If you come to the desert state of Utah expecting to see a flat and barren landscape, you will be in for a surprise – Utah is undeniably mountain territory and every single one of Utah’s 29 counties boasts several mountains. In fact, Utah is home to no less than 84 Prominence Peaks, towering at least 2,000 feet over the surrounding terrain. Utah’s beautiful and unusual mountains offer great hiking as well as many opportunities for wildlife watching, rock climbing, mountain biking, and backcountry camping. In winter, many of these mountains are covered in snow and offer good backcountry skiing and snowboarding. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
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Mount Timpanogos (aka Mt. Timp) is the second highest and the most dominant mountain in the Wasatch range, standing guard over the Provo, Orem, and Pleasant Grove areas, approximately 45 miles south of Salt Lake City. The mountain is very popular with outdoor enthusiasts and there are three trails (varying from 12 to 16 miles) for hikers to choose from, which will take you to the summit and back. Mount Timp is home to the only true glacier in Utah, and in spring and fall many climbers take the challenge to reach the summit via the glacier route using ice axes and crampons. You will see a variety of wildlife, including moose, mountain goat, deer, and pika. Campers can pitch a tent at the Timpooneke Campground, but motorhomes and trailers are discouraged on the steep and winding Alpine Highway.
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Bountiful Peak is one of the highest points of the striking Northern Wasatch Range and, along with several other mountains in the area, it reaches an altitude of over 9,000 feet. Much of the mountain is bisected by canyons and surrounded by rugged cliffs, making it an ideal destination for avid hikers and scramblers. You can approach the summit along four different trails, each of which has its own appeal. If you are planning to hike in winter, Parrish Creek is the recommended route, while in spring and summer hikers will get to see up to four waterfalls if they choose the scenic Davis Creek route. Unlike many other scenic peaks, you can drive almost all the way to the top of Bountiful Peak, which is a great treat for non-hikers.
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3.Utah Mountains: Deseret Peak
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Beautiful Deseret Peak is the highest summit in the Stansbury Mountain Range (11,031 feet) in the Deseret Peak Wilderness in western Utah. The mountain attracts a large number of hikers each year and there are several trails to be explored. Many visitors use the South Willow Creek route to reach the summit and return along the same route (an 8-mile roundtrip), but the best way to appreciate the entire scenic mountain is to do a loop hike, returning via the Pockets Fork and Dry Lake Fork trails. If you want more of a challenge, you can try the Twin Couloirs snow/ski route. There are six campgrounds in the area and the best time to hike Deseret Peak is between Memorial Day and late October.
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4.Mountains in Utah: Box Elder Peak
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You will find Box Elder Peak in the Wellsville Mountains of northern Utah, where it towers over the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. The mountain is a popular destination for walking, hiking, and bird watching, and people come from near and far for excellent raptor sightings, including hawks, golden eagles, and peregrine falcons. Of the three popular hiking trails, the 4.5-mile Rattlesnake Trail is the most direct route to the summit, followed by the Coldwater Canyon Trail at 5.7 miles and the Deep Canyon Trail at 7.4 miles. If you fancy a snow climb, May is the best time to tackle Box Elder Peak, while September and October offer the added attraction of beautiful fall foliage. There are no campgrounds in the area, but respectful backcountry camping is allowed.
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5.Utah Mountains: Canaan Mountain
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Located south of Zion National Park in southern Utah, Canaan Mountain forms a rugged escarpment surrounded by steep cliffs on all sides. Hikers can choose from three main routes to reach the summit, all of which are between 9 and 10 miles long and can be combined to form a loop trail. However, hiking Canaan Mountain is considered to be an adventurous expedition where good route-finding skills are required and you should not underestimate the relatively short distance. If you plan to reach the summit you are advised to treat this as a 2-day backpacking hike. Day hikers generally choose the 11-mile Squirrel Canyon to Water Canyon Loop or the 14-mile Water Canyon to Eagle Crags Thru-hike. There are two campgrounds in Zion National Park and the Water Canyon Trailhead offers primitive camping.
