Winter Hike the Pfeifferhorn

White Pine Trailhead

Summit one of Utah's most iconic peaks for stunning views of the Wasatch Mountain and Salt Lake Valley. There's also excellent camping near Red Pine Lake.

Rising to a height of 11,326 feet, the Pfeifferhorn is one of the most majestic and iconic peaks in the Wasatch Mountains, and also one of the most popular mountains to hike. During the summer and fall, there is a well beaten trail all the way to the summit, but during the winter and spring, this trail is covered up by snow, thus making a map of the area in indispensable.

This hike begins at the White Pine trailhead and follows up to Red Pine Lake (approx. 3 miles). This section of the trail receives a high volume of snowshoes and skiers, and will likely have a beaten out trail to follow (depending on when the last snow storm came through).

From Lower Red Pine Lake, continue on to Upper Red Pine Lake, and then ascend the mini ridge on the upper head wall to the west. Once reaching the top of the head wall, the Pfeifferhorn will appear in all of her glory, along with numerous peaks in all directions. Follow the ridge to the summit!

Warning: The slopes leading to the summit pass Upper Red Pine Lake are prone to avalanche. A knowledge of avalanche hazards and safety is critical especially during the winter and early spring. Visit here for condition reports.

Summiting in the summer months, check out this adventure: https://www.theoutbound.com/ut...

Pack List

  • Snowshoes/ Skies
  • Hiking Poles
  • Map and/ or compass
  • Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)
  • Extra clothing
  • Headlamp/ flashlight
  • First-aid supplies
  • Waterproof matches/ lighter/ candles
  • Extra food
  • Extra water
  • Emergency shelter
  • Camera
Show More
RT Distance 9 Miles
Elevation Gain 3600 Feet
Activities Photography, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Winter
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Time of My Life

I actually just wrote a story about the time I ski mountaineered the summit of the Pfeifferhorn. Check out my profile if you want to read it. I was able to ski mountaineer the Pfeifferhorn last winter with my mountaineering class at the UofU. It was the greatest trip of my life. We toured to Maybird Gulch, built snow shelters and spent the night there. The next morning we woke up at 5am and toured up the main face. When it got too steep, we stuck our skis in the side of the mountain and put on our crampons and whipped out our mountaineers ice axe and went for the summit. The view at the peak is unbelievable and the skiing on the main face is amazing.

Epic peak!

I love hiking the Pfeifferhorn, especially in the winter. The route to the summit involves a great deal of avalanche terrain and I would highly advise that folks are also wearing transceivers (know how to use them) and bring a shovel and probe. It's important to check on the conditions with the Utah Avalanche Center and be prepared to rescue your partner in the case of an avalanche.

Beautiful Views!

I just did this yesterday on a perfect blue sky day! We had some of the best views I've seen in the Wasatch from the summit. I would add that crampons were really nice for the ridge going up to the S/SE face, as well as on said face. The snow was like concrete, so we elected to not ski that face down due to the exposure below. One more thing I would mention is do not forget sun screen and sun glasses. I did, as we started out at 4AM, and I tend to forget these items when it's dark out. Oops!


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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