Hiking the Great Basin Region
Hiking and Backpacking: The Great Basin landscape is vast and open. This "open space" contributes to the quality of solitude experienced while hiking here.
South and North Willow Canyons (near Grantsville) lead to spectacular mountain trails in the Stansbury Mountains. The Stansburys contain Tooele County's highest point, Deseret Peak. This mountain is the focal point of the Deseret Peak Wilderness, one of Utah's most beautiful desert destinations. Another great hike, although strenuous, is the 6-mile hike to the summit of 11,928-foot Mt. Nebo. It is worth the effort for the magnificent alpine scenery and views of surrounding valleys. The trailhead begins about 10 miles northeast of Nephi, off State Route 132 near Ponderosa Forest Campground.
For another beautiful hike off-the-beaten-path, head southwest from Delta about 44 miles to the House Range. An unmarked game trail, about 9-mile round trip, leads to the summit of 9,655-foot Notch Peak.
Horseback Riding: Throughout Tooele County, west of the Salt Lake Valley, there is exceptional mountain and desert terrain for riding. Horseback riding is also popular farther south throughout the Tushar Mountain Range.
Rockhounding: Variscite is found in northwestern Utah off Hwy 30 in the Grouse Creek and Lucin areas. The mountains near Hansel Valley and Snowville along the Utah/Idaho border contain variquoise (Utah spiderweb). The Dugway Mountains (60 miles southwest of Tooele) on Hwy 108 are renowned for geodes.
The desert 35 to 60 miles west of Delta has Utah's best rockhounding for trilobites and brachiopods. Topaz Mountain, 40 miles northwest of Delta, has been set aside for rockhounds. Antelope Springs, about 30 miles west of Delta and 15 miles north of Sevier Lake, has trilobites and other fossils. Rockhounders also like the Three Peaks area 10 miles west of Cedar City off Hwy 56 on North Lund Road. Eight miles north of Panguitch, and 2 miles east on the Sanford Road is an abundance of red and green agate. Far western Beaver County also yields rocks of various types. Please read the recommendations for rock hounding provided by the BLM.
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