Lone Peak via Jacob's Ladder Trail (from Summer Trailhead)

HARD 215 reviews
#6 of 20 trails in

Lone Peak via Jacob's Ladder Trail (from Summer Trailhead) is a 11.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Alpine, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September.

DISTANCE
11.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5,603 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

snow

no dogs

Climb to the top of this 11,000 foot Wasatch Peak which rises above Salt Lake City with a massive glacial cirque. This is a fairly strenuous climb to the top of one of the tallest peaks of the Wasatch Range. Reaching the cliff-lined summit will require some scrambling up steep slopes and over boulders. Follow the track in this guide closely to find your way up a variation to the top that takes you up a steep coulouir. Bring a camera as you will have specatacular views.

10 days ago

Great trail! It takes as much as it gives. Demanding trail with an incredible view all along the way. A must!!

hiking
13 days ago

The trail is hot, very steep, and long. But the payoff is probably the best view I've seen in Utah, and an amazing cirque!!

hiking
14 days ago

Much more difficult than anticipated, but I’m not in great shape so maybe it had more to do with my conditioning than it did with the difficulty of the hike. It is very steep.

hiking
19 days ago

Great hike, very tough. The first 2 1/2 miles are insane, but after that portion the trail levels out and goes from very hard to just hard/moderate.
The view from the top is stunning! Cell phone reception the entire way, I recommend downloading the map so you can double check your route near the top if you ever lose sight of the cairns.

hiking
21 days ago

This hike was much harder and longer than I expected. There’s not much of a trail when you hit the boulder fields up top (which made for lots of time going up and down trying to figure out where to go). You have to rock climb over big drops to get to the top and it’s sketchy! Bring more water and nutrition than you expect! This hike is not for the faint of heart! Plan on getting lost and being out there longer than expected!

hiking
22 days ago

Very Hard hike, but worth it when you get to the top! This is not for the beginner or someone not use to scrambling and a little bit of exposure. As others have mentioned bring Lots of water, I had 3 liters and ran out half way down. There is no where to filter water on the mountain, and it got super hot on the way down as well. Make sure when you come down you don’t miss the way back, I met a group that went too far south and lost 3 hours on the trail. All and all a great and challenging hike!

26 days ago

Jacobs ladder will eat you alive if your not careful. Straight up in the sun and infested with bees so be careful. After Jacobs ladder it is quite a beaut

hiking
1 month ago

As others have said, take the dirt road at Orson Park. I almost got tempted to try a different route since I live in Lehi, but looking at google images, doesn’t look like there is a fully thru way yet.
I’m not the biggest fan of the first half of the trail. It has a very dry desert mountain feel to it and gets quite steep. Once it levels out and gets into some pine, I loved it. Traversing across rock reminded me of some hikes I’ve done in southern Utah and the view of the peak is fantastic. Nothing really too tough or scary until you get to the very top. The last five minutes or so to reach the top really made me think twice. Great view though and well worth it. Took me 4 hours and 15 minutes to the top. Started at 8:15am and was at the top at 12:30.

hiking
1 month ago

I've done this twice, and the first time was perfect. I went alone, and appreciated all the cairns to lead the way. The second time I went with friends, and we somehow got off the path, and went 2000 ft south of the trail. Trudging through scrub oak on steep hills really, REALLY sucks. Don't do that!

hiking
1 month ago

This trail is a hoot and a half. Jacobs ladder will be sure to destroy your thighs and calf’s. Wonderful view at the top though.

hiking
1 month ago

Don't trust GPS especially if coming from Provo. The GPS puts you 4 miles away from the trailhead. I was able to find a housing development being built that put me 1.3 miles away from the trailhead.
You will want to drive to Orson park in Draper, and there will be a dirt road that takes you all the way to the trailhead but be warned cars will not like that road. I would say a crossover vehicle is pushing it.

Bring lots of water! It is dry now so you can't filter any water this time of year. I went through 2 power aids and 3 liters of water and still felt pretty dehydrated the last 3 miles down.

