Deseret Peak Wilderness Area
Specific Area Information
Location: North Central Utah, west of Tooele and Grantsville, Utah
USGS Quad: Deseret Peak East, Deseret Peak West, North Willow and Salt Mountain
Difficulty: Moderate to severe with elevations from just under 5,500 feet to over 11,000 feet. Trails are easy to follow, but may cross extremely rough terrain at high elevations.
Use: Light to moderately heavy, heaviest on weekends and during hunting seasons.
Weather: Summer temperatures can range from near 90 degrees in the daytime to below 40 degrees at night. Occasional summer thunderstorms can be expected.
About the Area
The Deseret Peak Wilderness was established by Congress in 1984 with the passage of the Utah Wilderness Act. Located within the Stansbury Mountain range, the Deseret Peak Wilderness consists of approximately 25,508 acres and is generally bounded on the north by Pass Canyon drainage, on the south by Vickory Mountain, on the west by Skull Valley and on the east by the Mack Canyon-Big Hollow Trail.
It takes about an hour to drive to the most popular entry point, the trailhead at the Loop Campground in South Willow Canyon. You may also enter from Martin's Fork, Bear Trap Fork, and the North Willow Canyon area on the east side of the range. The west side does not offer an easy access to the wilderness. The area is quite dry and is often used for horse packing, backpacking, and day hiking.
The biggest attraction is the 11,031 foot Deseret Peak. There is also a herd of wild horses occupying Big Creek Canyon.
The semi-arid Deseret Peak Wilderness is dominated by rugged terrain and high peaks, including Deseret Peak. Much of the higher elevation is alpine, characterized by open basins and exposed rocky ridges. Vegetation includes dense mountain brush mixed with sagebrush and grass. Patches of various firs, juniper, and aspen are common in isolated patches on north facing slopes. Snow remains in some areas until early summer.
The management area provides forage for cattle on parts of three allotments. The most popular uses include hiking, picnicking, hunting, and horse riding. The area is the source of culinary and irrigation water for nearby communities and farms.
To preserve and protect the physical and aesthetic environment, National Forest wilderness areas are closed to motor vehicles, mechanized equipment, hang gliders, and bicycles. Please help protect wilderness for future generations by learning and practicing "No-Trace" camping and hiking techniques.
The following acts are prohibited in the Deseret Peak Wilderness Area: Group sizes exceeding 10 persons, camping within 200 feet of lakes, streams, springs, or other water sources, camping within 200 feet of trails, camping for more than 3 days at one site, short cutting a trail switchback, and disposing of garbage, debris, or other waste.