King's Peak Utah Henry's Fork Trail

HARD 177 reviews
#1 of 85 trails in

King's Peak Utah Henry's Fork Trail is a 26.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mountain View, Utah that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, birding, horses, and backpacking and is best used from April until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
26.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5,118 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

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.

backpacking
1 day ago

Hiked with scout troop over a course of 3 days. Don’t go down the side of the main peak the back way, go down the way you came up... we learned that the hard way.

backpacking
3 days ago

A great summit. Don’t despair when you hit a false summit - the real one is close. We took the shortcut. From the pass, follow the cairns to hikers right. Lots of rock hopping. Trekking poles are nice to have. 40Mph? winds made standing on the summit block a bit challenging.

beautiful place to go I have done it in one day don't recommended if your not fit for it. it's better in 2 days so you can enjoy it better

hiking
8 days ago

What a great adventure. Encountered plenty of wild life, the beauty of the mountains, and a killer hike. As usual the weather in the Uintas was unpredictable. The window of 3pm thunder showers quickly turned into noon thunder showers. We hunkered down for about 20 minutes until storm passed over. This ended up working to our advantage because it allowed us to enjoy the Peak to ourselves for awhile. So glad to finally have this one under my belt.

hiking
14 days ago

The elevation is a killer! Great views, plenty of water until the summit. Watch the weather, it can turn quickly.

backpacking
14 days ago

I rate it moderate! Very beautiful easy hike! The scramble was fun except watching people drag their dogs around. Not dog friendly. 2.5 to Henry’s lake 2 to summit. 2.5 down. Great weekend backpacking trek with 15#. Be prepared for the elements. Pack accordingly!

backpacking
15 days ago

For those with dogs: while dogs are allowed, I wouldn't call this hike dog friendly. Especially the scramble to the summit.

We ended up carrying ours, only 13#s, larger dogs were struggling too. I would recommend to only summit with your dog if they are used to high altitude and have energy for days.

We'd go back to the area with her but wouldn't go beyond Anderson Pass, if that.

hiking
17 days ago

Great Hike!! kicked my but. but well worth it. Cant wait to do it again.

17 days ago

Trailhead, drop gear at Dollar lake, bust it up the mountain, get down before dark, headlamps blazing, Lifestraw a must, missing the Gunsight pass turn off, Hi-line trail for miles, stumble on sign for Gunsight, cross over, crawl up the pass, freeze your assets all the back to Dollar, fall into sleeping bag, sleep like the dead, quick pack out and back to reality. This was one for the books. I love the mountains in UT!

hiking
17 days ago

Fun hike, wouldn’t recommend taking the “short cut” unless you like walking through rock fields for a longer period of time. Also recommend doing this in 2-3 days and not 1

backpacking
19 days ago

I spent 5 days backpacking the area. Deliberately went during the week to avoid people but I underestimated how popular this trail is. Saw others every day of this venture Sunday to Thursday.

First night near Dollar. There are about a dozen established campsites with stone firepits just around Dollar. I had neighbors the first night. Even in tree cover the night winds are cold. Did not have a tent, just a hammock, tarp and rain fly sinched tight around me to save weight so I needed trees.

Left for King's at 8:30. At Gunsight Pass I missed the shortcut that I intended to take and went into the basin. Wish I hadn't, because I had packed up my campsite with the intent of going south to Atwood lake after summiting King's, so I climbed Gunsight and descended into the basin with full pack weight.

When the trail ascent began I ditched all weight except water, gloves and windbreaker(ABSOLUTELY take one) and summited. The last scramble was not too bad, but I keep a ferocious pace and I don't take breaks. Altitude did not affect me as anticipated. Took about 4 hours from Dollar to peak without the shortcut. I passed 3 other men, all of whom took the shortcut, two of which were my campsite neighbors, the other I met at the trailhead and had a similarly brutal pace up until the scramble, from Anderson Pass to the peak with 20 minutes for photos and lunch before one of them joined me up there. We had a King's Peak bonding of strangers and I left. Views from peak were faded by Cali wildfires.

Immediately after starting the descent from the peak, my knees were on fire. Every step was agony. And I couldn't even take the shortcut down the chute of Anderson or to Gunsight because all my gear was left in the basin. Climbing back up Gunsight and trekking to Dollar was a hell that could not have ended soon enough. Glad I packed so much ibuprofen and tiger balm. Take as little weight as possible for the peak!!! Dollar to peak to Dollar took 9 hours because each step going back was pain I'd never felt. Knelt in Dollar while filtering water to ease my knees in lieu icing inflammation. Very effective. It is cold.

