Kings Peak Trip Report (#4142)
- Signed By: Joe Buhler
- Date submitted: August 04, 2001
I left work in Draper, UT at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday August 2nd. With traffic and construction and a quick stop for dinner I made it onto the Henry's fork trailhead at 8:45 p.m. I decided to hike in as far as I could and camp instead of sleeping in the car. I'm glad I did. It was a full moon and I only had to use my headlamp for a little while. It would be impossible to get lost on this trail; all you have to do is follow the horse droppings. The solitude and views with the full moon on the way up were amazing. I could smell the fires at the dollar lake campgrounds and passed them up and made it to right below gunsight pass at 1:45 a.m. on Friday. I pitched my tent off the trail and had a quick snack. I woke up at 6:30 a.m. and was on the trail headed up the pass at 6:45. I was behind three hikers and thought that they knew what they were doing. I had read in a guidebook that you can take a short cut and not loose altitude by traversing straight over on gunsight pass. I saw these three doing a traverse and followed them. That was a mistake on my part. I probably added an hour to my hike rather than take one off. When you reach gunsight pass stay high and go up. Only traverse about half way. Aim for the middle of the pass above you and climb up. The cairns are hard to see from below. (I went this way on the way back) I will ad a picture showing this when I get them back. I later caught up to the three hikers I was following and found out they were all from Houston, TX and doing the 50 high points of all the states. Good luck guys. They asked if I had been on Kings Peak before and when I said no they apologized for leading me off route. I did get to see some killer cliffs this way that looks like fun rock climbing. When I got back on trail I started to see a lot more people all converging on Anderson Pass and heading up the ridge. The ridge up to the summit is steep but pretty easy. ItÌs basically hoping from one rock to an other. There is one false summit and after that the steepness lets up until you are right below the summit. I started counting people coming down and when I reached the summit at 11:45 a.m. I was about the 74th one to summit. When I was up on top five more people reached the summit and I counted 16 people and two dogs on top at the same time. So much for solitude. On the way down I counted 49 people and another two dogs headed up. I took the right short cut on the way down, reached my tent, ate and took a nap. The afternoon thundershower started around 4:00 p.m. Make sure you're off the ridge early. After the storm I broke camp and started heading down the trail at 6:00 p.m. at a relaxed pace. I saw some and heard all the boy scouts around Dollar Lake and after I crossed the foot bridge I saw a Female Moose with a calf about twenty feet away from me off the trail in the trees. That was pretty cool and I watched them for a while. It started to rain for the last two hours I was on the trail. I reached the trailhead at 9:45 p.m. soaking wet (I was to lazy to get my rain gear or my headlight out of my pack (follow the horse droppings)) and was never happier to see my car and the dry, clean clothes I had in it.