Mount Peale

  • Mount Peale
  • 3877 m
  • Primary factor 1878 m
  • Location: North 38:26.309, W109:13.752 (GPS at the summit)
  • Utah, USA
  • Difficulty: YDS class 2
  • Climbed: July 21, 2008


How to get there: A good point of reference is the city of Moab, south on I-70 in Utah. From the CityMarket in the center of Moab, head south on Hwy. 191 for 21.7 miles and locate the junction with Hwy. 46 going left. Get onto Hwy. 46 and measure from this point. At mile 8.8, you are in La Sal, continue along Hwy. 46. At mile 12.5, pay attention and fork left onto a dirt road, named "Two Mile Rd." You shall cross exactly 4 cattleguards before making a left turn. Go straight at mile 14, then turn left at mile 14.4, just after crossing cattleguard number 4. This dirt road is in very good condition and suitable for any normal passenger car. At mile 16.5, the road crosses the main creek coming down from the mountains above, this may or may not be a problem depending on how much water the creek carries. The road continues to climb the slopes on the other side of the creek and at mile 20.4 you should keep left on the main road, a smaller road goes right here. At mile 20.8, you arrive at a new fork where a 4WD road goes right. This is the trailhead, you may park on grass off the road right here. This location is N38:25.222, W109:14.410, elevation 3048 meter. 4WD vehicles may proceed up this road to the location where a cairned trail heads right, see the description below.
Route description: From the trailhead, follow the 4WD road into and up the general drainage. The road is pleasant to walk as it runs through groves of aspen as well as crossing open meadows. In about 30 minutes you will see that the road makes a sharp left turn and runs up a pretty steep hill in front of you. Before getting all the way there, look carefully to find a small cairn on the right hand side of the road. This location is N38:25.955, W109:14.590, elevation about 3234 meter.
This cairn is the first leading the way along a nice trail that will get you to the bottom of the couloir. The trail is marked with cairns all the way, pause and look around if you loose the trail/cairns for a brief moment. The trail leads you up on the right hand side of the couloir. This location is N38:26.172, W109:14.432, elevation about 3366 meter. Ascend the couloir, it may be snow-filled which will make both your ascent and descent a bit easier. On July 21st. 2008, the snow extended for about half the distance. You top out in a nice col at location N38:26.626, W109:14.321, elevation about 3706 meter. From here, turn right and traverse slightly below the ridge, you will quickly find a pretty good climbers trail that runs all the way to the summit.
I did this hike with my son Pål Jørgen. The weather was rather cloudy when we started hiking at 0630. We stayed in Mount Peale Lodge, a small, family run place that is located just about 1.5 miles further along Hwy. 46 (that is, continue on Hwy. 46 instead of forking left as described above). We carried our ice axes in case the snow in the couloir should be hard/steep, however, the slope was rather gentle and we could easily walk up the snow. We therefore left our axes as well as one pair of crampons at the bottom of the snow. We topped out in the col around 0715 and arrived at the summit 30 minutes later at 0745.
The views were good, but the sky was still pretty cloudy. We drank some water and rested, no summit register to be seen. Leaving after 15 minutes, it took us just 1:15 to return to the car at the trailhead. By then, the entire mountain was engulfed by a big cloud. A very nice and quite easy morning climb had come to an end.