First day at King's Peak, UT

Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
Trip End Oct 14, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Wyoming
Wednesday, July 13, 2011

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I drove from Evanston, WY to the Henry's Fork Campground, which is the location of the trailhead for King's Peak, the highpoint of Utah. I parked and started packing my backpack. While I was packing I talked to some other people who were also just getting ready. They had spoken to a ranger and were told that it wouldn't be possible to summit King's Peak. They were told that they wouldn't make it past 10,400 feet. Things weren't encouraging. I spoke to another group that had just come down. They hadn't gotten anywhere near the summit because of the tough hiking conditions in the valley. The all-day rain yesterday, the continued rain off-and-on today and the snow-melt combined to make for some very soggy conditions.

I eventually got everything packed and headed for the trailhead. There's a register at the trailhead, which I signed. Next to the register is a bulletin board that said something about the bridge being out. It's 5.5 miles to a foot-bridge across a now swollen stream. I wasn't sure what I was going to find there.

The trail to the bridge was easy to follow but was muddy or completely underwater in many spots. I had to make a lot of detours off the trail to higher ground and spent a lot of time hopping from rock to rock.

When I got to the old wooden sign for the footbridge there was a newer paper sign saying the old bridge was out and that the new bridge was 400 yards further down the trail. I found the old bridge, which had collapsed into the stream, but no signs of the new bridge. I walked the next half mile or so of the trail as it parallels the stream and back a few times looking, unsuccessfully, for any signs of a bridge. The stream is in a slight canyon and the trail is separated from the stream by a field of willows.  Since it would be possible to miss the bridge from the trail I even fought my way through the willows much of the time searching for the bridge.  It was starting to get dark so I camped near the bridge at an altitude of around 10,300 feet. Shortly after getting in the tent there was a fierce thunderstorm.
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