Capitol Reef National Park Highpoint Trip Report

Date: May 30, 2007
Authors: Charlie and Diane Winger

note: UTM coordinates use the NAD27 datum.

Depart I-70 at exit 91 (Loa exit) and proceed to UT-72. Follow UT-72 (paved) until you have just passed the turnoff to Forsyth Resrevior, between mile marker 11 and 12. Turn left on to FR 206 which is signed for Elkhorn Campground. Follow FR 206 for 8 miles (gravel). Just prior to reaching the campground you will see a sign for FR 209 (FT 248) on a road which goes to the left. Follow this road. Continue on FR 209 for 1.2 miles to a signed turn for Tubb Flat and Snow Lake. Turn left toward Tubb Flat. You are now on FT 1576. Follow FT 1576 for 0.3 mile to a three-way junction. All vehicles should park here. 4WD vehicles could continue a little farther but it's not worth the effort.

This is an exceptional backcountry camping spot (no water) with outstanding views. Elevation here is approx. 10,000 feet. Billings Peak can be seen off to the southeast.

Begin hiking here by taking the left fork (FT 248) downhill approx 300 feet to another junction. This is FT 146. Turn right and follow this well defined trail as it descends over to Billings Pass at 9,150 feet. As you stand at the Billings Pass sign you will see an ATV trail heading uphill to the top of Billings Peak. Follow this trail to the top of the peak. Leave the Billings summit and proceed ahead and slightly to the left, following a line of cairns and faint path which stay along the ridge crest. Drop down approximately 300 feet to the Capitol Reef NP HP liner at 8,960 feet, near UTM (4636633 E, 4254411 N).

You should find a rock carin containing a glass jar and register sitting on a large black rock. The last visitors who had signed in were Covill's, Mitchler's, "et al..." on June 26, 2004, nearly three years prior!

As you might have determined, most of the gain for this hike is experienced on the return trip back to your vehicle.

Plan on about 2-3 hours of hiking, 1,250 feet of gain in 4.5 miles, roundtrip.