Expected heavy mosquito presence but did not see a single one until filtering water at Dollar. Also, this isn't well covered, but at this altitude the body doesn't effectively adjust to the lack of oxygen, 18% at 13,000ft. 59% at 4500 in Ogden where I live. You know that cusp of sleep where thoughts become dream and then sleep? Usually takes me 30-90 minutes to get there. Here took me 10 minutes each night. VERY quick. And you keep awakening throughout the night due to low oxygen so you never long exit rapid eye movement into deep sleep. You will dream A LOT. Or just awaken frequently with recollection of dreams all night, but still well rested if your campsite was setup right.

Third day went west to Henry's Fork Lake where there's much less traffic. Six moose, 4 bulls 2 cows eating in the lake for hours whilst I fished. Day-hiked up to Blanchard lake and around. Wanted to see Cliff Lake but my knees hurt way too much, even with just a daypack of mostly water. Saw three wild horses and two flocks of 30+ sheep. Unending chorus of baaa. Baaa. Baaa. Made me laugh out loud alone maniacally.

Trail south-north is not well marked. It diverges at Henry's Fork Lake, actual trail going northwest, the other just north remaining in the valley with the east bench almost always in view. I took the latter and missed all the western lakes, Bear, Sawmill, etc. Wouldn't likely happen to anyone north-southbound as the trail has permanent markers.

No rain except a sprinkle <10 minutes the first night. A blessed, sunny journey. Hope this helps anyone.

backpacking
24 days ago

had a hard time with my water filter.... taste was not great making it hard to drink... hard to stay hydrated. we hiked a mile past dollar lake, to another lake above it, took about 3 hrs. 10ish miles. Weather here seems to be unpredictable at best.. it hailed, rained, thundered/lightning all night. we started around 6:30am sat made it to the peak in 3 hrs., back in 2.5, then left the camp and made it back to the TH at 4pm.... tough weekend. Be careful on pack size 35 ponds of gear exc gets heavy after a while and have fun!

27 days ago

Started at the trailhead at 8am. Hiked as far as we could to gunsight pass. We arrived at Gunsight around 4pm and decided not to go over and into the valley for the night and instead picked out a small group of trees overlooking the basin below. That night was windy but not bad. Left the next morning for the peak at 9am. We went over the pass and into the valley and back up to the Andersons pass. We got back to our campsite around 7pm. My recommendation is when you get to the boulder scramble climb up to the ridge and stick to it as much as possible (way easier than trying to scramble the entire way up to the peak). We scrambled the entire way up and cost us a couple of hours. Next day we packed up at 8am and got back down to the trailhead around 2pm. Overall the hike in and put was very easy. The hike up to the peak was tough although if you have good knees you won't have a problem. the campsite views were incredible, better than any other place I've camped at yet.

backpacking
29 days ago

We completed this hike with the typical 3-day itinerary that involves camping in the Dollar Lake area. The first day's hike was moderate, climbing about 1500 ft over 8 miles to Dollar. There is a 1/4-mile "no burn zone surrounding the lake, so we continued just far enough past Dollar to be able to enjoy a campfire in one of the many established fire rings scattered around that area. Though we past many hikers on the trail (it was busy on a Saturday), we had plenty of private options with good, flat tent sites in the shelter of mature trees.

The second day was tougher. We left our packs behind and the hike started pretty easy. We decided not to take the "short cut" from the top of the pass because it didn't seem nearly as enjoyable and we were in no hurry. There were many water sources all the way up to the saddle below the peak at 12500 ft. The last mile was a beast though. Scrabbling up the skree at 13000 ft was rough on this low-lander's lungs!

As we came back down, we were tempted to leave the ridge in favor of a more direct descent, but we regretted it. The rocks seemed to be much looser and the way was more difficult than if we had just stayed along the ridge all the way down. In fact, the climb down was more difficult than going up.

Once we reached the trail, the going was easy again and we were back to our campsite at Dollar by early afternoon. I've seen various estimates, but taking the long route through Painter's Basin was 12.75 miles round trip, according to my GPS.

Sunday night we enjoyed a visit from 8 deer slowly passing our campsite, and there was a giant bull moose lounging in the lake.

The third day, we broke camp early and just beat the storms back to the trailhead. Our entire trip was 29.3 miles.

