Hike to Hayden Peak in the High Uintas

Details

Distance

3.63 miles

Elevation Gain

2053 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Cal Perfall

Hayden Peak is the monarch mountain of Utah's most scenic paved mountain road. Everyone who sees Hayden Peak on the Mirror Lake Highway stares in awe, but few take the venture up to its rugged summit.

Hayden Peak is by all means the monarch mountain of the Mirror Lake Highway. By that, I mean that Hayden Peak is easily the most rugged and impressive peak that can be viewed from the road. Driving over Bald Mountain Pass towards Evanston, WY, this peak looks amazing. There are few mountains out there that look so picturesque. 

Any peak bagger will instantly want to climb Hayden upon sight, but this is a hard peak to climb. Incredibly steep and in parts technical, this is an advanced peak and should be treated with respect. 

To climb Hayden, start from the Highline Trailhead. Trail walking wont last long, as you will branch off trail quickly to meet up with the ridgeline that takes you up to a saddle between Hayden and Mt. Agassiz. It is quite possible that this ridgeline is the crux of the day. There are cliff bands here that must be negotiated. There is a class 3 move to get you through, which is marked with cairns. Lose the trail, however, and it is quite possible to get into class 4 territory. Knowing the route beforehand is highly encouraged.

Once on the ridgeline, the route is straightforward yet difficult. There will be a large outcropping of rock that must be bypassed to the west (left). Just below the summit, you must go right (east) and ascend a tight chimney to the summit. The chimney looks intimidating, but there is no exposure to this move, which takes off a lot of pressure. Shimmy your way up and enjoy the reward. To the East, Middle Basin and all its glory is below you. Take in the views farther East of the core part of the High Uintas. Far to the West you will be able to see Mt. Timpanogos and the high peaks of the Wasatch. Quite the view. 

Slowly retrace your steps. There will be options going down to descend gullies to eliminate going down the first class 3 move.   

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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.

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