Hoyt Peak is the easiest mountain to climb in the Uintas, provided you have the right type of vehicle. It is a short hike, but has a long drive to the trailhead. It is a low elevation peak and a hill by Uinta Mountain standards, but on the other hand the peak is one of the more visible and prominent peaks when viewed from the Wasatch or the valleys to the west of the Uintas.
Since the climb via one route is so easy, this page was added a few years ago by myself as only a route page that has been attached to the Duke Mountain
page. For completeness and consistency, I thought maybe Hoyt Peak could finally have its own page and there are other routes available for a great hike and a better workout.
The peak is forested to the summit, but still provides some fine views of the Wasatch Mountains to the west and other peaks of the Uinta Mountains to the east. Since it is the western-most peak in the Uintas it has the best views of the Wasatch Range, Kamas, and the Park City areas of any peak in the Uintas even though it rises only 4000 feet above the valley floors.
The Uinta Mountains are one of the few mountain ranges in North America that run east to west rather than north to south. Within the Uinta Mountains are about 2000 lakes, and some 900-1000 are full of trout. Along with the San Juan’s in Colorado, the Uintas have more contiguous area above timberline than any other area in the Continental United States. This is a beautiful area with many lakes, meadows, wildflowers, and some rugged peaks.
View from the ridge of Hoyt Peak's northern summit.
Getting TherePaulsin Basin Trailhead
The route to the trailhead begins in Marion on State Route 32. Marion is located half way between Oakley and Kamas. From the north end of Marion, locate "Upper Loop Road". This paved road heads east from two different entrances that are .5 miles apart. From the northeastern secction of the loops road, take the dirt road that heads east that is posted for "Piute Creek". This road heads east up Hoyt Canyon. Most of the spur roads are blocked by gates. There are two roads that climb to the head of Hoyt Canyon, but the one to the right is a bit less rough. This right fork also has a branch heading west to Marion. Take a left at this second junction and the road climbs to the head of Hoyt Canyon. When driven with care, and car can make it to the head of Hoyt Canyon, but the road is for 4wd vehicles beyond. From the head of Hoyt Canyon, stay on the main road all the way to Paulsin Basin. There are too many side tracks leaving this main road to describe. The main road is sometimes marked with signs stating "Forest Road #080". Once at the basin, take the right fork of the road and the track climbs to the west ridge of Duke Mountain. Make sure to have and use a good map when driving to the trailhead.
South Fork Weber River/White Pine Trailhead
From Oakley, drive east up the Weber Canyon Road for 4.9 miles. Turn right at a junction. There is a gate here, but it is supposed to be un-locked. There are private property signs as well, but this is a public access road owned by the forest service and maintained with tax money, and is always open to the public. If the gate is locked (seasonal), you can walk through. Drive south up the South Fork Weber Canyon Road. Stay on the main road and follow signs labeled "South Fork". Do not park or camp on the road before the forest service boundary. There is a gate at the National Forest boundary. Beyond the gate, the road deteriorates into a 4wd road. The road will reach a stream crossing and use the stream as a roadbed for a while. Park here as the streambed is very rough and not worth the effort to drive.
Summit of Hoyt Peak looking east.
Routes OverviewPaulsin Basin Route
This is the shortest and easiest route to hike, but has the hardest trailhead to drive to. Using this route, Hoyt Peak is the easiest mountain to climb in the Uintas, provided you have the right type of vehicle.
Note: Route pages will soon be created for the other two routes below.
White Pine Canyon Route
If you want a good hike rather than a long drive, this is the route to take. The route goes up the South Fork Weber River Trail until forking left and into White Pine Canyon. The White Pine Canyon trail is followed into Paulsin Basin where it joins the standard route to the summit. This is a good all day hike and the recommended route for hikers.
Swifts Canyon Route
This is also a great route for hikers, but as of 1996 (I haven’t been since) there were some private property issues. The private land could still be skirted by wading the Weber River. In winter, apparently access is not a problem. Contact the Forest Service for updated access information. This is a nice all day hike as well, but the trail has been scarred by ATV’s in some sections. The trail also makes a great all day loop hike with the White Pine Canyon Route.
None except some private land issues if you choose to climb the peak via Swifts Canyon.
More details about the area can be found in the book Western Uinta Backcountry Guide, including many routes to the summit, and hiking trails to the many lakes, and fishing information. Just send me a PM if you want to purchase the book.
SP members can have the book for 1/2 price, and there is no shipping cost.
East side of Hoyt Peak as viewed in winter.
CampingPaulsin Basin Route
There are many good campsites along the road in upper Paulsin Basin.
White Pine Canyon Route
There are good campsites along the South Fork Weber River Road once you reach the forest boundary.
When to Climb
The normal summer hiking season is from late June until sometime in October. Late September-early October is beautiful with the fall colors.
The Paulsin Basin Road and South Fork Weber River Road are open only during the above season, but you can ski or snowshoe along the roads. Since there is a road to fairly near the summit in the summer, winter may be the best time to climb the peak for those looking for a more remote experience.
[img:380276:aligncenter:medium:East side of Hoyt Peak as viewed in winter.]
Contact the ranger station in Kamas for current road and trail conditions. Their phone number is 801-783-4338.
WEATHER FORECAST FOR WESTERN UINTA MOUNTAINS
Here are some average highs and lows from Mirror Lake at 10,190 feet :