Ant Knoll you'll need to hike off trail. 
Hiking to Ant Knolls Midway, Utah
Almost to the first Ant Knoll. You can see the large cairn now!
Hiking to Ant Knolls Midway, Utah
As I got to the first Ant Knoll the rain and snow started pelting me from the side and my shoes were now completely soaked!
Hiking to Ant Knolls Midway, Utah
 Make your way down a faint trail to connect back to the main trail leading up to the official Ant Knoll.
Hiking to Ant Knolls Midway, Utah
You'll want to wear pants - all these goat heads stuck pretty easily to my pants.
Hiking to Ant Knolls Midway, Utah
The rain started to slowly end by the time I reached the official Ant Knoll. Still can't see much!
Hiking to Ant Knolls Midway, Utah
 The views started to open slightly. I imagine that on a sunny day this hike is even more amazing!
Hiking to Ant Knolls Midway, Utah
We brought a jet boil and mugs to make hot chocolate! So nice to have since it was cold and wet out. From the summit, make your way down the loop, connecting back to the ridge at the first trail split.


Ant Knolls trail map



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Hiking to Ant Knolls, Midway, Utah

1 comment:

  1. Brrrr! This made me chilly and I was only reading. You are certainly dedicated. Charlie needs to learn to like boots. Hope he didn't get any goat heads! Good job in not very nice weather:)

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