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6.Mountains in Utah: Gunsight Peak
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Gunsight Peak is one of the highest peaks in the Clarkston Mountains, located between Gilbert’s Peak and Kings Peak in northern Utah, and is clearly visible to anyone driving along the I-15. If you enjoy exploring the path less travelled, you will love hiking Gunsight Peak – much of the approach to the peak is located on private land and very few people even know about this brilliant hike. Visitors can choose from two routes to the summit, either approaching via the Henry’s Fork Trailhead (8 miles one way) or the Winter Canyon Route, which is considerably shorter at 5 miles one way. If you have the time and energy, Gunsight Peak can be climbed along with Gilbert’s Peak and King’s Peak. Campers can pitch their tent at the Henry’s Fork Campground.
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Towering to a massive 13,527 feet above sea level, King’s Peak is the highest peak in Utah, proudly towering over Duchesne County in the High Uintas Wilderness Area. The mountain regularly attracts walkers, hikers, and backpackers and has recently been named one of the best trails in the world by National Geographic. To reach the summit, you will face a strenuous but extremely scenic 28-mile hike – most people bring along a tent and spend a memorable night or two under the stars alongside one of the lakes in the Henry’s Fork Basin. If you’re not up to summiting the mountain, there is a variety of shorter hiking trails starting at the Henry’s Fork Campground that will lead you to picturesque lakes where you can go fishing or kayaking.
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Visually striking, Mount Magog is one of the highest peaks in the Bear Mountain Range in northeastern Utah and attracts scramblers and hikers who are looking for a path less travelled. Campers can base themselves at either the Upper or Lower Canyon Campgrounds or the Spring Hollow Campground or bring along a backpack and do some backcountry primitive camping along the way. Most hikers start their ascent along the Southwest Ridge along the Tony Grove Trailhead in Logan Canyon, but you can also use South Ridge Route or combine the two routes for a loop trail. You can look forward to an exhilarating and scenic hike that requires some full-on rock climbing near the summit.
9.Utah Mountains: Thayne Peak
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Located in the central Wasatch Mountains above Salt Lake City, Thayne Peak and nearby Thayne Canyon offer locals and visitors a picturesque mountain and forest setting for walking, hiking, and trail running. Hiking is at its best from May to October and there is a choice of trails that will reward you with exceptional views from the summit. You can start your hike at the Desolation Trailhead in Millcreek Canyon and then choose the Thayne Canyon Trail (2.75 miles to the summit) or the Desolation Trail (4.75 miles to the summit) or combine the two to make a loop trail. Thayne Peak can be hiked all year round, but you will probably need snowshoes in winter, when the peak is covered in snow.
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10.Utah Mountains: Navajo Mountain
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Navajo Mountain rises majestically above Lake Powell in the Navajo Indian Reservation in southeastern Utah to reach a very respectable 10,388 feet above sea level. The enormous whale-shaped mountain is considered to be a sacred site to the Navajo and hiking is not allowed. However, you can still explore the natural beauty of Navajo Mountain by going on a Navajo-guided tour of fascinating Antelope Canyon and the Upper Part of East Waterholes. You can also go on a boat trip on Lake Powel and then follow the 1-mile Rainbow Bridge Trail to see the world’s highest natural bridge. If you plan to do any camping, you should arrange a permit in advance.
11.Mountains Near Me: Mount Gog
Although it may be a little less impressive than its neighbor Mount Magog, Mount Gog is one of the highest peaks in the Bear River Mountains and is well worth a visit. If you would like to spend a few nights exploring the mountain, your closest campsite is at White Pine Lake, and there are several more campgrounds along the Logan Canyon Scenic Byway. Starting at the Tony Grove Trailhead, you can easily access the summit along the 5-mile Southwest Ridge Trail and then continue along the Gog to Naomi Traverse or the Gog to Magog Traverse if you fancy a longer hike – all three can be explored in a day. The views from the summits will more than reward you for your efforts.
