Juab County Highpoint Trip Report

Ibapah Peak (12,087 ft)

Date: July 26, 2006
Author: Dale Millsap

Since I live relatively nearby (Salt Lake area) I chose to do this by myself in a day.

I left home around 6:30 am. I made a short stop in Wendover and then headed south. All of the directions in other trip reports are excellent. I encountered a man and his two kids up Granite Creek after the first stream crossing - they were up for a few days of ATV adventures. We visited for a while, then I drove on to the WSA boundary (yes, the signs are knocked down but the road at that point deteriorates so badly that only a jeep could possibly make it). The road from the second crossing on is in pretty bad shape but I made it in my 2WD truck.

I started hiking at 10:30 am. I made the meadow at the saddle at 12:00 pm. I sat down to eat some lunch, and two F-16 jets came out of nowhere, up Granite Creek. They moved by incredibly fast - they couldn't have been more than 1,000 feet above me. I felt and heard the oblique shock waves hit me. Then they disappeared just as quickly as they arrived, over the west side of the mountain. I pressed on from the meadow and didn't see much of a trail until I reached the side of the subpeak south of Ibapah. I skirted around on that trail, maintaining roughly 11,200 feet until the next minor saddle, and then followed the switchbacks up to the summit, arriving at 1:30 pm. It was a beautiful day.

There is a fair amount of smoke and moisture in the air right now, so I couldn't see very far. I took pictures on both ends of the summit area, then left at 2:00 pm. I arrived back at the meadow at 2:55 pm and sat down to read "Atlas Shrugged" and relax for a few minutes. At 3:15 pm, I heard a double clap of thunder and turned around to see a large storm front moving in from the west. Drat! I'm only on about page 700 and I was hoping to get in an hour or so. Oh well, who is John Galt? I hit the trail to get off the ridge and it started raining about 15 minutes later. I arrived back at my truck at 4:15 pm.

I took some time to eat and relax before driving out, so I didn't arrive in Callao until 5:00. I decided to drive the Pony Express trail home. After at least 100 miles of dirt road, at least 100 pronghorn antelope, and 30-40 miles of paved road, I arrived in Tooele to gas up and finish the 30-minute drive around the mountains to the Salt Lake Valley. I arrived at my house at 8:00 pm - a fantastic day!