Signal Peak - Washington County Highpoint, UT • Hike
for free!

Signal Peak - Washington County Highpoint, UT

Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4 of 5 
no permit
14 2 0
Salida Gulch Trail #95 - Bradshaw ...
Salida Gulch Trail #95 - Bradshaw Mountains - Prescott Arizona
tap icons for details
Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 13.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,663 feet
Elevation Gain 3,700 feet
Accumulated Gain 4,200 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 7 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 34.3
Interest Seasonal Creek, Perennial Creek & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
14  2021-11-08 DixieFlyer
author avatar Guides 70
Routes 651
Photos 11,252
Trips 746 map ( 8,623 miles )
Age Male Gender
Location Fountain Hills, AZ
Associated Areas
list map done
Southwest Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
Expand Map
Preferred Jun, Sep, Oct, Nov → Early
Seasons   Late Spring to Autumn
Sun  7:33am - 5:16pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

High in Washington County
by DixieFlyer

Signal Peak (elevation of 10,365 feet and prominence of 4,485 feet) is in southwest Utah, about 15 miles from St. George. Signal Peak is in the Pine Valley Mountains and the Dixie National Forest. It is a Utah county highpoint and it is the 87th most prominent peak in the continental United States.

Signal Peak got its name during World War II when some signal beacons were placed atop the mountain to prevent airplanes from crashing into the mountain at night.

There are two primary starting points for the hike:
1) Forsyth Trail #31012 from the north. The hike from this approach will be 13.3 miles long with 4,200 feet of AEG.
2) Oak Grove Trail #31030 from the east. The hike from this approach will be 9.5 miles long with 4,500 feet of AEG.

Forsyth Trail
From the Forsyth Trailhead, the trail is fairly open for the first half mile or so; beyond that, the trail will be shaded about 90% of the time all the way to the summit. The shade is nice in hot weather, but it comes at a cost: there are very little in the way of views.

The trail goes alongside Forsyth Creek much of the way as you go up a canyon. After about 4 3/4 miles you'll come to the Summit Trail, which you will take to very near the summit. Actually, the last 0.3 miles or so to the summit are not on a trail, per se; instead, you basically head uphill through an open pine forest. There are a few cairns in this section, which help with route-finding, but it is not crucial that a precise route be followed during the final push to the summit. When the author of the guide did this hike, there was snow on the ground on the push to the summit, and a trail would not have been visible anyway. Bear that in mind if you use the guide author's GPS track.

The summit is in a flattish area, and the highpoint is on the south side of the summit. There you will see a summit cairn and summit register log. There is a gap in the trees there that offers a bit of a view to the south.

There is a steady grade for most of the ascent. For the first 2 miles, the ascent is at a rate of about 500 feet per mile. The trail steepens over the next 3 miles, gaining about 750 feet per mile. Then you'll give up a bit of elevation, only to have to regain it on the final climb to the summit.

The road is paved until the last 1/2 mile to the trailhead; the last 1/2 mile is on a flat, well-graded unpaved road that any vehicle can drive on.

Oak Grove Trail
The Oak Grove Trail starts adjacent to Oak Grove Campground. The first 3 miles of the hike are very steep, gaining about 3,300 feet over 3 miles. For the next 2 miles, the trail flattens out and hits the Summit Trail, before making a final ascent to the summit.

There is quite a bit of sun exposure on the first 3 miles of the ascent, and you'll be catching the full brunt of the morning sun. There are some nice views to be had though, particularly of the red rocks of Snow Canyon State Park, and you can even see a bit of Zion off in the distance.

Given the sun exposure, hiking from the Oak Grove Trailhead is more enjoyable in the fall of the year.

The last 9 miles to the trailhead are on an unpaved road that is generally well-graded. In dry weather, most vehicles can make the drive, although there are a couple of hills to pull so an SUV would be preferable to a sedan.

When to Hike
June into November is the best time to do this hike, with September and October being the best times.

This hike is of particular interest to peakbaggers, although fit hikers will also enjoy it. If hiking in the summertime, hiking from the Forsyth Trailhead is preferable due to the shade cover. When the weather is cooler, the views favor hiking from the Oak Grove Trailhead, assuming that you are a fit hiker and can handle a steep trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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

2021-12-31 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 $$

    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    Any vehicle can access the Forsyth Trailhead. At least an SUV is recommended to access the Oak Grove Trailhead.

    Directions to the Forsyth Trailhead: The trailhead is about 35 miles from St. George, Utah. The easiest way for directions is to search for "Forsyth Trailhead" on google maps, which will take you there.

    Directions to the Oak Grove Trailhead: Directions from St. George - Take I-15 north for 13.5 miles, take the Leeds/Silver Reef exit, and turn west towards Silver Reef. Stay on the Siler Reef Road; it will turn to dirt and you will enter the Dixie National Forest. Continue on this road, known as the Oak Grove Road, about 10 miles until you reach the Oak Grove Campground. The trailhead is located within the campground. Google maps will get you there if you search for "Oak Grove Campground".
    page created by DixieFlyer on Dec 31 2021 2:30 pm

    end of page marker