Kings Peak
By Andrew McLean

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Originally published in The Chuting Gallery

Kings Peak, Utah

Kings Peak has the distinction of being the highest peak in Utah. It might also have the dubious honor of being the longest approach for the least amount of skiing in Utah - 12-16 miles each way (depending on how much of the road is open) for approximately 1,800’ of wind scoured crust. Highly unrecommended. But if you really want to torture yourself, here’s the scoop…..

Drive to Evanston, continue on until you see the I80 business loop to Fort Bridger. (details from Butch’s book). If road to the trail head is unplowed, add another 3 miles to the approach. Slog along this flat road until you reach the camp grounds. Once you reach the campground, you will be at the gates of hell. The wise will turn around here. If you decide to persist, start walking. And walking. And walking. It’s eight miles up a wooded drainage to the lakes with 1,500’ of elevation gain. Once you reach the head of the lakes, you will be able to look up to your left and see the ridge leading up to the summit of Kings. The normal route goes through a large saddle called Gunsight pass and drops way down and around a sub peak. Once you make it through Gunsight, you can skip the lower summer trail - stay high and traverse around. You can also take the direct approach and go up the much steeper notch directly at the head of the lakes. This is short and steeper, but will save you about 2 miles. Either way, gain a large basin and head up the east ridge. Ski down about 1,800’ and repeat the approach all the way back to the car. The recommended gear is a pair of metal edged waxless pattern skis (fishscales) with skins for the approach and then kick and glide on the egress. It’s relatively common for people to do this in a day, although you would absolutely want to make the snow was supportable.

Copyright - Andrew McLean Back to Writings Index