For this hike, I followed the instructions at: http://www.summitpost.org/redrock-peak-ut/551801.Â I am used to trail guides generally overestimating the time it takes for a hike, but this was pretty much exactly right, at 4 to 5 hours. It took me just under 5, but I admit to getting a little lost at one point where I overshot the point to turn right and bushwack up the mountain.
The gate from the parking lot right off of Rt 66 was locked, so I had to do the extra 1/4 mile up to the next gate. There is a huge parking lot here, but it was completely empty this morning. Obviously, a lot of hunters use this area.
The first 3 miles or so of this hike are along a jeep road, which ascends pretty gradually. I kept my eye out for the "shorter" route mentioned by Greg in the Summitpost, but missed it on the way up. I don't see how anyone could find it, actually, as it is pretty subtle and looks indistunguishable from many other side trails that don't go anywhere. I can say that it is about 15 minutes past another gate that is maybe 1.5 miles into the hike, and 5 minutes after you pass the pond completely covered by fluorescent green algae. The side trail heads off to the right and starts off going in the downhill direction. I stayed on the jeep road all the way for 3 miles and then missed the place the where you are supposed to turn right and ascend to the peak, maybe going 1/2 a mile further on the trail before figuring out my mistake.
The area is heavily used by horses, as is clear from the hoof prints on the road, and the ahh...... let's just say other signs, which were abundant. There were also ample signs of cows, and eventually, actual cows, which watched me warily from the side of the road. The terrain looks more like southern Utah than what I am accustomed to around here.
The climb up the grass and scrub covered summit is pretty steep. There are a couple peaks, but the one shown below is the highest and has 2 benchmarks about 5 feet apart. That seems a bit redundant. I chose the one that was a couple inches higher.
My excitement at reaching the summit and enjoying the view was short-lived, as I was besieged by a dense cloud of little flies. They seemed to only be hanging out at the benchmark, as I only had to go a few yards to escape. But there were so many it was hard to breathe without inhaling them, much less eat my cheeseburger. So the actual consumption took place slightly off the summit.
Here you can see the view looking towards East Canyon State Park and the alternative route down.
For the trip down, I decided to try and hook up with the alternative trail described by Greg in the Summitpost, and this involved a lot of clambering through the scrub and wondering if I was lost. I still haven't figured out how to get all of the thistles and other stuff out of my socks. Eventually, I did hook up with a very clearly marked trail that I was able to follow down to the jeep road. In retrospect, I'm kind of glad I didn't come up that way, since it was steep, slippery and completely unshaded the whole way.