Kings Peak Climber's Log
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|PanamaRed||Snowy Early June Ascent |
Date Climbed: Jun 10, 2016
|Did a 5 day trip out into the Uintas and Kings Peak from June 8-12. There was TONS of snow and water near Dollar Lake, and I ended up camping on an "island" of bare dry ground, surrounded by swampy vegetation. The water was 2-3 ft deep in some areas of the swamp. I spent 2 nights in this area waiting for a weather window. On June 10, it was somewhat cloudy, but I took a chance and went for it. From Dollar lake on the snow was very deep, and I was constantly punching through the snow up to my knees and sometimes waist. From Gunsight Pass I traversed along the eastern flank of West Gunsight Peak trying not to loose to much elevation. I ended up ascending a VERY steep couloir which I mistook as the proper way to reach the saddle between Kings and West Gunsight. It took me to the right spot thankfully. The North Ridge of Kings was a wall of quite steep snow(im sure when it is dry it does not look as steep). I was glad I had my ice axe with me. I made it too the summit around 5pm(My cell phone had no service and thus I had no alarm. I woke up a little late that morning). The descent proved to be a breeze up to the point when the sun set. I spent 3 hours slogging my way through the waist deep lower elevation snow, and the knee deep swamps. I finally stumbled back to my tent at around midnight. I took a rest day the next day which proved to be a mistake. The weather came back with a vengance, and I spent most of the afternoon huddled in my tent while lightning exploded all around me. Several strikes where withing 100ft of my tent. The next day I packed up and headed for my truck, only to be pelted with quite large hailstones and lightning bolts. I was very glad to reach my car. All in all its was a great trip. I was the only person out in the valley beneath kings, which was quite cool.|
|Posted Jun 21, 2016 11:44 pm|
|evant||boy scout route|
|did this a couple times as a boy scout in 1998 and 1999, multiday backpack from Henry's fork. Mini loop around sawmill and bear lakes, up the "shortcut" gully above lake 11208, then down past dollar lakes.|
|Posted Feb 22, 2016 1:02 am|
|bdz132||Kings Peak |
Date Climbed: Jul 30, 2004
|I hiked this back in 2004 with my brother, father, and brother-in-law as part of a 3-day backpacking and fishing trip. We started at Henry's Fork TH and camped at Henry's Lake. I fell in love with the remoteness and beauty of the Uinta Mountains and try to go backpacking and fishing there every year.|
|Posted Oct 30, 2015 2:22 am|
|Garon Coriz||Autumn Weekend |
Date Climbed: Sep 26, 2015
|With Duc, Doug, and Darby. Left Henry's Fork TH at 11 am and arrived at Dollar Lake at 2:30. Refueled, rested, and found a campsite before deciding there would be too much free time so we might as well summit. We hike over Gunsight Pass and followed the trail around and up to Anderson Pass before hitting the summit right at sunset(7:15) The full moon made headlamps unnecessary except for looking for cairns. We followed the trail back to camp and arrived at 02:00. There were brilliant shooting stars and a wonderful peace to the land. We ate dinner and drank hit drinks before bed. The next morning, we left camp at 11:45 and arrived at the TH at 1:45. My feet were burning but it was such a great trip, I didn't care. Will have to revisit the high Uinta again.|
|Posted Sep 27, 2015 11:47 pm|
Date Climbed: Sep 11, 2015
|Reached the top with Justin and Megan on Friday, September 11th. Camped at Dollar lake on the 10th and 11th, hiked out on the 12th. Saw 2 moose less than a tenth of a mile from our Dollar Lake camp.|
|Posted Sep 14, 2015 11:14 am|
|browng73||Best in Utah |
Date Climbed: Aug 1, 2015
|Hiked in from Henry's Fork TH. Came this way 20 years ago and went straight to Dollar Lake. This time I took the right fork at Elkhorn Crossing and visited the west side of the valley. Much better scenery and mountain views. Bear Lake is worth a visit. The trail passes above Grass Lake, and just to the soutwest although there is no trail, is Island lake. Saw 7 moose there-5 bulls. Camped at Henry's Lake. Ascended Kings by way of Gunsight Pass, dropping into Painter Basin and following trail that skirts along bottom of cliffs. Easy trail, but long. 7 miles from camp to peak that way. On the way down, we descended Anderson Pass. Very steep but doable, just stay out of the loose rocks, and give plenty of space between people because rock falls are easily started. From peak back to Henry's via Anderson was just over 3 miles- saves a lot of time on the return trip, but it is only for the fit.|
If fishing is your thing, go up to Lake Blanchard- above Henry's. Awewsome fishing- nice yellow Browns!
