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Around 9,500 feet looking at the gap that accesses the ridgeline
Looking up around 9,500
Looking south from the trail
Looking toward the summit (out of view) from the trail
In the summit area, I was hoping the summit cairn was poking up but no.
This is the only view I got from the summit to the southwest
Looking southeast toward the Grand Canyon
Distance: 3.8 miles (Oak Grove Trail/Snow Route)
Elevation Gain: 4,500 feet
Summit Elevation: 10,345 feet
Access rating: Level 2
Signal Peak is the highest point in the Pine Valley Mountain Wilderness, the second largest wilderness area in the state. This southern Utah peak has big prominence and is the highest point in Washington County. This route has variety with three distinct different zones. First is a trail through a dry sage/oak area, followed by a steep climb through big boulders and huge pine trees, finally a forested snowshoe hike on gentle terrain. Although the peak is usually climbed after the snow melts, I found it to be a great trip in mid-march when the lower trail is snow free with plenty of consolidated snow up high. The map will show the route if you go in early spring and even a mid-winter trip would be possible with little if any avalanche danger.
The trailhead is well marked from the camping area. Follow the trail a short distance to a split that was unsigned when I was there. Turn right, up hill on a single track trail that is quite eroded. The trail will quickly climb to the wilderness boundary. Now the trail will start a series of switchbacks and short traverses up a southeast facing ridgeline. Around 8,800 feet the ridgeline, there is large pine trees among boulders until you reach the ridge top at 9,880 feet 2.1 miles up the trail. The last 100 feet was a bit steep on the compacted snow but with fresh snow this entire route would be a nice snowshoe climb.
Once on the ridge, follow the trail down a few hundred feet to a trail junction. Go left onto the Summit Trail, crossing Deer Flat, going up and over a small pass to Further Water. At the south end of the meadow, re-enter the trees and cross country up to the summit.
Once on the ridge, go left dropping 120 feet, and then climb 360 feet to some level terrain. Work southwest to the base of the summit. Climb a final 350 feet (over a small false top) to the tree covered top. Donít sign the register because itís buried, donít enjoy any views, return same way wondering why you really peak bag. The total RT elevation gain along the ridge top is 1,150 feet. Route finding is fairly easy but not obvious. A GPS or a few compass bearings to help avoid any wrong turns will help.
Take the Leeds exit 23 off I-15. Go west on Silver Reef Road 8.5 miles to the Oak Grove trailhead and campground. There is a Y at 3 miles, take a right going down hill.
Signal Peak from the east