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  • CJ Wolf

Mount Olympus (almost) Summit

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

Fast Facts

  • Summit Elevation: 9,026

  • Elevation Gain: ~4,100

  • Distance: 7 miles

  • Moving Time: 3.5 hours

  • Date: May 25, 2019

One way data

Mt. Olympus is probably the most popular summit hike in the Wasatch range given its close proximity to SLC and the fact that you can get up in down in a relatively short period. This peak is on everyone’s list that lives in the valley as it looms large over SLC. But don’t underestimate this hike as it is a true butt kicking. The hike starts off steep and ends even steeper with no rest in between. The constant steep pitch makes it feels like you are on an endless stairmaster. You gain 4,200 feet over 3.5 miles which is an average of 1,200 feet of elevation gain per mile. This is on par with Gobblers Knob but the elevation gain of Gobblers is about 1,000 feet less. When you drive by this peak you are perplexed how the trail makes its way up this steep mountain. It almost doesn’t seem feasible that you can hike up this imposing mountain without ropes or serious technical skills.

From the trailhead it heads east and then it wraps around the face to the south side of the mountain as you make your way up the ravine. This trail is dog friendly so you will encounter a lot of 4 legged friends so it is a good thing that there a few creeks crossing that provide a good water supply. The trail provides awesome views of the city throughout the hike especially as you continue to gain in altitude but you will probably be too out of breathe to enjoy it. I did this hike on May 25 and after a big snow year, the snow level was about 8,000 feet and with trail climbing about 35 degrees- it proved to be very slippery and several people were hiking with microspikes which made me envious. At about mile 3 it gets really steep just before you reach the saddle. The saddle offers a nice place to chill and take in the great views of the Mt. Olympus Wilderness.

Views of Mt. Olympus Wilderness from the saddle

Once you are rested, it is time to take on the hardest part of the hike which is a class 3 scramble. I wasn’t sure if my dog, Butter, could tackle this section despite being a very strong and skilled climber but we decided to give it a go. Butter always has to lead so he marched ahead up the steep rocky face like a mountain goat. I was amazed that he could scale some of these rocks but as you know- it is often easier to climb than it is to descend so I had to keep his safety in mind. We got to one section that would require me to lift him up and he doesn’t like to be carried so I decided to play it safe and turn around despite the fact that we were within 100 yards of the summit. I guess I will have to go back without Butter to officially claim this summit but there are many more summits to do before that.

Butter waiting for me on the final scramble

Southerly views

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