Deep Creek Mountains and Scott's Basin Wilderness Study Area

A small stream flowing through the rocks and pines of the Deep Creek Mountains Wilderness Study Area

The 68,910-acre Deep Creek Mountains Wilderness Study Area is in western Utah, against the Goshute Tribal Lands and almost against the border with Nevada. With 2 peaks that rise above 12,000', the Deep Creek Mountains are the highest landmarks in western Utah. This is an "island" ecosystem with great biological wealth. Deep Creek Valley is to the west, the Great Salt Lake Desert to the east. The mountain range runs north-south for 32 miles but is only between 3 and 15 miles wide.

Surrounded by a barren, scrub-filled landscape of playa basins and alluvial outwash, the Deep Creek Mountains rise sharply to alpine meadows fringed by aspen and evergreen forests. Junipers, Ponderosa and bristlecone pines, aspen... and among the numerous canyons cut into the granite and quartzite of the range you'll find 9 perennial streams.

Getting to the Deep Creek Mountains is not easy. Wendover is 55 miles to the north. There are some serious back country roads around the mountains, one of them being the Pony Express National Historic Trail/Pony Express Trail Backcountry Byway, which runs east and north of the Wilderness Study Area. Vehicular access is allowed on certain designated roads in the WSA but, for the most part, the rules here are the same as for any other designated wilderness area: no mechanized or motorized vehicles allowed beyond those posted road closure signs.

Mesas and buttes in the foothills of the Deep Creek Mountains
Jagged, snow-capped peaks in the heart of the Deep Creek Mountains
Photos and map courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management  
Map of the Pony Express Trail Backcountry Byway area

Related Pages

Map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!