Posted by: jakinnan | September 14, 2011

Nebo Bench Trail-Mt. Nebo Wilderness Area Near Mona, Utah

On Sunday September 11, 2011 I hiked a 5 mile section of the Nebo Bench Trail in Utah. I awoke at 3 am that morning and drive to Omaha where I boarded a flight to Salt Lake City. After a two hour flight time I landed. I picked up my rental car and immediately headed south for the Nebo Loop Scenic Road. The weather was cool and cloudy. It was a perfect day for my first hike in Utah.





The trail quickley ascended into a canyon. There it crossed a meadow with a stream rolling through it. Then the trail started ascending at a quad aching pace. I was surprised to see so many cows grazing along the trail. There odor did not help the pleasant mountain air. The trail would comtinually ascend and then level off. Mt. Nebo was getting closer and closer with each impending step. 






As I climbed higher, the views were becoming spectacular. To the east, I was starting to become higher than the other mountains around me. The trail started to get steep walking on the side of the mountain. Rocks were becoming more prevelant creating a few hazards in my way.






The trail was nearly vertical as I glanced at the looming canyon beneath me and the mountain I wanted to summit above me. Wildflowers were becoming more present and the trees were becoming less as I was heading toward a bowl at the base of the mountain. I am thankful that it wasn’t windy when I was out there.






I was not dead center in the bowl and the views were becoming even more spectacular. There was snow on the ground in certain spots and quite a few more rocks. As I ascended out of the bowl, I came to a cliff face with a beautiful mountain flower garden on top of it. The colors were spectacular.

As I passed the cliff, I started ascending again toward some pine trees that seemed like they were fighting gravity. By now, I had hiked around 5 miles give or take. I started a little before 11 am and it was nearing 2 pm. It occured to me that I wasn’t close to the trail that would link me to the ridge and take me to the summit. Disappointed, with my legs on fire, but satisfied I turned around and headed back for my car. I was hoping the trail would be easier going back then coming up. This was not the case for the first 2 miles. I had to take several breaks. Also, the lack of sleep and altitude acclimation was starting to get to me. I pressed on and after 2 hrs and 15 min I spotted my car. I was very happy and relieved. My quads were on fire, my heart was pounding, I had blisters, and I was sucking wind like no other. I loved it. It was an incredible challenge and a great hike. I checked and later found out that the trail I was on just hugs the shadow of the mountain. I had missed the turn to hit the summit. I am really hoping I get the chance to try this again.

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