King's Peak Utah Henry's Fork Trail

HARD 108 reviews
#1 of 76 trails in

King's Peak Utah Henry's Fork Trail is a 27.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mountain View, Utah that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
27.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5059 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

horseback riding

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

scramble

snow

This trail starts at the Henrys Fork trailhead and goes past Dollar, near Henrys Fork Lake and over Gunsight Pass (11,891 feet). Then drops down into the Upper Painter Basin about 2 miles to a trail junction. Turn right and climb 3.5 miles to Anderson Pass (12,800 feet) before climbing to Anderson Pass. From there, turn south and climb the north ridge of Kings Peak 1.5 miles to the summit. This portion is off-trail and has a lot of boulder hopping to the summit which has a beautiful view. Most hikers camp at the lakes at the Upper end of Henrys Fork Basin

hiking
1 month ago

I have never hiked kings peak and I had a goal to do it this year. Yesterday was probably my last chance. Blue skies, with a high of 45 F. 18-hour hike, only 11 hours of sunlight, 2 feet of snow covering the trail in several spots. I had the entire mountain to myself; didn't see another soul.
It was just about perfect.
It is not my favorite mountain. The boulder scramble near the top is a slog, especially when they are half covered in snow, but I am glad I did it. I will have to try it in the summer.

backpacking
2 months ago

This was a fantastic hike! This was the first time my wife had done any backpacking, and she fell in love! We took the typical route, stopped short of gunsight pass and made camp. The next day, we climbed the summit, (pack plenty of water and warm-weather clothing) and packed out the next day. We loved it, we were fortunate not to hit any bad weather, but people leaving as we were coming in said they got snowed off the peak, in August! A wonderful hike, would definitely do it again!

hiking
3 months ago

Wonderful hike! This starts out as a gentle uphill through pine and aspen woods along Henry's Fork. Multiple small stream crossings this time of year are easily passed. Gunsight Pass is the first steep climb. On the way down from the pass, the largest cairns take you down into the valley below before heading up to Anderson Pass. If you want to do the route highlighted here, stay closer to the mountain after crossing Gunsight. I was able to do the 29mi (added 0.9mi each way) out and back in a little over 11hrs with a few breaks for fueling and taking in the sights. I also enjoyed the perfect weather.

backpacking
3 months ago

Absolutely spectacular... we were extremely lucky and had perfect weather, clear sky, no wind, no bugs. One of the most beautiful places! Totally worth it... take your time and enjoy.

3 months ago

We started Wednesday early morning hike to the summit Thursday morning. Absolutely amazing experience. Super challenging but worth it. I will do it again.

backpacking
3 months ago

Beautiful area, take your time and make it a 2-3 day trip. Don't forget your flies!!!

hiking
3 months ago

I did a one day out-and-back with a group of 5, started at 5am and got back at 9pm, that being said a few in our group were pretty worn out, so the pace coming down was slower. this hike is challenging for one day, and although someone told us that the first 10 miles were flat, that wasn't quite the case. the last two or three miles are very steep, and little to no trail is present. that being said, the summit was worth all the hard effort! Simply an amazing view! if I were to ever do this again, I would hike in about 8 miles and camp, and then summit the next day. My only true complaint is that there are like NO SIGNS! unless you have a gps, you have no idea how far you've gone, or how much is left. NOTE: A scout died up there the weekend we went due to elevation sickness, so if you feel nauseated, head back to lower elevation right away! Also, don't mess around with the storms near the summit; play it safe and live to hike another day. The storms were intense on our way down! Oh, and one more thing: there were some amazing views, but plenty of boring terrain later on with little to no shade, so come prepared.

backpacking
4 months ago

This hike was absolutely worth it but I think knowing a few things ahead of time would have helped my overall experience. Be prepared for some serious bolder scrambling towards the end of the hike!! I anticipated about a half mile of this and it was more like a mile if not more. If you don't do well with heights this will slow you way down. I'm very grateful there were plenty of other people hiking it that day or we would have had no idea where we were going. Once on the ridge line it's really not clear where to go. The cairns are very few and far between. Also, bring plenty of water!! We each had a liter on us along with a filter to fill up but once you start up the ridge the opportunity for water isn't there. And as other have said, bring sunscreen when you summit! We applied first thing in the morning but the hike took longer than we anticipated and I got fried! We camped at Dollar Lake which was beautiful, saw plenty of wildlife and had spectacular views from King's Peak thanks to the beautiful weather we had! Overall it lived up to my expectations for being on my bucket list for so long!

