Bull Creek Pass

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5/5 (3 reviews)
Hanksville, Utah (Garfield County)
Last Updated: 01/08/2023

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The Henry Mountains were the last mountain range added to the US Geological Survey map of the 48 contiguous states. Before they were named for the first Secretary of the Smithsonian, Joseph Henry, they were simply referred to as the Unknown Mountains. Pre-European inhabitants of what is now Utah seemed to ignore them as well since there were virtually no signs of inhabitants prior to the late 1800s. Even today, the Henrys are easy to drive into due to excellent BLM roads, but they are still rarely visited. Given their undeniable beauty, this makes them the perfect destination for overlanders looking for a great destination without the crowds. Bull Creek Pass, named for the mountain pass at 10,500 feet elevation near its western end, crosses the northern end of the Henrys just below the highest peaks of the range. The trail zigs and zags along the sidewalls of canyons that drop off the tops of the range, clinging to shelf roads to navigate to the canyon heads to make a quick crossing only to snake back along the wall of the opposite side of the canyon. Thus the trail goes in and out, in and out, revealing a new perspective of both the mountains and the sandstone desert below. The alpine forest of pine, spruce, fir, and aspens supports a variety of animal life, including a huge population of deer, bears, and mountain lions. One of only three remaining herds of genetically pure buffalo in the United States grazes the mountains. In Fall, the foliage bursts into color, rivaling anything the northeast could offer. Bull Creek Pass always puts on a show for those hardy enough to climb up for the experience. Go enjoy the views and the solitude.

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