Saturday, September 18, 2010

South Willow Lake Stansbury Mountains September 12, 2010

Looking west from one of the high ridges on the trail

Location: The Stansbury Range is a north-south range in Tooele County, Utah. Deseret Peak is the highpoint of the range at 11,031 feet. The range is excellent for hiking with access points from Grantsville at South Willow, North Willow, and West Canyon. To get to the Stansbury Mountains take I-80 until the Stansbury-Tooele exit (if traveling from Salt Lake City it is app. 37 miles). Follow Route 138 10 miles west into Grantsville. In Grantsville turn right onto Cooley Street and follow until the turnoff to South Willow Canyon.
The hike: I started at the end of South Willow Road with my dog Nevada. Today was the first day Nevada had his pack on and I did not know how it would effect him on the hike. He did wonderfully and other hikers commented that he was a great hiking dog. The first part of the hike I saw some beautiful Aspen stands as we climbed in elevation. At mile 0.7 the trail split with the left fork going up Deseret Peak. After another 1.5 miles I stopped for lunch with a great view of Deseret peak. I then followed the trail over two more ridges to the trail junction for South Willow lake. Overall, I hiked 7 miles with beautiful views every step of the way. This range offers much more solitude than the more popular Wasatch Range, but remember every trail gains significant elevation.
Aspen stand on the trail

View from my lunch spot looking towards the high country

Nevada with his pack

Another pic of the mountains

South Willow lake

Nevada hiking in front of me

Great scenery with solitude

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