San Juan County High Point Trip Report

Mount Peale (12,721 ft)

Date: August 7, 2002
Author: Michael Schwartz

Made use of Covill, Roach, and Wallentine reports, as well as "High in Utah." The Roaches' approach details are still accurate. I drove (4WD for sure) up the road mentioned by Covill and Wallentine. This is a very obvious two-track'er that leaves the La Sal Pass Road 6.5 miles from the last major turn, or 0.7 mile below the actual pass. This road is shown on the topo ending at spot elevation 10,243 feet. I milked it for 0.5 mile, at which point my nerves ran out and there was a good place to turn around and park. Exiting my car, I was greeted by a half dozen amazingly tame ptarmigan.

Walk the road for another 1/8 mile at the most, to a bit of a clearing. From there pick up a faint use path uphill and bushwhack through OK woods slightly east of north along a low ridge line. When this ends at the edge of steep talus, bear right (east) along the talus margin until the terrain opens up at the bottom of the ascent couloir. Intermittent use paths help here. The couloir was free of snow, but loaded with wildflowers. I did opt to cut off part way up onto a use path to shortcut toward the summit, but found the "trail" loose and hard to follow. My suggestion is to follow the couloir quite high up and cut right only when near the ridge line. Once on the ridge, follow decent use paths to the summit.

It was totally socked in on the summit ridge, but the path was still easy to follow safely. I found a tiny survey marker at the summit, but no register.

Hiking times were 2 hours up and 1 hour 30 minutes down.