Gobbler's Knob Summit
Elevation Gain: 3,114
Distance: 4.9 miles
Time: 4:14 (moving time was 3:34)
Date: October 13, 2019
For a relatively short hike, Gobblers Knob packed a mean punch. The minute we stepped onto this trail, it felt like we were stepping onto a stairmaster and you didn’t get off until you reached the summit. It was steep from start to finishing gaining 3,100 in under 2.5 miles. Any time you are gaining over 1,000 ft. of elevation per mile- you know you are in for a good workout. The upside to the steep hike is that it deters a lot of hikers from this trail which is good news because today was the most crowded I have seen Mill Creek Canyon.
Our hiking posy today included Paul, Laini, Sean (as usual), Butter (my white dog) and we had a guest appearance from Tank, our little Frenchie.
I knew the summit wasn’t technical so I thought Tank could handle it and he crushed his first official summit – no more leaving him at home I guess. In doing my research on this hike, I was looking at approaching Gobbler’s from Big Cottonwood via Butler Fork which would have been a longer hike but not as steep. But since we had the dogs with us, we had to go up Alexander Basin, which is shorter and therefore more arduous. As such, I was concerned that Laini wouldn’t appreciate the hike but she was a total trooper and loved every minute of it.
It was an absolute picture perfect fall day without a cloud in the sky, however, it was a little brisk at the start with temps in the low 30s and the northerly exposure in the tight canyon blocked the sun. But we were quickly shedding layers as our body temps warmed up from the steep incline. The trail basically goes up the gut the Alexander Basin and as you get to the open area about a mile into the hike, you realize how much vertical you gained over such a short distance as you are now parallel with Millvue Peak (8,926) across Mill Creek Canyon. As you continue up the basin, Wilson Peak (9,950) comes into view on your left and the Gobbler Knob summit stares you straight in the face. We discussed if the summit was the north or south side of the face and as you continue to climb it becomes apparent that the summit is on the south side (your left as you are hiking up).
The segment before you get to the saddle is quite steep with some loose rocks but nothing overly technical. Once on Alexander Pass, the saddle, you can now peer into Big Cottonwood.
At this point, you have less than a ¼ mile to go but it is upright. Fortunately, there is no scrambling required so it is a simple summit.
One of the great things about summits is that they always provide a magnificent 360 perspective. To the northeast you can see Murdock Peak and you can even see the high Uinta peaks off in the distance, the southeast offers views of Clayton and Brighton, the south offers views of Kessler Peak and the tram at Snowbird and to the west you could see all the way down to the valley floor of SLC.
At the summit, Sean fired up his new drone toy, which Butter wanted to trounce on. As the drone hummed 30 meters over our head, it took some remarkable photos of our summiting gang.