Weber County High Point Trip Report

Willard Peak

Date: July 20, 2003
Author: Ben Knorr

I didn't feel like going on the south/western approach that "High in Utah" suggests, so I went up the mountain from the other side. Drive up highway 89 to Mantua, get to main street, and take it as far south as it goes. It will eventually turn into a dirt road that goes into the mountains. I drove my new Beetle (4.2" clearance) up this road about 4 or 5 miles or so, then decided I didn't want to risk an oil pan and pulled over at a small turnout/campsite. I had the car on three wheels at times, and had to go up in 1st gear for quite a bit.

I biked up the remaining 6 miles or so without much difficulty. Got many stares and "you're crazy" exclamations from passing 4x4's. Even the Forest Service crew couldn't believe it. The road gets a little rocky in spots, and would need a high clearance 2wd or better. The road crests at a saddle then descends into Willard Basin. I found a campsite where the road seemed to start turning west/north in a loop up to Inspiration Point (a favorite for motorcycles and 4x4s). There was a pipe dribbling out spring water (some ATV folk drank it right out of it and insisted it was clean: who knows) and a marked trail sign that heads south-ish. I parked the bike at this site and started walking but in hindsight I probably could've biked up quite a bit more on this trail.

There are several trails/ATV roads that crisscross this basin, so just keep concentrating on the rocky peak to the south. I arrived at a small lake, then traversed up some trails to the saddle above the lake. I inadvertently went right by Willard Peak and ended up near the south side of it. I went up the ridge to the peak and ran into some high class 2, low 3 stuff. It was fun, but with some drop-offs in a couple spots. A little ways up the south ridge, I found a slight use trail and made it up to the top pretty quickly.

No register on top, two markers, and three possible high points. I couldn't tell for sure, so I got them all. Outstanding views all around, especially across the lake if the weather is decent. I hopped over the huge crack that is going through the summit (it's deep!) and went down the north ridge, which was much easier.

I biked down, and managed to severely destroy my bike's tire when hitting a large wood-screw in the road. Why it was sitting up on a dirt mountain road, I don't know. I walked down the remaining 3 miles to the car and nursed my car back out without incident.

This hike was very hot, and was chock-full of dirt bikes, ATVs, Jeeps, and other noisy vehicles. Only a few close calls from near collisions with idiots going too fast on the dirt road.