Rich County - Bridger Peak, UT • Hike
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Rich County - Bridger Peak, UT

Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Yoas Mountain - Coronado National Forest
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,331 feet
Elevation Gain 919 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,062 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 8.01
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
15  2022-07-31 DixieFlyer
9  2014-09-24 PatrickL
author avatar Guides 70
Routes 651
Photos 11,063
Trips 729 map ( 8,470 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Fountain Hills, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Northern Region
Historical Weather
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Preferred Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct
Seasons   Summer to Autumn
Sun  7:06am - 5:13pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

The biggest runt in the USA
by DixieFlyer

Bridger Peak (elevation of 9,255 feet and prominence of 855 feet) is in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in northeastern Utah. It is the highpoint of Rich County and it is less than 500 feet from the Utah-Idaho border.

Bridger Peak was an unnamed peak until 1999 when a Utah newspaper ran a contest to name the peak. The winning entry, Bridger Peak, was in honor of frontiersman Jim Bridger(1804-1881) who was an early explorer of this area.

Bridger Peak is Utah's runt peak. A runt peak is the lowest elevation county highpoint in a state. While Bridger Peak is a runt, it has the highest elevation of any runt peak in the United States.

About 11 miles from Bridger Peak is a unique geologic formation known as Peter Sinks. Peter Sinks is a natural sinkhole that is about 1/2 mile wide and is at an elevation of almost 8,200 feet. It has no natural outlet to drain water or air, which combined with high altitude and dry air often results in some frigid temperatures. According to the Utah State University Climate Center the second coldest temperature ever recorded in the continental US was at Peter Sinks: -69.3F on February 1, 1985.

The hike is about half on-trail and half off-trail. From the trailhead, the trail first descends a bit and then goes eastward up a very steep hillside. Unfortunately, there are no switchbacks to compensate for the steepness, so you might find yourself stopping a time or two to catch your breath.

Once near the top of the hill, the trail levels off and heads to the south; take care not to travel too far on the trail at this point because it leads away from Bridger Peak. If you look uphill to your left you'll see a cliff band. You'll need to go off-trail to get over the cliff band, but don't worry -- there are ways through the cliff band that will keep the hike at class 1. Once past the cliff band, you will continue off-trail to the north. The grade is modest as you make your way through a forested area to the summit. While the trees are a bit thick, it is fairly easy to find lanes to hike through and avoid most of the vegetation. Just follow the path of least resistance and keep going uphill to the summit, which is marked by a fairly large cairn.

Some trees at the summit prevent sweeping 360-degree views, but there is a nice view to the east of Bear Lake, and there are some nice views of the surrounding peaks to the south and to the west. If you are so inclined, you can hike north for less than 500 feet and cross over into Idaho.

After spending some time at the summit, just reverse course to go back to the trailhead.

This relatively short hike has some nice views and will give you a decent workout, but it is mostly of interest to those looking to hike to a county highpoint.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2022-08-05 DixieFlyer
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    High Clearance possible when dry

    To hike
    The hike begins at the unsigned Bridger Peak Trailhead. To get to the trailhead, take Highway 89 from Logan Utah for 31 miles and turn left on Swan Flat Road. Go for 3.4 miles and there will be a pullout to park on the right side of the road. The GPS coordinates are: 41.99072, -111.48614

    Google maps will get you there if you search for "Bridger Peak Trailhead".

    Swan Flat Road is not paved but it is well graded; most vehicles with decent clearance can drive to the trailhead if the road is dry.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Aug 05 2022 6:49 pm

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