Kessler Peak Trail

HARD 86 reviews

Kessler Peak Trail is a 4.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Salt Lake City, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

4.4 miles
2,874 feet
Out & Back



nature trips






wild flowers



over grown



no dogs

15 hours ago

Awesome hike; great views at the top and well worth the steep elevation gain.

Hiked up and ran down from the First parking lot: 2:39

3 days ago

A relentlessly steep hike, and once at the top, the smoke created a haze that made it hard to enjoy the view. Nevertheless, it's a great hike and an even better workout. I took 3 liters of water and ran out by the time I was at the bottom.

8 days ago

Steep in sections, but nothing too technical. You aren't likely to see anyone else once you split off from the Donut Falls trail. The views are great, I recommend it!

9 days ago

I’m officially addicted ... 7 peaks in 7 weeks ... Mt. Kessler was a “shorter” one but gains elevation RAPIDLY ... Watch for the Cairn on the right when you are on the Service Road or you’ll think you are on the right path but are actually on private property ...

21 days ago

The trail is a tad overgrown at the beginning, but nothing too bad. This hike is decently well shaded for the first 2/3 of the trail as well. As the other reviewers stated, it is steep, but has an amazing view from the top and is great for getting away (only saw 1 other person).

26 days ago

Kessler Peak was definitely a hike to remember. Probably one of the more difficult hikes I’ve done in Utah. Glad we went in the early morning because by the time we were coming down, the sun was shining quite a bit. Great views from the top!

28 days ago

1 month ago

Steep but well worth it. Didn’t see a soul the entire hike after the turn off, so would recommend a hiking buddy and good hiking shoes. There’s a lot of loose dirt and rocks towards the top near some drop-offs.

2 months ago

Great hike.

10 months ago

Trail is beautiful right now. Snow starts to pop up intermittently around the halfway point but it isn't too bad. There's a decent stretch that crampons would've been helpful for, but for the most part a pair of good grip-y shoes will be fine. Super steep, though. Pretty much the entire way up. Zero signage though, so double check on the map here to make sure you're staying on track.

10 months ago

The trail was steep, muddy and a tad snowy, with not much of a view. However, the view at the top is absolutely bonkers.

10 months ago

Steep and slippery but fantastic views. Some snow and mud. Even with a hiking pole I slipped several times. Better than neffs for city views.

10 months ago

great steep hike.

11 months ago

Here are some more specific directions:

Park at donut falls parking lot and begin walking the donut falls trail as if that's where you are headed. Continue along the trail until you cross the creek over the bridge. At this point you will be at a fork in the trail. There will be a trail sign for donut falls pointing to the left as you face it. Walk west, past and behind this trail marker for donut falls. You will immediately hit a service trail, it is wide and can't be missed. Turn left, head up the trail approximately 250 yds. You will see a trail on your right headed up the Mtn. It may be very overgrown in the spring. This is the trail to Kesslers peak. And it's hard as hell. Very steep throughout. But great views at the top.

11 months ago

Great trail, especially if you like the steep uphill stuff.

Bring your poles!

11 months ago

If you do not like heights and crossing open slopes, it is not the hike for you! Take poles, take water, wear good hiking shoes. Loved this hike though I did not bag the Peak. I am a saddle bagger. This a steep climb and as you near the top you have open slopes, greater views, a beautiful sloping meadow of wild flowers, and 2 open mines! Go early and park at Donut Falls. Head west along the road and over the creek and pass through the gates service road. Follow the road a bit,. When you hit the Y in the road keep right. The trail head is unmarked and on your right. Lots of shade and some old pine groves! Enjoy!

11 months ago

A very strenuous steep hike.

