Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Hiking to South Tent Mountain, Sanpete County High Point

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Hiking to South Tent Mountain, Sanpete County High Point
South Tent Mountain (11,285 ft) is the Sanpete County High Point, and an amazing hike along a ridge with wide, open views the entire hike. Most people chose to hike South to North (on the South end of the mountain) and just aim for the South Tent saddle. However, we hiked the entire ridge to also bag North Tent Mountain (11,230 ft). The ridge is a very easy hike, and no technical gear or scrambling is required. This route is only 5 miles RT - only a little longer than the traditional saddle route, yet you'll bag two peaks.

The hike itself has plenty of trees, but is not well shaded. There is no water either, so you'll want to start hiking early in the day to beat the heat in the summer. The best months to access this mountain is July - September. The rest of the year it has snow or the roads are completely muddy making it impossible to even get near the trailhead. Make sure to bring at least 3 liters of water and plenty of sunblock - the sun seemed to be extra hot up here since there's no shade plus the elevation puts you closer to the sun. 

Dogs should do well on this hike as long as they have experience hiking at least 5 miles and are used to high alpine terrain. Older kids (ages 9+) should also be able to hike this route.

Out of all the county high points, South Tent Mountain and the ridge is in my top five for views! I really loved this hike. Many people will combine South Tent Mountain with East Mountain and Monument Peak (two other CoHPs).

The drive up the canyon takes about 45 minutes even though it is only about 13 miles one way.

Distance: 5 miles RT
Elevation gain: 945 ft
Time: 2-4 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes, ages 9+
Fees/Permits? None

Hiking to South Tent Mountain, Sanpete County High Point
The original plan was to hike the most popular route, which is on starting on the other side of this mountain, then hiking South to North to the South Tent saddle. As soon as we drove up to this spot, we both said, "Wow, that ridge looks amazing. Maybe we should just do the whole thing??" We agreed to change plans, and parked near the end of the ridge (the northern most area), where the road splits off a little, and start hiking from there. Check out my map below to see where we parked and started hiking. North Tent is on the right, South Tent is on the left. This is looking South.
Hiking to South Tent Mountain, Sanpete County High Point
We found a pull out for the truck, and begin hiking towards the ridge. There's no trail for this section, we just aimed up.
Hiking to South Tent Mountain, Sanpete County High Point
As we reached the lower section of the ridge we actually caught a trail! We weren't expecting that at all, but it was sure nice to see. You can make out the trail faintly here.
Hiking to South Tent Mountain, Sanpete County High Point
Stopping to catch our breath, and the view below us was amazing. So green!
Hiking to South Tent Mountain, Sanpete County High Point
After hiking up the ridge and following the faint trail, we came to this first really nice overlook. That road below us is the road most people continue driving to reach the popular starting point for this peak. 
Hiking to South Tent Mountain, Sanpete County High Point
Snow on the way up to North Tent Mountain.
Hiking to South Tent Mountain, Sanpete County High Point
After only 1.2 miles we summited North Tent Mountain!
Hiking to South Tent Mountain, Sanpete County High Point
From North Tent Mountain, we simply followed the ridge down to the saddle (again, that is the area where most people hike up to, coming up from the right side of this photo). South Tent Mountain is the peak ahead, and our destination.
Hiking to South Tent Mountain, Sanpete County High Point
Again, we caught a faint trail the entire hike along the ridge.
Hiking to South Tent Mountain, Sanpete County High Point
More snow patches for the pups to cool off!
Hiking to South Tent Mountain, Sanpete County High Point
Just stay on the ridge, and you should be aiming for South Tent Mountain. This is the last section leading up to the summit.
Hiking to South Tent Mountain, Sanpete County High Point
On the summit of South Tent Mountain! It only took us 1 hour 34 minutes to reach this peak. Not bad for a casual pace! North Tent Mountain is directly behind us.
Hiking to South Tent Mountain, Sanpete County High Point
We signed the summit register, then returned the same way to hike up, along the NW ridge.




Light blue = drive up
Dark blue = hike




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Hiking to South Tent Mountain, Sanpete County High Point