• Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking, Fitness

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    9 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    3700 Feet

Forest
Lake
River
Wildflowers

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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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

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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Reviews

Overall rating: 

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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!!

8 months ago
8 months ago

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

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

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!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

The Pfeifferhorn has to be one of the coolest summits in the Wasatch! It's a classic "horn" and provides incredible views of the Timpanogos, Box Elder Peak, across the Cottonwoods, and even Salt Lake City. I like to camp near the lake and head up in the morning to enjoy the first light of the day on the East ridge.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

I love this hike! Perfect for if you have the whole day to dedicate, it took us about seven hours including a couple stops for snacks and lunch at the summit. Be prepared for some mild scrambles on the knife ridge, and some sore knees on the long downhill for those of us with skiier knees!

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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