Mount Terrill |

Fish Lake

Hiking Mount Terrill - Fish Lake Hiking Mount Terrill
Fish Lake

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments

Overview

RATING: Moderate Hike
MAPS: MOUNT TERRILL, UT

Tue

25 | 8

Wed

33 | 17

Thu

41 | 20

Fri

42 | 23

Sat

42 | 25

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SEASON: Summer, Fall
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
WATER: None.

Tue

25 | 8

Wed

33 | 17

Thu

41 | 20

Fri

42 | 23

Sat

42 | 25

View Full Weather Details
Trail from parking area. You will end up on the saddle in the middle of the photo; the boulderfield can be seen along the ridgeline to the right.

Trail from parking area. You will end up on the saddle in the middle of the photo; the boulderfield can be seen along the ridgeline to the right.

At 11,547 feet, Mount Terrill is the third highest peak on the Fish Lake Plateau behind Fish Lake Hightop and Mount Marvine. There are many routes up the mountain, most very straightforward. This is generally easy country to wander with open sagebrush slopes and small areas of trees. Though many summit via U M Pass to the south, this route from the north is very aesthetic, straightforward, easy access, and I think the best route up.

The area has some of the best fall colors in Utah, and ample primitive camping. It is an excellent place to spend a fall weekend camping. Because of high elevations, the road may not be passable until early summer most years.

Assortment of stones found along the first section of trail.

Assortment of stones found along the first section of trail.

Getting There

From Fish Lake, head east on UT-25 along Fish Lake, then on to Johnson Valley Reservoir about 6 miles past Fish Lake. Turn left here on the recently paved road (FR640) that connects Johnson Valley Reservoir and I-70 to the north. At mile marker 10 on this road, at the road summits the ridge, turn right on a dirt road that heads south (FR1240). This dirt road requires high clearance, but only in a couple of rough spots. It can easily be walked or biked if needed. There are several good primitive camping sites here just off the paved road.

Follow the dirt road south for 1.5 miles to its end at a parking area and the trailhead. Ignore the side road leaving on the left that climbs steeply near the end of the road.

The route heads left off the ridgeline along a trail to the base of the rocky gully.

The route heads left off the ridgeline along a trail to the base of the rocky gully.

Route

There is a trail that shows up on topo maps that overlaps with part of this route. However, the trail was faint at best in most places and the route described below often left the line of the old trail to take a more efficient or obvious route.

From the parking area, head east on a well-developed trail. You will drop a little elevation and then turn south. Admire the beautiful and colorful polished rocks along this section of trail and in the small washes you pass through. The trail will turns towards the south and then, In a little over a quarter mile, disappear or become very faint near a stand of trees. From here, head east towards the ridge, either heading towards the north end of the ridge or cutting to the southeast to get to a small pass (recommended), staying to the west of the forested area either way. There may be the faint appearance of a trail in places, but for the most part you will not be following a trail.

Follow the ridgeline until you get to a small boulderfield, which was marked with a large cairn in September 2020. Pick your way through the boulders, then stay close to the ridgeline, dropping just below it to the east or west to avoid dense shrubs as needed. Head towards a low pass between two small peaks, then down a ridge. You will soon see a trail cutting off to the left through a bare slope to a cobbly gully. Take this trail, then scramble up the gully and down a moderately steep boulderfield on the other side. The peak is a little over a quarter of a mile at this point and visible, though it will become obscured by trees and the low angle as you get closer. Head southeast to the peak until you reach the top.

The top is covered in thin slabs of volcanic rock that are called clinkstones due to the ringing sound they make when struck by a hammer; these rocks have been piled up into small towers and shelters. There is a communication tower and benchmark on top. Enjoy the views, particularly of Mount Marvine and Fish Lake to the south, before heading back the way you came.


Maps

Route / 3.99 miles / Elevation Range 10,692 - 11,547 ft.
Printable Maps:
Trailhead

12S 442458mE 4286757mN

N38° 43' 39" W111° 39' 43"

Head to Ridgeline Low Point

12S 442940mE 4286453mN

N38° 43' 30" W111° 39' 23"

Boulder Field

12S 443110mE 4286113mN

N38° 43' 19" W111° 39' 16"

Cut Left on Trail

12S 443081mE 4285558mN

N38° 43' 01" W111° 39' 17"

Summit

12S 443740mE 4285044mN

N38° 42' 44" W111° 38' 50"

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