Hiking Kings Peak- The Highest Peak In Utah
By C Strickland - Back To Other Hiking Trails
Kings Peak the highest peak in Utah standing at 13,528 feet is one of the more popular hikes in the state of Utah. 5,000 plus visitors hike to the summit every year. With there being several different routes to get to the summit, the easiest route that my friends and I decided to take was the Henrys Fork Trail. To get to the Henry Fork trail you must go into Mountain View, WY. Then take State Route 410 south towards Robertson.
When 410 makes a hard left (west) in about six miles, stay due south towards Bridger Lake Guard Station. In about 12 miles, turn east on Forest Service Road 077 towards Henrys Fork. In about 11.5 miles, turn west for the three-quarters of a mile drive to Henrys Fork Campground, and park near the trailhead. We decided to make this hiking trip a four day adventure, so we could take time to enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
Day 1 - We arrived at the Henrys Fork campground which is the start of the trail head. The campground offers restrooms, horse corals and plenty of parking to accommodate all the hikers. Within ten minutes of arriving we seen are first sign of wildlife. A moose was coming right down to the campground, we rushed to the car to get our cameras and we noticed that there were two moose. After taking a few pictures they darted into the trees. We decided to pitch our tents and make dinner so we could turn in. We needed to be ready for the long hike we had ahead of us in the morning.
Day 2 - We awoke the next morning and strapped on our backpacks and started the journey to the top of Utah. The trail slowly climbs the mountain along the river. The first major stop is Alligator Lake. As we reached the turn off for Alligator Lake we talked to some other hikers coming down the trail. They told us that they were surprised on how big Alligator lake was and that it had plenty of good camping sites. We decided to keep going and not stay at the lake. We then came to Elk Horn crossing were you can take two different trails. The south trail is the Henrys Fork Trail and the other way is the North Slope crossing. We decided to take the North Slope Trail being told it was the shortest route to Gunsight Pass. After hiking for while we finally reached a big flat meadow were you could see several lakes. We were told that they were Bear Lake, Dollar Lake and Henry Fork Lake. As we continued to hike through the meadow we could start seeing Gunsight Pass. So we decided to take off the packs have some lunch and get some rest. After resting we continued up the trail to our first destination. The last 1/4 mile to the pass started really inclining or maybe we were just tired. We finally made it to the lake that sits to the front side of the pass, where we set up camp.
Day 3 - We woke early in the morning to start are hike to the peak. At this point we packed our day packs with lots of water and snacks. From Gunsight Pass the hike is the steepest. After hiking 5 to 5 1/2 miles we reached the base of Kings Peak. In order to get to the top you have to climb up the boulders of the peak. Its more like stepping rock to rock. You don't need any special equipment or have to be a rock climber. As you climb the mountain the views surrounding the peak get better and better. When climbing you think that you finally reached the peak and then in the distance you see another peak. Actually I think it was two peaks later before we could actually say we were standing on the top of Utah. When you reach the top you will see an American Flag, that was put up there after Sept 11. The view was breath taking. You could look down all the canyon's and see little hikers making their way to the peak. Oh and make sure you bring a sweater even if the weather is nice, its a little chilly at this elevation. After sitting at the top for a while and having some lunch, we started down the peak back to base camp.
Day 4 - We woke up had some breakfast, and still couldn't stop talking about how cool the peak was. We rolled up camp and made are way back to the cars. This hike was amazing, the country was beautiful. Going back to the cars was just as enjoyable as hiking to the peak. I recommend this hike to everyone.