Monday, October 9, 2017

Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon

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Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
Grandview Peak (9,410 ft) sits at the Salt Lake/Davis County line and is one of the seldomly visited peaks along the Wasatch Front. It's a long hike in from all directions, there's no water source, very little shade, and a little bushwhacking required. No matter which route you choose (described below), be prepared for a full 10-12 hour day. However, I've been staring at this peak for 4 years now, and I just HAD to knock it off my peak list. Wednesday night I was looking at the weather for the week, and it was supposed to have perfect blue skies, comfortable temperatures, and the Fall colors were also almost at their peak. 

I texted my friend Wednesay after work around 7pm, "How do you feel about doing 18 miles tomorrow?" She almost instantly replied, "Amazing LOL, when and where?" Told her what I was thinking, and she said, "well, what about work?" Oh yeah. Work. We'd have to skip work...."Sure! See you at 7am!" This actually gave us no time to think about it and back out of hiking to Grandview Peak - so if you ever want a friend to come along on a tough, long hike don't give them time to back out lol!


There are a few routes to summit Grandview Peak

1) Killyons Canyon (this blog post). Dogs allowed, no 4x4 drive required, 18 miles RT and 3,700 ft elevation gain.

2) City Creek - you can only take cars on even days up the canyon. 12 miles RT and 3,700 ft elevation gain. No dogs. From what I hear, this route has the most bushwhacking.

3) Big Mountain Pass - the longest route. 21 miles RT and 4,400 ft elevation gain. No dogs.

4) Boutinful Ridge/Great Western Trail - need 4x4 drive to access the ridge. 17 miles RT and 5,500 ft elevation gain depending on how far up your car can make it up the rough dirt road. Dogs allowed.

Looking at each option, we quickly narrowed it down to Killyon's and Bountiful Ridge since the dogs could go those routes. The next thing we had to eliminate was the 4x4 drive since neither of us have a truck/jeep. They are all roughly the same distance/elevation gain, so based on all these things Killyon's was the best choice for us. The best time to hike to Grandview is in Fall - the temperatues are cooler, there's no snow, and the leaves are really pretty. Summer would be extremely hot since there's no shade. Winter is doable if you have backcountry ski gear and are comfortable with avalanche danger and rescue techniques.


Just want to emphasize a few things:
1 ) There is NO water or shade. We each packed 3L of water, and my friend ran out of water on mile 7 (she and her dog shared water). We then had to skimp on water the rest of the hike since we needed to share what I had left of my 2L for the day. We were fortunate to find some snow on the north side of one of the ridges, and packed her camelbak with snow, so that it would eventually melt and we could give that to the dogs. Make sure you pack at least 5L of water per person OR have your dog carry it's own backpack filled with waterbottles. 

2 ) Another issue we ran into was the sun exposure. We were hiking and of course, sweating, so we were down to our last layer, both in a tank top since the temperatue was about 50F (the breeze felt perfect, not cold at all). However, when we got back home we found ourselves totally fried red from the sun. Make sure you pack sunblock, even in Fall.

3) We didn't hike far enough for the last trail split that leads to the NE ridge leading up to the summit. We ended up bushwhacking, when if we had just hiked a little further we would have found the trail. Because we didn't take the actual trail, bushwhacking really slowed us down the last mile. You'll see on my map below that I've marked where the trail actually splits back left to the NE ridge. 

With all this being said, we had an amazing time and was SO worth the effort and hard work. It's a really pretty hike, and you'll likely see no people (we only ran into 6 hunters over 11 hours). 

And now I can finally stare at Grandview Peak and know that I've been up there!

Use this map, if driving from SLC.

The trailhead parking is on your right side of the road with a tall white/green parking sign. Park here, then walk up Killyons Canyon Road to the very end where you'll reach the official TH.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon


Distance: 18 miles RT
Elevation gain: 3,900 ft
Time: 10-13 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? No
Fees/Permits? None

Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
As you hike up the trail you'll pass this sign within the first 15 minutes, then cross two bridges.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
The Fall colors were amazing!

