Winter Backpack to Lake Blanche & Sundial Peak

Lake Blanche Trailhead

It's free to camp in the backcountry at Lake Blanche, just remember to pack out what you brought in. Be sure to check out winter avalanche conditions before heading out.

This is a popular hike all year round, but less popular in the winter. If you’re backpacking you’ll most likely be alone. In winter, the lake is covered in snow, but Sundial Peak is one of the most picturesque mountains in the Wasatch. Especially when it is dusted with snow. You’ll also be far enough away from the city that the stars will keep you company.

To start your backpacking trip, head to the Mill B Trailhead (40.633735, -111.723895) at the bottom of the S-Curve in Big Cottonwood Canyon, it’s a 3-mile strenuous hike to Lake Blanche where Sundial Peak stands watch.

It is free to camp in the backcountry. Just remember to camp responsibly and pack everything out.

In the winter, the hike up to the lake will most likely have you stripping down to a t-shirt, but you’ll want a lot more than a t-shirt once you stop. Pack layers!

Before heading out on any winter adventure, take a basic avalanche course. Check out the Utah Avalanche Center for free classes. They also have an app with updated avalanche advisories.

Pack List

  • Backpacking essentials (4 season gear)
  • Layers, layers, layers!
  • Waterproof boots
  • Snowshoes
  • Hiking poles
  • Camera
  • Tripod (for night shots!)
  • Water
Show More
RT Distance 6 Miles
Elevation Gain 2700 Feet
Activities Camping, Photography, Snowshoeing, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Winter
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Lake
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Workout

Went in middle of March. Snow was rather well packed on the trail, weather was beautiful, though it started to get colder as I get to the top since the clouds were blocking the sun. Definitely a leg workout, probably even if there wasn’t any snow. With snow, you have to be careful. There are a few drops right next to the trail and a lot of spots where it can get icy. Overall, a beautiful climb though, the brooks were getting some snow melt so they were flowing, few birds here and there chirping along. Should try again in a more spring timeframe.

Diggity

It was so fun, (killa legs)went in November, when summiting SunDial careful lost of ice and steep snow right now!!!

Tough But Absolute Favorite

Did this hike in the summer and it was definitely tough. I am very athletic and I was for sure out of breath a couple times. If your planning on doing this in the winter prepare your self it's a hell of a lot harder than you'd think.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Snowshoe Lake Blanche

338 Saves

Day Hike to Lake Blanche

1402 Saves

Hike Broads Fork Basin and Beaver Pond

389 Saves