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Henry Mt. Peaks - Cedar Mesa, Utah

Summary: A short hike to the highest peaks in the Henry Mountains (Mt. Ellen = 11,522 ft and Ellen Peak = 11,506 ft). The altitude and cooler temperatures provide welcome relief in the summer from the heat of the desert below. Note: the parking area at Bull Creek pass is at 10,500 ft, you'll only have to climb the last 1000 ft of the mountain.
Directions: The route to the mountain lies between Hanksville and the Bullfrog Marina on Highway 95. Drive on Highway 95 and turn west on a prominent dirt road near milepost 26. Follow this well graded dirt road up a short hill, then along an asphalt berm towards the mountains in the distance. After crossing a wash you'll reach a signed junction. Turn left at this junction following the sign for: Eagle Benches 6 miles, Bromide Basin 10 miles, Sawmill Basin 15 miles, The Horn 18 miles. About a mile later you'll reach another signed junction, turn right following the sign for the same landmarks as above. You'll see evidence of mining activity in the area and plenty of spur roads. Simply stay on the main road ignoring the others. Another 8 miles will bring you to another junction and sign. Perform a sharp right turn at this junction following the arrow for Wickiup Pass 3 miles. At Wickiup Pass turn left following the arrow towards Bull Creek Pass 2.6 miles. After 2.6 miles look for the small pull off on the right hand side at a few fence posts and a brown plastic 'Trail' sign, and park.
Road Conditions: Passenger Car - well graded dirt roads
Navigation: Easy
Length: ~6.5 miles
Date Hiked: July, 2002
Weather Conditions: Cool and windy with driving sprinkles
Required Skills: None
Hike Description: From the parking area, begin walking on the well established trail which leads up the mountain towards the ridge. The trail is fairly flat at first until it reaches a low shoulder, then begins climbing more steeply up towards the peak. The mountain consists of lichen covered granite rock interspersed with low alpine vegetation. You will also see cow pies in the area created by the buffalo that graze the slopes. As you reach the top of the ridge line the trail fades somewhat. You can't get lost though, simply follow the ridge to the peak. At the top of Mt. Ellen you'll find a mailbox with a trail register as well as a few foxholes dug from the rocks (which allow some respite from the wind). You'll also see Ellen Peak to the north separated from Mt. Ellen by a saddle. If you wish to climb this peak as well, head down to the saddle and climb up the other side. About a third of the way up Ellen Peak a well defined trail takes form, which you can follow the rest of the way to the peak. Take in the view and when ready, return the way you came.
Rating (1-5 stars):
Very pleasant hike and a nice change from the broiling heat of the desert. The author completed this hike solo to Ellen Peak and back in 3 1/2 hours.
Maps: None used
Books: Utah Mountaineering Guide 3rd Edition - Michael Kelsey
Photos: Click picture for larger view, click your browser's 'Back' button to return to this page.
Looking across the ridgeline
towards Mt Ellen.
Ellen Peak from the
summit of Mt Ellen.