Willard Peak

Weber County High Point

October 2, 2005

I chose to take the easy route to Willard for a couple of reasons.  One was a matter of time, the hike from Liberty is around 18 miles roundtrip and would be a very long day. Two, by taking the route from Mantua I convinced my son Joel to go with me.  This route requires about a 12 mile scramble on ATVs and that could have had something to do with Joel's willingness.

Joel lives in North Ogden, and had a homeowners meeting to attend at 9:00, so I didn't leave Kamas until about then.  I picked him up around 10:30 and we drove to to Brigham City and then to Mantua.  If you follow Main Street in Mantua to the south you will end up on Willard Peak Road.  It takes you south through some fields where there is a good parking area where we unloaded.  From there the road is paved for about another half mile, then it becomes gravel and eventually dirt. It was a great road for ATVs, but any good 4 x 4 could make it.  We even saw a coupld of kids trying it in a compact car, though I wouldn't advise that.

Following the main road for approximately 12 miles you climb steadily, though making a few descents and winding through canyons and glades. Eventually you reach a ridge top where you can view Willard Basin, which is marked with a big sign about restoration efforts.  The road traverses the basin and eventually ends at a place called Inspiration Point by the locals, but is actually the summit of Willard Mountain, not to be confused with Willard Peak.  We didn't go all the way to Inspiration, but stopped at the Wasatch Crest Trailhead where there is parking and even some picnic tables scattered in various places, mostly north of the road.  The ATV trails in this area go everywhere, though it looks like the forest service has made some effort to control them.

We parked and started hiking up the hill to the south on a well-used ATV trail that was marked NO ATVs with a sign that had been shot to pieces.  The climb up the hill is fairly steep, but short and you soon arrive at a small pond that doesn't seem to have a name but is well used by campers and hikers. From here you can follow an ATV track around to the left and then up the hill to the saddle, or you can follow a switchback trail to the saddle.  We started up the trail, then went straight up the hill and caught the ATV track.  We followed it the last hundred feet, and just below the saddle the trail to Willard Peak cuts off to the left. It is a good trail and you can follow it up the ridge, almost to the top. the last hundred feet or so is mostly scrambling over the rocky scree.  It's .54 miles as the crow flies from where we left the ATVs to the peak. I would put the hile at around 3/4 to one mile. You gain approximately 1300 feet in elevation.

The view from the peak is incredible.  Directly to the south you can see Ben Lomond Peak and most of Ogden, the Salt Lake Valley and stretching out to the west is the Great Salt Lake.  Brigham City and Cache Valley are spread to the north, PineView reservoir and the Huntsville area are to the east.  Just below us to the west is the Wasatch Crest Trail which traverses the ridge to the south and leads to Ben Lomond Peak and places beyond.   We found a registry inside a Kool-ade plastic bottle tucked into a rockpile near the highest pinnacle, and signed in.  We took some photos, then decided to take a different route back.  We had a brief glimpse of a Mountain Goat with a Kid just before reaching the summit, and wanted to see if we could get another look and perhaps some photos.  We scrambled down a rocky chute to the west, and about a hundred feet down caught a view of some goats to the south.  Upon further investigation we discovered a herd of around 30 goats. they weren't threatened by us and we took a lot of photos before they wandered further south.  We cut around the ridge to the north and back to the saddle, where we descended to our ATVs.

The trip back was quick, except for stopping to visit with a few others on the road. there was a lot of traffic, including some crazy kids on racing ATVs trying to see how dangerously they could ride and how much dust they could make.  We arrived back at the truck at around 3:15. I was back in kamas by 5:30.



Ready to leave the parking area


Colors south of Mantua


Looking toward Pineview


Beauty in the hills


Willard Basin conservation sign


View of Willard Basin


The trailhead


On the ridge above the pond


Looking back at Willard Mountain


Looking west across Willard Bay


Joel and I at the summit


 Another look toward Pineview


On highest point in Weber County


Down the chute looking for goates


Goats south of Willard Peak


Ben Lomond Peak (right) & Willard Peak (left) from I-15 inOgden

Statistics

 Elevation

Lattitude

Longitude

Hike Time

Difficulty

Elevation Gain / Total

9,764

N 41-22.975 

W 111-58.480 

1.5 hours 

2 /10

1,350' 

 

 USGS Survey Map, Mantua Quad