Zion National Park Highpoint Trip Report

Horse Ranch Mountain

Date: September 21, 2013
Author: Chuck Bickes

Took longer to drive Lower Basin Road on the approach than the actual hike.

The directions start at Cedar City. Take Interstate-15 south to exit 51 toward Kanarraville. Take a left off the ramp and come back underneath the interstate. Go approximately 1.3 miles on Old US Highway 91 to a left turn on Old Kanarra Mountain Road. It is actually a "Y" intersection that is unmarked. My Google "app" found it but not my Garmin.

Follow Kanarra Mountain road for approximately 2 miles and then the road merges with Lower Basin road. It is hard to detect where the name changes. This road switches back and forth a number of times and gets very rutty. It seems like you are never going to get there because of the speed you are doing and the ups/downs and switchbacks.

Approximately 6.4 miles from the "Y" intersection there is an area to park where several private roads meet - at (37° 28.610' N, 113° 8.476' W), elevation 7770 feet. All along the road it says "No Trespassing". I took it to mean do not get off the road.

After I stopped the owner where I parked came out so I asked permission to park there. He had no problem with that and told me where not to go. About 1/4 miles before the parking area there was a gated road to the right that lead in the direction of the mountain which you could see on the approach.

I walked back down to the gated road and went in. This was an ok area to go into. I followed the obvious road in for maybe another 1/4 mile and there I saw the gate to the National Park and I got a clear view of the mountain. As you are looking at the mountain face you will see a slide area on the first half and another near the top. I worked my way through cow pastures and thin woods to the first slide area. I followed game trails most of the ways. I took the first slide area with no problems.

I did not take the second slide area, STUPID ME. I worked my way over the left ridge and up. It was a dense struggle to the summit through all kinds of vegetation. At times I could not see the ground and it felt like I was swimming on top of the bushes. Scraped and bruised I made it to the top in two hours.

The wind was gusting pretty strong but I stayed a while to enjoy the grand view of Kolab canyons. It was breathtaking. I looked down the east face where the slide was and realized that was the way to go back and highly recommended for going up. I could see the gate I crossed from the top so I mapped the fields in my head. No problem getting back to the car. It took 1 hour to return.

The owner greeted me when I got in and asked how it was. A real nice hike with super views. If further information is needed please E-mail me.

As a side note, in Kanarraville there is a slot canyon to Kanarra Falls that is well worth the walk. It is only about 3.5 miles round trip with really cool colored rocks and shapes. I spent most of the time walking in the river.