Winter Backpack to Dog Lake and Backcountry Ski Reynolds Peak
Utah › Mill D North Trailhead
Added by Eric Harris
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.
- Avalanche beacon
- Winter clothes
- 4-Season Tent
- 0-Degree Sleeping Bag
- Sleeping Pad
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Backpacking, Camping, Photography, Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing
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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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