Plan on going in the morning. I got out late (11 am) and was in the sun the whole time. There isn't much shade from trees so the sun is on you the whole time.

I would not recommend this for the first time to beginner-moderate hikers. It is a brutally hard hike that I would recommend working up towards. It is probably the most gorgeous hike of all the peaks in my opinion though.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Good long hike! I got cell coverage the whole way so it was really helpful in staying on the route, plus in a lot of areas there are a ton of Carins (unlike pfieferhorn). Hiked in late July and saw about 30 other people. So it is nice that the trail is not packed (like Timp). We started at 5:45 am, took 5 hours to summit, 3.5 hours to descend. And it seems like that pace is just above average for those on the trail. Temps were perfect until it started heating up about halfway down the mountain, not sure how to avoid that.

1 month ago

Definitely a very difficult hike, long, grueling, and one that will push your limits. I’d recommend starting early (4-5 am) to get past Jacob’s Ladder before it gets too hot. Views are amazing and the summit push is fun but exposed, not for people who don’t like heights or inexperienced hikers

hiking
1 month ago

Hell hath no fury like Jacob's Ladder. That stretch of trail is steep, unrelenting, and loose. I've also dealt with multiple rattlesnakes on the trail and in the bushes. I usually climb it at night, sleep in the saddle, and summit in the morning. If you want to hike in the day, start at 5am or you'll hate your life. The scramble to the top has some exposure, but for experienced hikers it isn't bad. Awesome views. Summit is a small rock with three drop offs on each side. Not for the faint of heart.

1 month ago

So worth it. Bring plenty of water, and a filter just in case!!

hiking
2 months ago

Very difficult hike. Took about 7 hours and that was with us trying to go fast. I’m mid 30s and relatively fit, but this hike pushed me to my limit. Trail is challenging to follow and we turned an 11 mile hike into a 12.5 mile because we took a couple wrong turns.

hiking
2 months ago

The hike itself is absolutely amazing! My brother and I set out to climb the seven major peaks in utah county this year (Nebo, Santaquin, Spanish Fork, Provo, Cascade, Timpanogos, and Lone Peak) This one was the last one that we climbed, and it was by far our favorite! It was definitely one of the more challenging peaks though as the trail is quite steep and fairly long. Make sure to start early and take lots of water! It took us about 8 hours total.

I only have one complaint and that is that, when coming from the Provo side, the driving directions take you to a closed road! Eventually after looking at the topographic map I figured out how to get there: after driving up highland blvd to the top of the hill, I turned into a new development to the east of the road. Once in the new development, I went to the far northeast corner to where the paved road turned into a dead end, but a dirt road continued off of it. If you keep traveling north here it will bring you to a gravel road that brings you through a gate to another trailhead. Keep traveling past this trailhead about another 3/4 of a mile along the road and you will arrive at the Jacobs ladder trailhead.

I hope this helps! It delayed our start by about an hour to figure out, but we were still able to get up before it was too hot, so I’m not mad about it. The trail is very easy to follow until the cirque but even within the cirque it’s not too hard.

Bottom line: the views from the top are very rewarding and well worth the difficulty of getting there.

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely stunning views all the way to the peak. I’m relatively fit, and it took 4-4.25 hours to reach the top. If you’re looking for some true adventure, this is definitely one for you. Although the hike is long, it’s certainly worth doing.

FAIR WARNINGS:
The road to the trailhead, which starts at Orson B. Smith Park, is rather long, very rough and rocky. Make sure your vehicle has good ground clearance, as you may bottom out (scrape the ground with the underside of your car, or possibly even get stuck if your ground clearance is really low) in some sections if you’re driving a compact car that’s low to the ground. Trucks and SUVs can handle this quite easily. 4WD is not exactly necessary.

Some sections of the trail are very steep, so I recommend a trekking pole or two.

Bring at least 5-6 half-liter bottles of water (or fewer larger bottles). I saw no source of water anywhere on the trail, so don’t bother packing a filtered drinking straw. I started with 4 and a half 1/2 liter bottles of water, and ran out long before I got back to the trailhead.

