Kings Peak Trip Report (#4092)
- Signed By: Brandon Brough of Salem, IL, U.S.
- Date submitted: September 12, 2004
What do you do when your buddy says "Hey, let's take a week off, drive 1500 miles, and climb the highest mountain in Utah"? Well, if you live in southern Illinois (el. 400 ft.), and you've never been west of Missouri, you ponder it for a couple of days. So three flatlanders head to Sport's Authority armed with mastercards and buy everything Backpacker magazine said we needed to climb a mountain. We got to the Henry's fork trailhead at about 5 pm on Tuesday, hiked in about three miles, and set up camp next the creek. We may not be mountain climbers, but one thing we get to do a lot of back home is fish, so we quickly had enough pan sized trout for supper. Wednesday morning we fixed a quick breakfast and hit the trail. our destination was dollar lake, but there were several people camped there already. We headed farther toward Gunsight pass and camped just below the treeline. Thursday morning we emptied my pack and used it to carry only water and cameras. We got kind of a late start toward the summit, so we were moving preety quick to get there. I was the only one who had never been in high altitude, and was worried about altitude sickness, but all three of us were fine and we all made it to the summit. I wish we had got an earlier start to avoid the storms, but we had one hell of a lightning storm hit on the way down. We high-tailed it back to camp and tried to warm up by the fire. It was an amazing experience and I'm glad we did it. The other guys want to bag Gannit peak next, but I think we need a LOT more experience first. By the way, we do have some good backpacking in Illinois, with the 160 mile River to River trail in the Shawnee National forest regarded as one of the most scenic hikes in America. And you don't have to worry about altitude sickness!