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Skunk Ridge is one of those places you would never think to go hiking at. Once you are there hiking, you realize this place is really cool…at least in the spring when green grasses and the terrain looked more like the highlands of Scotland than the Western Utah Desert.
Distance: One mile
Elevation Gain: 470 feet
Summit Elevation: 4,970 feet
Kids difficulty level: Easy
Access rating: Level 1 from pavement, 2 from description below
Although this isn’t the most direct route up Skunk Ridge, it is a scenic route with a trail most of the way. I couldn’t tell if this trail was from horses, motorcycles or cows but it exists and was easy walking. Follow the trail up the valley on the east side of the ridge. Just before the pass, the trail will split. Take the right fork toward Skunk Ridge. Near three trees (only trees) where the cows shade themselves, the trail fades out. Continue south avoiding the small ravines to the right separating you from Skunk Ridge. Once the ravines and you hit the pass, you can walk toward the summit without loosing any elevation. Climb easy slopes up to the top. Ten feet from the summit I ran into a rattlesnake (early May). This trip is snow free much of the winter and would be best around March or April.
Take I-80 west of Salt Lake City to the Lakeside Mountains. At Exit 62 (Air Force Base Exit), get off, turn right, than left. This nice paved road wraps around a small knoll before making a straight line for the Hill Air Force Base. Once the road goes straight, Skunk Ridge is on the right for a few miles. You can park anywhere off this paved road just below the summit. In winter, this should be an easy climb. For my route, continue until you see a small dirt road branching off at the north end of the ridgeline. Follow this minor road until you cross a trail at its most southern point.
Skunk Ridge from the Motorcycle Trailhead
Hiking the trail to the saddle east of the summit
Just after the trail split, nearing the pass with the minor draws on the right. Summit in center of picture.
Easy slopes up to the summit
Lakeside Mountains with Craner Peak on right, Black Mountain in center
Looking south to the northern Cedar Mountains
Hiking back with the truck in view
Grassy Mountains from the trailhead
Jedediah Mountain from several miles north of Skunk Ridge
Black Mountain from the trailhead