W. Fk. Blacks Fk.-Red Knob Pass-S. Ridge

Page Type
Utah, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
A few days
Class 2+

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W. Fk. Blacks Fk.-Red Knob Pass-S. Ridge
Created On: Jan 22, 2005
Last Edited On: Jan 9, 2013


From the traffic light in Kamas and the intersection of Route 248 and 32, head north 0.1 to SR 150 (Mirror Lake Highway). Turn Right onto SR 150 and follow for 49 miles to FR 058, turn right onto FR 058 (gravel road) and follow for 16 miles to the 4-way intersection with the West Fork Blacks Fork Road turning south. Turn right and follow the rough dirt road to where it crosses the river. It is highly recommended you park here, no matter what type of vehicle you own. The river crossing is very rough and driving through the meadows along the heavily rutted 4wd road is at best, environmentally insensitive, not to mention damaging to your vehicle.

Route Description

This is the most scenic route to Wasatch Peak. Of all the drainages in the Uinta Mountains, I rate the West Fork Blacks Fork as the most scenic of all, in fact as far as mountain scenery goes, this may be the best mountain hike in Utah. The 12,000 foot peaks on the west side of the drainage are among the most rugged in the state and resemble parts of the Tetons, Sawtooths, or San Juans. Interestingly, the 13'ers on the east side of the drainage are more rounded. There are three of them, including Wasatch Peak.

From the trailhead, cross the river. The first few miles of the trail is actually a badly rutted 4wd road. The 4wd roads splits into a few routes, but don't worry about it as they all converge. The official trail marked on the maps actually crosses the river three times (no bridges). I have always stayed on the east side of the river all the way to Dead Horse Lake, and skipped the other two crossings. Others have stayed on the west side of the river. A definate track does stay on either side of the river. The West Fork Blacks Fork Trail gains elevation gently and the scenery is just spectacular. The peaks on the west side of the river are especially rugged, and most especially, the east face of Mount Beaulah. The trail follows the river for 11 miles to Deadhorse Lake, which is one of the prettiest campsites anywhere. Just before Deadhorse Lake, the trail branches. The left (east) branch is the one you will take, but you will probably want to visit Deadhorse Lake first and perhaps camp there. Follow the trail (east branch) to Red Knob Passes. There are actually three passes close together, and it is debated as to which one is the Red Knob Pass. Different maps mark different passes as Red Knob Pass. Its the eastern-most pass you want. This is about 2.6 miles from Deadhorse Lake. From the pass, scramble north up the south ridge to the summit. There are several rugged sections and a few cliff bands to liven things up. Always pass the cliff band/obstacles on the right (east). The highest part of the ridge has some loose rock, so beware. On the summit is a rock wall and the benchmark "Wasatch". The name is somewhat a mystery since the peak is not in the Wasatch Range. Enjoy the fine views before returning. The total round trip distance is 30 miles and usually takes three days.

Essential Gear

A good pair of boots as needed.