Big Beacon (Mt Wire)

Posted: 16th April 2011 by Jonathan Wood in Hiking

Decided to again head up to Big Beacon (Mt Wire) today, starting from the West side of the mountain. I parked along the road that runs South of the entrance to Red Butte Garden, behind the University of Utah. (See map.)

Mt Wire is a smaller mountain but this hike, with an elevation gain of nearly 2,200 feet, is a fairly good workout, especially if climbed aggressively.

The weather was a mixed bag today and I wasn’t sure what to expect. While the forecast was threatening valley rain and mountain snow, it was actually feeling uncomfortably warm as I started the hike. In the end it turned out to be just about right, with a breezy mix of Sun and clouds.

There has been a lot of precipitation this month and perhaps an unseasonable amount of snow. I wasn’t sure what conditions to expect but the lower part of the hike was dry and free of snow. As I gained altitude, the amount of snow increased. As I neared the saddle (before the final climb to the peak), the trail turned into a small stream of water as the temperature, which was in the high 60s, was hard at work melting the remaining snow.

Once I hit the saddle and started up the last stretch, the amount of snow increased quite a bit. I never broke out the MICROspikes that I had in my backpack, and I’m not really sure how much they would’ve helped. But the climb up those last steep hills was definitely more difficult and took longer than it would have been without the snow.

As I mentioned, the temperature turned out to be just about right. The only exception was on the peak where the wind started getting fairly cold. I ended up only staying there a few minutes but ended up stopping on a lower peak, where I sat for a while enjoying the sunshine, which seemed to be appearing with increasing frequency.

The weather continued to cooperate as we head down off the mountain. It definitely felt a little more Summer-like than last week, which I definitely enjoyed!

Elevation Gain: 2,184 Feet
Total Distance : 4.3 Miles
Total Time on Mountain: 2 Hours 55 Minutes


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  1. Ryan says:

    Right on. Headed thee tomorrow. First hike of the year after a season of snowshoeing!