Juab County High Point Trip Report

Ibapah Peak (12,087 ft)

Date: August 21, 1999
Author: Andy Martin

We drove to Ibapah by way of Wendover - Gold Hill - Callao - and then followed the excellent directions in "High in Utah" [HIU]. The paved and dirt roads all the way to the Granite Creek turnoff are excellent, and DeLorme has dropped the ball again by showing the Callao - Trout Creek road as unimproved.

We bush camped near Gold Hill, and then drove to the 4wd trailhead in Granite Creek the next morning. This is at 8,000'. The HIU info is quite accurate here concerning road conditions, and the drive from 7,000' to 8,000' is nasty in spots, with 4wd and a short wheelbase coming in real handy. Two fellows had driven to 8,000' the previous night, and were camped here. We said "hi", then headed uphill.

The country was better watered and forested than I expected, and there was an attractive backpack campsite by a meadow just below 10,000'. The HIU directions are good from this point - cross a large meadow at 10,160', then head up hill to the saddle just west of 11,385'. Follow a faint use route here which leads through several clearings in the forest and requires almost no rock hopping. After reaching the saddle Guy took the direct route over 11,385', while I contoured around on the 11,200' elevation. This maneuver briefly placed me in front of Guy, as he ran in to lots of big rocks. I enjoyed leading the way for a change (the only time in the trip? ;).

A pretty decent trail led from the 11,200+' saddle to the top, and Guy zipped up it while I straggled along, never seeming to close in on the summit. Finally I topped out on the ~200' long summit ridge, strolled over to the heliograph station ruins, clambered up the highest rocks, and let out a yell of triumph. The Utah counties were mine!

The summit area had a metal rod in a rock in place of a BM, an interesting register in a mailbox, and many foot square modern signal mirrors. Several of these were broken, and Guy packed them off the peak. Guy also found some old tent (?) sites just north of the summit. Bob Packard had signed the register in October 1998 on his UT completion, and also mentioned that the west end of the summit ridge sighted higher in his level. Naturally I had to wander over there, climb it, and erect a cairn there. The two people camped at 8,000' met us at the summit. Turned out that one was an Exxon geologist who had flown in from sea level the previous day. He picked a tough way to acclimatize.

Guy and I headed down, taking the cairned use route around the south side of peak 11,385. On our descent we pondered the various challenges that Noah faced in collecting and distributing fauna from all over the globe. Not sure we made any deep theological discoveries, but it sure made the hike go fast.

We drove south back to pavement by way of fine dirt roads to the intersection of Highways 159 & 50. We had crammed the gas tank full of premium in Wendover, and also purchased a 2 gallon reserve can. This was massive overkill, as we did not even have to stop in Baker for gas, but drove all the way Beaver Utah on Interstate 15. Grabbed a Whopper, rustled up a bush camp near town, and then buzzed back to Tucson the next day.