Juab County High Point Trip Report
Ibapah Peak (12,087 ft)
Date: September 28, 2003
Author: Ben Knorr
Net gain from where I parked is about 6,150 feet vertical (leg burner -- yeow!)
The signs are excellent to get to Granite Creek Canyon and, sure enough,
the canyon turns into towering granite cliffs, similar to the Eastern Sierras
(I only saw them from the vicinity of Bishop to Lone Pine, then the Whitney area).
The roads are pretty good too, except as Jobe Wymore states in his trip report,
the road roughens up a little before reaching the first stream crossing.
Of course, "rough" is a relative term, as my car doesn't do much rock crawling at all.
The crossings looked easy for anything with high clearance. The second crossing
is an abrupt drop-off from the road: I don't see how anyone could miss it.
To continue on the road, you would have to traverse the eroded roadway and dip the
passenger side down the steep path to the stream crossing as you passed it.
I think you'd have to be asleep to miss this turnoff, and even if so,
you'd probably slide down it anyway.
There are a few sites along the road after the
second crossing for camping (even a picnic table). Unfortunately, the road is
blocked not long after the second stream crossing. It appears that in the last
couple years, the BLM or forest service has barricaded the road with fencing and
prohibits motor vehicle use above it. I did see very fresh ATV tracks, and one
4x4 track (I'm not sure how the 4x4 got past the fence) up to 8000 feet, where
the road ends and single track begins. There is heavy deadfall in the road at
times in this closed area, but ATVers have blazed new paths around the road at
these spots. I don't recall what the elevation of the new end-of-road was,
but I would guess it is around 6,900 feet.
I did not see any snow at all while I was up in the Deep Creek Mountains.
There was still a fair amount of water in Granite Creek coming down, although I don't
know what to compare it to during other months. The trail crisscrosses a small
stream several times after the two well-publicized road-stream crossings.
I was able to fill up on the return trip at around 9,600 feet
(note: 4 liters was not enough water for me even for the ascent).
I imagine that earlier in the year,
you could get water as high as the roughly 10,000+ ft meadow between Red Mountain and
Ibapah from one of the various streambeds up there that were dry when I visited.
I hope to return in the future to camp up in that meadow, or almost anywhere up
to 700 feet below it. There were a few apparent campsites along the trail that
looked pretty nice (shady, access to water).
It was readily apparent that fall has descended upon the higher reaches of the mountain --
bare aspens up high, yellowing aspens in the middle, and green at
the bottom. I've never seen such diversity on one hike! As far as all the
biological diversity I've heard so much about in this range, I saw, in order of appearance:
elk, snakes, lizards galore, deer, white tailed antelope, squirrels,
ravens, golden eagles, more antelope, tarantulas -- its got 'em all.
I did this hike by myself, with excellent weather (few clouds were present, if any).
In retrospect, I would recommend caution to anyone else attempting to do so.
Adam Helman advised against doing this solo because of the extreme
remoteness of the peak. He is right in this fact. In the time it took me to
drive from Wendover, NV to the trailhead in Granite Creek Canyon, I only saw two
moving vehicles. One of them was driving down the road to the canyon and gave a
pleasant wave. Callao seems to have a few residents, but not many and no
services at all that I could see. Gas-up ahead of time and bring enough of
everything you need. It's a fun one.