Two more quick notes... I expected a lot of flies and/or mosquitoes since this is lake country, but I didn't see a single bug.

Also, I did not see any mention of bears in other trail reports, so I was surprised to see a sign at the trailhead warning of "bear country" and the need to store food properly. I asked a passing ranger about that and he said it was bear habitat (thus the signs), but there had not been a bear sighting in 30 years and the food storage concern was more for the squirrels and chipmunks.

1 month ago

Can’t give it 5 stars because of all the people and horse poo on the trail. Would not recommend the short cut after gunnison pass as rock slides are very easy to trigger. Good water source in valley right before the final climb to Kings. Shoulda got 2 liters there but only got 1.

hiking
1 month ago

Decided to do this with my brother in one day after doing a little research. We started from the trailhead at 3:45 AM and made quick work to dollar lake. We saw three different moose on our way up. We took the shortcut at Gunsight pass and bouldered up the mountain. The summit was hard as there is no defined trail through the boulders, but just keep making your way up and try and stay close to the ridge line. The one thing I would change would be not to take the chute down to try and save some mileage. The loose rocks sliding down the steep incline kept hitting my ankles and multiple times I had to sit down to try and stop myself. Finished the hike at 5:30 and was physically fine, but mentally drained from the long day.

1 month ago

Clear path up to dollar lake, but climbing up to peak isn’t so well marked but still not bad. Was still an amazing hike!

backpacking
1 month ago

This review is important.
We planned to camp at dollar lake and made it easily up there in about 4 hours, the next day we summited and got altitude sickness but made it in about 11 hours to get back to camp.
What we should’ve done, hike near a lake after gunsite pass and had a shorter summit the next because that is the hardest part of the hike because about 90% of that day is bouldering. Good luck on this very difficult hike

backpacking
1 month ago

Great hike. Day 1 we left Henry Fork trailhead and went in past dollar lake 2 miles to camp (9.5 total). Did this to make our summit shorter. Water was harder to find but it was less crowded. Day 2 we left camp at 7:30 am and hit the top at 11:15. We went the shorter but steeper route over the bolder field to Anderson pass. Back to camp just after 3:00 pm. Then packed up and went to dollar lake to camp to make day 3 shorter. Day 3 we left dollar lake at 8 and we were back to the trailhead at 11:00 am. Overall great hike with amazing views. Bucket list item checked off.

hiking
1 month ago

It was an awesome but very difficult hike. From TH to Dollar Lake is fairly easy. We went up Gunsight Pass and descended down into the valley. It is steep going up to Anderson Pass. It was much further to Anderson then anticipated. Once we got to the Pass it was boulder scrambling for an hour. It was very tiring and hard. Coming down off the summit was difficult because there isn’t really a trail so it is more boulder scrambling for about an hour. We anticipated that it would take us roughly 7 hours to summit and get back to camp. It actually took us 10 hours. Some people in the party took upwards of 12 hours. There are spots for filtering water almost all the way to Anderson Pass. I had 2 liters and ran out on the descent. All in all it was an extremely tiring hike and most likely won’t do it again.

1 month ago

Camped about 1.75 miles past Dollar Lake. Started up at 6:30am through Painter's Basin, made it to the top at 11:30. Great climb and hike and amazing views throughout. Went back the same way, and packed up and camped by the fork in the trail just after the river crossing to make the last day shorter. Good thing too as the clouds really rolled in and looked, like storms near Gunsite, the Basin, and the lakes. Great Hike, plentiful water with a filter.

hiking
1 month ago

This is an amazing and beautiful hike. My group decided to do this summit in 2 days but wish we would have made it a 3 or 4 day hike instead. 2 days doesn’t give you enough time to thoroughly enjoy it all. A majority of the hike is fairly easy and as long as you take your time on the final summit you will have no issues.
We started at Henry Fork Trailhead at 11AM and passed Elkhorn Junction around 1:30PM. To that point it was a fairly easy and flat hike. Our next stop was Dollar Lake at 3PM. We decided to push toward Gunsight Pass and set up as close as we could since we had plenty of daylight left and wanted to cut off a few miles for the next days ascent. We hiked up to the last group of trees just below Gunsight around 5PM. There is a beautiful little pond and great camp sight just off of the trail.
Since we were doing this hike in 2 days we decided to get up early for the ascent at 5AM. Instead of dropping into Painter Basin we took the shortcut at the top of Gunsight Pass. You will see a split to the right off of the main trail heading up through the cliffs. There are plenty of cairns to keep you on path. Once you crest you will not have a trail to follow but still plenty of cairns to keep you going in the right direction toward Anderson Pass.
We made it to Anderson Pass at 7AM and took a break before the final ascent. We decided to leave our walking sticks and extra gear at Anderson Pass because you will be rock scrambling from that point.
We made summit by 8AM and took another break plus photo shoot. I was really surprised that there wasn’t any sign or marker at the top like other highpoints I have visited but there is a book to sign. So if you are wanting a sign to have in your photos you will need to take one.
From there we followed the same trail back making it to camp by noon. We ate lunch, packed up camp and made our way out. With only a couple stops we made it back to the trailhead by 4:30PM.

