Hike to Tokewanna Peak in the High Uintas

Rate this Adventure West Fork Blacks Fork

Tokewanna Peak is one of the most remote peaks in Utah. On top of that, it is one of Utah's 20 or so 13ers. Add in some serious solitude and scenery, and this is a hike you will remember for years to come.

Climbing all of Utah's 13ers is nota popular trend, yet. Most people seek out Colorado's 14ers for their summit height, but don't let Utah's 13ers be overshadowed by their neighbors to the East. Utah's 13ers are remote. The closest 13er to a road is Tokewanna which comes in around 17-18 miles round trip. The farthest 13er from a road is more than a 30 mile round trip hike. There are no trails to these peaks. In fact, the only peak in the entire Uinta Mountains with a maintained trail is Bald Mountain. Utah 13ers are typically done in 2-3 day trips and require total self reliance. Hikers are likely to encounter no people and will not have cell phone service for at least 30 miles in all directions of each peak. Simply put, Utah's 13ers require huge efforts to climb. 

Tokewanna Peak is technically the closest 13er to a road, but let me just say that calling it a 'road' is perhaps a bit much. The road into West Fork Blacks Fork trail is rough. Its long. It is a huge reason why Utah 13ers are seldom climbed. All cars should be able to drive this road, but it can take up to two hours for passenger cars to travel the 30 miles of dirt road necessary to reach the trail. Stop your car when the road goes into the West Fork Blacks Fork and begin the hike there. Ford the river and walk on the dirt road for about a mile until you see the Trailhead sign. Take a left here towards East Fork Blacks Fork. Follow the trail up many switchbacks to reach a sort of forested plateau. 

From the plateau, it is time to leave the trail. A map is absolutely essential. This is the northwest ridge route, and is probably the most straightforward route up the peak. The northwest ridge is more like a tableland or a plateau than a ridge. This ridge has massive meadows filled with wildlife and some of the most stunning views in the mountain west. It is said that the West Fork Blacks Fork trail is one of the most scenic in all of the Rocky Mountains. I believe that. 

As you follow the ridge, massive views of the High Uintas open up. Beulah Peak and Yard Peak to the East. The Lovenia and Wasatch Peaks to the South. This is one of the most remote, beautiful, and rugged views in all of Utah. 

Simply follow the ridge to the summit and take it in. Lovenia, East Lovenia, Wasatch, and NW Wasatch Peaks are all just to the south. This is the most rugged pairing of 13ers and without a doubt the hardest 13ers to climb in Utah. Perhaps the hardest peaks to climb in Utah period. Mostly for the 25+ miles round trip required to climb each one. 

To return to the car, retrace your steps. Fit hikers can do Tokewanna in a day in about 7-8 hours. It would be more comfortable to backpack up West Fork Blacks for a bit to shorten the hike, and do it in 3 days overall. Be aware that when hiking Tokewanna, you will be hours from cell phone service and will likely see no people. Total self reliance is necessary. 

Pack List

  • Map/GPS 
  • Camping gear 
  • Hiking Boots 
  • Water Filter 
  • Ample food 
  • Bear spray 
  • Backpack 
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RT Distance 17 Miles
Elevation Gain 4202 Feet
Activities Camping, Fishing, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Advanced
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Dog Friendly


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