Monday, May 13, 2019

Hiking to Dude Benchmark Peak

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Hiking to Dude Benchmark Peak
Dude Benchmark Peak (7,212 ft) is the high point in between Salt Lake City & Bountiful, Utah. The ridge extends for miles, with City Creek Canyon below to the South and views of Thurston Peak and Ben Lomond Peak to the North. There are several routes to reach Dude Peak, but the easiest is from the North side in Bountiful, starting from a neighborhood trailhead. The hike itself is easy in that there is nothing technical or super steep. It follows the rolling hills along the ridge, with several up and downs, until it reaches the small rocky outcropping overlooking the entire East side of the Salt Lake Valley. Some sections are rocky, but lasts for a short time.

Because this trail has zero shade or water, you'll want to start hiking early. We were hiking by 8am and I wished we started even earlier. It was 55F but because it was a clear day the sun felt really hot, and we were both sweating a lot. Spring seems to be the best time to hike this trail when the flowers are in bloom and temperatures aren't as hot as later in the year. I loved how green it was in May! This trail is dog and kid friendly. 

From SLC head north on I-15, and take exit 312 for HWY 89. Turn right on Eagle Ridge Drive. Drive around the round-a-bout, staying on Eagle Ridge drive for 2.3 miles until you reach the first and only stop sign. Turn right on Eaglewood Loop, then left on Elk Hollow Rd. Drive another 0.5 miles, then turn right on Hidden Lake Drive. Turn right again on Hidden Lake Circle. Drive to the very end, of this road, driving up the single lane road past a gate. 

Here's a driving map.




Distance: 4.4 miles RT
Elevation gain: 1300 ft
Time: 2-3 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes, for older kids
Fees/Permits? None

Hiking to Dude Benchmark Peak
First, continue driving up to the trailhead via this small single lane road, past the gate.
Hiking to Dude Benchmark Peak
Park at the dead end, then being by hiking around another gate.
Hiking to Dude Benchmark Peak
 Walk around the towers, then you'll see a trail split off to the right, uphill.
Hiking to Dude Benchmark Peak
 Walk through the open field, which is actually part of the pipeline field. The trail is really easy to follow, as it winds through scrub oak trees.
Hiking to Dude Benchmark Peak
 After hiking up a steep rocky section, you'll reach this stick stuck in a large cairn. Not sure why it's marked so well, there is no significance peak-wise.
Hiking to Dude Benchmark Peak
The trail goes up and down rolling hills.
Hiking to Dude Benchmark Peak
 Work up two long switchbacks.
Hiking to Dude Benchmark Peak
 Charlie waits for me to hike up. Some of those hills were steep!
Hiking to Dude Benchmark Peak
Final push to Dude Peak! 
Hiking to Dude Benchmark Peak
We summited Dude Peak in 1 hour 10 minutes. What a cool view with SLC and the Oquirrh's in the distance!
Hiking to Dude Benchmark Peak
 What a fun peak - this was a great Spring hike to get ready for peak bagging season!

Check out my YouTube video!




Trail map



Hiking the Wild Rose Trail
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Hiking to Dude Benchmark Peak

2 comments:

Lucinda said...

Alicia, terrific post of this hike. I'm looking forward to going back up there soon!

Sandi Trixx said...

Thanks for letting us know about this trailhead! I've done this peak from Wild Rose before which adds probably 5 miles and 1000 ft. Didn't know it was called Dude Peak either. Found the summit marker this morning. Cheers!