|Posted Aug 31, 2015 12:20 pm|
|abrennalinerush||Technically summited twice in the same day. |
Date Climbed: Aug 29, 2015
|After living in this beautiful state for three years, I finally got to meet Kings! Done as part of the Utah Triple Crown (did Gilbert the day before and South Kings right after Kings) from Henry's Fork trailhead. Perfect weather!|
|Posted Aug 30, 2015 9:30 pm|
|fallonclimbs||First backpack trip |
Date Climbed: Jul 6, 2012
|2 days of amazing hiking and scrambling. Beautiful weather for summit morning but otherwise rainy. Saw moose|
Trip report https://summitsofthestates.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/utah/
|Posted Aug 30, 2015 1:25 pm|
|ridings82||Kings Peak |
Date Climbed: Aug 8, 2015
|Started on a Friday evening at 5pm and hiked up to Dollar Lake - spent the night in the rain and wind with snow flurries above 12k feet (in early August). Summited the next morning, hiked back to camp, broke it down and hiked out. Back at car by 5:30pm, just over 24 hours including spending the night. Saw search and rescue looking for some lost Boy Scouts as well; not quite what you're hoping to find.|
08/08/15 - Via Henry's Fork, Gunsight Pass, cut-off, Anderson Pass and Summit
|Posted Aug 11, 2015 1:47 am|
Date Climbed: Jul 14, 2013
|Hiked this in 2 days with my wife from Henry's Fork. Beautiful hike.|
|Posted Aug 6, 2015 5:54 pm|
|siekkid||High Point #24 |
Date Climbed: Jul 22, 2015
|2 night Henry Fork Trail backpack trip. Gunsight Pass to Painter Basin, to Anderson Pass route. Snow and Thunder at the summit just before noon, hail and rain on the way back to camp. Beautiful mountain and area. Saw a cow moose and her calf on the 1st day!|
|Posted Aug 5, 2015 4:02 pm|
|Puma concolor||State Highpoint #43 |
Date Climbed: Jul 29, 2008
|Great 3-day solo climb via the Henry's Fork approach. Blessed with perfect weather for my entire time on the mountain.|
|Posted Jul 19, 2015 8:44 am|
|DarrenKnezek||Partial Triple Crown |
Date Climbed: Jun 27, 2015
|Did Gilbert, East Gunsight, and then Kings from Dollar Lake.|
|Posted Jul 12, 2015 1:07 pm|
|DarrenKnezek||Kings and a few more 13'ers |
Date Climbed: Jul 3, 2010
|Did Dome Peak, Kings, South Kings, Painter, and Trail Rider in a day from near Gunsight Pass.|
|Posted Jul 12, 2015 1:06 pm|
|MountainHikerCO||Mosquito Mountain |
Date Climbed: Jun 29, 2015
|There was probably a better route between Anderson Pass and the summit than we found. I suspect going around the snow in places caused us to lose the best track. Near the summit we were mostly on top of the ridge and that was a good route. Below Gunsight Pass the biggest issue was the mosquitoes. Take enough bug poison to bathe in it. They were obnoxious.|
|Posted Jul 4, 2015 6:28 pm|
|ZeeJay||Annual ski trip |
Date Climbed: Mar 28, 2015
|3/28/2015 WMC Too mushy on the way down but otherwise nice.|
3/29/2014 WMC one day ski trip. Super windy with blowing snow. 9 people made the summit.
3/30/2013 WMC one day ski trip. The conditions were as good as they get for the way back. Other than an occasional step here and there, glided or double poled the whole way back. 13:40 RT
3/31/2012 WMC one day ski trip. Nice hard crust on the way up and way too soft snow on the way down. Windy, but very warm. 14:53 RT. Skied through grass, mud, and small streams and over collapsing snow bridges.
