Henry Mountains

The Henry Mountains are located south of Hanksville in a remote and rugged area of Utah, and as such, they offer visitors a chance to experience true wilderness. The dirt roads that grant access to this range are rough and it is advisable to explore this area with a vehicle equip with 4-wheel drive and decent clearance. The Henry Mountains are a great place for backpacking, horseback riding, OHV driving and mountain biking.

 

Camping

There are few developed campgrounds in the Henry Mountain range, but if visitors are prepared to camp in a remote and rugged environment there's incredible experiences to be had. The maintained campgrounds are listed below.

Lonesome Beaver Campground

Lonesome Beaver Campground is in the heart of Sawmill Basin and sits at an elevation of over 8,000 feet. The campground might be tough to get to due to road conditions. However, the scenery and ambience are well worth the trip. Lonesome Beaver is a five-site camping ground with parking lots, picnic tables, fire rings, grills, benches, potable water, and restrooms. Located here.

McMillan Springs

McMillan Spring Campground is nestled in the midst of a ponderosa pine forest on a large grassy area with panoramic views. It is a favorite camping spot among big game hunters during their Once-in-a-Lifetime hunt for Bison. McMillan Spring Campground is also designed for those with horses. It comes complete with corrals, livestock water, and a trough. The corrals can be accessed and viewed easily from a number of sites. In addition to the horse facilities, McMillan Spring is a nine site campground and offers parking areas, picnic tables, fire rings, grills, benches, potable water, and restrooms. Located here.

Starr Springs

Located at the southern tip of the Henry Mountains, and at an elevation of 6300 feet, Starr Springs Campground is one of the lower lying campgrounds in this mountain range. This campground does not require 4-wheel drive and has 12 campsites available. This lovely campsite is set amid the scrub oak trees and offers water, fire rings, and restrooms for you to use. Located here

Dandelion Flat Picnic Area

At an elevation of over 8,000 feet, and surrounded by pine and aspen trees, Dandelion Flat includes fire rings, grills, picnic tables, benches, potable water, and restrooms. It is designated for day use only, and no overnight camping is allowed. Located a few miles north of the Lonesome Beaver Campground.

Image by Timothy Meinberg
 
Image by Jackson Blackhurst

Hiking

If you're looking for a challenging and rewarding backpacking trip, the Henry Mountains are a great place to start. Just be sure to come prepared for a truly wild experience. While there is a whole mountain range of places to hike, we have listed two of the most prominent.

Mount Ellen

This is  the highest point in the Henry Mountains, at 11,527 feet. The trail to the summit is about 4 miles long, and it's a moderate hike with about 1,000 feet of elevation gain. The views from the top are definitely worth it! The trailhead is located here.

Mount Pennell

This is  another popular destination for backpackers in the Henry Mountains. The trail to Mt. Pennell is about the same distance as the one to Mt. Ellen, at 8 miles round trip. But it's still a difficult hike, with an elevation gain of nearly 4,000 feet. The trailhead is located here.

 

Hunting

Hunting in the Henry Mountains is challenging and rewarding, and there are many different kinds of game to be found here. We have listed some of the most popular:

Mule Deer

The local mule deer population has produced some of the largest bucks in the state of Utah. In fact, a world record buck was harvested from these mountains in 2015. The buck scored an impressive 282 points.

Bison

The Henry Mountains are home to the last remaining wild herd of bison in the United States. These animals are very large and powerful, but incredibly majestic. Hunting the Henry Mountain bison is a once in a lifetime  opportunity for the few hunters lucky enough to draw a tag. The hunting of these buffalo is permitted as a conservation effort to help in maintaining and managing the herd.

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Mountain Lion

Hunting mountain lion in the Henry Mountains is an exciting challenge for experienced hunters. These animals are elusive and dangerous, so it is important to be prepared before heading out into the wilderness. There are a number of different ways to hunt mountain lion, but the most popular method used in the Henry Mountains is is to use hounds.

The Henry Mountains offer visitors a chance to experience true wilderness and see some of the largest animals in the United States. If you're looking for an adventure, the Henry Mountains are a great place to start.

Image by Mike Beaumont

History

The Henry Mountains are a range of mountains located in southeastern Utah. The range is so named because Major John Wesley Powell, the first director of the U.S. Geological Survey, named them for his friend and fellow explorer, Joseph Henry. The Henrys are not among the highest peaks in Utah, but they are impressive nonetheless, with the highest point in the range, Mount Ellen, measuring at 11,527 feet.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the highest point in the Henry Mountains?

The highest point  in the Henry Mountains is Mount Ellen, which reaches an elevation of 11,527 feet.

 

Are the Henry Mountains volcanic?

Yes,  the Henry Mountains are a dormant volcano. The mountains are well known by geologists as a classic example of laccolith (igneous [lava] uplift) mountains.

 

How many bison are in the Henry Mountains?

The current population of bison in the Henry Mountains ranges between 250 and 400 animals.

 

Were there Native Americans in the Henry Mountains?

The surrounding region has evidence of both the Fremont and Anasazi peoples' presence, but there is little or no indication of habitation in the mountains themselves.

 

Is there gold on the Henry Mountains?

Yes,  there is gold on the Henry Mountains. However, most of the gold is very fine and difficult to recover. There have also been some mining activity in the past, so the best areas have probably already been claimed.

 

What is the best time to visit the Henry Mountains?

The best time to visit the Henry Mountains is in the summer or fall. The weather is generally mild during these seasons, and there are plenty of activities to keep you busy.