Squaw Peak is located deep in the heart of the High Uintas Wilderness Area of northeastern Utah. The mountain is located on the ridge which divides Ottoson Basin to the northeast from Squaw Basin to the southwest. The peak is located in the Ashley National Forest.
Although not a technically challenging mountain to climb, Squaw Peak is one of the more remote peaks in the Uinta Range, requiring 13+ miles of one-way hiking to reach via the shortest route. The area surrounding the peak contains many open meadows and small lakes, making it an excellent destination for a multi-day backpacking trip.
At an elevation of 12,855-feet, Squaw Peak misses out on 13'er status by a mere 145 feet. The peak is a nearby neighbor of Cleveland Peak, located ±1.15 miles along the ridge to the south, and Explorer Peak, ±1.23 miles to the north.
With 1,275 feet of prominence, the peak ranks as #21 on the list of Utah 12,000+ foot peaks with 300+ feet of prominence, as compiled by Scott Patterson.
USGS 1:24,000 Quads:
The shortest route for an ascent of Squaw Peak is by way of Squaw Basin, which can be reached via East Fork Rock Creek. This trail begins from the Rock Creek Trailhead at Upper Stillwater Reservoir, approximately 40 miles north of the town of Duchesne, Utah. Refer to the West Ridge from Squaw Basin / Rock Lakes route description for complete details on getting to the trailhead and ascending the peak from this route.
A somewhat longer approach may be made from Ottoson Basin-Cleveland Pass via the Lake Fork Creek Trail, beginning from the Lake Fork Trailhead at Moon Lake. Cleveland Pass may also be reached via East Basin, which would also be accessed from the Lake Fork Trailhead, but this would be longer than the Ottoson Basin approach. From Cleveland Pass it would then be necessary to first ascend to the summit of Cleveland Peak, then make a long but easy ridge traverse to Squaw Peak.
A still longer approach would begin from the north at the West Fork Blacks Fork Trailhead, which may be used to access the above basins via Dead Horse Pass or Red Knob Pass.
These and other longer approaches may be added to this page by future climbers.
Red TapeSquaw Peak and the various trails used to approach the peak are located within the High Uintas Wilderness Area, but no reservations, fees, or permits are required to climb the mountain.
Refer to the High Uintas Use Restrictions for a comprehensive list of prohibited activities when traveling in the Wilderness Area.
When To ClimbThe normal summer hiking season in the Uintas runs from July through September, but may vary considerably depending upon the previous season snowpack and the first significant snowfall of the season. Excellent weather may also linger well into October, but should not be counted upon.
CampingCamping is generally permitted throughout the area surrounding Squaw Peak, subject to High Uintas Wilderness Area regulations. Camping related restrictions in the Uintas include the following:
Use previously established campsites whenever possible.