3/26/2011 WMC one day ski trip. 0 degrees at the start. My food fell out of my sleeping bag and froze so I had to put it on the dash with the defroster on to thaw it. My breakfast was pretty crunchy. 9:25 up and 15:10 RT. Four of us made the summit. The most open water on the route that I have seen to date.
7/15/2010 Started at HF TH. Climbed Kings, S Kings, Painter Peak, Trail Rider Peak, Roberts Peak, N Emmons, Emmons, S Emmons, Owl, Lost BM, and Flat Top BM and exited via Dry Gulch in one long 21 hour day.
3/27/2010 The best conditions I've seen yet for this WMC one day ski event. 9 hrs to the summit and 14:40 RT. It was so nice to not have to ski back in the dark.
9/4/2009 With Scott Wesemann. We were lucky and just missed some really bad weather.
7/19/2009 Day hike from Henrys Fork TH. Expected a zoo, but saw almost no one.
7/7/2009 In one long 17 hour, 28+ mile day starting from the Henrys Fork TH, I did Kings Peak, S Kings Peak, Painter Peak (13387), and Trail Rider Peak (13247). Then descended into Painter Basin, back over Gunsight Pass, and back to the start. The weather was perfect.
Annual WMC ski trip. Grueling, but fun day and beautiful weather. Over a foot of new snow. 10 people made the summit. 16:45 round trip.
Annual WMC ski trip. Skied 14 miles, almost to the top of Gunsight Pass and then booted another 2 to the top of Kings Peak for 32 miles round trip. Left at 5:20 am (last person out of camp) and got back to the car at 9:20 pm for a total of 16 hours. I got to Gunsight Pass at 11:55 am, Kings at 3:05 pm, and back to Gunsight at 5:10 pm. Started at Henry's Fork winter parking which is another 7 miles round trip from the summer trailhead. Truly the hardest thing I've ever done. The weather was cloudy and it was flurrying off and on for the first 5 hours. Then it gradually cleared up but was incredibly windy from Elkhorn Crossing on. Fortunately, it was relatively warm (in the 20's). The skiing part was easy (at least for those of us who had been on skis more than once), the rest of it was not. The hardest part was traversing across the steep slope at the base of 13103 on the way to the base of Kings Peak. I got blown over once on the way over and slipped once on the way back, but fortunately brought an ice axe and managed two successful self arrests. Twelve people made it to the summit including MOCKBA and Moogie737 who had only been on x-country skis once before.
11 hour, 24 mile day hike from the Henrys Fork Summer TH with MM.
A leisurely 5 day backpack with lesdubois. Started at China Meadows and went up Smiths Fork over Smiths Fork Pass, up to Andersons Pass, up to Kings, down to Painter Basin, over Gunsight Pass, across Henrys Fork Basin, over the lower part of the Flattop/Powell ridge and back to the start.
|Posted Mar 29, 2015 11:52 am|
|Hiker4life||Uinta Glory |
Date Climbed: Aug 8, 2009
|2 day climb with friend from Henry's Fork. Camped at Dollar Lake and summitted the next morning. Great hike!|
|Posted Feb 28, 2015 9:51 pm|
|KroazDu||Stag week-end |
Date Climbed: Jul 26, 2014
|Henry's Fork Approach via Gunsight Pass.|
|Posted Feb 11, 2015 12:05 am|
|HawkeyeHuff||Hallucinating in the Utah Outback |
Date Climbed: Jul 25, 2004
|In the summer of 2004, I flew to Salt Lake City to begin my quest to climb the highpoints of Utah and Idaho. On a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of “degree of difficulty” with Alaska’s Mt. McKinley rated a 10, Idaho’s Borah Peak is considered an 8 and Utah’s Kings Peak a 7. At 12,600 feet, Borah is not quite as high as Kings (13,500) and it is a relatively short scamper (3 ½ miles, one-way) but Borah is very steep. In fact, it is the steepest of the 50 state highpoints|
Kings Peak, on the other hand, is very remote and upon arriving at the trailhead, requires a 14-mile hike just to reach the base of the peak. Kings Peak is one of the least climbed state highpoints because of this inaccessibility. While Borah is climbed in a day, Kings typically is done in 3 days because of the distanced involved. I decided to tackle Kings Peak first, thinking that the very gradual altitude gain during the long trek in would give my body a better opportunity to adjust to the altitude.