backpacking
4 months ago

We started from the trailhead at 7:45pm Friday night and returned to the car by 4:10pm Saturday afternoon. Hiked very fast, but it was doable for my friend and I. Tip for driving there: either download a map for offline use, or if you're using printed directions then watch your odometer to know when to turn. We made a a couple wrong turns that put us back an hour from starting the hike. The hike in to Dollar Lake is fairly flat--nothing too strenuous, and we backpacked in two hours that first night. Set up camp in some trees by 10pm and were up again at 6am to start hiking at 7am. Got off the path and climbed up the shoot. Very difficult, but some others hikers said it cut the distance from the vally to the peak in half. Just be very careful climbing over all the boulders. Made it to the peak at 10:30am (3hr moving time) and back down our camp by 1:30 (2.5hr moving time). View from the peak was amazing! Well worth the effort. Also saw moose, dear, sheep, groundhogs, horses, and a LLAMA along the way. Weather was perfect; warm, but not hot, and the peak is quite breezy and cool. That said, we got pretty sunburnt, so still be sure to cover up. As for water, I kept two liters on me. Filtered and refilled them in the morning and they lasted the rest of the day, but probably could have used 3L. Lots of people, but no roads, power lines, or buildings in sight. Beautiful hike, and I'd definitely come back and take more time to explore the other features of the area.

4 months ago

We loved this hike, but we were also well prepared, which is part of why it was so enjoyable. A couple things I would recommend to adequately prepare:
-plan for rain (it is the high Uintas afterall)
-bring lots of bug spray
-bring sunscreen (the sun exposure is deceiving because it's not very hot, but the elevation will cause most people to burn without protection)
-bring a water filtration method, there are plenty of opportunities to fill up
-take the peak slow, adjusting to the altitude is essential
-become familiar or make sure you're confident in your ability to climb and maneuver boulders as it is all you will be doing the last mile of the summit

backpacking
4 months ago

Did this over 3 days. We got lucky and the weather was beautiful!! Bug spray is definitely a must. Camped near Dollar Lake, plenty of water. Fishing was good in the stream but not in the lake. We left camp at 5am to make sure we were at Summit and down before noon. The rock cairns were helpful to stay on trail. Make sure and take water for Summit as moving water availability is scarce after Gunsight pass. Pack a jacket as the top is cold and windy, and gloves may be helpful for boulder hopping and hand warmth. The area was beautiful and the views were breathtaking. Happy to say we made it!!

backpacking
4 months ago

Extremely challenging climb but worth it! We took 3 days to hike the peak. Day One: Hiked from Parking Lot to Just Above Dollar Lake in Complete Downpour - the hike took about 5 hours. Be prepared for heavy rain and a "string & log" bridge crossing. Mosquitos are rampant - 100% DEET did the trick. Day 2: Left camp to climb King's Peak at 5AM. It is a long haul over rocks and boulders. No need for spikes as you can climb around the snow. You will be on all fours and there is ample exposure near the peak. Bring plenty of water - you will need it. We returned to camp at 4PM. Thunder/lightening/rain began at 8PM and did not stop until 8AM the following day. Day 3: Hiked back to parking lot at 6:55AM - it only took 4 hours on the return, and we had sun! Totally worth the work of the climb. Bring water and warm clothes!

