Winter Backpack to Dog Lake and Backcountry Ski Reynolds Peak

Mill D North Trailhead

Dog Lake is popular snowshoe trail by day, and a serene winter camping destination by night. The area is surrounded with endless backcountry skiing opportunities, including Reynolds Peak just 3/4 mile up from Dog Lake.

The hike is considered moderate, but the 1500ft. elevation gain (2100ft. to Reynolds Peak) will definitely get your heart rate up. Snowshoes/skins are recommended but the trail is often packed enough to do without them.

After crossing the street from the Spruces parking lot, follow the trail past cabins until you reach a fork, where you will follow the trail northeast into an Aspen Grove. Continue up the canyon through the aspen grove. You will reach a second fork with a sign indicating 0.6 miles to Dog Lake. When you reach Dog Lake, a short path to the West provides views of Reynolds Peak. This is a great place to set up camp, and even on the weekend you will likely have the place to yourself overnight.

In the morning, hit the trail about an hour before sunrise and you can watch the sun come up from Reynolds Peak. Sunrise powder turns can make a morning person out of anyone. To reach Reynolds Peak continue up the trail for about 3/4 mile with an additional 600ft. elevation gain. Reynolds Peak offers breathtaking views of Gobblers Knob, Kessler Peak, Mount Raymond, and Little Water Peak.

There are several bowls and tree lines down from the peak that will bring you back to camp. Rest, have lunch, and ski as many laps as you like. There are plenty of fresh tracks to go around.

If you're not interested in camping but just want to ski, the trail to Reynolds Peak can also be done as a day-trip.

The trail to Dog Lake and Reynolds Peak starts in the Mill D North trailhead. To get there drive 9.5 miles up Big Cottonwood Canyon and park in the Spruces parking lot on your right.

Pack List

  • Skins/Snowshoes
  • Skis/Snowboard
  • Avalanche beacon
  • Shovel/probe
  • Winter clothes
  • 4-Season Tent
  • 0-Degree Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Headlamp
  • Water
  • Camera
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RT Distance 5 Miles
Elevation Gain 1500 Feet
Activities Snowboarding, Camping, Photography, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Backpacking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Winter
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Scenic

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Dogs

If you want to bring your dog you have to go to Millcreek Canyon. It is about half an hour from the trailhead this app will bring you to. At Millcreek you basically just drive all the way to the end and can either go down the Big Water trailhead (steeper) or the Little Water trailhead.

Reynolds Peak

Reynolds Peak is a classic Wasatch backcountry ski. If you are going to ski it while there is any hint of avalanche danger, stay off the East Face. It is frequently wind loaded and is the sweet spot angle for and avalanche (38 degrees). Skiing off the northwest side of Reynolds Peak (Reynolds Glade) is the much safer option on an avalanche prone day because of the trees and low angle slope (26 degrees).


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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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