Henry Mountains Region

Proposed Wilderness in the Henry Mountains Region

Click on the image above to view a gallery of the Henry Mountains Region.

In the rectilinear landscape of southern Utah’s canyon country, the Henry Mountains are a novelty — huge purple domes looming strange and silent above the mesas and badlands that surround them.

From the summit of 11,000-foot-high Mt. Pennell, the landscape plunges away to the west, dropping 6,400 feet, leveling out, then climbing 2,000 feet to the crest of the Waterpocket Fold. The panorama across this huge natural basin is one of the most dramatic and beautiful on the Colorado Plateau.

Two distinct landforms and vegetative areas characterize the proposed wilderness areas in the Henry Mountains: the virtually barren Blue Hills badlands and the 11,000-foot peaks of Mt. Ellen, which support dense pinyon-juniper, aspen, and spruce-fir forests. Mt. Ellen is a stunning backdrop for Capitol Reef National Park’s slickrock domes and cliffs and for the nearby Escalante, San Rafael Swell, and Dirty Devil wilderness areas.

The third highest peak in the Henry Mountains, Mt. Hillers is located between Mt. Pennell and the Little Rockies; as such it links the Henrys with the Glen Canyon proposed wilderness. Mt. Hillers rises prominently to the west of Utah Highway 276 between Highway 95 and Bullfrog. A well-maintained gravel road leads from the highway to the BLM’s Starr Spring Campground, a good place to begin a climb of the mountain. A dirt road circles west from Starr Spring to the north side of the mountain to two other starting places for climbing Mt. Hillers: Woodruff Stone Cabin and Cass Creek.

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