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12.Mountains in Utah: Granite Peak
You can find the rugged and beautiful Granite Peak roughly 20 miles west of Beaver, Utah, near the small town of Milford. Granite Peak forms part of the Mineral Range, which encompasses boulders, pinnacles, and marvelous granite spires, which form an unbeatable playground for anyone interested in hiking, rock climbing, bouldering, or simply exploring. Dotted between the cedars, pines, and spruces, you will find pumice mines and quarries and an abundance of nooks and crannies just waiting to be discovered. You can visit Granite Peak all year round but a high-clearance vehicle is a good idea for crossing streams in spring and you will need a longer hike-in due to snow in winter; summer can be very hot, so fall is probably the best time to fully enjoy the mountain.
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13.Mountains Near Me: Ben Lomond
Ben Lomond is a vast, pyramid-shaped mountain in the Northern Wasatch Range that rises prominently above the city of Ogden. Ben Lomond got its name from early Scottish immigrants and although it is not quite as tall as Willard Peak, it is definitely the best-known mountain in the area and attracts many outdoor enthusiasts each year, who come to walk, hike, mountain bike, scramble, and ski. You can approach the summit of Ben Lomond along one of four popular trails, of which the Willard Basin is the shortest (but involves a long drive over rough terrain to reach the trailhead). There are several campgrounds in the Ogden Area and backcountry camping is allowed. Downhill and cross-country skiing and snowboarding are popular winter activities.
14.Utah Mountains: Cedar Benchmark
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Cedar Benchmark (aka Cedar Mountain Highpoint) is the highest peak in the Cedar Mountain Range, which is located in the newly proclaimed Cedar Mountain Wilderness west of Salt Lake City. You can look forward to some unique sightings when you explore Cedar Benchmark, including a 250-strong herd of wild horses, a variety of other wildlife, and large areas of pure white salt flats, which you can view from the summit. There are a couple of ways to approach the peak and the access rating for hikers is considered to be 2 to 3, but the road leading to the trailhead is in pretty bad shape and should only be attempted by four-wheel drive vehicles. There are no campgrounds in the wilderness area, but backcountry camping is allowed.
15.Utah Mountains: Wilson Peak
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Reaching a lofty 13,060 feet, Wilson Peak is one of the highest mountain peaks in Utah and is situated in what is arguably one of the most superb terrains in the state. Wilson Peak rises rather majestically above the Red Castle Lakes area in the High Uintas Wilderness Area, offering outdoor enthusiasts a beautiful backdrop for walking, hiking, scrambling, and backcountry camping. One of the beauties of hiking to the top of Wilson Peak is its remoteness and solitude – a round trip hike is close to 30 miles and when you stand at the summit it’s just you and the magnificent views with not a road or person in sight. Visitors who are not up to making the long hike to the summit can enjoy shorter hikes and walks or trout fishing in the lakes.
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16.Mountains Near Me: Doubletop Mountain
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Doubletop Mountain is named for its distinctive twin peaks, which are sharply divided by a deep gun sight-shaped cleft. Located in the Bear River Range in northern Utah, the mountain offers excellent hiking and is less frequented than nearby Naomi Peak, which is good news for those who like their solitude. The hike to the top is roughly 6 miles, varying slightly depending on which trail you follow – the most direct route is along Steep Hollow. Once you reach the summit and have enjoyed the sweeping views, you have the option of retracing your steps or returning via the Crescent Lake Canyon Descent, which is very scenic.
17.Mountains in Utah: East Lovenia
East Lovenia holds the distinction of being the most technically difficult member of the Utah 13ers to climb, even though it has the lowest altitude. East Lovenia is located in the Uinta Mountains and offers a challenging day out for hikers and scramblers. One of the main challenges of climbing East Lovenia is the distance from the nearest road (a 25-mile round trip) and the loose scree that you will have to navigate at higher altitudes. Approach roads are generally impassable in winter and it is recommended that you only attempt reaching the summit between July and August. It is possible to combine the summits of East Lovenia and Mount Lovenia in a single hike – most people would want to cover the distance over two days, including a night of primitive camping.
