Graham Peak |

Silver Island Mountains

Hiking Graham Peak - Silver Island Mountains Hiking Graham Peak
Silver Island Mountains

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

Overview

RATING: Moderate/Strenuous Hike
MAPS: GRAHAM PEAK, UT

Thu

32 | 20

Fri

34 | 20

Sat

33 | 21

Sun

35 | 21

Mon

36 | 22

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Spring, Fall, Winter (if dry and no snow)
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
WATER: None.
NOTES: The road is generally good, but does have a few rough spots. High clearance recommended.

Thu

32 | 20

Fri

34 | 20

Sat

33 | 21

Sun

35 | 21

Mon

36 | 22

View Full Weather Details
The lower part of the ridge. Graham is the summit above.

The lower part of the ridge. Graham is the summit above.

Graham Peak is the highest point in the Silver Island Mountains. The west side of the Silver Island Mountains tend to be steep slopes without many challenges. The east side is riddled with cliffs, caves, obstacles and (to my eye) much more dramatic scenery. Though the peak is most hiked from Campbell Canyon on the west side of the range, the route described here is on the east side of the range.

The route up the peak from the east is shorter than coming up from Campbell Canyon, it is also more difficult. This is an outing for experienced desert peak baggers. The route is loose in spots, and requires good route finding and/or intuition to find a path. It is rewarding to see such an imposing cliff covered face, then find a route working up through the difficulties. This was by far my favorite peak in the range I have done. The route finding and exposure are never too difficult but challenging enough to be fun!

The route described below is a loop. I recommend going clockwise. Starting by going southwest, up the ridge, through the cliffs, then back down via the north ridge. This gets the route-finding challenges done first, and it is much easier to route find from below than above on this peak. Those wanting a more straightforward and easier outing can go up via the north ridge and return the same way. This takes away the route finding through the cliffs but is still a steep and loose route in spots. Experience recommended even for the easier north ridge.

Historical Note: The peak is named after Athol Graham, who was killed in a speed record attempt in 1960. He had clocked an impressive 344 miles per hour the year before in 1959, trying to break John Cobb's record of 394. Athol was an underdog, having spent only $2,000 on his car while some record breakers at the time were spending nearly $200,000!
Floating Island and salt flats in the distance.

Floating Island and salt flats in the distance.

Getting There

Reaching the trailhead starts by going north off I-15 at exit 4. This is a few miles east of Wendover, UT, and about 115 miles west of Salt Lake City.

Once off the freeway, reset your odometer on the north side of the freeway and head north toward Bonneville Salt Flats.

  • Reset Odometer at stop sign off the Interstate ( 12T 249228mE 4514613mN / N40° 44' 39" W113° 58' 12" )
  • 1.2 miles - left onto a paved road. ( 12T 249287mE 4516575mN / N40° 45' 43" W113° 58' 13" )
  • 1.95 miles - Right onto dirt road. This is the Silver Island Mountain Byway/East side. ( 12T 248455mE 4517420mN / N40° 46' 09" W113° 58' 49" )
  • 2.1 miles - Stay right on the main dirt road. ( 12T 248375mE 4517714mN / N40° 46' 19" W113° 58' 53" )
  • 11.4 miles - Silver Island Loop side road. Stay right on byway. ( 12T 257616mE 4527436mN / N40° 51' 44" W113° 52' 33" )
  • 12.85 miles - Lamus Peak two track side road on the left. ( 12T 259823mE 4527946mN / N40° 52' 03" W113° 50' 60" )
  • 19.6 miles - Graham Peak side road on the left. ( 12T 268487mE 4533385mN / N40° 55' 08" W113° 44' 57" )
  • Graham Peak Side Road - 1.5 miles - Junction, left. ( 12T 267713mE 4535527mN / N40° 56' 16" W113° 45' 33" )
  • Graham Peak Side Road - 2.45 miles - Graham Peak East Route Trailhead. There is space here for a vehicle or two. It is fairly non-distinct, just a wide spot next to the road. ( 12T 267166mE 4536546mN / N40° 56' 49" W113° 45' 58" )
Near the corner looking southwest. Big views.

Near the corner looking southwest. Big views.

Route

From the parking area, head west toward the peak. Take the first major drainage that heads south west and begin climbing west up to the ridge (elevation 6067 on the map). Once on the ridge, follow it west toward the peak. There are several small rock bands along the ridge, but all are easy to climb over directly, or go around.

At about 6800’ a large cliff is encountered. The route finding begins here! Bypass the cliff on the left. There are a few options, it is steep and a bit loose. Work up above the large cliff on the left (south) side. Once above the large cliff, the cliff bands above become insurmountable. Traverse south, along the base of the major cliff band. This is relatively easy going with excellent views. It is generally best to stay close to the base of the cliff band.

The traverse leads around a corner and looks steeply down into Cave Canyon. Look for a steep narrow ravine just around the corner that allows upward progress through the cliff band you have been traversing below. This is not exposed or hard. If it seems difficult, look around you are likely in the wrong place. Once up the short steep ravine, the route finding becomes easy. Work up to the summit on the now open and easy slope.

North Ridge Return
To make a loop hike, I recommend following the north ridge on the return. From the summit follow the north ridge. It is narrow at first, but straightforward. It becomes easiest to stay just east of the ridge as you follow it north. Follow it until it reaches a saddle. The saddle is the first easy place to descend to the east. Though relatively easy, working down from the saddle east back to the trailhead is steep and loose in places. A dry fall about halfway down is easily bypassed on the left.


Maps

Route / 4.90 miles / Elevation Range 5,260 - 7,568 ft.
Printable Maps:
Trailhead

12T 267166mE 4536546mN

N40° 56' 49" W113° 45' 58"

Major Cliff

12T 265629mE 4536861mN

N40° 56' 57" W113° 47' 04"

Corner

12T 265327mE 4536866mN

N40° 56' 57" W113° 47' 17"

Graham Peak

12T 265213mE 4537131mN

N40° 57' 06" W113° 47' 22"

Ridge

12T 265848mE 4537911mN

N40° 57' 32" W113° 46' 56"

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