We wrote about our New Year’s goal a few weeks ago and we are on our way to make it happen. Kalina’s plan is to climb 26 peaks this year for her 26th year and and I plan on doing at least 16 of those. We rarely do them together and I’m letting her take the lead in getting the peaks done first. While most of our peaks will be in Utah because those re closest, we have plans to tackle a peak in Oregon together in the spring. Last week, we celebrated our first peak, Church Fork Peak in Millcreek Canyon, Utah.
|The peak is just past the trees.|
Though considered a minor peak in the Wasatch Mountains, Church Fork Peak is anything but easy in the winter. At an elevation of 8306 feet, I still managed to get altitude sickness on my first attempt. Kalina had no problem. With her friends, they cut the trail for me on my days later attempt.
The best peak access is from the Burch Hollow Trail and though the trail gets plenty of traffic during the winter making winter boots and microspikes sufficient, the turnoff to the peak will require snowshoes.
The peak is about 3.5 miles from the parking area for a total of 7 miles round trip. It’s much easier to access during the spring and summer when the snow melts but makes a beautiful winter hike.
With an elevation gain of about 2300 feet, be prepared for a decent climb.
|View of surrounding peaks from the peak|
While it’s tempting to start at the Church Fork Trailhead, don’t. The Burch Hollow trailhead is shorter. and worth parking up the canyon a little higher. The parking lot is 3.6 miles past the pay booth on the north side of the road and the trailhead is well marked with a sign. Follow the Pipeline trail until the trail turns to a sharp right which takes you up the ridge line.
We made a left at the little Burch Hollow Trail sign about a mile and a half up the trail. It’s a little hard to see. Also, the trail may or may not be packed down here so unless your familiar with the area, I wouldn’t attempt this trail alone as not a lot of people make the turn. This is where snowshoes become necessary.