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Located close to Pleasant Grove in Utah County, Mahogany Mountain reaches a very respectable 9,000-foot elevation, but is often overlooked in the landscape due to being somewhat overshadowed by Mount Timpanogos, which lies just behind it. Mahogany Mountain offers good year-round hiking along several trails and reaching the summit will reward you with some of the finest views in the state. The Grove Creek Trail starts close to suburban Pleasant Grove and there is another route to the summit via North Peak Trail, which is a moderate and pretty route that is just less than a 3-mile round-trip – suitable for families. Both trails, combined with other sub-trails, are also frequented by mountain bikers.
19.Mountains in Utah: Mount Jardine
Lying in the southern part of the Bear River Range, Mount Jardine is one of the highest peaks in this section of the range (9,566 feet) and attracts a variety of outdoor enthusiasts all year round. There are three moderate routes you can choose from to reach the summit, all of which are around 6 miles one way. The Green Canyon route is the most popular and is used by hikers, skiers, snow-shoers, and mountain bikers. The Birch Canyon route is the most scenic and requires some scrambling near the summit. Be sure not to miss the famous Jardine Juniper Tree, the oldest tree in Utah – the 10-mile Jardine Juniper Trail is suitable for hiking, mountain biking, and trail running and can also be used by dogs and horses.
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20.Mountains Near Me: Robert’s Horn
Robert’s Horn is a popular summit on Mount Timpanogos, which reaches a dramatic elevation of 10,993 feet, less than 1,000 feet short of the highest point of the massive. If it’s dramatic scenery you are after, you will find that hiking Robert’s Horn is one of the most rewarding hikes in Utah. The peak rises majestically above the beautiful Emerald Lake area and can be reached along the relatively easy Aspen Grove Trail or Timpooneke Trail. If you are looking for more of a challenge, there are more rugged routes suitable for ice climbing and scrambling. Campers can set up a basecamp at the Timpooneke Campground or Mt. Timpanogos Campground or enjoy a night of primitive camping near Emerald Lake.
21.Mountains in Utah: Howell Peak
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Howell Peak is located in a very remote area of the House Range in the western Utah Desert, 180 miles from Salt Lake City. Howell Peak attracts very few visitors, which is a boon to those who long for peace and tranquility and the uncanny silence that comes with this beautiful desert location. Hikers can get fairly close to the start of the trail by car and there are several spots along the route to the peak where you can enjoy a night of primitive camping under the wide desert skies. Howell Peak is best explored between fall and the end of spring as the high summer temperatures make hiking extremely unpleasant. Nearby attractions you might like to explore include the U-DIG Fossil Quarry and Council Cave.
22.Mountains Near Me: Delano Peak
Delano Peak is the tallest peak in the Tushar Mountains and straddles the Beaver/Piute county border in south-central Utah. Although the mountain reaches a very respectable altitude of 12,000 feet, it is easy to reach the summit – the 4.8-mile out and back trail is considered moderate and the views from the summit are exceptionally good. Along the way you can expect to see lots of wildflowers (in season) and mountain goats. Delano Peak can be explored all year round and in winter you can try the route with snowshoes and have a go at some great backcountry skiing and snow-boarding. The route along Big John Flat has camping spots and there is a proper campground at Mahogany Cove.
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23.Mountains Near Me: The Wickiup
The Wickiup is located in the San Rafael Swell area of Utah and gets its name from the Native American word for a dwelling or wigwam, which has a very similar shape to this unique mountain. At just 6,000 feet, the Wickiup is nowhere close to being one of Utah’s tallest mountains but it is certainly one of the most interesting and includes some of the oldest geological rock formations in the state. You can drive to the base of the trail with a four-wheel drive (provided the road is not wet or snowy) and the distance to the summit is about 6 miles one way. The Wickiup is not the easiest mountain to climb due to lots of loose and brittle rock and is not recommended for beginners.