Charlie is wearing his Ruffwear Track Jacket since this is a popular area for hunters.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
When you reach the first 4-way intersection, turn left, and you'll make your way to the ridge. You'll come upon this nice little overlook - Lookout Peak is the 3rd hump in the back.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
Nice view out to the Wasatch.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
As you hike along the ridge, keep an eye out for a faint trail split to the right. This is your turn. Going straight will lead you to Lookout Peak. If you had time, you could easily knock out Lookout before heading over to Grandview. It would make your day closer to 20 miles RT.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
After you take the trail split,  you will hike through several Aspen groves, and weave in and out of the NE hillside for the next 2 miles.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
"We're going HERE?!"

On a small unnamed peak, yet still a long ways to go. This is also your first really good view of Grandview.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
Around 5.8 miles you'll take the trail split left, and head downhill on the north side of the hill. See that ridge across the way? You'll eventually end up on top of that.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
At the bottom of the hill, and now you'll hike up a few switchbacks to reach the ridge. It gets really overgrown through this section, but it's always easy to stay on trail.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
Charlie takes a quick break.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
Looking back down to the hill we just hiked up.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
 Once on the ridge, it's easy ridge walking for another mile.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
You should have pretty amazing views of Grandview by this point.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
 You'll continue following the trail as it starts to wrap around to the North. It will feel as if you missed the next trail split to the NE ridge of Grandview but it's there. We felt like the trail map was off, and decided to bushwhack to the red dirt patch (not pictured here). However, on the way back we followed the actual trail. So, make sure you stay on the trail heading North, until you see the split to the left heading over to Grandview.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
 After bushwhacking we picked up the trail again. So much easier!
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
 The "red dirt patch" you can see from a mile away. The trail will cross this, and continue along the NE ridge. From here, the trail seems to favor the West side of the ridge as there is a decent trail the whole way to the peak.

Great view of Lookout Peak from this area.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
You'll reach a really small saddle, and from there, stay on the East side of the ridge following this rock wall. It will get really steep the last little bit.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
 Finally on the ridge, now the last few minutes to the summit.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
Grandview summit!!!!

It took us just over 6 hours to reach the summit. The last mile kicked our butts since we had to bushwhack, we kept looking at the map, plus we were slowing down from already having done 8 miles. I've stared at this peak for so long, I was so happy to knock it off my list.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
 Summit view looking directly East. The snow capped mountains are the Uintas!
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
 Summit photo, looking down to the SLC valley in a haze.
Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon
Charlie takes his usual summit nap. 

Return the way you came.

As an alternative, you could do this summit as a point-to-point route starting from Killyon's and ending either at City Creek or the Bountiful ridge (or the reverse),  you would just need to schedule a friend to pick you up from your end location.


Trail map to Grandview Peak via Killyons Canyon TH. 

I put a dot/note on my map of where the actual trail split is for the last mile leading up to the peak. We turned off too soon and had to bushwhack our way across to the red dirt patch. If you keep hiking around to the North, you will see the actual trail split (and a MUCH easier way) on the left to reach the red dirt patch. It will feel like you are hiking in the wrong direction, but trust me, it's there.




Hiking to Lookout Peak from Killyon's Canyon
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Hiking to Grandview Peak from Killyon's Canyon

3 comments:

  1. Wow!! Awesome job!! You need to put little question marks over Charlie's head in the photos. I know he is questioning your sanity...you can see it in his eyes:) This would definitely be the time to do this hike before we turn the clocks back. Congrats!!

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  2. HI. Do you feel that Charlie could ever use booties? I want to start hiking with my dog and wonder if booties for him would be useful or necessary? Thanks,

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    1. Charlie onle wears booties for emergencies or if our hike will mostly be over slickrock or sand in the desert. He hikes enough he doesn't really need them. -Alicia

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