I had hoped to do Kings with my daughter, Kea, my friend Jim Lundgren and his daughter, Ashley. Three years earlier, Jim and Ashley joined me in Japan to climb Mt. Fuji, the nation’s highpoint. We had a wonderful experience and I was anxious to share the Utah experience with Kea, as well. As it turned out, none of the three was able to join me. Left to doing this one solo, I decided I would push myself a bit and do Kings in two days: to hike in as far as I could go on day 1, climb to the summit early the next day, and then hightail it back out the 14 miles to my car before nightfall of day 2.
This was my first overnight trek in the mountains and I carried about 50 pounds on my back: a tent, sleeping bag, food, water, extra clothing and gear. I had spent the previous night in a motel in Evanston, Wyoming, a small town in the state’s southwest corner near the Utah border and after a two-hour drive the next morning, found myself at Kings’ remote trailhead. I left my rental car around noon in delightful 67-degree weather and I lumbered up the trail, feeling the full weight of my pack. By 5pm, I had hiked about 10 miles and my altimeter registered 10,000 feet. I decided to stop here and set up camp. I was in a high valley, surrounded by majestic peaks. And from this vantage point, I could see my goal, the summit of Kings Peak. I thought my day’s exertion would allow me a restful night’s sleep but the altitude caused me enough of a headache that I slept an hour or two, at most.
At dawn, I arose eagerly and prepared for the climax of my mountain adventure. I ate a modest breakfast, filled my bottles from a nearby stream and treated the water with iodine tablets. Rather than carry my large backpack, I filled a small daypack with the bare essentials for the climb and left all other possessions in my tent. This lighter pack allowed me to move faster than the exhausting day before. I was rejuvenated and ready to head out.
The trail ahead offered a gradual and winding 4-mile hike to reach the base of Kings Peak. However, I chose a more direct approach, which took me across the valley floor straight for Utah’s highest summit. This shortcut would cut my distance in half, I reasoned, and I preferred a steeper, more direct approach anyway because it’s just so much more exciting & fun.
My first challenge after reaching the other side of the valley floor was a long and steep, rocky chute, rising 1,200 feet up an incline sloped from 30 to 60-degrees. It took some time to gain the top of this chute: two steps up were too often followed by one or two steps back as the loose rocks underneath my feet gave way. Once on top, though, the summit pyramid was all that lay before me: a very large heap of rocks that rose an additional 1,500 feet to the summit. After a short break for lunch, I continued my ascent. Two hours of upward-plodding brought me to a final, precarious slab of rock, shared by a man and his two sons. I had finally arrived at the top of Utah!
The climbers who shared the summit with me were the first people I had seen since a handful of hikers near the trailhead the day before. They were awaiting the arrival of a friend who was making his second attempt on this remote peak. Their friend, Richard Carey, arrived just as I began to start back down. I visited with him briefly and discovered that Kings Peak was Richard’s 50th state highpoint. I felt privileged to witness the culmination of his peak-bagging dreams. He now belonged to an elite group of adventurers who had also climbed, hiked, walked or driven to the top of all 50 states!
It was on the way down from the summit when I realized how exhausted I was. My lack of sleep and the grueling two days were beginning to take a toll on me. It was a chore working my way down through the rocks. I tried to focus on every step now as any misplaced one could easily result in a turned ankle…or worse. Most climbing injuries occur during the descent when bodies are tired, muscles spent, and one’s mental guard is down a bit.
I made it off the 1,500-foot summit pyramid in good shape and hiked over to the top of the rocky chute. The upper section is the steepest, angled at about 60-degrees and I used my hands to lower myself down. When the slope lessened a bit I was able to descend faster. It was more of a controlled fall, and my biggest concern was hyper-extending my knee. I fell a half-dozen times, I’m sure, as my “run” down the slope got out of control. After one fall, as I was emptying my shoes of small rocks, I noticed a large white tent at the bottom of the chute. A man was standing next to the tent and it seemed he was looking up at me. I was sure he was amused at the site of me running down, falling, running some more and falling again. I was sure he was wondering “what’s this screwball doing coming down the mountain in this manner?” And then I saw another man, walking toward the fellow next to the tent…I was looking forward to visiting with these guys after getting off the chute. Any conversation would be a welcomed break, I thought.