24.Mountains in Utah: Stookey Peak
Many people have never heard of Stookey Peak, which lies in the Onaqui Mountains, well away from the more popular Utah hiking areas. Hikers and scramblers who are looking for a route-finding challenge will enjoy taking on Stookey Peak as there is no obvious trail and you need to find your own way to the summit. You can expect to see some of the wild horses, who call the mountain home – a pair of binoculars might come in handy. You can expect quite a steep cross-country expedition as you will gain over 2,000 feet in elevation over just 1 mile, so be sure to bring plenty of water.
25.Mountains Near Me: Mexican Hat
Mexican Hat is an intriguing sombrero-shaped rock made up of a cap rock balanced on a mesa, located about 3 miles from a village of the same name west of Bluff in Utah. Hiking and climbing Mexican Hat is a great adventure rather than a walk in the park and is popular with scramblers, climbers, and adventurous hikers. From the parking lot, it is an easy hike up to the base of the hat – you can choose to approach from any direction. Once you reach the rock, you will have to choose between the A1 Bandito Route, where you will use bolts to assist your climb to the top of the rock (this is the most popular route), or the more challenging natural A2R Royal Robbins Route. Either way, climbing Mexican Hat should feature on every rock-climbers wish-list.
25 of the Most Beautiful Mountains in Utah
- Mount Timpanogos, Photo: Courtesy of walkingarizona - Fotolia.com
- Bountiful Peak, Photo: Courtesy of Sergio Martínez - Fotolia.com
- Utah Mountains: Deseret Peak, Photo: Courtesy of kazanovskyiphoto - Fotolia.com
- Mountains in Utah: Box Elder Peak, Photo: Courtesy of Jarin - Fotolia.com
- Utah Mountains: Canaan Mountain, Photo: Courtesy of schankz - Fotolia.com
- Mountains in Utah: Gunsight Peak, Photo: Courtesy of rruntsch - Fotolia.com
- King’s Peak, Photo: Courtesy of TravelStrategy - Fotolia.com
- Mount Magog, Photo: Courtesy of Maksim Smirnov - Fotolia.com
- Utah Mountains: Thayne Peak, Photo: Courtesy of Nataliia Makarova - Fotolia.com
- Utah Mountains: Navajo Mountain, Photo: Courtesy of portishead5 - Fotolia.com
- Mountains Near Me: Mount Gog, Photo: nahhan/stock.adobe.com
- Mountains in Utah: Granite Peak, Photo: mumemories/stock.adobe.com
- Mountains Near Me: Ben Lomond, Photo: Shawn/stock.adobe.com
- Utah Mountains: Cedar Benchmark, Photo: New Africa/stock.adobe.com
- Utah Mountains: Wilson Peak, Photo: Taylored Photos/stock.adobe.com
- Mountains Near Me: Doubletop Mountain, Photo: Andrey Malkov/stock.adobe.com
- Mountains in Utah: East Lovenia, Photo: Mason/stock.adobe.com
- Mahogany Mountain, Photo: pinglabel/stock.adobe.com
- Mountains in Utah: Mount Jardine, Photo: 2207918/stock.adobe.com
- Mountains Near Me: Robert’s Horn, Photo: diak/stock.adobe.com
- Mountains in Utah: Howell Peak, Photo: John Nakata/stock.adobe.com
- Mountains Near Me: Delano Peak, Photo: duncanandison/stock.adobe.com
- Mountains Near Me: The Wickiup, Photo: James/stock.adobe.com
- Mountains in Utah: Stookey Peak, Photo: PatriciaDz/stock.adobe.com
- Mountains Near Me: Mexican Hat, Photo: oscity/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Prawit - Fotolia.com
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