Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mt. Nebo Triple Summit Report

Mt. Nebo
'Triple Crown Peaks'

Pointing to the Top
Mt. Nebo is the highest peak in Utah County/Wasatch Range, hitting an elevation of 11,928. 

September 30th 2012 my father and I decided hike the Nebo Triple Summit.  We drove to Nephi the night before so we could get an early start. 

Our plan was to traverse the triple crown peaks from South to North.

We started about a quarter of a mile before Andrew's Ridge Trailhead at 10 to 7am, elevation 6,471.  The morning was a perfect 47 degrees.  The trail leading up to the south peak is well defined and very steep.  The scenery in this area is absolutely stunning. 

We ascended through several switch-backs until we hit the top of Andrews Ridge.  Greeted with a sign directing us to take right.   

Once you get to the ridge line all three peaks are in clear view.  The trail to the South Peak was the easiest - not technical what-so-ever; but the elevation starts to get to you after passing 10,000 feet.  The temperature once on the ridgeline was changing from hot to freezing!

On South Peak looking to the next two to summit
Summited South Peak and time to move to the middle peak.  We traveled along the west side of the ridgeline... This is where I started to get a little nervous :) There were not many large rocks to scramble around, but from the south summit to the north summit, there were steep scree-covered slopes to ascend/descend.

(Moving your way to the top of #2, look for a cairn which marks the safest way to reach the top) 

 From the top of middle peak we again headed west of the ridgeline to make our final assent to North peak

On top of Middle Peak - looking at North Peak

Finally made it to the top of #3.  Saw some other hikers.  Had a little break for fuel, pictures, and to write in the log book.  Views were amazing.  

The decent from North Peak down to Wolf Pass again was not very technical, but steep and more of the sharp slate rocks.  At this point the sharp rocks were being felt by the bottoms of my feet.

Worked our way down to the North Peak Trailhead (Monument Trailhead). 

At this point we walked on the actual road for about .25 of a mile, then dropped down into Salt Creek Trail to make our final descending loop back to the car.

Salt Creek Trail is very well defined and gorgeous.  Full tree coverage, so it is not hot and there is sounds coming from the creek which you follow all the way down the trail.  I was very tired during this section so I didn't appreciate this section as much as I should have.   

Final Stats:
Miles: 19.58
Total Elevation Gain: 8150
Total Time: 12 Hr 10 min (includes lunch/breaks/etc)

** Suggestions:
- If you are attempting all 3, definitely start at South peak and work your way to North
- Start at the actual trail head (Andrews Ridge Trailhead)
- End your day with a full moon and drive through Payson Canyon - STUNNING in the fall


  1. Wow, those pictures are intense! That scenery looks seriously incredible. Congrats on the tripple!

  2. So jealous. 20 miles, 12 hours, 9000 feet of climbing....sounds like I might be light-headed from the elevation, but that pay-off is glorious. I need to move to Utah!

  3. Gorgeous pics! Very cool you are able to do that with your dad.

    I'm a flat lander and did some hiking above 10k in April in Colorado and totally respect the altitude now. My son and I ended up only being able to take 10-20 steps I snow before resting, over and over. Great hike and views though.

    Regarding your question on my blog, I would like to shoot for 50km if I can keep the rubber side down. I need to be able to work two days later and my long run to date is 15 miles or I would shoot for more. I'll be crewing for myself which makes anything longer not practical either.

  4. Hiking mountains is fun. By the way "Build the Machines" sounds like a Harley Davidson bike builder. I'd like to take you on a ride sometime. Good vibes on the back of a Harley.

  5. HI! Thanks for commenting on my blog! This hike looks hardcore! I am very impressed. :)

  6. Christie, I am envious of your trip! My dad is not in that kind of shape, but i would love to be able to do things like this triple summit with him. Instead I will have to keep in shape and take my boys to reach some summits.
    Totally impressed that you covered all that in one day. I have never been hiking over 10,000 feet- and headaches at that. You are a machine!

    Love the views and can imagine the scree. Great photos :)