Backpacking Kings Peak

Henry Fork Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Jacob Moon

Summit Utah's tallest mountain at 13,527 feet (4,123 meters). Inspiring views of all of Utah's 13,000+ foot peaks. Distance: 28.8 miles. Elevation gain: 4,100 feet.

From the Henry Fork Trailhead (approx. 9400 feet elev.) the trail gains very little elevation during the first 5.5 miles with several lakes to camp by along the way. The first lake reached is Alligator Lake. At just under 3 miles from the trailhead, this beautiful lake is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a nice, easy introduction to the altitude and rigors of backpacking. After passing Alligator Lake the trail continues on the Henry's Fork Trail for another 3 miles. At this point, you'll reach a trail junction known as ElkHorn Crossing. Here you are presented with two choices:

1) You can take the trail heading due south. This trail is the most direct route. After 2 miles, it will pass by the most popular lake in the area, Dollar Lake, which has a numbers of excellent established campsites near by.

2) You can take the West Loop Trail which will add ~4.5 miles to you trip. This is a excellent option either going to or coming back from Kings Peak because of its half a dozen picturesque lakes, excellent campsites and fewer crowds. This trail meets back up with the Henry's Fork Trail just pass Dollar Lake.

It is highly recommended to set up base camp near one of the many lakes in the Henry's Fork Basin. At this point, the trail begins to gain elevation rapidly up switchbacks to Gunsight Pass (11,900 ft elev.). From the top of the pass, the trail descends 500 vertical feet into the next drainage and loops around the steep, rocky slopes of Gunsight Peak to once again ascend the gentler, though still rocky slope of Kings Peak. This last and final section of the trail gains approx. 2000 feet over 4.6 miles to The Crown of Utah 13,527 ft.

Distance

28.8 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

4100 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Forest
Lake
Scenic

Nearby Lodging

Lyman KOA

Lyman, Wyoming

From $95/night

Newpark Hotel

Park City

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

The Roof of Utah

In my opinion, this is the way to summit King's Peak. Backpacking in gives you the time to enjoy the beautiful basin, explore other lakes and spend time on the peak to soak it all in. Incredible adventure!

Fun & Pretty Adventure

Good scenery mix the whole hike. We climbed up the rock slide to the right and then down that way also- on all fours both ways- great challenge, staying overnight was relaxing and peaceful as well. Highly recommend this beautiful hike.

Amazing views from the peak

I did this hike in late July last year. The hike itself is super moderate and is honestly mostly flat the entire way -- until the last little stretch to the summit. The views from the top were incredible, though. I went on a really clear day, and you could see for miles in any direction. I loved looking around and see all the different valleys and small lakes in the Uintas. It was lovely. I did it two days. We hiked about 8 miles until we found a good camping spot close to a lake. Then, we woke up early, hiked to the peak, came back to camp for a quick lunch / nap and then hiked back to the trailhead. We got to the trailhead before sunset, and I was back in Provo by 11 pm. It was a great hike.

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