Beat the heat and start early for an excellent opportunity to summit The Pfeifferhorn in solitude and avoid the crowds at Lower Red Pines Lake. 

Starting at the White Pine Trailhead in Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT, hike southwest until reaching the junction to Red Pine Canyon. Take the trail that crosses the stream and continues west around the ridge. The trail will quickly turn south and begin to gain elevation. Continue west as you pass the junction to Maybird Gulch. The trail gains elevation as you reach Lower Red Pine Lake. Continue around to the south side of the lake and follow the faint trail up the steep slope to the upper lakes. Set up your base camp here. Multiple summits can be reached from this high camp.

The Pfeifferhorn — Follow the steep ridge to the southwest of the lakes (It doesn't show up on a topo map but it's pretty east to spot from the ground) up the headwall that gains access to the alpine ridge. It looks steep but it's very doable. Once you reach the ridge continue west towards the Pfeifferhorn. Trust me, you can't miss it. Prepare for some class 3 scrambling as you make your way to the summit. To time the hike just right, so you can watch the sun come up from the top, leave about 1.5 hours to get to the summit.

White Baldy can also be reached from this camp too. I have not attempted it, but the route looks pretty straightforward. Find a guide book and look up the exact details before you head out for this impressive peak.

Pack List

  • Overnight gear
  • Trekking poles or ice axe to hep navigate on early season snow
  • Headlamp for navigating some spicy traverses in the dark
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RT Distance 9 Miles
Elevation Gain 3700 Feet
Activities Chillin, Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Forest
Lake
River
Wildflowers

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Favorite view in northern Utah.

The hike is long and strenuous...but I have old man knees, so take that lightly. We hiked up to White Pine Lake by midnight, camped for a few hours, then woke up early to make the last couple miles of the hike and catch the sunrise just in time. The sun peaking over the mountain range at first light is absolutely stunning. Pfiefferhorn itself lights up like a Christmas tree. Everything about this hike was amazing. Trekking poles recommended!!

Amazing 360 view above 11,000ft

There aren't many other places in the Wasatch with a better view.

Kind Of Intense, But So Worth It

The hike up to the red pine lakes itself was pretty steep. Then when you look up at the crazy steep ridges in front of you, its easy to wonder if it is even possible to hike all the way up. But once you get going, the climbs aren't as bad as you might think they are and the views from the top are incredible. The whole hike is worth every one of your steps!


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

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