Deseret Peak Trip

South Willow Lake at sunrise.  Copyright Nate Young and Crux Photo.

South Willow Lake at sunrise. Copyright Nate Young and Crux Photo.

Last weekend Sarah and I went on our annual overnight peak trip.  This years selection was Deseret Peak in the Stansbury Range.  Although not littered with 11,000ft peaks like the Wasatch, the Stansburys offer a much quieter experience.  We only saw 5 people total in our 24 hours in the wilderness, and most of that was very close to the trail heads. 

We started our hike at the Medina Flats trail head in South Willow Canyon but quickly traversed over to Mining Fork Canyon.  At the top of Mining Fork was our destination for the first day, South Willow Lake.  South Willow Lake sits just below an impressive cirque of peaks that top out at 10,500.  Although the lake seems some day traffic, very few people camp here because it was about a half mile off our route to Deseret Peak.  This camp site offered unobstructed views of the Tooele Valley and the Great Salt Lake.

The cirque above South Willow Lake.  Copyright Nate Young and Crux Photo.

The cirque above South Willow Lake. Copyright Nate Young and Crux Photo.

South Willow Lake at sunrise.  Copyright Nate Young and Crux Photo.

South Willow Lake at sunrise. Copyright Nate Young and Crux Photo.

The next morning, we started the long hike to Deseret Peak.  Although it was only supposed to be about 3.5 miles from camp, the steep grades and 2000 vertical foot gain definitely took a toll.  The trail is well defined, but loose and overgrown at times.  This definitely increased the difficulty, even over the short distance.  Eventually, and a little later than we’d hoped, we reached the summit, just over 11,000 ft. The views were definitely amazing from the summit.  No other mountains around are close to the height of Deseret Peak, so you feel as if you can see for hundreds of miles.

View from Deseret Peak.  Copyright Nate Young and Crux Photo.

View from Deseret Peak. Copyright Nate Young and Crux Photo.

 The hike down provided the usual aches and pains, but we had successfully survived another 24 hour period in the wild.  I definitely recommend Deseret Peak, if not just for the solitude.  Here are a few other images I took at night.  Although we did not have a full moon, I was still able to pick up some color once the moon came up after midnight.

South Willow Lake campground at night.  Copyright Nate Young and Crux Photo.

South Willow Lake campground at night. Copyright Nate Young and Crux Photo.

South Willow Lake at night.  Copyright Nate Young and Crux Photo.

South Willow Lake at night. Copyright Nate Young and Crux Photo.

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~ by cruxphoto on August 27, 2008.

One Response to “Deseret Peak Trip”

  1. What a trip that must have been… Your images convey the beauty well, really nice work Nate !!!

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