The Henry Mountains

April 12th, 2014

Education, Historical places

The Henry Mountains are a very isolated mountain range in South Central Utah, near Capitol Reef. For anyone who wants to “get away from it all,” we can think of no better place. Incredibly, the Henrys were the last explored range in America, and the last to be named. Their namesake is Joseph Henry, the noted physicist and secretary of the Smithsonian Institute. This mountain range still has many mysteries.

The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for the Henry Mountains. They maintain three designated camping sites and one picnic area. But, there are many “unofficial” camping locations to be found. Also, camping is available in Cedar Pines campground in Capitol Reef – which is pretty near by.

If you want to simply drive on the roads around the Henrys, you will not be disappointed by the view. Any excuse for a trip in the Waterpocket Fold is worth taking. Check out the Burr Trail Road, or if you want to get closer, try Bull Creek Pass or hike to Angel’s Point. People who visit the Henry Mountains often remark on the stark differences in the surrounding landscape. Parts are extremely dry – areas such Little Egypt – and parts are lush enough to support herds of large animals, such as the only truly, wild herd of American Bison. (Buffalo, as they are often mistakenly called.)

Because the Henrys are so remote and so biologically diverse, they are a special place for hunters. The mountains are filled with deer and elk, and antelope in the surrounding deserts. Occasionally even Bison hunting permits are issued to help thin the herd.

Of course if hunting is not your thing, there are still plenty of chances to get out and hike. Mount Ellen is a very popular location for hikers. Day trips are advised, but if you have the right gear, you can spend many days exploring the Henry Mountains.

Whether you just want to get close to nature, or you want an extreme adventure, we recommend stopping by the Henry Mountains. Plan ahead, take the necessary precautions, and be safe out there.

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