Hillsboro Peak Bypass

Trail 79 runs along the crest of the Black Range.  At Hillsboro Peak there is a short trail which bypasses the Hillsboro Peak summit, connecting the two parts of trail 79 on either side of the peak.  The Bypass Trail is designated trail 412, it has a total length of about 1.3 miles.  From the trail junction 79/412 just above Hillsboro Lake to the Holden Prong saddle it is about 4 miles.  Trail 412 is roughly level, from Holden Prong saddle to the west junction of 412 there is about a 500’ elevation gain.

On January 25, 2018, Rebecca and I took this trail as part of a car-shuttle loop starting at Emory Pass and ending at the Railroad Canyon campground, a distance of 10.6 to 11.2 (depending on your source).  Above Hillsboro Lake, on the south side of Hillsboro Peak you will find the sign above.  The distances on signage in this area of the Black Range is at best confusing, perhaps just plain wrong.

Turning left off of the Black Range Crest Trail (Trail 79) we took the Bypass Trail looking for the Junction with the East Railroad Canyon Trail 130, which we did not find.  Continuing on we found that the Bypass trail had a lot of blow-down making for some slow tiring walking.

The Bypass trail is relatively level and at this time has a lot of locust growing in and along it, in addition to the blowdown, making it seem like something was trying to poke or grab you at every step.  But it is absolutely beautiful.

Bypass trail2

At the west junction of trail 79 and trail 412 you find this sign indicating that the Holden Prong saddle is 2.5 miles down the way.  From this point the trail descends through a beautiful stream valley which has a fair amount of blowdown to Holden Prong Saddle.  Once you emerge from the stream valley the trail contours around a peak providing gorgeous views to the west.  After reaching Holden Prong saddle we turned left (off of 79) and headed down Railroad Canyon.

© Robert Barnes 2018