Clayton Peak, Brighton, UT 7/4/2015

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Clayton Peak, Brighton, UT 7/4/2015

Postby Admin » Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:51 am

a.k.a., "Park City Mountain Resort to Brighton"

I didn't get out much over the long holiday weekend. About the only adventure was a hike to Clayton Peak above Brighton Ski Area on Saturday.

It felt weird to be hiking without the dogs, but with Zoe still healing from her spaying surgery, bringing her was out of the question. AmyZ and I left the two dogs home together and took advantage of the opportunity to hike in the Cottonwoods where dogs aren't allowed. In the end, we really could have brought them on this route because we actually stayed out of the Big Cottonwood watershed the entire time.

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Our GPS track


We parked the truck at 9,700 feet atop Guardsman Pass, only a couple of hundred yards from the top of Park City Mountain Resort's Jupiter chairlift. We weren't entirely sure where we were headed, as our only plan was to hike in the general direction of the Brighton ridgeline. The pass itself was mobbed, but almost everyone there was either headed down to Bloods Lake or biking north along the Wasatch Crest Trail.

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Columbine growing along the trail


The ascent to what is alternately known as Peak 10,420 or Mt. Venture was surprisingly steep. This isn't really a hiking trail, it's more of a herd path created over time by folks all hiking along the same route. We quickly realized that this would be the buggiest hike we've been on in a long time, for the flies and the mosquitoes were both ravenous.

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Nearing the top of Peak 10,420


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Bloods Lake and Bonanza Flat. The ridgeline across the Flat, from left to right, is the back of Deer Valley Resort's Daly Chutes, Flagstaff Mountain and Bald Mountain.


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The hill at left middleground, just above the road is the back of Park City Mountain Resort's Jupiter lift. To the right of that is Jupiter Hill, and still further right the top of PCMR's McConkey's Lift is visible.


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Wildflowers along the trail


After enjoying the view from 10,420 we continued south in search of the top of Brighton's Great Western chairlift. Once reaching it, Amy waited there as I pushed the final quarter mile to the summit of Clayton Peak (el. 10,726'). I was rewarded for an inordinately long period of rock and boulder scrambling by panoramic views down Snake Creek Canyon to Midway and the Heber Valley.

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Brighton's Great Western lift


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Brighton Resort from the top of Clayton Peak.


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A panorama from the summit of Clayton Peak.


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Lackawaxen Lake from Clayton Peak.


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Heading down, with the summit of Clayton Peak in the background.


Knowing that downclimbing from 10,420 back to Guardsman Pass would be tough going, we instead hiked down to a smooth singletrack that led from Lackawaxen Lake to Bloods Lake, then back up to the Pass. There were a good hundred partygoers swimming at Bloods Lake, and you could hear the festivities long before the lake itself came into view. From Bloods Lake back to the truck the trail was like a freeway, both in its size (about as wide as a sidewalk) and in its foot traffic.

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Still more wildflowers along the trail


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Bloods Lake


5.2 miles, 1,609 feet of total elevation gain.
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