South Ridge via Hayden Fork

South Ridge via Hayden Fork

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 40.76240°N / 110.8568°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hike with Boulder Hopping
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Class 2
Sign the Climber's Log


This route to the summit of Kletting Peak begins from State Highway 150. There is no trail for this approach, so routefinding will be required.

The hike may be started at a number of locations along Highway 150. The route will be made shortest by parking somewhere between mile markers 35 and 37. There is a pullout on the east side of the road approximately 0.7 miles north of mile marker 35 (i.e., mile 35.7). Park here or at any other convenient location along this section of the highway.

This portion of Highway 150 is part of the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway. Read the main page 'Red Tape' section for information on fees for this area.


Round Trip Hiking Distance: 4.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,145 ft.

Trailhead Elevation: 9,910 ft.
Summit Elevation: 12,055 ft.

Route Description

There is no trail from Highway 150 to the summit of Kletting Peak, so it is very important to take some time at the highway and plan your route to the summit. Also take careful note of the starting point of the hike, and note a few prominent landmarks for navigating back to the highway on the descent.

From the highway Kletting Peak is easily visible as the prominent summit to the north-east. The ridge you will be ascending extends south from the summit to a low saddle approximately midway between Kletting Peak and Hayden Peak, the rugged summit on the ridge to the south. The most feasible route to the summit is to head east from the highway through a forested area, then up the steep west facing slopes leading to the south ridge. Either aim for the saddle on the ridge or any spot slightly to the north of the saddle.

Begin walking from Highway 150 directly east through forested terrain. The summit and north ridge will not be visible for some time, so try to maintain a straight heading towards the ridge. As expected there will be deadfall and brush to navigate through, but the going is generally not too bad. Depending on the time of year, there may be a few marshy areas and/or minor stream crossings.

After navigating through the forested area for approximately 1/2 mile the slope will begin to rise, gradually at first but becoming increasingly steep. Use caution ascending this slope, as there is much loose soil and rock. There are a number of locations to ascend the slope, but the terrain will generally be similar regardless of the path chosen; try to follow a path of least resistance.

Eventually break above timber line, where the slope will finally begin to ease up somewhat. Continue climbing either straight east or begin veering slightly north until the ridge is reached.

From the ridge the view will open up to the east looking down into the Kermsuh Lake basin.

On the ridge turn left and begin heading north towards the summit, which will now be clearly visible. There will be some boulder hopping but the going is generally easy. The ridge remains relatively level at first before begining the final climb up the south ridge to the summit.

There are a few small cliff bands roughly midway up the summit ridge. These can be bypassed by traversing left (class 2), or for variety scramble directly up these rocks (class 3 or 4).

The summit consists of two peaks nearly identical in height. The westernmost summit appears to be highest, but its best to boulder hop the 200 feet to the east summit just to be certain.

Essential Gear

There is no trail along this route to the summit. Carrying a map and compass and/or GPS is strongly recommended on this hike.

The west slopes leading up to the north ridge are quite steep; treking poles would be beneficial on the descent.

Insect repellent is a must until late summer.



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.