Thurston Peak has been on my list for a long, long time. Since it was only a ridge hike I thought it would be easy enough to get over, bag it, and come back. Not so. I keep thinking that the snow should be gone by now, it is July, and we had an incredibly warm spring, but somehow the snow is still sticking around, and covering the trails.
On the way up the canyon road to the area by the spherical radar towers I passed 4 bikers, they must’ve come all the way from the valley, and I later on passed them in the middle of my hike, which means they did make it to the top, and at that point had already scored more than 5000 ft elevation & 10+ miles. I don’t know where they were headed, but they’re pretty hardcore just to have made it that far.
It was a good hike, I had about 2500 ft elevation climbed by the time I was through. There were a couple of sections that lost/gained 3-400 ft along the way making the total elevation climbed pretty significant when you look at the starting elevation of about 9100 ft, and the summit elevation of 9700 ft.
The approach climbs about 650 ft from where you leave the Great Western Trail to the summit. There are plenty of game trails to follow up to the top, and by staying further east, rather than west I avoided the mounds of sagebrush that line the eastern side. The summit isn’t really that spectacular, although there is a monument to the guy the peak is named after. Odd though is the fact that there is no actual trail to the top (at least that I was able to find). In fact on the way down I decided to try a different way down to see if it would’ve been a better route. It wasn’t. When I finally hit the Great Western Trail again to get back to my truck it was pretty overgrown. If it doesn’t get used more I wonder if a trail will even be distinguishable in a couple of years.
After 9 miles & 2500 ft elevation climbed I was more than ready to go home.
After I get Willard Peak I will have climbed all the county high points north of Salt Lake, and all of the county high points that surround the Great Salt Lake