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The Peruvian Gulch

The Peruvian Gulch

The Peruvian Gulch

Page Type: Route

Lat/Lon: 40.56790°N / 111.6375°W

Object Title: The Peruvian Gulch

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring

Time Required: Half a day

Difficulty: Moderate

Route Quality: 
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Page By: D-bo

Created/Edited: Jul 30, 2010 / Aug 31, 2011

Object ID: 643457

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Page Score: 75.8%  - 6 Votes 

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Overlooking Snowbird
Snowbird Overlook
This page highlights the Peruvian Gulch summer hiking route to the top of Mt. Baldy. The Peruvian Gulch is also a popular skiing location hosted by the Snowbird mountain resort. If you are interesting in the skiing, see the Mt. Baldy Skiing page for more details. The Peruvian Gulch route can be used to access a few different mountains in the area. Information on this page could also be used in regards to Hidden Peak, Sugarloaf Peak or American Fork Twin Peaks. But, Mt. Baldy will be the focus of this page. The Peruvian Gulch is a route that starts from the Snowbird mountain resort and ascends up the northwest slope of the mountain. This is a very scenic hike, as far as the natural landscape goes. Yet, there are plenty of man-made structures and roads that can never be completely avoided. Needless to say, this is a popular route for hikers, bikers and tourists. Be prepared to share the trail, but also be prepared to still enjoy the natural qualities and the remarkable scenery of this mountain.
Scenic Peruvian Gulch
Peruvian Gulch Scenery

Getting There

In the Little Cottonwood Canyon, you will need to exit the main highway at the Snowbird mountain resort. It is best to use Snowbird Entry #4. You will need to find a place to park in the area of the Snowbird lodge. There is plenty of parking around the parking garage for the lodge. Creek Road (or Alta Bypass) also loops around the south side of the parking garage. Along this road, right above the garage there is a large, paved pullout along the road where cars can park. This might be the closest place to park to the trailhead.

Route Description

Good Morning Little Cottonwood
Canyon Sunrise

There are a few different ways to get gain access into the Peruvian Gulch. The road that loops around and above the parking garage is what provides access to the hiking trails that you will be looking for. You have the option of hiking along either side of the gulch to begin with. Use the Peruvian Gulch Hiking Trail to hike along the west side of the gulch, or use the Blackjack Trail to hike along the east side of the gulch.

Use this link for a Snowbird trail map. Feel free to print one off to take on the trail.
Superior View
Mt. Superior

Note: Be prepared to use either access, as either trail could closed to hiking for construction or other purposes.

Using the Blackjack Trail will take you to more of a service road that you can use for a route. The hiking trail on the other side of the gulch may be a better hiking trail. This portion of the hike provides excellent views across the canyon to Superior Peak. Eventually, the two trails will merge.

From the trail merge the route is very easy to follow. Just follow the canyon all the way to the top of the saddle between Hidden Peak and Mt. Baldy. You can simply follow the service road. There are occasional footpaths that can be found if you prefer to not take the road. Just use the path of the road or the ski lift as your general guide as you ascend.
Hidden Peak Switchbacks
Hidden Peak

From the top of the ski lift, there are a series of switchbacks that climb the saddle and to the top of Hidden Peak. Use these switchbacks to gain access to the saddle just below Hidden Peak.
Mt. Baldy from the Saddle
Mt. Baldy

Once you reach the saddle, you simply need to follow the ridge to the east where you will make your final ascent to the summit of Mt. Baldy. There is a distinct footpath that leads along the north side of the ridge to the top of the peak. The views on the top are amazing.

Want a Lift?

Thanks to the Snowbird mountain resort facilities, you can also get a boost on your attempt to hike Mt. Baldy. You can take a ski lift all the way to the top of the Peruvian Gulch. You will be dropped off just below the saddle between Hidden Peak and Mount Baldy. Then you will only have to climb the switchback road up to the saddle and then follow the ridgeline to the top of Mount Baldy.

You could also opt to ride the Snowbird tram that will take you to the top of Hidden Peak. From there you can descend to the saddle between Hidden Peak and Mount Baldy, and then ascend the ridgeline to the summit of Mount Baldy.

Fees apply.

Twin and Hidden Peaks
The Snowbird Tram on Hidden Peak

Essential Gear

Flagstaff View
Flagstaff Mountain
Mt. Baldy-Valley View
Salt Lake Valley

Good hiking boots

A Snowbird trail map

A recent weather forecast

Water (The Peruvian Gulch does have water in summer)

Route Data and Maps

Trailhead Elevation: About 8,240 ft.
Summit Elevation: 11,068 ft.
Distance: Roughly 3.75 miles
Mt. Baldy
Mt. Baldy

1:24,000 - Dromedary Peak, UT
Pfeifferhorn View

Snowbird Trail Map Link
Timp View
Mt. Timpanogos

These are the approximate routes that can be taken:

View Peruvian Gulch to Mt. Baldy in a larger map

The Residents

For as much human influence is found in the area, there are many chances to see some wildlife. Animals as large as a moose to as small as a mouse can be found in the Peruvian Gulch. A colorful variety of birds can be seen, as well as a wide assortment of flowers.

Here's a few samples of what you may find:
White Geranium

Mt. Baldy Paintbrush

The Lookout

Mt. Baldy Blue Grouse
Blue Grouse


The LookoutPfeifferhorn ViewFlagstaff ViewMt. Baldy PaintbrushSuperior ViewScenic Peruvian GulchOverlooking Snowbird
Twin and Hidden PeaksTimp ViewWhite GeraniumMt. Baldy from the SaddleGood Morning Little CottonwoodHidden Peak SwitchbacksMt. Baldy Blue Grouse
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