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Holmes’ Cabin
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Overview
Location

Fruit Heights, Davis County, Utah

Sights

Great vista’s of the Wasatch Front and the Great Salt Lake

Distance

2.5 miles one way

Parking Lot Elevation

4,900ft

Summit Elevation

7,635ft

Elevation Gain/Loss

2,735ft

Time Required

One way, 3-5 hours.

Pets

Yes

Fees

None

Water Info

Plenty of snow to boil in Winter. No water known water in the summer.

Best Season

Fall – Winter

Hours

Open year round

Sun Exposure

Moderate

Trail Condition

Defined but overgrown.

Restrooms

None

Visitor Center

None

Camping

Yes.

Food

Sometimes. As a deal with the NFS, this cabin must be maintained and stocked with food.

Equipment

Old saws, old buckets, ratty old sleeping bags.

This is not an easy hike. This is Stair Master for the outdoors. If you are looking for a hard hike, with great views, and want to sweat the entire time; then this is the hike for you. To be clear, I have only hiked to this cabin in winter. Deep snow greatly adds to the difficulty and colors my perception of the hike.

Holmes’ Cabin is a disheveled old cabin high on the shoulder over Fruit Heights, UT. It was built by a local family, as were the other cabins in this area. The National Forest Service discovered the cabin and instead of fining the owners and tearing down the cabin, they struck a deal: the cabin could stay as long as it was kept open for public use as a sort of yurt, and it remained stocked with provisions and tools.

I have been up and had to share the cabin, but that is rare. The cabin has fallen into disuse in the last years. Expect a leaky roof, and a dirty building.

GPS Coordinates

Trailhead:41° 2’49.22″N 111°54’15.07″W
Turn Off: 41° 3’24.37″ N 111°54’01.12″ W
Cabin: 41° 3’50.90″N 111°52’33.15″W


Trail Map


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The Trail:

Start at the East Mountain Wilderness Trail head. Follow onto the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. Cross Holmes Creek. This is the easy part of the hike. Usually there is not much snow here. But rest assured, the cabin will have much more if you go during late winter.

DCP_2639

Crossing Holmes Creek


Shortly after the bridge over the creek, as you climb out of the canyon, you will take a right off the main trail. This smaller trail will take you all the way to the cabin, straight up the mountain.

DCP_2636

Looking up the mountain towards the cabin.

The cabin lies behind the ridge with the thumb of rock sticking up. We call this Wart Rock. Fighting my way up the mountain against a stiff head wind, my water bottle on the side of my backpack froze solid. As did my friend’s camel-bak.


DCP_1340

Sunset on Wart Rock

On your way up, you can run over to Wart Rock and get some great photos. At this point you will be exhausted. Don’t worry, you are over 4/5 of the way there. My feet were sore and frozen. I was dehydrated. I was very ready for a fire.


 

The cabin is tucked in the trees just off the ridge. It is mildly shielded from the wind. But the cabin is full of holes and the wind blew snow in on us all night long.

DCP_2679

A fellow Traveller’s horse and the Holmes’ Cabin

The cabin sleeps six nicely and has a top loft for storage or the adventurous. There is no insulation in the walls. During the night it dropped to -20°f inside. This is very rare that our mountains ever get this cold. It is, to this day, still the coldest I have ever camped in.

DCP_1335

The interior

To keep my water from refreezing I had it in my sleeping back. Half way through the night I lay cold and shivering and wondering why I couldn’t get warm (other than the insane cold). I rolled over and realized my bottle had been leaking. I was wet. Perfect!  I kept the fire going in the little stove and piled the old sleeping bags on top of me.

DCP_1318

A room with a view

The view from the cabin is not bad. The door opens South Westerly, showing Kaysville down to Salt Lake City.


The Return:

Head down the way you came. The trail does continue to the top of the mountain, but is heavily overgrown. It connects to the Great Western Trail that traverses along the spine of the Wasatch Mountains.


Personal Thoughts:

This cabin is pretty ratty, and not worth the effort to get to unless you are just looking for a new destination to sweat to. I loved going here as a teenager. Now that I am older, I am perfectly happy leaving it to the teenagers.

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Ratings (out of 10)
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User Rating
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Difficulty
8.0
7.8
Technicality
4.0
5.4
Enjoyment
2.0
5.7
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek.  If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

3.2
Trek Planner Rating
6.3
User Rating
2 ratings
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About The Author
Hawkeye-TP
A man of adventure and generally swell guy. He was born, and has been winging it since then. Trevor@thetrekplanner.com

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2 Comments on "Holmes’ Cabin"

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jman
Admin

Nice Hawkeye! I’m glad you are able to post more Treks. Keep up the great work! You and JTJ17 are doing a great job. I look forward to more and more locally here as I recently moved here from New York.

It’s surprising, there isn’t a lot of GOOD local info in books.

Thanks again!

jman
Admin

Just kidding about the moving part. But everything else is true. I’m glad you were able to post another one! Definitely something great here!