Weekend Backpacker: Salt Lake City
Located about 200 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, the House Range is a unique combination of greasewood desert, wetlands, and rocky cliffs.
While the area is hot, dry, and rocky, Notch Peak will reward your effort to scale its 9,700 feet with sweeping vistas of the Tule Valley and the deserts west of Salt Lake City and into Nevada.
Drive as far as you can up Sawtooth Canyon along dirt and gravel backcountry roads. As soon as you are unable to drive anymore, park your vehicle and begin hiking. The terrain is rocky and open, with no water available nearby; be sure to bring plenty of your own. This is a strenuous hike over layered gray and white limestone rock. Allow four hours for the ascent and about the same for the descent. Once at the top, you can stand on the west edge of Notch Peak and overlook a 2,000-foot vertical drop from a cliff. Because there is no marked trail, you should take a topo map. Hiking during the summer months is not smart.
If you are feeling adventurous, head back to Highway 6/50 and in to the Tule Valley. At 4,422 feet, this flat valley is home to about 20 warm water springs, wetlands, and a variety of water birds.
Take Highway 6/50 west from Delta toward Nevada. At mile marker 46, take the gravel road that goes north for five miles along to Miller Canyon road. FollowMiller Canyon another five miles to Sawtooth Canyon and turn left. Continue driving about another two miles past an old stone cabin until you can't drive anymore.
Wilderness camping is permitted anywhere.
USGS maps or Bureau of Land Management maps are about $7 and can be purchased from the BLM office in Fillmore.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication