Monday, May 21, 2018

Notch Peak-Tallest Limestone Cliff in North America

When we look off to the east, we see the profile of a mountain with a sharp drop. It's called Notch Peak, and it has about a 2,200 foot drop down its limestone face. Whoa!
It's a great spring or fall hike. My husband and I had done it many years ago, pre-kids. We decided it was time to take the kids and headed out there on April 22, 2018. We followed directions from Road Trip Ryan to get to the trailhead. It was definitely a 4WD/AWD road about 2 miles from the trailhead. We found three other vehicles parked there, including a couple camping. We got organized and started up the easy-to-follow trail.

We kept our eyes out for arches and saw three.

We saw lots of pinyon pine trees and Utah juniper. This tree had a lot of exposed wood and was really beautiful.

A few flowers were blooming like this phlox.

Everyone was still in good spirits with big smiles at this stage.

It was fairly warm. This western fence lizard even made an appearance.

We kept going up the canyon, and I was so excited when we started seeing bristlecone pines!

We reached a snowy patch and had to do some scrambling. Yep, this is the trail!

The kids liked munching on the snow.

Then it was time to come out of the canyon. This is where it got hot and the kids weren't having so much fun.

I stopped to wait for them and took some photos of Ibex playa to the south. We've camped there a couple of times.

And Sevier Lakebed, which had some water in it, to our surprise. It was a very calm day with nice reflections.

You can see how happy Desert Boy is.

Finally we reached the saddle, with fantastic views. My husband and the kids took a rest and then started up to the summit while I took a little detour to the north to check out more bristlecones.

These trees are great. I could easily spend a whole day up here visiting them.

Coming back to the saddle, I had a fantastic view of Notch Peak.

Down below is the narrow canyon that reaches the peak from the west side of the House Range.

I scampered up to the top.

And then I had to hold the camera over the edge for a photo. Woohoo! Base jumpers like to come to this 9,658 ft summit.

I went down the summit the other direction a bit to get another angle.

Meanwhile, at the top, this is what was happening.

That meant I had time for more photos!

Then it was time to get them up and get a family photo. It was such a nice day. We had packed layers, but it was so warm we didn't need any of them. We drank a lot of water.

Then it was time for the hike down, which was beautiful. But we were all getting a little tired. Round-trip this hike is about 7 miles, with a 2,700 foot elevation gain.

Finally we made it back to the trailhead and our vehicle. This is a really great hike, I definitely recommend it. But not on a hot day. Our high was about 75 degrees and we got toasty, even with some lingering snow. For another account and directions, check out Girl on a Hike blog.


jhami said...

One of my favorite spots! Worth the torture. Beautiful pictures!
I still want to camp up there :)

Narx said...

Not an easy hike. Should be rated as hard. Huge elevation gain.

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