Cardiff Pass

Page Type
Utah, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Half a day
Class 2-3

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Cardiff Pass
Created On: Oct 19, 2002
Last Edited On: Oct 19, 2002


From the Alta Guard Station 8.3 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon begin hiking up the road just to the west of the Guard Station. The road winds up through private property for 1/4 mile. Continue hiking on the road for 3/4 mile to a junction. Go left at the junction to begin the single track trail to Cardiff Pass. It is 1 1/2 miles to Cardiff pass from the Guard station with a gain of 1360 ft.

Route Description

From Cardiff Pass go left (west) along the ridge. The route initially stays to the right (north) of the ridge, then crosses over to the left (south) of the ridge. Once on the south side of the ridge, the remaining route to Mt. Superior is visible. The faint trail and route continue on the south side of the ridge staying below the ridgeline about 20-50 ft until it reaches the base of Superior. The route now begins to climb Class 2 scree slopes on the southeast side of the mountain. After climbing several hundred feet on the southeast slopes, the route will require a class 3 move as it gets closer to the ridge. Continue along the class 2-3 ridge to the summit of Superior at 11,040 ft.
A short, easy scramble (Class 2) west takes you to the summit of Monte Cristo peak. It is less than a 1/4 mile from Superior to Monte Cristo.

Essential Gear

No gear is required for summer ascents. Winter ascents require an ice axe and crampons. Avalanche beacons should also be worn and one must have knowledge of how to use them.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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PellucidWombat - Feb 8, 2005 1:37 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

I don't know if you want to incorporate this info, but here's what TOPO! calculated for the route.

Distance: 2.29 mi (1-way)

Elevation Gain: +/-2,776'


vanman798 - Oct 21, 2007 12:49 pm - Voted 7/10

Here are a few more details.

First I'm sure most people, like me, have no idea what the "Alta Guard Station" is. So, sincerely, I ask what is that?

When I went up to Cardiff Pass, I parked at the parking lot slightly east of and across the road from the building labeled Alta Lodge. The road at this point has a green highway mile marker "13" in it. Then I walked back (west) to the clearly labeled Town Hall building (the gray building with the police station in it), and from there I walked to the road that runs directly behind the Town Hall. I followed that road past the UDOT snow study plot (also clearly labeled), and it lead me up the mountain. Once I got to the end of this road, which felt like about a mile or so, I bushwhacked west (about 800 yards or so) until I was under the power lines. From there I followed the power lines north to the top of the saddle just below the little hut and antenna that sit on Cardiff pass.

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