OverviewStanding tall at 10,897 feet The Little Pfeifferhorn (aka Red Bird Point) has one of the most beautiful alpine settings in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Located on the Alpine Ridge inbetween White Baldy and Utah's famous Pfeifferhorn, this peak is treated more like a promince by climbers enroute to the Pfeifferhorn and therefore never gets the respect it deserves. From the summit outstanding views of the Pfeifferhorn, the Cottonwood Ridge, Maybird Gulch, Red Pine Fork, and Box Elder Peak can be seen.
One of the major attractions to this peak is the lower and upper Red Pine Lakes. Each lake has thier own unique beauty as well as vista. The lower Red Pine Lake is the largest and most scenic of all the lakes in Red Pine Fork. When hiking up from the White Pine Trailhead, it is at this lower lake where you get your first uninterupted view of The Little Pfeifferhorn. If you are lucky enough during the summer months, choose a windy day and the color of the lakes can appear bright turquise insted of dark blue. Swimming is NOT allowed in any of the Red Pine Lakes so please resist the temptation.
In the summer the trail is easier to find as well as hike making this the recommended season for people who are new to this area. In the winter months the trail travels along several avalanche paths and eventually sends you climbing right up a release zone shortly before the summit. Caution should be used on the most dangerous of avalanche days and of course carry a beacon, probe, shovel, avalung, and common sense along with you during your winter travels. In the spring time ice axes and crampons are not a bad idea for the upper ridge section. Because of the high elevation (10,897 feet) this mountain receives over 600 inches of snow during an average year. This means that snow on the route during the summer months (june, july and even august) is not uncommon. Whether you are a climber looking for an impressive view of the Central Wasatch, or just passing by this peak on your way to the Pfeifferhorn, stop and check out this mountian for yourself. Trust me it will be worth the 5 minute detour.
Getting ThereStarting at the White Pine Trailhead in Little Cottonwood Canyon is the easiest route to the Little Pfeifferhorn. The trail is long (3.3 miles) but gradual (2,200 vertical feet) to the lower Red Pine Lake. If starting from the White Pine Trailhead start by crossing the Little Cottonwood Canyon river. About 1 mile in you will come up on the White Pine Fork river and the trail will split. Choose the right/upper path that crosses the river and continue hiking across White Pine Fork. Soon you will enter Red Pine Fork and get an excellent view down Little Cottonwood Canyon of the Salt Lake City Valley. Keep to this trail while it climbs up/across Red Pine Fork. At an old mine dump you will see a bridge. Do NOT cross the bridge. Keep hiking up Red Pine Fork until the Lower Red Pine Lake comes into view. From here climb up through the boulder fields to the upper Red Pine Lakes. Just before you reach the upper lakes an obvious ridge will lead you up to the summit ridge. From here make a right and the rest of the climb to the summit is simple and scenic.
SkiingRed Pine Fork and Maybird Gulch are both apart of the Lone Peak Wilderness area so snowmobilers and Wasatch Powder Bird Guides are thankfully not allowed here. With 600 inches of snowfall a year The Little Pfeifferhorn is a backcountry skiers paradise. The climb is easy, the runs legendary and the views of the Southern and Central Wasatch Range are breath taking to say the least.
Usually this peak is acended by the standard summer trail via Red Pine Fork. There are 3 main options for decent which are Maybird Gulch, Red Pine Fork and Dry Creek Canyon. The main Northeast Bowl back into Red Pine Fork can get tracked quickly but first tracks here is a must do for anyone backcountry touring in the Central Wasatch. Avalanches are a common threat on and around this peak. Be sure to use safe route travel. Always carry Beacon, Probe, Avalung, Shovel and take a partner with you during your winter travels.
FishingBoth the Upper and Lower Red Pine Lakes offer outstanding fishing oppertunities. Although the fish rarely exceed 15 inches there are healthy populations of mainly Cutthroat Trout. Every now and then an angler finds a Brook Trout on the end of their line. Because of their mainly insect diet, and high elevation life style, their colors are absolutely beautiful, especially during the spring and fall spawn. Bait is allowed, and the trout limit is only 4 trout per day. A fishing licence is required in the state of Utah. Ice fishing is also possible for the most dedicated of anglers....and it is well worth the effort.
[img:765965:alignleft:medium:Troy heading out to drill some of the 1st and only holes of this years ice fishing season.][img:765966:alignright:medium:Me holding your average Cutthroat Trout at Lower Red Pine Lake]
Red TapeNO Dogs
NO Groups bigger than 10 (without a permit)
NO Camping within 200 feet of any river, lake and/or trail
NO Swimming in any of the Red Pine and Maybird lakes
[img:613983:aligncenter:medium:The summit view of Utah's famous Pfeifferhorn. Photo Credit Wasatchvoyage]