South Slopes via Alta

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 40.60100°N / 111.6454°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hike
Additional Information Time Required: Less than two hours
Additional Information Difficulty: Class 2
Sign the Climber's Log


This route begins at the Cardiff Pass trail near the Alta Ski Resort. See the main page 'Getting There' section for details on reaching this trailhead.


Round Trip Hiking Distance: 2.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,855 ft.

Trailhead Elevation: 8,675 ft.
Summit Elevation: 10,530 ft.

Route Description

The trail begins at the road on the right side of the Forest Service garage, then makes a switchback around the Sheriff's Office on the left. Follow the road as it makes another set of switchbacks, then continue up the road roughly 3/4 mile to another branch.

The left branch continues up to Cardiff Pass, the prominent saddle on the skyline to the north-west. It is possible to reach Flagstaff Mountain from Cardiff Pass, but doing so will require a rather difficult 3rd or 4th class scramble over the rocky ridge between Cardiff Pass and Flagstaff. Do not attempt this route unless you are confident in your scrambling abilities.

The recommended route is to take the right branch and continue following the road eastward, gaining little elevation until it terminates at the remains of a mine dump.

Their is no trail to the summit beyond the mine tailings, but the route will be obvious. The summit is the high point on the ridge directly to north. Head north directly up the grassy slopes, aiming for the saddle on the ridge to the west of Flagstaff. The slope is steep but there is no scrambling involved.

From the saddle follow the ridge east up the final 300 vertical feet to the summit.

Essential Gear

Class 2 hike - no special equipment required.



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