Kings Peak Climber's Log

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brcoldir - May 8, 2024 1:36 pm Date Climbed: May 4, 2024

Kings Peak

Still very much a winter hike in Early May. Turned back did not complete. Made it all the way to Gunsight pass and past a little ways until turning back due to wind and incoming blizzard. - Apr 23, 2024 4:23 pm Date Climbed: Aug 27, 2022

Swift Creek to Bluebell to Kings then back via Yellowstone  Sucess!

Took a longer less traveled lollipop loop and enjoyed the solitude of the backcountry.
Day 1: Started at Swift Creek Campground TH and took Swift Creek Trail north toward Farmers Lake then headed west on Jackson Park Trail. Set up camp next to X-50, north of twin lakes.
Day 2: Headed over Bluebell Pass and over to Milk Lake. Set up base camp. Planned to summit Kings but a thunderstorm rolled in preventing us, so we relaxed at our camp site and decided to extend our trip another day.
Day 3: To avoid loosing elevation, we headed directly north of Milk Lake off trail, kept west of Y-24 heading north toward the SW spur of South Kings Peak. Followed the west base of the spur and then cut across the meadow west of the base of Kings Peak to meet up with the Uinta Highline Trail. Here we saw another hiker for the first time. We ascended up to Anderson Pass where we were greeted with hundreds of other hikers, the vast majority hiking from Henry's Fork Drainage Basin. Summitted and descended back to our camp the way we came. Ran into a couple that was also camping near Milk Lake. They were the last people we saw until we got back to our truck.
Day 4: Headed west on Jackson Park Trail from Milk Lake to Yellowstone Trail. Descended south back to Swift Creek Campground. Saw a small herd of Elk on the decent - the only large animal life we saw on the entire trip.

Highly recommend this route. The extra days and miles are well worth the solitude that can't be found along Henry's Fork Trail. Besides the trail from Anderson Pass to King's Peak we saw only 2 other hikers. The off trail portion was mostly through open meadows, was easy-going, and some of the most enjoyable hiking along the whole route.

Brian Jenkins

Brian Jenkins - Sep 6, 2023 10:09 pm Date Climbed: Aug 28, 2023

Henry's Fork  Sucess!

Camped at Dollar Lake and enjoyed a moose show. Up via Gunsight Pass and back via the Anderson Pass Chute. Huge flock of sheep grazing along the trail on the way back being guarded by an Anatolian Shepherd.


whatdoIknow - Oct 5, 2022 7:12 am Date Climbed: Sep 12, 2022

high point #35  Sucess!

Slept in the car at Henrys Fork, headed up at 4 AM, came across some moose (?) in the dark, got to dollar lake at dawn. Followed the upper shortcut - wish I have knew that it is not a trail, but boulder hopping. I also realized that I am not great at spotting small rock cairns in a boulder field. From Anderson stay near the ridge line. On the way down I dropped quite a bit below and there the boulder field is much less stabile than near the ridge. Ended up going straight down to Painter basin on the boulder field - I would not recommend repeating this: asking for an injury. Round trip 11h 20 min


one6180339 - Mar 13, 2022 3:05 pm Date Climbed: Sep 8, 2021

2nd attempt success  Sucess!

Tried many years ago with my father, retreated due to weather. Went solo this time. Standard route. Long summit day from camp at Dollar Lake.


skinnywhitecomic - Aug 8, 2021 8:21 am Date Climbed: Aug 5, 2021

HP #40!  Sucess!

My fiancée and I had tried to climb King's Peak last year, but we were underprepared and overconfident. But we learned from our mistakes and did everything we needed to do to summit! We camped at trailhead Day 1, hiked to Dollar Lake and camped there on Day 2, then summited Day 3. We took the shortcut near Gunsight Pass on the way up, but opted for the longer route into Painter's Basin on the way back because at that point we were tired of trail finding. This was her 10th and my 40th, and definitely the hardest one for both of us!


jmitch421 - Aug 4, 2021 10:56 am Date Climbed: Jul 4, 2021

2 days took the shortcut route  Sucess!

Overnight camped near the pass ..took the shortcut then on the decent went straight down the rock field.. great weather Happy 4th of July.

Jblum4733 - Jul 28, 2021 4:15 pm

Re: Start early, afternoon lightning/rain storms

Would you recommend the chute? I've been to that area 3x, summited 2x, and each time wondered what it would be like to go through the chute. Is it super steep? Are there loose rocks? Sounds like maybe those 2 miles would be worth it to cut off in the right conditions.

Thanks! and good work sticking with it through that storm!

Jblum4733 - Jul 28, 2021 4:04 pm Date Climbed: Jul 25, 2021

Kings peak, the 2nd time around  Sucess!

