Juab County Highpoint Trip Report

Ibapah Peak (12,087 ft)

Date: August 11, 2005
Author: Scott Surgent

I came to this remote peak from the east via the city of Delta, instead of the usual approach from Wendover along I-80. Delta is about 25 miles west of I-15 in Millard County, and a good place to stock up, gas up and provision for a trip into the western Utah deserts. It also offers one of very few paved roads that extend for any distance into the desert. From US-6/50 in Delta, go west over a bridge and bear right as the main highway bends left and take Jones Road (1000 West) north for about 7 miles to the large Intermountain Power Station. Turn left at a T and simply head west. This road is paved for about 40 miles as it progressively gets deeper into the Utah outback. Come to a junction with the Weiss Highway (dirt), with signs pointing to Trout Creek and Callao. Drive west and west-northwest along fine dirt roads, eventually coming to the junction south of the Callao CCC Camp as mentioned in other reports. Go south about 3 miles to Gardner Canyon and enter in. From Delta to the Canyon entrance is about 90 miles. The roads are in excellent condition. I had some rain which rendered some roads a bit muddy and goopy but otherwise I had no trouble.

I forded the first creek and ended up taking a camping spot well before the second creek ford, meaning for more miles and gain the next day. I met up with a couple from Albuquerque, he a mathematician at UNM and she a piano teacher, both planning to hike Ibapah the next day, so the three of us set out at 5:15 a.m. for a long day in the hills. We talked math and peaks, of course!

The route to the top is as described in many other reports. A long, tiring grind up fine road and trail to the meadow at about 10,200 feet and some straightforward cross-country to the base of Ibapah, where we found a good use trail to the summit. It took me 6.5 hours up, 4 down, setting my personal best with almost 5,700 feet of gain in one day. We celebrated back at camp with steaks.

I left that evening, following the road net south toward Great Basin N.P., about 60 miles of good dirt to US-6/50. There is a gas/restaurant/hotel outpost on the NV/UT state line here. I took a room for the evening.

Climb Comments

The second creek ford seems to be in pretty bad shape, with fairly bad erosion on the downhill side of the road. I doubt my truck could have taken it. A jeep, maybe. Future visitors may need to keep this in mind, if the county or BLM ever actually attends to these roads.

The trail to the high meadow is good but sometimes obscured by downfall and weeds. Whenever we had doubt, we took two more steps and always found the route. There are some ideal camping spots about 1/4 mile below the high meadow. At the high meadow, aim for the lower peak and generally aim for its south facing slope. Navigate in the intervening forest is easy as undergrowth is light and openings regularly allow you to see your destination. Once on the slopes of this lower peak, bear right (east) and with some luck you should find the trail. It seems to be more evident as one works toward the north-east side of this lower peak, just below Ibapah itself.

A big rock on Ibapah's west edge seemed to be the HP.