Peak 8,258ft P300
Racetrack BM P1K
Currant Creek Peak P1K
Bald Knoll P300
Heber Mountain P500

Tue, Aug 30, 2022
Bald Knoll
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 GPX


I left Steamboat Springs early in the morning to begin my drive back to California with plans to spend 3-4 days peakbagging on the way. Today, my route west across Colorado and Utah would largely follow US40 between Steamboat and Strawberry Valley. I had identified a couple of P1Ks over 10,000ft in the Uinta National Forest north of Strawberry Valley that would give me an opportunity to explore some Forest roads and tag a handful of peaks along the way. The area is very popular for camping and OHV travel in the summertime. The main Forest road I followed was well-graded and plied by motorhomes and vehicles of all descriptions. In the spirit of "Land of Many Uses," the area is heavily grazed and sees some logging, too.

Peak 8,258ft

This is a minor summit immediately adjacent to Strawberry Reservoir on its NE side, just off US40. A dirt spur road from the highway goes a short distance east before abruptly ending on the south side of the peak - sort of. A USFS sign prohibiting motor vehicles has been knocked over and evidence suggests that some folks have managed to drive over the deterent dirt piles to drive further east up the Coal Canyon drainage. This offers no advantage to reaching Peak 8,258ft, so I simply parked before the fallen sign. It takes less than 20min to hike up the grass and low brush slopes to the open summit, using an old utility road to start, then cross-country. There is a benchmark to be found, and fine views overlooking the national forest to the north and east, the large reservoir to the south and west. Racetrack BM can be seen prominently to the northwest.

Racetrack BM

I got back on US40 and drove northwest for a few miles to the turnoff to Coop Creek Rd. This excellent gravel road runs north and northwest through the forest for more than 20mi to Heber City, signs indicating the road is open July through October. I would travel its length over the course of the day. I drove 6-7mi up the main road to a junction with the rough FR245 where I turned off. This road is signed for Jeeps and OHVs and they're not kidding. Rough, rocky and encroaching brush made it challenging. There used to be a fork off this OHV road going to the summit, but I found that fenced off when I got to the junction south of the summit. I then backtracked to the west side of the peak where I'd seen a very steep spur forking north to climb to the summit ridgeline. This spur is not shown on the topo map, but it worked nicely to gain an extra couple hundred feet of elevation. From where I parked, the summit was about half a mile to the southeast with less than 400ft of gain. Less than 15min of easy walking using cow paths led to the summit. A small pile of rocks marks the highpoint where the expected benchmark is found. No trees along the summit ridge, so open views in all directions.

Currant Creek Peak

I drove back down to the gravel road, then north towards Currant Creek Peak, another P1K. FR237 forks southwest and south off the gravel thoroughfare. Lots of folks camped along this spur. It took about 40min to drive between trailheads. For Currant Creek Peak, I was parked about half a mile to the east at the end of the spur. Cow trails helped some, but the cross-country travel is not difficult through a mix of forest and grass slopes. 25min saw me to the summit where a small telecom installation is found. There is also a benchmark from 1962, and views open due to a lack of trees on the summit ridge. I took a steeper but more direct route on the way back, slightly faster but not by much.

Bald Knoll

These last two summits were quick additions when I found I had a few more hours of daylight. Back on the main road, I continued north, slowed while a herd of sheep made there way across it. FR94 forks to the west, passing Bald Knoll on its south side. A Jeep track is shown on the topo map going to the summit, but this has been gated off about 3/4mi southeast of the summit at its junction with FR94. It is an easy walk to follow the old road which still sees some vehicle traffic since the signed gate was unlocked. It took only 20min to reach the summit on foot where an odd, red & white tower resides atop the benchmark. Nice views here, too.

Heber Mountain

This last summit is found a few miles ENE of Bald Knob. Just off the main road, a spur road heading north towards Heber Mtn is signed for No Motor Vehicles, but blocked only by a log across the road. It appears to still see regular use, but I dutifully left the Jeep by the main road and walked the mile distance north to the summit. A combination of road, animal trails and cross-country got me to the summit in 30min, the longest hike of the day, though that isn't saying much. I was surprised to find a little-used road adjacent to the summit coming from the north. Seems there is a drive-up route from that direction I didn't know about. That happens sometimes when you're winging it as you go.

It was 5p when I finished up back at the Jeep. I showered nearby, then drove down to Heber City where I got dinner and wifi, then west up into the Wasatch Range where I planned to hike the next few days. I found a quiet little spot off Cascade Springs Dr (paved FR114) where I spent the night...


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For more information see these SummitPost pages: Racetrack BM - Currant Creek Peak - Bald Knoll

This page last updated: Mon Oct 31 12:42:39 2022
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