A must see, highly recommended peak for anyone. During COVID-19's rampant halting of many plans that so many had for the summer of 2020, I attempted to climb Kings once but had to turn around just shy of gunsight pass. Then I successfully climbed it once more that July with a good friend of mine. This year I climbed it with another one of my friends (the one who had joined me the first attempt during which we turned back). We summited and I have to say that it's certainly worth all the work. I would recommend leaving during the early hours of the morning 0215-0245 to summit exactly at sunrise. We summited at 0715, just shortly after sunrise, after leaving at 0315. We spent about 2 hours at the top, taking pictures, eating, and just resting in the warm sun. I have to say that there were people who summited, spent less than ten minutes at the top, and I will never understand those people. You walk for hours with the goal of getting to the top and then come back down immediately? Meh, to each their own. Definitely worth all the blisters, aches, pains, and exhaustion. I'm gonna try and do it every other year at least. I've only done it from the Henry's Fork trailhead but I think it would be cool to try another trailhead at somepoint!

jabfoster - Jul 11, 2021 7:15 pm Date Climbed: Jul 10, 2021

Kings Peak overnight

Completed this highpoint with an overnight stay at Dollar Lake. Beautiful scenery and a lot of rocks/boulders.


coloradoskier5280 - Apr 22, 2021 11:57 pm

Re: Via Henry's Fork

Looking at climbing Kings peak the last week of May, based on when you climbed it last year, How was the snow pack on the approach and on the mountain? Did you skin in?


wyatt_meyers - Jan 27, 2021 6:37 pm Date Climbed: Jul 25, 2020

Lightning storm summit  Sucess!

3 day trip with Aiden anf Katelyn. Super cold and stormy but very beautiful. Pretty tough peak, especially if you tried it in one day. Better to do 3 days and enjoy the peak and mountains more. Hiked in Friday night and out Sunday!


dan_3lliott - Oct 28, 2020 10:55 am Date Climbed: Sep 6, 2018

Overnighter @ Henry's Fork Lake  Sucess!

Did this one as an overnighter during Labor Day weekend a few years back. We camped next to Henry's Fork Lake and the only people we saw the whole time were on the main route from gunsight pass to the peak.

TimGorsuch - Oct 10, 2020 7:24 pm Date Climbed: Oct 8, 2020

Lost Galaxy Note 8  Sucess!

My wife and I climbed Kings Peak Oct 7-9, 2020. It was a beautify climb. However we lost our Galaxy Note 8 cell phone near the summit. It's black in a half case with a finger holder on the back to assist with picture taking. Reward will be paid if found and returned. It has many pictures on it that are very important to us. Please email me at if found. Thanks tim


droot - Sep 7, 2020 3:56 am Date Climbed: Sep 5, 2020

Long day, good views  Sucess!

Started at the trailhead at 7:30, summited at 2. Prepare for a long day of boulder hopping. Camped in the basin after the summit. I've never seen so many people in the backcounty before.

Josh Behunin

Josh Behunin - Aug 27, 2020 9:17 am Date Climbed: Jul 7, 2018

With the scouts  Sucess!

Kings is not bad did this as a 3 day trip, I want to come back and trail run this in one day.


LazyJSkwires - Aug 17, 2020 10:58 am Date Climbed: Aug 16, 2020

Ridge run  Sucess!

Went from trailhead to King's Peak to Trail Rider Peak back to trailhead. Started around 3:30 am, back around 8:40 pm. Took the shortcut from Gunsight, then descended the East ridge of Trail Rider and did the lengthy return from Painter basin. Roughly 32 miles roundtrip and 4 summits


jamesmc2 - Aug 17, 2020 8:38 am Date Climbed: Aug 15, 2020

King Rider Traverse  Sucess!

3rd time atop Kings Peak: 1996, 2007 & 2020. We traversed from Kings Peak to Trail Rider before descending to the south side of Painter Basin. This route turned out to be a very aesthetic line when done from Gunsight Pass. We summited:

Kings Peak - 13,528
South Kings Peak -13,512
Painter Peak - 13,387
Trail Rider - 13,247


Peaker - Aug 11, 2020 7:09 am Date Climbed: Aug 9, 2020

North Ridge  Sucess!

Overnight trip, set up camp south of Gunsight Pass the first day and summited that evening with great weather. Packed out the next day.


katelyngeselle - Jul 29, 2020 4:42 pm Date Climbed: Jul 25, 2020

Start early, afternoon lightning/rain storms  Sucess!

We didn't start as early as was recommended to us, and boy did we pay for it!!! We got going from Dollar Lake area around 8:30am. We took the route over Gunsight Pass and back down into the valley, then back up again. I was almost to the top (maybe 30 mins away) when a thunderstorm started. Everyone's hair was standing straight up and you could literally hear the electricity in the air. It was scary and dangerous! I went back down and waited for it to pass in a safer, less exposed area. Some people were getting shocked through their shoes further up. When it passed and was safe again, I continued back up and made it to the top! My first state high point! I was very glad I waited out the storm. It looked like another was about to start, so we headed back down before it arrived. We decided to go down the rocky chute instead of back down the main trail. It cut off probably two miles, which was nice. As we started down the chute, it started to rain- and never stopped. Our rain jackets were completely soaked through and our shoes became puddles. Miserable, horribly cold hike back to our camp!! I've never been so cold. Once finally back, we changed into all of our warm clothes, got into our sleeping bags (at 6pm) and played cards in the tent until it was late enough to go to sleep. BE PREPARED FOR LOTS OF RAIN. Bring lots of layers and rain gear on the hike to the top because the weather here changes so rapidly, and it seems to rain every afternoon starting around 1pm.

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