Rishel Peak is one of several highpoints in the Silver Island Mountains that is named after an early 1900s automotive editor at the Salt Lake Tribuner. Why? It is located near the Bonneville Salt Flats, a hotbed for racing activity. Rishel helped get Highway 80 built so that drivers worldwide would be able to push the limits of automotive technology on the salt flats.
Today racers still flock to the salt flats, but the Silver Island Mountains remain hidden in plain view, receiving few visitors each year. Climbing to Rishel's summit is an easy way to experience the quiet of the desert landscape without making a big mountain commitment.
The North Ridge is the simplest and most direct route up to the summit, but the ridge can be accessed in a number of ways. Several gravel roads in various states of disrepair head toward the peak from the main road. Choose any one and start walking. On the way across the broad desert flats, look for signs of human activity. Old trash left behind in the elements turns into works of art after being sculpted and deteriorated by nature.
Lizards thrive in this hot, dry habitat. Watch for them sunning on the rocks and darting from shrub to shrub. Snakes, raptors, and antelope also call this seemingly inhospitable landscape home. If you're really lucky, you may catch a glimpse of bighorn sheep.