backpacking
4 months ago

Awesome but challenging trip! Took the advice of others and got as close to Gunsight Pass the first day as we could. We left the next morning at about 10:30 am but would recommend leaving no later than that because by the time we got up to King's Peak, took a twenty minute rest and hiked all the way back to camp it was 8 pm and the sun was going down quickly. As others have said, the weather up there is unpredictable and we hiked the first day completely in the rain(9 miles is where we stopped) but got lucky and were able to summit with clear skies. No ice axes or anything like that is necessary right now as of 7/23. Bring a water filter along with you and some good bug spray and/or treat your clothing because the mosquitoes are vicious. Our Corgi was able to do this entire hike with only a little help scrambling the bigger boulders so this trail is dog friendly all the way to the sunmit for a healthy dog! The trail maps will tell you to go back down the backside of Gunsight Pass and around the corner and then back up but we took a shortcut at the top of the pass by veering left and climbing the rocks up. Plenty of piles of rocks are built up to show you the way. We estimated that the shortcut saved us an hour and a half each way.

backpacking
4 months ago

This hike was fantastic. My only gripe was the viscous thunderstorms. We did it in two days, and camped below Gunsight pass. This absolutely wasn't the hardest hike I've ever done, but the length of the hike combined with the weight of my pack definitely made it pretty tough. I'd absolutely do this again. The view from the top of Kings is incredible!

backpacking
5 months ago

Incredible trip. We camped about a mile past Dollar lake, within sight of Gunsight pass.

Started hiking from our camp @ 5AM on 7-16-17, clear skies all the way through Painter's basin and up to the summit.

Reached the summit @ 9:30AM. Clouds started forming on our way down, started sprinkling as we were headed back into Painter's basin.

By the time we got back to Gunsight pass about 2 hours later the rain got heavier. We barely made it back to our tents @ 2 PM as the lightning and heavy rain passed right over us. Rain continued for about 2 hours. The sun came out for about an hour, we quickly packed and started hiking out. Rain resumed and continued until we reached the trailhead at 830 PM.

Moral of the story, if you are not a fast hiker, camp as close to the pass as you can and leave for the summit as early as possible. The weather is wildly unpredictable and storms come in fast. If there is even a hint of storm clouds nearby I would not summit.

We could have saved time with one of the shortcut trails but the boulder scrambles seemed way too risky.

backpacking
5 months ago

Tried to summit on Saturday (7/15/17) but had to turn back 20 minutes from the top because of lightning. we had clear skies all morning but got pounded in the afternoon. trail was clear and well marked, 3 short snow field crossings (ice ax and crampons not necessary now) Last mile from Anderson pass is pretty brutal.
Camped at Henry's fork lake, 31 miles round trip, had the lake to ourselves (except one moose) we spent 3 days so we could fish but it can be done in two, if that's what you're going for i would suggest getting over Gunsight pass to camp the first night to make your summit trip shorter. BUG SPRAY is an absolute must, mosquitoes are terrible right now @anita Krebs @Tony Pizza hope this helps

hiking
5 months ago

This is the most amazing hike I've done. The trail is flat and easy for the majority of the distance, but be prepared for steeper climbing as you approach the summit. As of two weeks ago, ice axes were an absolute necessity. Bring a water filter and plenty of food. The round trip was just over 33 miles for us, because we hiked through the basin to avoid heavy snow. It can be done as one long day hike, but doing it as a backpacking trip would allow you more time to enjoy the lakes and terrain along the way.

backpacking
5 months ago

Can anyone tell me if there is snow and ice on the route? Are crampons and ice axes needed this time of year? @bob hammilton @chelsea gallant; how were the storms? I saw that lightening was forecasted last weekend? Love to hear your thoughts.

hiking
5 months ago

My boys and I would like to make this hike around the 1st of August. We are not from the area so I have a couple of questions if someone is willing to answer. it says 27.1 miles. Is that round trip or one way.
Can we do this in two days? i.e. hike in, camp overnight, next day reach the summit and hike out?
Are the trails easily marked or are we at risk of getting lost?
if you've done this in two days, what kind of timing/schedule are we looking at?

backpacking
5 months ago

I hiked this peak yesterday as part of the Highline Trail and hiked out of Henry's Fork. I've done this hike in the past as well. The trail itself is fairly easy. The part that's hard is hiking up the peak and coming down the peak is difficult. Mosquitoes are the size of flies so consider a hat with a net. No joke.

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