Place Name: Utah County
Place Description: State: Utah
Elevation: 11,928 Feet
Prominence: 5,488 Feet
Elevation Gain: 3,605 Feet
Lists: Ultras of the Lower 48, Utah County HP, Utah P2K
The Beast Of The Wasatch
From interstate 15, Mount Nebo looks like an absolute giant. It’s imposing summit towers above the town of Nephi and can be seen from all over. With a nice trail that leads to the summit and also bags a couple extra 11,000-foot peaks, Mount Nebo is one that must be done.
- Great trail
- Easy access
- Awesome summit views
- Could be crowded on weekends
- Very exposed terrain
- Prone to storms
While driving along Interstate 15 in central Utah, Mount Nebo and its ultra-prominent summit dominates the skyline. At 11,928 feet high, it’s the highest mountain in the area and it steeply rises up from the town of Nephi. Thankfully a nice trail system leads to the summit from a higher start point on the east side of the range.
Even though there is a trail, this mountain and hike is still a beast to climb!
Accessing the Mount Nebo Trailhead is easy. From Nephi, head east on UT-132 for approximately 6 miles and turn left on Salt Creek Canyon Road. Follow this road until it becomes Nebo Loop Rd. After about 10 miles on Nebo Loop Rd., a large parking area with a bathroom is on the left. Turn into here and take the dirt road a very short distance to the Mount Nebo/North Peak Trail Head.
With a high starting point over, 9,200 feet, the trail gets right after it. Following a fence line along a sage covered ridge is how it starts. Lots of ups and downs until you reach the large slides that come off of North Peak. Cross the open the grass and zig zag up the right side of the slide along the edge of the forest.
This trail tops out on the shoulder of North Peak. From here, follow the trail below North Peak down to Wolf Pass or take the use trail to the left that climbs the ridge of North Peak.
We ascended North Peak first along the ridge and the views from the summit were quite nice. Mount Timpanogos and Loafer Mountain are the main peaks that can be seen, Bald Mountain looks cool as well.
Dropping off North Peak is easy down to Wolf Pass.
From Wolf Pass, climb steeply to the summit of Wolf Pass Peak at 11,440 feet. Once on top of this perch, the ridge traverse over to Mount Nebo lies in front. You can see the trail working its way up the ridge.
Even though the trail is rocky and multiple use trails present themselves, it’s pretty easy to stay on route. When in doubt, follow the ridge. I found nothing more than low class 2 climbing and no exposure.
The trail turns left around the last bump and leads right to the summit.
The Mount Nebo summit is absolutely breathtaking. Looking south at the traverse to Middle and South Nebo looks awesome. Views in every direction are expansive. Most of the Wasatch range can be seen including Loafer Mountain and Mount Timpanogos.
The drops are steep on all sides into the beautiful valleys. If you are lucky, while on the summit, mountain goats can be seen way down the east side of the mountain in one of the valleys.
The town of Nephi and Interstate 15 are to the west and very close as the crow flies.
The Final Word
Statistically, Mount Nebo is not super intimidating, however, you should be ready for some steep climbs. Most of the gain is in the second half of the hike and you will need to climb out of Wolf Pass again.
The other thing that should be taken into consideration are afternoon thunderstorms. An early start is probably essential to safely bag this peak. The majority of the hike is above tree line and under the skies. Being on the final ridge in bad weather is not ideal.
If you are looking for beauty and a nice adventure, Mount Nebo needs to be on your agenda.