For one last hurrah before the kids went back to school, my family and I went camping last weekend in Fishlake National Forest near UM Creek. I chose the location based on several peaks I wanted to hike in the area. We rode in comfort in our new F-250, though with the 7.6 MPG the truck got while towing the trailer, I’m questioning the decision to go with a gas engine. The 6.8L V10 pulled harder than my old 7.3L V8 diesel, and the weight distribution hitch with sway control that I installed really smoothed out the ride. We got to our planned camping area and found most of the spots full of unoccupied trailers, which makes me feel not-very-sorry for those who leave their RVs during the week to be vandalized or set afire. After passing about a dozen such occupied yet uninhabited sites, we found one that was available and set up camp. I grilled some steak and then sliced it up for sandwiches, then we enjoyed an evening around the fire in perfect weather and with no mosquitoes.
The following morning I took the dogs for a hike to Mount Terrill, leaving Traci and the two boys at camp. From my research it appeared that, however infrequently, most people hike the peak from UM Pass. Poking around in Google Earth I found an easier route from the northwest. I was surprised to find the road along Sevenmile Creek paved. When I last drove it in 2011 it was a gravel road, and even in the most recent Google Earth imagery it’s not paved. The hike ended up being pretty mellow. For most of the distance there were game trails–mostly elk judging by the tracks and droppings. There were ups-and-downs as I followed a ridgeline, including a 300′ elevation loss before the final 550′ climb to the summit.
At the summit were several large cairns and shelters, in addition to a solar-powered radio tower of some sort. With no road leading to the summit, the building and equipment must have been helicoptered in. I found a summit register in the cairn nearest the survey marker at the high point, and though most of the signatures inside were from only the past couple of years, one page dated back to 1993. That shouldn’t seem all that old, but it was a year before I graduated from high school more than half of my life ago. From the summit I could see my camp trailer parked nearly five miles away to the southeast. There was also a wonderful view of the Wasatch Plateau far to the north-northeast.
I’d kept the dogs on-leash for the hike to the summit, but I let them off for much of the hike down. They even managed to find a snow drift to cool off on below the ridge we were descending. We got back to the truck and I gave the dogs a big bowl of water before hitting the road. The total hiking distance had been 4.4 miles with a little over 700′ elevation difference between my parking spot and the summit (though it was considerably more factoring in the ups-and-downs along the ridgeline).
Back at camp I went for a short hike with Bradley to explore the aspen stands all around camp, and we found a carving in a quakie dating to the year 1900. Dinner that evening consisted of bratwurst and corn on the cob, followed by s’mores. We turned in early in anticipation of summiting Mount Marvine the next day…