Winter Backpack to Lake Blanche & Sundial Peak

Utah Lake Blanche Trailhead

Added by Lindsay Daniels

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
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Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography, Snowshoeing

Skill Level:



Spring, Winter

Trail Type:



6 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2700 Feet




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How to Get There

8 months ago

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.

8 months ago

Added by Lindsay Daniels

I am a photographer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. I shoot landscapes, and adventure lifestyle, as well as documentary style stories through both stills and motion. Find me on social media @lindsaydanielsphotography.

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