Descending was a bit tricky as some sections of the path have loose soil with rocks on top.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Awesome hike with great views. Some really steep parts made going down a little tricky...with an 8 year old

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Did this with my 8 month old in a backing pack. It was a little cold for her at the start so I should have brought her warmer clothes. It was steep! We initially missed he trailhead, but once we went back and found it he trail was well cleared and easy to follow. The trail wasn't crowded at all. We got there at 7:20 and I would recommend that because by the time we got back the parking lot was full of people doing donut falls. It was a weekday in early August. No snow.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Hiked this today, July 9th. As of now, there is no snow field to pass through. You can see the remnants of it, but it is passable. When you reach the snow/ first avy area, you have around1.1k feet to the top. I saw two mines. The fist appeared stable; it's only around 150ft to the end and around 30ft deep. I didn't have an ascender and didn't want to get stuck in the second one. Anyone have any idea how large it is?

The main route contained no scrambling that I saw. It was a constant pitch, but not overly difficult. I found it to be easier than Olympus as a reference.Shaded most of way - which is nice. I fifth the opinion that the initial trail head is easy to miss; however, Suunto has it on their terrain map if you have one of their GPS watches.

Quick hike; moderate difficulty; worth the hike

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

This was a great hike! Be sure to get an early start if you plan on hiking this trail any time over the next couple months. I decided to start my hike early in the morning and it still ended up being fairly hot by the time I got back to my car. The snow on the north slope wasn't much of an issue and should be gone within a couple weeks. Be prepared to work for it over the last bit of this hike, as it becomes fairly steep on the final push to the ridge. However, the payoff/view at the peak is more than worth it.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Great hike to get away from people. Snow field was only about 70 feet to cross today, and was a bit sketchy, especially on the way back, as the sun had warmed it up. Peak was great, last KM was super steep and a bit rough.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

As noted previously the trailhead is easy to miss. If you were to keep going straight from where the Donut Falls trail intersects with FR019 you'll see it. Don't have too much to add to the previous reviews. Pretty steep, but you'll be alone and the views are awesome. I turned around at the snowfield because I wasn't comfortable crossing it and I was a bad hiker, alone without telling anyone where I was. Would have laid there for quite awhile if I slipped haha. Will definitely be back in a few weeks when the snow is all the way out.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Where the trail splits off from the road is easy to miss if you're not looking for it. It looks just like a dried up run off bed. There's just one big snowfield left still as you traverse the north side of the mountain before you the final climb stretch up. Yaktrax and poles would have made it a lot easier to cross, but I just crossed it in my normal hiking shoes and using my hands for added help. Views from the top are great!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Great hike near Salt Lake City. I would recommend this only for experienced hikers/canyoneers who are in great shape. It is difficult and at times quite steep. We went in early June. A lot of the upper trail was covered in snow and some of this was at very steep areas, so the trail was overall pretty dangerous when we went. Towards the end of the trail, there was just too much snow so we instead just scrambled up the rocky mountainside to the top of another peak that was a little bit off the trail. The views are beautiful and it is a great workout. Saw a lot of scat but no larger animals along the trail. Hiking poles are a must. If you are thinking of going when there is likely still snow, I would bring good snow shoes. It's worth it!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Probably the Steepest trail in the Cottonwoods

Monday, October 03, 2016

Although at some points it was pretty steep, it was a really nice hike. Recent rain storms have made the soil of some parts of the trail damp which creates a slipping hazard. Watch your footing and use trekking poles if you have them. Some parts I even had to do a bit of scrambling. Also not there are a few large fallen trees on the trail but they aren't too hard to get past. Be mindful of the altitude too! If you start getting a headache, turn back!

The views at the top of the mountain are fantastic. I loved this view of the twin peaks mountains. In the end, there's a lot of reward for such a short hike.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

yes when they say steep, they mean steep... BEAUTIFUL hike...

Friday, September 16, 2016

Very steep hike but well worth it. 360 degree views from the top and a couple of cool mines and broken down mining shacks. I definitely passed where the trail splits off for Kessler Peak because it really does just look like a stream bed so pay attention.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Quick elevation changes, some areas are very steep. recommend trekking poles. way worth it!

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