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Fisher Pass
aka Johnson Pass

Fisher Pass was on the first designated Overland automobile route - the Lincoln Highway, and in places the area seems as wild and isolated as it must have been seen back then. But today Fisher Pass also fills another role. It is a sort of commuter route between the Salt Lake area and Dugway, the settlement that constitutes the human infrastructure necessary to maintain the Dugway Proving Grounds of the US Army.

It may come as a surprise for such an isolated area. But this road is immaculately paved and crosses the edge of a range climaxing in a 10 thousand foot mountain on one side, Deseret Peak in the Stansbury Mountains. On the other side are the somewhat lower forested Onaqui Mountains.

1.START-END WEST:low point on Ut199 in Skull Valley
2.jct with Old Lincoln Highway
3.TOP: Fisher Pass,6520ft
4.START-END EAST:jct Ut36 - Ut199 in Rush Valley


From West. Leaving the security controlled entrance of Dugway, Ut199 is as straight as a ruler. The profile starts at a low point in the valley a few miles out of Dugway. But I never took note of the actual low point because I was too busy watching the clouds form over Deseret Peak (11031ft) This is the more attractive side of the range. Looking ahead up the way into the mountains, the road seems to make just one little jog to the north, before again resuming its straight line - as if somebody had made a mistake with the theodolite and placed the road just a wee bit too far to the south. But actually before the road gets to that point it passes a collection of houses named Terra on the map. While on the left side a sign reads "Welcome to Terra" a sign on the right reads "First Street, no trespassing". No need - nothing much here, no people no businesses, no picturesque decay.

Just before entering Terra an important junction marks the place where the Old Lincoln Highway joins Ut199 (when heading east). On the west side of this point the road signed "Lincoln Highway" angles just a bit more to the north. Even though there is practically zero traffic on it, it is even paved. Another road at this junction heading south is a shorter connection to Lookout Pass.

Past Terra the road enters a surprisingly curvy ravine with an equally surprisingly steep climb to the top, traversing juniper forest, but breaking out above it at the pass.

From East (described downwards). At the top stands a sign with an elaborate explanation for the name of the pass, which I will save for the history section below. An elaborate descent on wide radius curves leads to a large collection of houses, spread out over a large area. I would call it a village or town. But that would imply that there are also some kind of businesses or sevices there, and I did not see any.




Modern Highways. The first cross country automobile route was created in 1919 by Carl Fisher. Going through Wyoming the route followed the course of today's I80 and never crossed anything resembling a mountain road or a pass. Enter Utah and there was the decent into Salt Lake Valley, and then came this pass. It was not named after Mister Fisher at the time. The sign at the top seems to have been put up in 2008. Both my DeLorme Atlas and my OpenStreetMap on the computer name this pass Johnson Pass.

Continuing into Nevada, the Lincoln Highway did entertain a few more named summits along today's US50, the barely noticable (as far as elevation is concerned only) Hickison Summit, and then Austin Summit and for a while Carroll Summit

Dayrides with this point as highest summit:


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Fisher Pass , Lookout Pass: near jct Ut36 - Faust Rd > Ut36 south > Pony Express Rd west > Lookout Pass > unmarked gravel rd heading west from Pony Express Rd > Government Creek Rd north > Dugway entrance > Ut119 east > Fisher Pass > Ut36 south > back to starting point near jct Ut36 - Faust Rd 58.3miles with 3040ft of climbing in 5:21hrs (garmin etrex32x m5:23.6.8) (pics t23_13_28-51 t23_14_1-12)
Notes: fantastic weather with cool clouds in the afternoon, while the east US is experiencing smoke from Canadian wildfires.

( < Silver Island Mtns unn-1 s(u) | > )

Fisher Pass : Lone Rock BLM area > Skull Valley Rd south > Old Lincoln Highway north > Ut199 east > Fisher Pass > Ut36 north > Meadow Ln west > Main St north > Mormon Trail north[this is a road] > Grantsville > Ut138 west > Ellerbeck Rd west > TC3230 west[unp] > Skull Valley Rd south back to starting piont in Lone Rock BLM area  90.2miles with 3360ft of climbing in 7:05hrs (garmin etrex32x r4:23.11.3)
Notes: unpaved section is extremely short ( less than 2 miles), and can be avoided by switching to I80, though this may involve crossing lanes of traffic - a perfect weather day in every way in November - the climb on Mormon Trail[pvd] does apparently not permit a 500ft climb on the south side. So I am not counting it as a summit, even though the climb on this route was more than 300ft.