Cache County, Utah
Doubletop Mountain, Bear River Range, Pika, Panoramic Views
6.44 miles one way from the base, 4 miles round trip from the ridge
9,100 if starting at the ridge, 7,683 if starting at the bottom
1,034 total gain from the ridge, 2,454 if hiking from the bottom
The trail winds in and out of forest but sunscreen will be needed with the high elevation
Mostly easy but some areas are loose, steep, and hard to follow
The hike is not particularly dangerous but can be strenuous. Keep a good eye on children at the summit.
Trail Head:42.01118N, 111.59671W
Boss Canyon Ridge:41.99851N, 111.66091W
Doubletop Mountain:41.97571N, 111.66159W
Doubletop Mountain is the second highest peak in the Bear River Range, as well as Cache County, Utah. The peak is very close to the Idaho border and the trek actually starts in Idaho ending at the Peak in Utah. The mountain is most well known for its population of Pika. Elk, Deer, and Moose also frequent the area. This peak is a great place to escape the crowds. If the summit register is any indication only a couple dozen people made the trek this year. The area has open camping and there are several great spots that would make for a great overnight backpack trip. This mountain has several approach routes and options. From the Franklin Basin area of Logan Canyon you can approach from either Steep Canyon or Boss Canyon. Both of these options have ATV roads part of the way up. If you approach from the west through the Mount Naomi Wilderness you could come from White Canyon in Cherryville, Idaho, or High Creek Canyon, or North Fork High Creek Canyon which both start from the same trail head in Cove, Utah. The normal High Creek trail would be by far the longest and most strenuous route (including some off trail hiking along the ridge) but none of them are a picnic. For the best views of the peak take the Steep Canyon trail where it will be visible for much of the hike. Here are pictures of the mountain from that canyon. You can see how steep the hiking would be from this area. The reason for the name Doubletop is quite obvious.
For this trek I took the route through Boss Canyon. You can ride any ATV or Motorcycle under 50 inches to the ridge between Doubletop and White Canyon. From the ridge it is only about 1,000 feet of gain and two miles to the peak. For info from the base of the canyon to the ridge see our separate trek on Boss Canyon. If hiking the whole way you can just easily follow the ATV two track. This trek will cover from the ridge to the peak. From the ridge above Boss Canyon you will start hiking to the south where you immediately begin to climb. The trail can be faint but just keep heading up and you will get to the right area. There are several ups and downs on the hike.
If you look back to the north you can see the ATV trail you started out on as well as far north into the Idaho portion of the Bear River Range.
The large canyon below you to the west is North Fork of High Creek. This is a seldom used and steep route through the Mount Naomi Wilderness.
After reaching the first small peak you will drop down again before climbing this next unnamed peak.
Once on top of the second peak you will see a very cool summit block of vertical limestone cliffs. Even at the end of September there was still a little snow. This had been a mediocre snow year so I think there would almost always be snow. The trail drops down to the right of the cliffs below the ridge for a while. The views down into Steep Canyon from here are fantastic! You will also get your first views of Doubletop. This area is very rugged and steep.
Once back on the ridge keep hiking straight towards the cliffs that look like Doubletop but are a false summit. You will again want to stay to the right (or west) of these cliffs.
This is also where the Steep Canyon ridge meets the trail.
Views to the west of North Fork are again amazing and you can see well into Idaho and the Bannock Range.
As you loop around the west the real summit will come into view. Keep your eyes and ears open in this area. American Pika live here and they were the highlight of the trip for me! These cute little mammals are some of the rarest animals in North America. They live only in very high elevation rocky areas. They are technically tiny rabbits that have a very distinct call. Look for them in the loose rocky areas in this part of the trail.
To access the summit you will climb between the two tops.
The southern one is the highest. Here is the view of the northern top from the southern one. Franklin Basin is in the background.
The views are great in all directions. To the south you can see Mounts Gog, and Magog on the far left and Mount Naomi (The only peak higher than Doubletop) on the right.
The best view is southwest of Cherry Peak. This is a very rugged peak with huge cliffs that dominates the terrain above High Creek Canyon. It is also the third highest peak in the range.
While on the summit I had an early arriving Bald Eagle fly high above my head where I was able to get a blurry photo. This was a surprise to me since it was a long ways from any water and pretty early in the year for them to be in the area.
You can return via any of the described options and make a shuttle. This time I returned through Boss Canyon the way I came.
This was a beautiful hike that I had a lot of fun exploring. I didn’t see a single person (during hunting season this was very nice since I wasn’t hunting on this particular visit) and the Pika were close to the top of my bucket list to find. I watched them for over and hour and it was a very nice day! This is a great place for anyone wanting solitude and great high scenery.