Weber County Highpoint Trip Report

Willard Peak (9,763 ft)

Date: September 26, 2004
Authors: Jennifer and Gerry Roach

We found Main Street in Mantua on Saturday evening and headed south up the Willard Peak Road. The sign advertised 11 miles to Willard Basin which we assumed would be the old campground there. The road was steep but good up to the Perry Reservoir junction and became rougher above that. A good AWD car like a Subaru could make it to the Perry Reservoir turn but we would not recommend that such a vehicle go higher than that. There are no signs at several turns along the road; when in doubt, choose the main road and go up. We had a few exciting moments passing the many vehicles that were still descending. Tired after our commute from Colorado, we set up our wamper in the dandy old campground in Willard Basin.

In the morning we hiked up the Wasatch Crest Trail (FT 2001) to reach a saddle between Willard Peak and Willard Mountain, a.k.a. Inspiration Point. From here we elected to follow the trail south under the peak's cliffs and saw a large goat family ahead of us on the trail. After climbing some grass to the south ridge, we followed it north to the summit, finding a couple of Class 2+ moves along the scenic, quartzite festooned route. As Andy Martin reports, the highest boulder is 55 feet north-northwest of the BM.

After peering into the crevasse-like crack north of the summit, we descended the Class 2 northwest ridge to rejoin the trail, garnered some extra credit by visiting Willard Mountain/Inspiration Point, then rocketed back to our waiting wamper in a few minutes.

Summary: If you want to Martinize the peak, drive up to Inspiration Point, and drive down for another 200 yards toward Willard Peak. If you want to Earlize the peak, park at the old campground in Willard Basin and hike up, which will give you over 1,000 feet of gain. If you want to move toward an Ultra effort, follow the southern route described in High in Utah, which avoids the 4WD road and also allows you to bag Ben Lomond en route. If you want to Roachify the effort, start at the lowest point possible, and walk the entire length of the Wasatch Front to approach the peak. The crux of the Willard Basin approach is the road, not the peak, and the crux of the road is the glut of hunters, jeeps, trucks, 4-wheelers and motorbikes that use the road as a speedway. On our descent of the road on Sunday, we encountered a badly damaged rolled jeep in the road. The badly damaged driver had already been moved down the road in another truck. We sniffed the booze in the rolled rig's flattened cab, eeked around the wreck, and beat a retreat before the road jammed shut with gawkers.

P.S. After watching 4-wheelers drive through the shallows in the small lake in the upper basin, we elected to not drink the water from the pipe below it.