Swasey Mountain Wilderness Study Area
Guide

Introduction

If you are looking to get away from the world and relax in solitude, the Swasey Mountain Wilderness Study Area is a magnificent choice for those looking for a bit of peace and quiet. The mainly untouched and undeveloped landscape is breath-taking, with phenomenal vistas from several high points across the House Range. With sheer limestone cliffs on the west side and dense pine and pinyon-juniper woodland throughout, this is one of the most picturesque mountain ranges in the world. The Swasey Mountain is the highest peak in the House Range at over 9, 600 ft. and the summit of the mountain is covered in bristlecone pines, which are amongst the oldest living trees in the world.

Named after Sid Swasey, one of the area's earliest ranchers, the Swasey Mountain WSA offers primitive RV camping amid some of the finest scenery in Utah. It is almost as if the area was created with the outdoor adventurer in mind, with lots of recreational activities to do year-round. Whether you are into mountain climbing, hiking, or collecting fossils, there is certainly something for everyone. The clear skies here make conditions perfect for stargazing, and as you set up for the night at your private and secluded campsite, you are sure to feel at one with nature. Check out our in-depth guide for more information to ensure that your Swasey Mountain RV adventure is a success.

RV Rentals in Swasey Mountain Wilderness Study Area

Transportation

Driving

The Swasey Mountain Wilderness Study Area is situated approximately 23 miles west of Delta in Utah in northwestern Millard County. The US 50 - 6 is known as the loneliest highway in the States, with traffic count being typically low on this transcontinental highway. If you are traveling from here, take the Tule Valley road north for around 19 miles. Providing access to the ridges, canyons, and attractions in the area, gravel and dirt roads span the range.

With unique rock formations, majestic mountains and a dramatic desert landscape, this area undoubtedly is excellent for a scenic drive with the opportunity to marvel at some of Mother Nature’s finest work. The driving conditions will depend on what time of year you are visiting the area, and it is important to check before you leave and to always plan ahead.

Parking

Parking is available at the Swasey Peak Mountain Campground, and there are several parking lots situated throughout the WSA. You should also have enough space to leave your vehicle at your campsite.

Public Transportation

No public transportation currently provides access to the Swasey Mountain wilderness study area.

Campgrounds and parking in Swasey Mountain Wilderness Study Area

Campsites in Swasey Mountain Wilderness Study Area

First-come first-served

Swasey Mountain Wilderness Study Area

Offering backcountry camping in the Utah wilderness, the Swasey Mountain Wilderness Study Area provides primitive camping at its finest. Although there are no maintained campgrounds in the area, there is dispersed camping permitted throughout.

Always ensure that you follow the leave no trace principles including the importance of planning ahead and ensuring proper preparation; traveling and camping on durable surfaces; the proper disposal of waste; leave what you find; ensure safety and minimize the impact of campfires; and always, respect the local wildlife

Sand Mountain Campground

The Little Sahara Recreation Area is a desert park with a difference. The landscape consists of large sand dunes, hills, and trails, and it is super popular amongst OHV and ATV enthusiasts. The recreation area has several campsites within its boundaries, including White Sands, Campground, Oasis Campground, Kerhico campground, and the Sand Mountain Campground; which is the closest to Swasey Mt.

Each of these has varying facilities and amenities, with 224 campsites spread across each of them. Dispersed camping throughout the area is also popular. The Sand Mountain campground offers primitive camping, but the site has toilets, trash receptacles, and drinking water. This campsite is around 86 miles from the Swasey Mountain Study Area,

Simpson Springs Campground

Another site that is maintained by the US Bureau of Land Management, the Simpson Springs campground consists of 20 sites, and it works on a first come first serve basis. There is enough space for two vehicles per site and a maximum of eight people per site. The maximum trailer and RV length are 30 feet.

There are pit toilets, dump stations, and potable drinking water is available between March and November. Located near the Simpson Springs Station on the Pony Express Trail, this is a picturesque place, with plenty of shade underneath the cedar trees.

Seasonal activities in Swasey Mountain Wilderness Study Area

In-Season

Wildlife Watching

Bird watchers have the opportunity to spot the bald eagles, peregrine falcons and golden eagles that inhabit the study area, alongside ferruginous hawks, long-billed curlew, and burrowing owls in the evening.

The area is also home to a wide range of reptile species, as well as Utah's largest herd of bighorn sheep alongside kit foxes and wild mustang. You may even spot the aptly-named Swasey Spring pocket gopher. You will definitely want to take your camera with so much wildlife around!

Spelunking

Explore the deep and darkest caverns and tunnels of the mountains, with caving and spelunking in the region. There are at least four limestone caves in the Swasey Mt. Wilderness Study Area.

The most popular cave to explore is the Antelope Spring Cave, which is only open for a small part of the year. This is the perfect opportunity to explore the tenth longest cave in Utah, with a short vertical drop and then a gentle slope underneath the earth. As always, you must be cautious when caving, and safety wear is essential.

Climbing/Mountaineering

With awe-inspiring panoramic vistas at the various high points throughout the range, the Swasey Mountain Wilderness Study Area is the perfect spot for climbing and mountaineering. Notch Peak to the south of the Swasey Mountain is a popular climb, with a sheer vertical drop that is not for the fainthearted.

Alternately, the summit of Sawtooth Mountain has a mailbox on top which was first placed there in 1968 by the Wasatch Mountain Club. Since then it has become a tradition for climbers to post a letter or note when they reach the peak.

Off-Season

Collecting Fossils

This area is one of the best when it comes to collecting fossils, with many finding spectacular specimens during their stay. The study area contains the world’s largest known deposit of trilobites, dating back 500 million years, and many visitors try to find their own at the Antelope Springs Trilobite Area.

Rock hounds also love to visit west-central Utah for a range of geodes and agates. For example, the area north of Topaz Mountain is particularly well known for being abundant with its name-sake crystal.

Hiking

The Swasey Peak trail is ideal for hiking and nature walks. With an abundance of wildflowers and an elevation gain of 1942 feet, this trail is around four miles long and relatively gentle. If you are planning on exploring off the beaten track, there are no markers to speak of, but there are some well-traveled routes along the way. Always ensure that you let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to return. Also, do not hike in bad weather conditions, and always check the forecast before you leave the house.

Fishing

The Swasey Mountain WSA could be an idyllic vacation for the discerned angler, with excellent bait, fly and float fishing in the area. The nearby Sevier Lake is a popular spot for fishing, with the river being full of trout, catfish, pike, bass and yellow perch. However, some parts of this area are private land, so it is important to check before you fish.

As always, make sure that you are fully aware of the local laws regarding permits, licenses and catch limits.