backpacking
1 month ago

Awesome!

backpacking
1 month ago

Camped at Dollar Lake. Took the short way after the cairn at Gunsight Pass by hugging the side of the mountain instead of going into Painter Basin. There are markers all along the way until you can see Anderson Pass. Most of my group did take the chute down. Two went around the way we came. They beat us by 10 minutes back to Dollar Lake. This is something to consider if you are thinking of taking the chute down. It is probably a little quicker if you are at Henry’s Fork Lake, but not Dollar, and is definitely much more physically demanding.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike, very difficult (even for me, who just finished it for the fourth time). Make sure you have plenty of water. All four of my group started with at least 40 oz of water and we all ran out, and that was starting from base camp, eight miles from the trailhead, and it wasn't even a particularly sunny or hot day. Bring a water filter if you have it, there are streams to fill up almost the entire way.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trip. We hiked in to dollar lake area (difficult to identify which lake was what) and found a good spot to set up for the night. Did not get super cold (maybe low 50's). Set out at 6 am the next morning towards gunsight pass and took the shortcut around. Lots of rocks to climb and walk over. We made it to the summit by 11. Descent was easier but still difficult due to the rocks. We took a left coming off the trail to the peak down what we were told was called 'the Devil's Chute' (because who can pass something with that kind of a name up?). First half was walking down steep rocks, the second half was skiing down rocks with hiking boots. We wandered back to the main trail and found the camp by 2. Broke it down and walked out leaving the trail at 630.

Would 3 days have been more pleasant? Probably - with a more relaxed start time might have dealt with more sun but there would be more time to come down and recover before making the hike out. All in all - ~20 miles is a lot for one day.

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous park. As others have said, trail is clear and not too strenuous up to Gunsite (unless you’re carrying a heavy pack). I didn’t see any signs for Dollar Lake where I had planned to camp so I overshot that and found a nice spot off the trail about a half mile further.

I had planned to take the trail at Gunsite that did NOT descend into Painter Basin but I didn’t see any sign or clear path so I decided to just hug the contour line off the trail. I don’t recommend that. Wasted a lot of time and energy scrambling over loose boulders and ended up dropping down into the Basin anyway.

The ascent to Anderson pass is steep, from Anderson to the false summit is steeper, from the false summit to the true summit is even steeper. Views are outstanding.

On the return I figured I’d play it safe and go down through the basin. The trails are hard to follow and it seemed much longer.

Overall excellent hike, tough near the summit and views are amazing. Water was plentiful up to Gunsite.

3 months ago

Stunning views and lots of wildlife. The trail all the way up to Gunsight Pass is quite easy and moderate. The trail to Anderson Pass is also fairly mellow. The ridge to Kings Peak is fairly challenging with continuous bolder scrambling and occasional exposure. Don’t recommend the ridge if weather is present. Overall really wonderful hike!

backpacking
3 months ago

Perfect weekend trek! We started out from Henry’s Fork and ended up finding a camp spot near some trees right before gunsight pass. Things I wish I’d known:

-There is great camping in the valley after Gunsight Pass.
-there’s plenty of water on the trail all through the hike except once you get to the saddle next to King’s Peak and start climbing the ridge.
-Beware of altitude sickness, and watch for symptoms of high altitude cerebral or pulmonary edema (HAPE and HACE). Both are serious and require immediate movement to lower elevation.

That’s it! Amazing and would always recommend. Enjoy ya’ll :)

4 months ago

good trail. started at 10 in the morning after finding the trail head and got back to the car as the sun was setting. this trail has nice veiws and water everywhere! you really only need to bring a filter and maybe one bottle. The trail seems to go on forever. would be more enjoyable to stay the night below the peak instead of doing it all in one day

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