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Marjum Pass

I15 marks is a de-facto scenic boundary in Utah. All of the well known "attractions" are east of that highway. West of here lies the Great Western Dessert, a fascinating relatively unpopulated landscape with classic dessert basin and range landscape, that stretches into Nevada. This part of Utah could pass for Nevada any day. Marjum Pass is one of two gravel passes in the House Range, the eastern most and the most spectacular range of the great western dessert of Utah, that is also fairly easy to access.

The route over the top, between points 4 and 6 follows the old Hiway 6 and 50 routes. The lower parts of the profile are constructed from convenient access routes from the modern Hiway 6

1.START-END EAST ALT:jct US6 - road signed to Amasa Basin ATV trail
2.profile turns right onto 3cRd (not signed)
3.route merges onto Death Canyon Rd (not signed)
4.START-END EAST: left turn onto old Hiway 6 and 50
5.TOP: Marjum Pass, 6260ft
6.START-END WEST:jct with Tule Valley Rd


From East.
This is the dip slope of the hogback. So scenery wise this resembles an inclined plain, with some rocky outcrops near the top. The umbrella like canopy of a solitary tree  at the top draws attention to its hermit existence, a detail in the landscape that seems to say "welcome" as you reach the top.

From West. The strike slope is a lot more interesting, and the name House Range begins to make visual sence. As the road carves into the rocks, the towers do resemble modern high rise housing blocks, a little more irregular maybe - a kind of futuristic Barcelona look. Much of this comes from the stratified look of the limestone: Back to the city block comparisons: here we don't have to put up with all that traffic or the people. The name actually does have its origin from this resemblance. It was named by Captain H J Simpson, when he passed through here on his way back from California in 1859 because it reminded him of "outline to domes, minarets, houses and other structures".

The downhill on this side has a short stretch of deep gravel that would be difficult to ride uphill.

I think the most dramatic location though is actually in front of the House Mountains, near the low point on this side and at a major, totally unsigned intersection. But who needs signs in a grid pattern world like this, where ranges run north - south. This intersection is kind enough to be at right angles.

From here the walls up to Notch Peak make their most dramatic appearance. In terms of pure numbers, this vertical drop is said to be the 2nd highest in the US, after El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. It is also one of the highest limestone cliffs in the world. Looking around, far ranges to the north are foregrounded with splashes of white salt, and powerlines are a study in vanishing points.

cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow

Dayride with this point as highest summit:


( |  US6 Summit: Tule Valley - Ferguson Dessert > )

Marjum Pass , Skull Rock Pass : 2.8 miles on unsigned road connecting US6 with old US6 just north of Sevier Lake > that road west > old US6 north > Long Ridge Reservoir Rd north > Old US6 west > Marjum Pass > Tule Valley Rd south > US6 east > Skull Creek Pass > Old US6 north > back to starting point on road between US6 and Sevier Lake: 63.8miles with 3030ft of climbing in 6:00hrs (garmin etrex30 m3:22.4.14)
Notes: I met exactly 1 car/truck on the unpaved part. Naturally they stopped to check on me.