Last year I visited Deseret Peak but didn’t leave enough time to hike the peak and took the wrong trail to reach the lake, but this time, with an entire day to hike, I conquered this peak.
It’s a great feeling to return to somewhere where you didn’t have the time or conditions weren't right to make it to the top and reach a peak that eluded you before. I loved the sense of being both familiar with the lower parts of the trail while also exploring new views once I got above where I’d previously hiked.
Even with a full day, Deseret Peak isn't an easy hike. It’s a 12 mile loop with 3500 feet of elevation gain. You could also go to the lake or some additional peaks if you want to add even more miles and elevation gain, but we decided we were too worn out (and running out of water) to go to additional places.
The peak by itself was a wonderful hike. You start in pine and aspen forests before moving upwards to meadows full of wildflowers along the ridgeline. The buzzing of bees often accompanied the tromp of our shoes, along with the sounds of songbirds and the occasional deer or woodpecker. Deseret Peak is close enough to be an easy drive but far enough away to offer relative solitude. While hiking we only saw a few other hikers.
Deseret Peak is one of the most prominent peaks in Utah, so the view from the top is incredible. You can see the Oquirrh and Wasatch mountains to the east, along with the Tooele Valley, and parts of the Salt Lake and Utah Valleys. To the north, you get an incredible view of the Great Salt Lake along with the various islands on it. To the south and west you can see the more remote desert mountains of Utah all the way to the Deep Creek Range on the border with Nevada. Down below are Skull Valley and the salt flats. The scenery is one of the most varied views you’d get anywhere in Utah.
It’s a peak that teaches how a little change in position can bring a big change in perspective. And with so other few hikers there, it’s easier to appreciate this lesson.