Northeast Ridge

Page Type: Route
Lat/Lon: 40.54511°N / 111.70795°W
Route Type: Hiking
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Time Required: Half a day
Difficulty: Class 1 & 2


Obelisk Summit Panorama
Summit Panorama


The Obelisk is a smaller mountain, located north of the Pfeifferhorn, in the Central Wasatch Mountains. The environment surrounding the Obelisk is some of the most astounding and scenic terrain in the entire Wasatch Range.

Looking south from the summit, you have an overwhelming view of the North Ridge of the Pfeifferhorn, the one of the more striking alpine routes in the Wasatch. Looking west, you can see the entire Hogum Fork with the Thunderbolt Ridge, Dresden Face, Snapdragon Couloir, Silver Couloir, and the Hypodermic Needle Couloir. Looking north, the entire Cottonwood Ridge is displayed before your eyes; and, looking east is the rugged outline of the Maybird Palisades and White Baldy.

The most common route to summit Obelisk is the Northeast Ridge. Obelisk is rarely climbed during the summer and provides ample solitude. During the winter, Obelisk is a more popular destination for backcountry skiing along the west and east faces.

Click for the Full Trip Report on my photography website.

Obelisk (Hogum Divide)
Northeast Ridge of The Obelisk.
Obelisk (Hogum Divide)
Traveling through Maybird Gulch.
Obelisk (Hogum Divide)
Ski lines down the east face.
Obelisk (Hogum Divide)
Close up of the Northeast Ridge.

Getting There

Take I-15 to 9000 South. Go east (toward the mountains) on 9000 South. The road will travel toward the mountains and merge with 9400 South. Continue east. The road will diminish to a two-lane street and travel through residential areas. You will arrive at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon.

You will know you're at Little Cottonwood Canyon when you reach the Y-junction. At this intersection, you'll see a large information board that flashes updates about canyon road conditions. From here, go up the canyon roughly 5.3 miles to the White Pine Trailhead Parking Lot. When you are close to the parking lot, the road will widen with an extra passing lane. On the right side of the road you'll see a brown sign that reads "White Pine Trailhead Parking Lot."

There are bathrooms and some information boards at the parking lot. Follow the trail that travels behind the bathrooms.

Route Description

Follow the White Pine Trail for roughly a mile, until you reach a major split in the trail signified by a large bulletin board at the trail split. Take the right fork to Red Pine Canyon. Continue on the trail for roughly another 2 miles until you reach another split in the trail signified by a large wooden bridge crossing the stream to your right. Take the right fork over the bridge and the trail will take you into Maybird Gulch.

Travel west across Maybird Gulch to the base of the Obelisk. The Northeast Ridge is an easy Class 2 hike with some boulder hoping necessary. The summit views are absolutely spectacular. This route is commonly traveled in the winter, as backcountry travelers head to ski the east and west faces, so there is often a broken trail all the way to the summit.

The Northeast Ridge contains avalanche danger during the winter. The proper information and skill are necessary to travel the terrain safely in the winter.

Essential Gear

Appropriate boots, water, etc. for summer. Avalanche gear, etc. for winter.

External Links

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