Notch Peak

Amasa Valley Basin
Pine Peak Route

Views of a hike from the Pine Peak Route starting in Amasa Valley, walking along the cliff edges of the Sawtooth Mountains to the summit of Notch Peak.

Notch Peak
Sawtooth Mountain
House Range
Tule Valley
West Desert
Millard County

Delta, Utah.

Sawtooth Mountains
From Left to Right:

Notch Peak : 9,725'
The Cleave* : 9,424'
North Cleave* : 9,315'
The Pyramid* : 9,173'
Little Notch : 9,353'
Pine Peak Ridge: 9,290'

Pine Peak Route Info:

• This hike is approximately 6 miles round trip.
• It took us about 4-5 hours of hiking.
• It goes up and down in semi-regular intervals, so it doesn't wear your knees out like, say... Mount Olympus.
• You will need to use your hands to climb up to the southern saddle of The Pyramid. Nothing too difficult.
• The brush is overgrown in some areas, and it's easy to get off trail. Wear jeans, or expect lots of scratches.
• Don't take shortcuts on the way back, don't descend too soon. This route stays close to the top of the ridge the whole way.
• If you are scared of heights, bring a clean pair of underwear.

To get to the Pine Peak Trailhead:

Drive west for about 50 miles down Highway 6-50 from Delta, Utah.
Turn north or right at the 'U-Dig Fossils' or Death Canyon turn.

Continue north until you reach Marjum Canyon Road, turn west or left. Follow this road until you see a large black mound on the right or north side of the road called Knells Knob. Turn left or southwest down North Canyon to Amasa Basin.

You will need a 4WD vehicle to travel up to the trailhead. There are only about 3 spots where you will need to do some tricky 4-wheeling. Bring a sledge hammer and a shovel if you want to remove the 2-3 small jagged rocks in these areas, and make it easier on your tires.


The entire hike is in the sun, so bring plenty of water and I would suggest a hat and sunglasses. I would wear long pants, maybe some tough denim. There are many animal trails in the area, so it's easy to get side-tracked. Remember to stay high on the ridge and not to get to far away from it, with exceptions being for Little Notch and The Pyramid, which have clear trails around them.


Great pictures can be taken all year long, although light only hits the face of Notch Peak for about 3 weeks during the Summer Solstice (June 22). Bring a lot of film or a digital camera with a lot of storage. A wide angle lens will really bring out the size of the walls. Sunset pictures from the summit looking down the northern Sawtooth are great anytime of the year. Walking back in the dark however can be very dangerous. The best pictues of the peak during sunset are from Tule Valley or West Sawtooth Canyon.

June 28, 2008

From Pine Peak Ridge above Amasa Valley, looking south down the Sawtooth Mountains.
The highpoint in the back is Notch Peak.
To the right and in front of Notch Peak is Little Notch, to the left is The Cleave.

Nearing the base of Little Notch in the background are the Confusion Mountains.

Coming around the bend below Little Notch,
looking at millions of years of petrified pages of time along Book Ridge*.
Notch Peak looks down proudly.

Looking northwest at Little Notch.

From the saddle south of Little Notch, looking south down the rest of the route.
Pyramid Peak, Book Ridge, and The Cleave. Notch Peak is lit up in the distance.

Intersting limestone stratification on the northwest end of the Pyramid.
The butterfly was just showing-off for us land-walkers.

The next part of the route gets tricky, so be careful,
It goes around the back of the Pyramid,
and then continues around on a ledge next to the wall.
As you come up on it, it looks much more dangerous than it is.
Try to not lose too much altitude.
You should pop back up right on the Pyramid's southern saddle.

From the southern saddle of the Pyramid,
looking south across the face of Book Ridge,
down to Sawtooth Canyon and Tule Valley.

Looking north toward the Pyramid from it's southern saddle.

From Book Ridge looking northwest toward Little Notch.

Pinus Longaeva.
An anciet gnarled Great Basin Bristlecone Pine tree breakdancing in ultra-slow motion.

The awesome and intimidating face of Notch Peak.

Looking at The Cleave with monstrous Notch Peak on the right.

From the top of the northern Cleave looking south towards the mini-peak and Notch Peak.

A closer view showing the white limestone banding near the summit.

An even closer view of the white banding.
There is a 4-foot-tall stack of rocks on top.

Looking down the Cleave.

The 3000 foot limestone cliffs of Notch Peak.

An airy look down into Sawtooth Canyon and Tule Valley.

Looking north up the Southern Cleave.

Looking straight down into West Sawtooth Canyon and Tule Valley.

Looking north straight down the Sawtooth Mountains.
The Southern Cleave is the peak in the foreground.

From the mini-peak next to Notch Peak looking west toward Notch Peak's summit.
You can see the trail that meanders up to the left of the edge.
500 Vertical Feet left to get to the top.

Trudging up the steep edge of Notch Peak, looking north back down the Sawtooth,
from where we came.

Looking south toward the southern end of Tule Valley.
You can see Tule Valley Road, the Ibex Well (which is about 2 pixels tall)
and the Ibex Climbing Crag on the far right.
The lighter sand is the "hardpan" left by the dried up lake.

Looking north toward The Cleave

An upclose shot of the bone-white limestone banding near the summit.
You can see this band from almost any angle from the valley below.

Looking down into the cascading tiers of ancient limestone.

Amost to the top, 3,000 feet above the floor below.

The Cleave, the northern neighbor of Notch, watches the sun drift below the horizon.
On the far left is Pine Peak Ridge, which is the start of the Pine Peak Route.

The Cleave quietly enjoys the beautiful summer sunset.

Descending Notch Peak as the sun slips through the clouds.

Looking north toward Pine Peak and off into the Deep Creek Mountains.

The Confusion Range on the other side of Tule Valley.

Inching closer and closer to the Horizon.

It wasn't the most comforting feeling, knowing we'd have to find our way back in the dark,
but the beauty was awe inspiring.

Shows over, the Sun has left the building...

An old Great Basin Bristlecone Pine swallowing it's self up.
Bristlecones are the oldest lifeforms on the planet, some living almost 5,000 years.

Walking along cliff edges in the dark, looking north down the Sawtooth Mountains.

Looking west across Notch Peak. Time to go.

Notch Peak Map

Thanks to Heid, Lorin, and Trista


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© Copyright 1999-2019 Dale Meier, unless otherwise credited. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use is prohibited.