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Western Utah

Hiking to Desert Peak, Newfoundland Mountains Desert Peak (7,005 ft) is located in the Newfoundland Mountains in the Great Salt Lake, and is the highest point in the range. Getting to the unofficial trailhead takes quite a bit of effort, and it is very tricky timing it at just the right time of year. Because it's located in the middle of the Salt Flats, any recent precipitation will leave the dirt roads completely muddy and rutted out. There is zero cell service, so you don't want to risk getting stuck. 

Western Utah

Hiking to Castle Rock, Stansbury Island

Castle Rock (6,649 ft) is the highest summit on Stansbury Island, just West of Salt Lake City. It's the second largest island in the Great Salt Lake, and was named after Howard Stansbury who led the expedition in the area. Stansbury Island is a fun geological feature as well - it is dotted with shale, limestone, and dolomite rock. A large part of the island is private property, and used by cattle ranchers. It's very important to stay out of the private area -it is routinely watched by land owners and crossing into that area serves a large fine. Hiking this route to Castle Rock will keep you out of the private land, so you can still make the summit to this desert-like peak.

Western Utah

Exploring Utah's Sun Tunnels, Utah Sun Tunnels, Nancy Holt Sun Tunnels

The Sun Tunnels in Utah is a sculpture for the stars and sun, created by Nancy Holt in 1976. It consists of four large concrete tubes (each 18 ft in diameter and 68 ft long), laid out in an "X" configuration. When peered through on the Winter solstice, the sun appears through two of the tunnels; and on the Summer solstice, the sun appears through the two other tunnels. In addition to viewing the sun, the holes drilled in the sides of the tunnels allow patterns of light inside allowing you to see the shape of various constellations of Draco, Perseus, Columba, and Capricorn.

Western Utah

Hiking Notch Peak, Delta, Utah

Notch Peak (9,658 ft) is in Utah's West Desert near the town of Delta, Utah. Notch Peak is part of the House Range mountains and Notch Peak Wilderness Study Area. The northwest face of Notch Peak is also well known for having the 2nd tallest cliff face in North America with 2,200 ft of vertical rise, making it a popular spot for BASE Jumpers and climbers. The tallest cliff face is of course, El Capitan, in Yosemite National Park. Overall, the summit of Notch Peak rises roughly 4,500 ft above the Tule Valley. Because of this, Notch Peak has been called the "desert equivalent" of El Capitan.

Western Utah

Tetzlaff Peak, Tetzlaff Peak hiking guide, Silver Island Mountains, Hiking in Utah with Dogs

Tetzlaff Peak (6,267 ft) is located in the West Desert in the Silver Mountain Range, northeast of Wendover, UT. It is an obscure peak, meaning that hardly anyone has hiked it because of its location, it can be somewhat hard to get to the TH, and simply because no one has heard of it. It's not the tallest peak in the Silver Mountains (Graham Peak is the tallest) but it's definitely a worthy peak to bag. It's perfect for summiting in the winter months when avalanche danger is high in the Wasatch Mountains, and you are looking to escape hiking in snow. The peaks in the Silver Mountains offer no trail, no shade, and no water, so hiking here in Winter is not as harsh. I highly recommend you don't hike this area in Summer when the temperatures are extremely hot.

Western Utah

Hiking Ibapah Peak, Deep Creek Mountains, Utah

Ibapah Peak is the tallest point in the Deep Creek Mountains and Juab County, at 12,087 ft. Getting to to the trail head is a long drive, since it's about a 4 hour drive from SLC. The Deep Creeks are truly a unique place in the West Desert. The long distance from major population allows hikers to find solitude. The desert at the foot of the mountain is at an elevation of about 4,800 ft, giving the mountains an enormous vertical rise of 7,300 ft - greater than that of the famous Teton's in Wyoming. Plan on camping near the TH the day before you hike here - camping is free, and there are a few spots that already have a fire ring. You'll want to have an early start to your hike, and be prepared to give your legs a workout.

Western Utah

Rishel Peak

Rishel Peak (6,196 ft) is a fin-like peak created by volcanic activity, and is located in Utah's West Desert in the Silver Island Mountains. There is no trail, no shade, no water, and no true parking area or signs. Be aware that you MUST have a high clearance or 4X4 car to drive out here, and be prepared for flat tires from old mining nails still scattered about.The best time of year to hike this peak is in Spring or Fall when the temperatures are not as hot. Because this area is BLM Land, you can camp for free anywhere. However, there are no established camping areas, and Leave No Trace principles apply.

Western Utah

 Cobb Peak (7,021 ft) was not my favorite hike or peak I've done. Let's just get that out of the way off the bat. This peak does not have a trail, very little shade, no water, has lots of bush whacking, and is very steep. Now, I've done my fair share of peaks with those qualities, but this one in the Silver Island Mountains seemed to kick my butt worse than the others. Although it is only 1.7 miles to the summit, it seemed to take forever, with lots of route finding. You don't want to do this hike alone - there were some really sketchy parts that I was nervous on, such as climbing up a rock slab for about 30 ft, and needing a hand to help pull me up in other areas. Getting to the summit took us about 3 hours, and another 3 hours to get back down. I have never been so nervous on a peak for how I would get back down.

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