This is a challenging hike, but well worth the incredibly views. I would consider the route finding from South Thunder to Upper Bells as the crux of this route. Take GPS. After a long day of scrambling, navigating the boulder fields and hiking out through Bells Canyon is long and tedious. Enjoy!
Classic Beatout route. Late-May snow provided a challenge as we were in shin-deep snow much of the way. We successfully navigated Bells without problems. Make it easy on yourself - do not go near the upper reservoir. Stay to the left then get on the granite slabs above the boulder field. There you will pick up the trail. 9.5 hours total.
Nice long hike with plenty of nice scrambling. The cliffs on lightning ridge are really awesome!
Did this hike on a hot summer day and had to fill up our water from the snowmelt near lightning ridge! Very long - 13 hrs, and some fun scrambling, nothing to difficult. I would suggest going with someone as you will be very far from everyone. Only saw a few people on the trail. Had to use GPS to find the upper bells canyon reservoir as it is quit hidden once you start the decent. Keep to the right and good luck!:) Did this with my two sisters Lisa and Michele the Mountain Goat, way to go awesome ladies!!!
Have done this one a number of times.
Did this route with David and Kendrick. The views were among the best I've seen in the Wasatch, thanks in part to some cool, cloudy weather. See "Misty Mountains" trip report for details.
I did the Beatout Route with Brandon and Kendrick. It was an incredibly scenic route. It was a long day but worth it. (Pfiefferhorn, Upwop, Chipman, South Thunder).
12 hour day, great weather, awesome scramble! Trip report
With WMC group (organized by Julie). It was too warm for the snow to support us well. Lightning Ridge to S Thunder Peak section was especially difficult due to post-holing, collapses etc. The descent through Bells Canyon was a wet slog. Glissading was minimal.
#2: 20 May 2017 - successful hike for 8 total WMC group (organized by Moogie737). All 4 peaks again visited on a long beautiful day, with snow conditions somewhat suboptimal due to fresh snow from 3-4 days earlier snowstorm
Pretty smoky day from regional fires so the views for much of the hike were pretty limited. Still a great trip. Didn't see anyone from Red Pine to below Upper Bells Reservoir.
8/4/2013 With the WMC. Awesome route. Long day.
5/11/2013 With the WMC. Thirteen hour day from the White Pine trailhead to the Bells Canyon trailhead. Still quite a bit of snow on the ridges coupled with unseasonably warm weather made for a very slow go. Soft, heavy, wet snow. Still a blast though.
6/3/2012 With the Wasatch Mountain Club, lead by byates. Total time 9 hrs. 15 min.
The author of this page and I did this route May 19, 2012.
It took us 3.5 hours to reach the Pfeifferhorn, about 40 minutes over to Upwop, 1.5 hours to Chipman, and 80 minutes to South Thunder. The "beatout" part of the trip was definately descending Bells Canyon, it took 3.5 hours to exit.
Being an unusually look snow year (2011/12 winter), and coupled with extra warm spring weather, we needed neither snowshoes nor crampons.
Started off to sugarloaf 4:30 am, Baldy, AF Twin Peaks, Red Baldy, White Baldy cut down to Upper Red Pine Lake to fill up on water, back up to Pfeifferhon, Upwop, Chipmans where I met a guy named Rick. We did South and North thunder together since it was our first time for both of us and he told me about this website. After coming back to South Thunder he departed down Bells and I finished the day off with Bighorn and Lone Peak. Reached Jacobs Ladder TH at 9:10 that night. Was a great day for an even greater ridge hike!
WMC trip headed by Walt.
05/29/10 with WMC
05/28/11 with WMC took just over 11 hours with few breaks
#1 W/ WMC (Walt, Carol, Lana & Kim) on 6-2-07. Good hike. #2 on 5-25-10 W/ Dave & Christine in record-deep snow. 15 hrs total, either snowshoes or crampons 95% of the time! :)
Did this with the WMC on a perfect spring day. We had a pretty fast pace, and I had a wardrobe malfunction on the way up the Pfeiff, so I only stayed on top for a few minutes, and I barely had time to catch my breath until we hit Chipman, where we took a 15 min break. This is an unbelievable hike, and I will do it again. We took a long break in Bells, and finished in 11 hours.
Did the standard route and then added Bighorn and Lone peaks then decended down Big Willow. Good snow conditions and sunny skies.