Trip Report: Day Hike to Dude Benchmark
Day Hike to Dude Benchmark
By L Beth Blattenberger
| Dude Benchmark Trip Report February 11, 2022
Report by Beth Blattenberger, trip organizer
Since I announced this trip only a few days in advance, I was delighted to have Russell Patterson and Hong Duong show up at the City Creek gate to join me on Friday morning. We took the trail up dry south-facing slopes, gaining about 1500 feet, to the vicinity of the radio towers, then headed east along the ridge. On the ridge there was partial snow cover, but snow on the trail had been compacted by previous hikers (although not enough to be icy) so neither spikes nor snowshoes were needed.
It was a sunny and mostly wind-free day and a great day to be out. We followed the ridge with gentle ups and downs for a couple of miles before gaining another 1000 feet in the final approach to Dude Benchmark. There are virtually no trees along this ridge and we had great views the entire way, including views to the north towards Bountiful as well as views of the Great Salt Puddle, which was so obviously low with many bare areas.
Russell had said at the beginning that he intended to turn around after reaching the first high point on the ridge, but I encouraged him to continue for as long as he felt comfortable. About ¾ of the way to our destination, he announced that because he had not had breakfast, he needed to be fortified, and pulled out a bag of mini-marshmallows that were past their expiration date. Apparently they did the trick, and we all made the summit, which is really a high point on the ridge, albeit a distinct high point with good views in all directions. We relaxed and took time for lunch.
On the way back we took the Pipeline Trail down to the road, making a partial loop with a somewhat shorter route. Hong had walked 1 ½ miles from her home to join us and refused offers of a ride home, so she did an extra 3 miles.
Summary: 12 miles (15 for Hong), 3000 feet vertical (counting ups and downs), 8 hours including breaks.