Jenkins Peak | Silver Island Mountains

Hiking Jenkins Peak - Silver Island Mountains Hiking Jenkins Peak

Silver Island Mountains

Overview

RATING: Moderate to Advanced
MAPS: GRAHAM PEAK, UT

Mon

A slight chance of rain showers after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 58. North northwest wind 10 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

58 | 46

Tue

Sunny, with a high near 63. Northwest wind 12 to 15 mph.

63 | 43

Wed

Partly sunny, with a high near 71.

71 | 49

Thu

A slight chance of rain showers after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 59.

59 | 45

Fri

Mostly sunny, with a high near 64.

64 | 42

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Spring, Fall
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
WATER: None

Mon

A slight chance of rain showers after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 58. North northwest wind 10 to 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

58 | 46

Tue

Sunny, with a high near 63. Northwest wind 12 to 15 mph.

63 | 43

Wed

Partly sunny, with a high near 71.

71 | 49

Thu

A slight chance of rain showers after noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 59.

59 | 45

Fri

Mostly sunny, with a high near 64.

64 | 42

View Full Weather Details
The trestle high up on Jenkins Peak

The trestle high up on Jenkins Peak

At 7,268 feet (2,215 m), Jenkins Peak it is the third-highest peak in the Silver Island Mountains and only a few hundred feet lower than the high point of Graham Peak. Like most of the peaks in the range, there are many routes up Jenkins. The route described here climbs the west side of the peak.

The area around Jenkins was the site of fairly extensive mining in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This route up the peak initially uses an old mining trail that winds steeply up the mountain. En route, there are quite a few mining relics to visit. As the mining trail ends, route finding and class 4 ridge scrambling lead to the summit.

Note: The mining trail portion of this route I would deem intermediate. Even though it follows an old trail, it still requires some route finding in spots. For those interesting in mining history, it makes for an excellent outing.

Summiting the peak via this route is for advanced hikers with scrambling experience. From the mining trail, there is quite a bit of route finding around and up ridges.
History Note: Jenkins peak is named after David Abbott "Ab" Jenkins. In addition to being the mayor of Salt Lake City between 1940 and 1944, Ab was a professional race car driver. He was instrumental in promoting Bonneville as a place to set land speed records. Jenkins set a number of land speed records at Bonneville, including a 24-hour speed record in 1940 where he had an average speed of 161.180 mph (259.39 km/h). Incredibly, that 1940 record stood for 50 years until being broken in 1990. In 2023, Jenkins was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Old cabin ruin on Jenkins Peak

Old cabin ruin on Jenkins Peak

Getting There

Reaching the trailhead starts by going north off I-80 at exit 4. This is a few miles east of Wendover, UT, and about 115 miles west of Salt Lake City.

  • 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 Pass side road. Turn left here toward Silver Island Pass. ( 12T 257616mE 4527436mN / N40° 51' 44" W113° 52' 33" )
  • 13.5 miles - Silver Island Pass. A lesser used two-track leaves on the right toward Jenkins Peak. Take this two track. It is generally good, but will require high clearance in a few spots. ( 12T 256155mE 4530524mN / N40° 53' 22" W113° 53' 40" )
  • 16.1 miles - The road reaches a T-junction. Go left. The road gets much more rocky from here. If needed, this section can be easily walked and only adds about a mile round trip to the hike. ( 12T 259884mE 4531571mN / N40° 54' 00" W113° 51' 02" )
  • 16.6 miles - Two-track leaving on the right. This is the trailhead. The two-track is not traveled much and easiest to walk. ( 12T 260086mE 4532267mN / N40° 54' 23" W113° 50' 54" )
The colorful spot we started up the ridge scramble.

The colorful spot we started up the ridge scramble.

Route

The Mining Trail
From the trailhead, follow the side road east as it heads up the canyon toward the base of the mountain. There is an old-rusted car body, bed frame, and other signs of the old mining activity strewn about. You will see a single track trail climbing the dirt hill in the distance that starts from the bottom of the wash.

Follow the trail as it climbs the steep dirt hill. It is initially easy to find and follow. After gaining a couple of hundred feet in elevation, it comes to a rock platform with an enormous chain. It appears this was part of a tram setup to lower ore from the mines high above. The trail cuts back left (north) just before this platform and continues its steep climb.

Continuing up, the trail turns again, heads east, and works over near the edge of the canyon. Be sure to keep an eye out here. There is an old building wall and other mining ruins just down off the hillside that are easy to visit. After this mining ruin, the route finding gets more difficult, as the trail through the next section is hard to spot. Generally, the trail works east up toward the rock cliff, passing it just on the right and entering a gully.

Once in the gully, follow it for a few minutes through a short brushy section, then look for the trail to leave on the right and cut back east just past a large cliff on the right.

Once you find the correct spot leaving the gully, the trail becomes more defined again. It travels up and east, crossing over a canyon and climbing steeply up to a ridge and old wooden trestle. I assume ore was moved from this area to the area down below with the large chain via a suspended cable.

Scrambling To The Peak
The wooden structure marks the start of the scramble to the summit. There are many options, but I'll describe our route, which, we thought, was very scenic and fun. I recommend the route to the summit from here for experienced hikers with some scrambling experience only.

From the wooden structure, continue just around the corner only about 200 feet, then start climbing north up to the ridge. Once at the ridge, follow it directly up as it climbs the peak, generally heading east. The ridge has quite a few sections of scrambling. With good route finding, none of these were over class 4, but some areas had a bit of exposure. Some ridge climbing sections can be bypassed via looser scrambling generally on the right. The position and views along the ridge are excellent!

The ridge gives way to more gentle terrain to get to the summit ridge. The summit ridge is easy over to the true summit. The summit has great views of Bonneville Salt Flats and Floating Island to the east. Graham Peak, Campbell Peak, and the northern section of the range is visible as well. A very desolate and jagged landscape.

Optional Loop
We wanted to do a loop on the return, so chose to continue on the ridge north from the summit and descend the next canyon to the north. Shown on the map, this is an option, but the canyon is steep and loose. Not recommended! Farther north along the ridge, the west side canyons become less steep and loose and are likely better options if not wanting to return the same way you came.


Maps

Route / 4.73 miles / Elevation Range 5,007 - 7,201 ft.
Printable Maps:
Trailhead

12T 260087mE 4532266mN

N40° 54' 23" W113° 50' 54"

Old Trail

12T 260699mE 4532242mN

N40° 54' 23" W113° 50' 28"

Platform

12T 261039mE 4532115mN

N40° 54' 19" W113° 50' 14"

Cabin Ruins

12T 261132mE 4532161mN

N40° 54' 21" W113° 50' 10"

Leave Gully

12T 261397mE 4532272mN

N40° 54' 24" W113° 49' 59"

Trestle

12T 261407mE 4532040mN

N40° 54' 17" W113° 49' 58"

Leave Trail

12T 261441mE 4531987mN

N40° 54' 15" W113° 49' 56"

Ridge

12T 261477mE 4532040mN

N40° 54' 17" W113° 49' 55"

Jenkins

12T 261904mE 4532224mN

N40° 54' 23" W113° 49' 37"

Comments

Want to make a comment? Login and let yourself be heard.