As I neared the bottom of the chute and I looked in the direction of the tent, it was gone...and the two men had disappeared, as well ! I scanned the valley near and far and neither tent nor men were to be found. My mind was playing tricks on me. I was exhausted, sleep-deprived and still at altitude and I was hallucinating. The former conditions caused the latter, I surmised.
I continued on across the valley in the direction of my camp and after an hour had passed, I still had not located my tent. I consulted my GPS and I just could not believe the spot it was pointing me to. And so I continued to search until, finally, I decided to follow the GPS. Within 10 minutes I had found my camp. My mind was continuing to play tricks.
Prior to my trip, I told my wife I would do Kings Peak in two days and so she expected my call at the end of this second day. I could have called her and told her I was staying an extra night but I had no cell phone. I tried to rent one in Salt Lake City but a short-term rental was not available. I wanted to spend another night at this camp, get properly hydrated, have a nutritious meal and get some rest. But I knew if I didn’t hike out today, my wife would likely call the authorities and a search would begin for me. I did not want that to happen ! I needed to gather my things and hit the trail as soon as possible. I had three hours until sunset and ten miles to hike to get to my car. I decided to jettison everything except water, some snacks and a few articles of clothing. I felt awful about doing this. I could have avoided this by having a cell phone.
Carrying only the small daypack, I made good time on the trail. After an hour or so I entered the forest and soon came upon a boy standing in the middle of the trail, about 50 yards away. But what I saw next to him startled me – it was large black bear! It was broadside, right in front of the boy. But as I got closer, I realized it was not a bear but a large black dog, obviously the boy’s pet...and then I got closer still and I was stunned to see that it WAS a bear after all! But a few steps closer…and boy and beast disappeared ! My mind was at it again.
Down the trail a mile or so, I noticed a boy in a white t-shirt, staring at me. And as I got nearer, he too disappeared. I continued at a good clip but wondered if I was on the yellow-brick road on the way to Oz… then I came upon two girls sitting on a log, talking with each other, their backs to me…and then they were gone. A little while later, after coming around a bend I came upon a middle-aged man wearing suspenders, on the ground, on his stomach with his hands and legs behind him and up in the air as if he were hog-tied. He had a look of horror on his face as we looked at each other…and then he was gone!
Finally, as the sun was setting, I came out of the woods and spotted my rental car…and it did not disappear ! I unlocked the car, threw my pack in the back and drove off. I was miles away still from the small town of Evanston but happened upon a nondescript burger joint. It even had a drive-thru window so I wouldn’t have to walk my grubby self into a public place to eat. Nothing tastes better after being out in the mountains than a greasy cheeseburger and a creamy milk shake. What a pleasant ending to my adventure, I thought. I pulled into the drive-thru and a girl’s voice greeted me, “what’ll ya have, mister?”.
“I’ll take a cheeseburger and a shake”
“We don’t have any meat today, mister”
“No meat ?!! OK, I’ll have a shake. What flavors do you have?”
“Anything you want, mister”
“OK, I’ll have a chocolate mint shake”
"We don’t have chocolate mint, mister”
“What flavors do you have, miss?”
“Anything you want, mister”
“OK, then, I’ll have a chocolate shake”
“We don’t have chocolate, mister”
“Miss, what do you have?!!!”
“We have chocolate marshmallow, mister”
“OK, that sounds great, miss. I’ll have a chocolate marshmallow shake”
“OK, mister, please pull forward”
I pulled the car forward, rolled down my window...and the burger joint disappeared !
|Posted Jan 26, 2015 1:05 pm|
|McKenna||Beware of changing weather |
Date Climbed: Aug 22, 2008
|It was cool to see lightning actually strike the mountain in an explosion of rocks, flying in all directions. Got some great pics. Tip: Unless you are one of those marathon hikers, give yourself at least two nights to sleep during this hike. My feet have never hurt more than after this hike. Almost fell out of the car at the gas station.|
|Posted Dec 22, 2014 12:14 pm|