Twin Lakes Pass

Page Type
Utah, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hike/Basic Snow Climb
Time Required:
Half a day
Class 1-2 Walk-up

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Created On: Jul 23, 2004
Last Edited On: Jul 23, 2004


You can choose between 2 different trailheads: Alta Ski Resort and Brighton Ski Resort (either from Twin Lakes Trailhead or the Lake Mary Trailhead if you're doing the Brighton Ridge Run).

Drive to Brighton Ski Resort at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Use the Twin LakesTrailhead, which begins as a dirt road at the Mt Millicent ski lifts, which are at the near end of the skier parking lot. An alternative is to begin at the Brighton/Solitude Nordic Center that is just before the skier parking lot. From here one circumvents Silver Lake before ascending to Twin Lakes Reservoir.

From Alta, the route is initially on a road, which begins at the Forest Service garage, a low, stonefaced building across the highway from the Alta Lodge, 8.3 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon. There is ample parking along the road in Alta.

Route Description

Elevation Gain (Alta): 2,079'
Distance (Alta): 3 miles

Elevation Gain (Twin Lakes TH): 1,949'
Distance (Twin Lakes TH): 3 miles

From Alta to Twin Lakes Pass: From the Forest Service garage, take the right fork in the road. This switchbacks to the left, and then the right again as it winds its way between office facilities and cabins. After the second switchback the road makes a long ascending traverse into Grizzly Gulch before reaching Twin Lakes Pass, 2.08 miles (ca. 1,400ft) later.

From Brighton to Twin Lakes Pass: From the ski lift, follow the dirt road as it winds its way up the hillside, making many switchbacks. Eventually the Twin Lakes Reservoir is reached. Head to the right of the dam, where a well-defined trail continues up the slope. This trail crosses a saddle behind Mt Evergreen and merges with a dirt road in the Solitude Ski Resort. The trail cuts a switchback in the road, before re-emerging briefly with it just below some wooden structures. The road turns right, but the trail stays left and passes back over the ridgeline, making a gradually ascending traverse above the Twin Lakes Reservoir until the Twin Lakes Pass is reached. This trail provides great views of the Mt Wolverine Cirque.

From Twin Lakes Pass: From the pass, head straight up the ridge to the right, underneath the powerline poles. A use-trail should be apparent arount the foundations for the towers. This use-trail is faint, but constant, as it switchbacks steeply through open slopes and brush to the higher (?) eastern summit. From here you can use a combination of feint trails and common sense route-finding to travel just to the left of the ridgeline to reach the west summit. From the western summit, you can easily find a clear route heading straight down the slope, towards a visibly maintained trail below. About halfway down to it, a feint trail will be encountered. If you traverse along this feint trail rather than continuing to the maintained one, some elevation loss will be avoided. The feint trail is easy to follow in most places, although occasionally some care is needed when it fades, in order to find where it resumes. The trail eventually terminates just below the second electrical transmission tower on the Twin Lakes Pass. From here, descend either approach trail. *Note* - the final leg of this loop would be very difficult to follow in reverse if you wish to make use of the vague trails. It is best to do the loop in the direction described.

Essential Gear

Bring the 10 Essentials. In the winter, bring an avy beacon and either snowshoes or skiis.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Twin Lakes Pass

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