The register comes and goes. It wasn't there on my visits, but has been on other's visits.
Thanks Scott for the information. I don't feel so dumb now- it may not have been there in that time frame. I had a great visit regardless.
It' s the forest service which is charged with removing registers from up there. Ever year there is something different, sometimes a few registers, sometimes none. There used to be a Highpoint plaque in late 90s, and a geocache around 2002-2004, and a fallen officer plaque in 2005, but all of them end up being removed from the top as unapproved in the designated wilderness. I guess the latest plaque actually has been approved, but by a wrong office of the FS, so it had to go in the end.
The majority of folks heading up TR 117 (Henry's Fork Trail) are camping at Dollar Lake, and when we were there recently (7/29), there were over 200 people at Dollar lake alone. Due to heavy use the USFS has placed a no camping restriction within 1000' of both Dollar and Henry's Fork lakes.
FOR SMALL PARTIES ONLY! (1, 2 or 3 people) I would recomend continuing past Dollar lake and camping closer to Gunsight Pass. There is a small pond approx. 100m to the sw of the trail at around 11,000' which have a couple good spots to pitch a tent, and a larger pond / small lake at about 11,630' , approx. 5km ssw from the trail. These are small areas and will NOT support the large groups the BSA likes to bring in.
Be aware that the USFS (as they should) are enforcing the no camping closer than 200' from trails or water sources.
If your really up to it, go on over Gunsight pass into the basin on the other side. Although its above tree-line there are a lot of places to camp, running water, and a lot of solitude.
One final note. In addition to speaking with a very frustrated USFS Ranger who was cleaing campsites, there is a lot of trash in the area.
Please, if you pack in, pack it out!
There seems to be a summit register on Kings Peak. I discovered this, after I had been there, when I saw a photo of it in the Highpointers magazine. It is bright red. I wish I had known about it so that I could have signed it. Well, I guess another trip is warranted.
The approach from Henry's Fork doesn't appear to increase in elevation too quickly and also covers what appears to be open plains. Has anyone ridden a mountain bike the majority of the way to Gunsight pass? Is it permitted by USFS?
Bikes aren't allowed on that trail, as it enters a wilderness area very quickly and wheeled vehicles aren't permitted in wilderness areas.
Matt, may I add a correction re: "Generally the best conditions for climbing Kings Peak occur from June through September, depending on snow and weather conditions. It is certainly climbable any time of year however winter ascents will require skis, lots of warm clothing, a liberal dose of spare time and a love for self inflicted torture!"
June climbs may be plagued by softened snowfields. And it is certainly quite unwise to call skiing a "love of torture". Springtime skiing typically has mild temperatures, and in good conditions, glide back from the upper basins to the trailhead may take mere couple hours and little effort, making daytrips to the peak a cherished tradition. No rain or mud, no insects or unstable boulders, no horsesh*t or noisy gangs of scouts, just what kind of a "turture" is it?
And of course snowshoeing is fairly popular too.
I am referring to midwinter ascents with that comment...not springtime :)
It was meant as humerous and to be taken as as joke lol.
However I will also say that skiing is impossible ;)
Oh, I understand that you were trying to be funny. Humor is appreciated. Of course trip reports and picture captions, being more personal accounts, may be better places for jokes than mountain pages (which are generally written to provide useful information). At the very least, if you are compelled to be funny, please don't do it "at the expense of factual truth"
Have you sent it during the winter? Do you have any advice? I've done summer/fall ascensions but never a winter one and I'll be in Utah this December (26-28) and plan on attempting it. Any assistance in this quest would be appreciated.
We didn't find the herd path from Gunsight Pass around West Gunsight Peak, instead dropping down into Painter Basin. A lower herd path allowed us to cut off a bit from the "official" trail junction, but down on the flats. Apparently one has to climb directly up from Gunsight Pass in order to stay above the cliff band and large talus slope. Fun mountain all the same!
Having climbed Kings 10 years ago I had forgotton how long this climb really is. When we finally reached Anderson Pass there was snow and icy wind blowing as well as black clouds everywhere. Terrible conditions. Most people were turning back and so did we. We made the mistake of hiking back to Dollar Lake to our camp and then hiking back to the trail head in the dark. What a mistake! Stumbling along the trail from Elk Horn crossing to the parking lot was brutal especially with how totally spent we were and then having to use head lamps. Anwyay we made it to the truck around 11:30 pm.
Has anyone been on the normal route to Kings Peak recently?
What are conditions like? Are crampons/ or snow shoes needed?
Planning my second trip to Kings for Fathers day. It was a great hike, I chose to camp at the base of the chute and take that first thing in the morning. Its like climbing an escalator the wrong way, but it wasn't impossible (I was alone so I didn't worry about falling rocks). From there it was up to meet the trail and onto glory. Was a beautiful day at the top and a great climb. I hike purely in Vibram Five Fingers so it was a bit rocky but not really tough. One of my all time favorites.
Completed the peak early august 2016 and took the short cut route. From Gun site pass take trail to west along ridge. There is a short scramble through the a rock band which comes up to a high bench. Follow cairns along contour until last large cairn. Do not proceed directly toward Anderson pass, this route looses to much altitude. Continue contouring around the peak to the saddle finally joining the established trail from the south below Anderson pass. If done right this is a 6.8 instead of 9 mile roundtrip and you avoid dropping and climbing 600' into the valley twice. The key is contouring around the peak instead of going up and down. From the Peak you can see the optimal route as green patches on the opposite slope that avoids the bolder fields. When following the cairns spread out so as not to create a trail. Correct route goes below snow field NE of Anderson pass. There are stone tent several shelters along the way by the show field.
Just completed my second ascent of King's Peak (Labor Day 2013 / August 27, 2016). Both times have been as day hikes from Henry's Fork trailhead. This time our group consisted of three dads, our 12 year old sons and my King Charles Cavalier Spaniel - great hike. The last five miles to the trailhead were a grind, but we all pushed through - amazing kids. We also utilized the 'short cut' after Gun sight Pass to cut some distance and to avoid losing elevation. So many people take this route that there are clear paths through this region. By comparison 31.2 miles (2013) vs 28.9 miles roundtrip (short cut 2016) which is a big deal from a day hike standpoint. It took us 16.5 hours total this time,including an hour at the summit. I love this hike and will do it again next year, but may camp along the way or try it from the south.
Henry's Fork trailhead on the afternoon of 9/2 (Labor Day weekend) was packed to the gills. Departure from parking lot was 13:30. After miles of nonstop hiking with brief picture taking, I settled into Painter's Basin at the very bottom of the traditional trail leading to Anderson's Pass at approximately 17:00. At 4:40 I popped out of the tent and headed up, using both a headlamp and flashlight to make my way to the north ridge (Anderson's Pass area). I had a light pack with water, some food, and I used it later for storage to strip off layers after the sun started to heat things up. The hardest part for me was knowing if I was on the trail or not, because it gets spotty at times, especially in the dark. But still, if one gets off trail, I don't think you can go wrong by simply hiking straight toward the north ridge (the right side of the huge mountain. The rest was rather simple scrambling (plenty of families with kids summitted on this day). Staying on the east side (side facing Painter's Basin) is what I'd advise to anyone since the other side is basically a cliff face. It was true privilege to not only be the first on top that morning at 6:30, but to also see an awesome sunrise over these high Uintas!
Got back to Henry's Fork trailhead by 16:30 on 9/3, so a 12-hour day of being on the move, but well worth it. I'll probably make a summit report on this one since I have some cool pics. Happy hiking, and thanks Matt for this page.