Twin Lakes Pass

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

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Created On: Jul 23, 2004
Last Edited On: Dec 29, 2004


You can choose between 2 different starting points: Alta Ski Resort (which I'm calling Cardiff Pass TH and Brighton Ski Resort (either from Twin Lakes TH or the Lake Mary TH 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

Cardiff Pass TH
Total Distance: 3 mi
Total Elevation Gain: 1400'

Twin Lakes TH
Total Distance: 3.1 mi
Total Elevation Gain: 2065'

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.

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.

Twin Lakes Pass: Turn off of the trails and follow the ridgeline south. It ascends steeply, and then gradually ascends the remaining elevation as the route arcs around the top of the Wolverine Cirque, gaining the summit. I have not yet done this part of the route, but it appeared to consist of mild boulder-hopping and sparse vegetation, making for easy route-finding.

Essential Gear

Bring the 10 Essentials. In the winter, bring an avy beacon and either snowshoes or skiis. An ice axe may be desireable for spring snowclimbs.

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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