Bonneville Salt Flats
Graham Peak 7,563'
Campbell Peak 7,272'
Jenkins Peak 7,268'
Cobb Peak 7,021'
Lamus Peak 6,284'
For information about the Silver Island Mountains and the Bonneville Salt Flats:
BLM - Salt Lake Field office - 801-977-4300
These mountains are seen almost daily on one commercial or another. The Bonneville Salt Flats are the flattest place in the U.S.A. This, coupled with the snow white reflective salt, makes for a very photogenic environment. You usually see this area in fast car commercials.
To get there from Salt Lake City:
Take I-80 going west for about 100 miles turn right at the Bonneville Speedway about 5-10 miles before Wendover. Follow the signs to the Silver Mountains.
After passing Volcano Peak 6,011', Rishel Peak 6,212', and Tetzlaff Peak 6,267 on the left, you get to a large opening (Silver Island Pass). After passing Flatface Rock, look for the large opening, follow the road that goes left into this clearing. This will take you to Cave Canyon.
We went up Silver Canyon, and tried to climb Graham Peak, the highest in the Silver Island Mountains, but didn't find it in time to summit before sunset. We were about half an hour away when the sun went down.
All I had was a satellite image of the area.
I thought the most impressive thing about this hike would be the white salt flats below, but it was actually the abundance of marine fossils that blew me away. I think these fossils were also partly to blame for us not reaching the top, we kept stopping to look at them. There were quarries of mollusks, coral, and algae fossils embedded in black and gray limestone everywhere.
Later that night, we stopped into Bendover to eat. I felt lucky, so I fed the slots all my loose change.
The Silver Island Mountains
Lamus Peak 6,284', Jenkins Peak 7,268', Campbell Peak 7,272', Graham Peak 7,563', Cobb Peak 7,021'
In the distance on the left: Pilot Peak 10,716 (Nevada)
Graham Peak, the highest point in the Silver Island Mountains.
On the left is Cave Canyon and on the right is Silver Canyon.
You can see the Sleeping Dragon in the middle.
Another, slightly different view of Graham Peak looking up Cave Canyon.
To get to the cave near the peak, follow the left fork towards the summit.
We were trying to find this canyon, but I passed it, we went up Silver Canyon instead.
Looking northwest from Silver Island Pass, over the Silver Island Mountain Range.
The Silver Island Mountains comprise of this small range and a smaller range behind (to the northwest)
called Crater Island 5,743' (not visible)
I think the peaks are: Campbell Peak, Jenkins Peak and Lamus Peak 6,284'
The Donner Party passed between the Silver Island and Crater Island.
I would call this a geological Disneyland.
I should have brought some gloves and a backpack.
The plants are mostly of the tough stabby variety,
so a levi jacket wouldn't hurt either.
Flatface Rock. Should be some good rock climbing on this face.
After passing this limestone face, the Cave Canyon area will open up on your left.
Buddha Knob, Schleppy Hill, and the Sleeping Dragon.
Subpeaks at the foot of the ridge below Graham Peak.
To go to Cave Canyon, you would turn left around this area (before passing these subpeaks).
A close up of the Sleeping Dragon below Graham Peak.
I'd be very surprised if there weren't at least a few good climbs on this limestone.
Buddha Knob below Graham Peak.
They say the fastest way to heaven is to try to free climb Buddha Knob.
Behind the ridge on the foreground right is Cobb Mountain.
Looking west to Floating Island 5,109'
Coral fossils were everywhere along the route we took.
Looking west over the Cedar Mountains toward Deseret Peak 11,031'
Looking southwest over a minor knob along the ridge to Graham Peak.
Schell Creek Range
For more information: http://www.brrc.unr.edu/mtn/html/schell-creek.html
Looking down over Buddha Knob over the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Looking west over Cobb Peak 7,021' towards the Newfoundland Mountains with
Desert Peak 7,005' at its northern end.
Looking north toward the Crater Islands. The ground isn't water or snow, it's salt.
The Donner Party passed between these two mountains.
If you haven't heard, they were a group of about 87 people who traveled from
Independence, Missouri to Sacramento, California.
They were caught in the Sierra Nevada mountains when winter hit,
and had to resort to cannabalism. 44 people survived.
Here's an exerpt from their journal as the passed the Silver Island Mountains: September, 1846
A minor ridge, we decided to stop there, as the sun was setting.
The Floating Island is visible in the Salt Flats.
Below is Silver Canyon.
Cobb Peak 7,021'
Below is Silver Canyon Flat. You can drive all the way around Cobb Peak.
Looking up to the slope up to Graham Peak from where we stopped.
Looking southwest over ridges leading to Graham Peak,
and the Bonneville Speedway. In the distance sit the Schell Mountains.
You can clearly see Flatface Rock.
Looking south toward the Deep Creek Range.
Haystack Peak 12,020', Ibapah 12,087', and Red Mountain 11,588'.
On the it's west side lies the Goshute Indian Reservation.
For some pictures of the "Tree of Utah" and the Bonneville Salt Flats:
Bonneville Salt Flats
Pictures of sand storms and dust devils around the Silver Island Mountains:
Silver Island Mountains - Bonneville
Video of an Antelope running on the north side of the Silver Island Mountains:
Antelope Running Video
Thanks to Gloria and Jared