Santaquin Peak - 10,685'
I-15 exit 254 to Payson
Nebo Loop Road, about 12 miles.
Just before the Payson Reservoir,
look for a sign that says Loafer Mountain Trail
on the right side of the road.
11.4 miles round trip
This trial meanders up and down at the beginning, which is good on the way back, if you have bad knees.
I thought that this was one of the most scenic hikes I'd ever been on, partly because of the autumn leaves (it might not be as pretty in the summer).
We took a wrong turn when we got to the Loafer Ridge. Instead of cutting left (east) up the steep ridge, we went north around the ridge and into Rock Canyon. After some bushwhacking we regained the trail.
At the first saddle, I mistakenly assumed that the ridge north of Rock Canyon was Santaquin. My knees hurt enough so we stopped there for a while. But after consulting the map, it was clear that Santaquin was still at least 2.5 miles to the north. Jared encouraged us to continue, and after some rest we did.
The rest of the hike is the most beautiful, with views so vast, that you can almost see the curvature of the earth. I hope to come back here some day in the winter. I bet you could see the La Sal or Henry Mountains on a clear day.
Some meat-heads swapped the summit sign with Loafer Mountain's.
Looking east from near Rock Canyon to where they grow Fruity Pebbles Cereal.
Blue Grouse, tastes like chicken.
After bushwhacking out of Rock Canyon looking south.
Bald Mountain is the high point rom this view.
After stopping on the minor ridge looking west.
The close ridge is West Mountain.
Behind is the Oquirrh Mountains and the Stansbury Mountains.
The entrance into the Nebo Loop Road from Payson, Utah.
A reservoir near the entrance.
From the minor ridge looking north toward Santaquin Peak.
Santaquin Peak and Loafer Mountain.
Once you get to the saddle this is the view that you will have looking north.
It looks intimidating from here but it is a fairly easy hike from here.
And the best views are still to come.
After the saddle hiking up Loafer Ridge (looking east).
A wide angle view from the trail after the saddle (looking south),
I think that this section is one of the most scenic trails I've been on.
Further up looking southeast at the aspen grove.
Looking north at Santaquin Peak
Limestone terraces below Santaquin Ridge.
Nearing Loafer Mountain,
right around here, the trail branches to the left, stay right.
Jared hiking under Loafer Mountain.
At the saddle between Loafer Mountain and Santaquin Peak
looking east at limestone crack deposits.
Now on Santaquin Ridge looking east back toward the saddle.
Looking northwest toward Santaquin Peak.
Looking east up to Santaquin Peak.
LOAFER MTN SUMMIT
ELEV. 10,687 FT.
Someone took the sign from Loafer Mountain and hauled it over to Santaquin Peak.
Denyse and Jared on top of Santaquin Peak, the flags are T-shirts.
From the summit looking southeast toward Loafer Mountain 11,687,
somewhere on top of Loafer, there is a Santaquin summit sign (if they were real clever).
Looking northwest from the summit of Santaquin towards Utah Lake.
Looking northeast toward Spanish Fork Peak 10,192' and it's Windrock Ridge
Provo Peak and Spanish Fork Peak.
Looking north from the summit, from here you can see:
Lone Peak and the Alpine Ridge, Mount Timpanogos,
Cascade Mountain, Provo Peak, and Powerhouse Mountain.
Looking south over the Loafer Ridge that we hiked along,
towards the mighty Mount Nebo, and the San Pitch Mountains.
(My right knee has had problems ever since I hiked down Nebo)
Looking over the Loafer Ridge toward Mount Nebo and Bald Mountain.
Mount Nebo 11,928' the tallest point in the Wasatch.
Coming down from Santaquin.
Jared and Denyse hiking down Santaquin, looking toward Loafer Mountain.
Looking back (northwest) toward Santaquin in the distance.
Two deer poked their heads up to see what we were up to.
Jared saw a bull with a large rack.
Nearing the saddle, we still had 3 miles to go.
At least we had a nearly full moon to light the way.
Looking west toward the Stansbury Mountains with Deseret Peak 11,031'
This is the first ridge we stopped on, you can see Deseret Peak behind it.
Special Thanks to: Jared, and Denyse