Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
The top of Francis Peak is a restricted area, nor would you want to visit it anyway due to the high frequency radio wave radiation.
I hiked this ridge for a spring ski descent of Francis Peak, South Shoulder descent into Bair Canyon.
Park in a cul-de-sac off Bella Vista drive. Mind the mansion entrances and the fire hydrant. From here, as of this writing, access has been maintained for those who want to link up with the BST (Bonneville Shoreline Trail.) Head north on the BST until you come to the Wolverine Trail turn-off. Boot this until you reach snow, then start skinning. There was only one time after this that I had to boot again, but it was short-lived enough that I could shoulder the skis instead of taking the time to mount them on my pack.
Once finally above tree-line at about 7800 feet, the skinning starts to be really fun and the views improve dramatically. Skin along the ridge while carefully avoiding any cornices. The final leg that meets up with the Francis Peak road (also part of the GWT) is the steepest, and you'll definitely want your ski crampons. From the road, it is a very short jaunt over to the "Restricted Area" sign where you can bask in the views overlooking Morgan, and the view into Bair Canyon, all while absorbing some sweet smelling radar radiation.
I highly recommend wearing your hiking shoes for the initial boot, then packing them up until you need them again. This will not only save the sole of your ski boot, but it will also save your feet, and your bunions, if you have any, will thank you.
Shared By: Spencer Parkin