Deseret Peak
After spending three nights in Salt Lake City, Utah, I headed west on 6 August 2013 to climb Deseret Peak in the Stansbury Mountains.  The summit is easily accessed by two good trails which can be combined to make a loop.  I had previously stayed at the campground near the trailhead at the end of South Willow Creek road, but on that occasion, poor weather prompted me to abandon an attempt at climbing the peak.  This time, the weather appeared to be more cooperative, and I quickly settled into a comfortable pace hiking up the well-maintained trail along Mill Fork (creek).  The trail climbs steadily up to a saddle before turning right at a junction and following the east ridge of Deseret Peak all the way up to the summit.  Other than sharing the trail briefly with a couple of pleasant ladies from Salt Lake City, my ascent was largely uneventful.

Upon reaching the summit, I spotted two people coming up the north ridge presumably via the alternate Pockets Fork-Dry Lake Fork approach.  Wearing uniforms, the young man and woman were carrying a trundle wheel (used for measuring distances) which I thought was a bit odd in this age of GPS devices.  I first assumed that they were forest rangers because of the uniforms, but when the young woman asked me if they were standing on the summit of Deseret Peak, I started to have doubts.  The two were actually summer employees for a researcher who, for some reason, was interested in measuring trail distances in the area.  Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to probe them further regarding the research or to even ask what they got paid (what a great summer job, I thought).  They stopped for only a few minutes at the summit before continuing down the trail that I came up.

Shortly after the aforementioned ladies arrived at the summit, I started down the north ridge.  Some sections of trail here are extremely steep, and in one spot, it disappears briefly.  After bypassing an obvious col and then climbing and contouring around a ridge to a second col, the trail finally plunges down the Pockets Fork drainage before traversing over to the Dry Lake Fork drainage.  Ultimately, the trail rejoins the original one from the trailhead to complete the loop.  Other than the little bit of route-finding where the trail disappears, I encountered few difficulties on descent.  Upon leaving the Deseret Peak Wilderness, I continued driving westward and eventually checked into a motel in Wendover, an interesting town that straddles the border between Utah and Nevada.
The road is 2WD all the way to the trailhead! In this view from South Willow Creek road, Deseret Peak stands above all other surrounding peaks.
Now it looks more like a big peak! From a clearing near Mill Fork, the northeast face of Deseret Peak looks brilliant in the morning sun.
It's a gentle though steady climb going up this way. The trees begin to thin out in upper Mill Fork basin.
This butterfly had no effect on me! A butterfly sucks nectar from a thistle flower.
Very striking from this angle. These two mountains are unofficially known as "South and North Willow Peaks".
Good place for a break! This is looking up the east ridge of Deseret Peak from the saddle.
Very easy hiking up the east ridge! In contrast to the northeast face, the south slopes of Deseret Peak are relatively tame.
I nearly stepped in some dog poop in this photo! Sonny stands on the 3353-metre summit of Deseret Peak.
At first, I thought it was "Victory Mountain". Close enough, I guess! At left to the south is Vickory Mountain.
Need some salt? Beyond the Cedar Mountains to the west is the Great Salt Lake Desert.
There are some interesting articles on the Internet regarding swimming in the Great Salt Lake. The Mill Fork basin is partly visible to the east.  At far left in the distance is the Great Salt Lake.
They don't look nearly as striking from Deseret Peak's summit. To the north are "South and North Willow Peaks".

I love this view with the Great Salt Lake at distant right.

Sonny descends the north ridge of Deseret Peak.

Why am I still climbing upward?? Here is the col below "South Willow Peak".
Those Indian Paintbrushes sure stand out! From the col, the trail drops steeply into Pockets Fork basin.  The Great Salt Lake is visible in the distance.
Dry Lake Fork basin is not as dry as it looks! The northeast face of Deseret Peak towers over Dry Lake Fork basin.
A very enjoyable outing! Total Distance:  ~11.0 kilometres
Round-Trip Time:  6 hours 44 minutes
Net Elevation Gain:  1103 metres