At one point, you will be walking across what seems like a large, hilly field of granite rock. There are many cairns which should lead you in the right direction(on your way back down, stay to the left as much as possible as many ill-placed cairns may lead you in the wrong direction). After this, it’s scrambling over large boulders almost all the way to the top.

Watch out for snakes, including rattlesnakes. If it weren’t for a fellow hiker warning me of a rattlesnake on the trail, I would’ve likely stepped right on it since it was rather well hidden in the middle of the trail.

Pack something warmer to wear for when you reach the peak, like a long sleeved shirt or a windbreaker. The wind was quite gusty, and the temperature was in the high 50s, even at noon.

hiking
2 months ago

This is one of the hardest trails I’ve done. Jacobs ladder will show you no mercy. Bring lots of water, trekking poles, shoes with good tread and your camera! When you hit the alpine meadow all of the effort is worth it! We were swarmed by butterflies! When you come out of the meadow stay left. Stay left of the gulley and follow that trail. If you go to the right you will have to cross a boulder field to get back on trail. Not sure why there are so many misleading cairns...
The effort is definitely worth the payout!

2 months ago

very challenging hike. I clocked it at about 11.2 Miles round-trip. we split it up between two days. We started on a Friday evening and it took us about 3 hours to go about 3.5 miles. we started the trail which is just a little bit up from the parking area. Eventually that trail splits and you want to go to the right. For the most part you should be able to tell where the trail is going. In some areas you need to analyze a little more. then you hit Jacobs ladder aftet about 2 mi. the initial ascent of Jacob's Ladder part is steep and is what took a bulk of the time. It took about 2 hours to climb that one mile with our gear. We camped in the valley and started hiking the next morning. we started with a Trail that was well Marked before entering a rocky area that had cairns all over the place. We decided to continue straight, or the path that was on the right side, as it looked easier only to find it took us to a bolder Field that we had to cross back over which killed our time. I would recommend staying to the left and go up from there. When you get to where you start climbing up pretty steeply and get to the bouldering area just be careful. follow the cairns/ppl. ask for help if needed. it can be a 2 person job at times if you under 6 foot or have shorter legs. We recommend taking gloves with you. take your turn at the top. There are massive drops on three sides of the peak. Be safe.

coming down we noticed the cairns are all over the place but as long as you try to keep on top of some you will make it back down. Please do not create new cairns as I think that's where a lot of the trouble has come from.

don't plan on water sources there during the summer time. with staying overnight we were rationing our water and used all but a few ounces of it. We had about five weeks between the two of us. We were trying to be careful on weight and the weather was about 70 to 80 degrees for us. If you are going in hotter weather I would highly recommend you take at least 3.5 to 4 litres a person. one of the toughest hikes we've done in the Wasatch and Uintas. make sure you are prepared and have the skills for this hike.
we spent about 11 hours total doing this hike (3 hrs day one, 8 hrs day 2-- might have taken us a little longer on day 2 bc we ended up in the bolder field) and that was including our break at the top.
oh, and despite what some people say you will benefit from hiking sticks at various points of this hike.

(note, we did this June 30 and came across a few stagnant puddles, and 1 micro stream on the bouldering side. don't plan on water sources right now)

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike but getting down and staying on the trails is a challenge. The Cairns are all over the place and the trail disappears when it hits any large granite rock. Had to hike back too many times to find the trail. Make sure you are in pretty good shape if you want to do this one. The scramble at the top is awesome but not for the faint of heart. Leave your kids at home for this one.

hiking
2 months ago

LOVE this climb .. I have got lost coming down TWICE though and essentially had to bushwhack down the mountain .. very easy to do lol .. Misleading cairns, goat trails and lots of winds and turns. Be careful and give yourself daylight and hiking companions (unlike myself) .. :-)

2 months ago

Picked a perfect day. Lived here all my life and this was actually the first time I’ve gotten around to hiking to the top of Lone Peak. What impressed me the most was seeing Mina (a nine year old girl) her mom and grandfather at the top. And I thought I was in good shape. Way to go Mina!

hiking
3 months ago

6/10/18 Abnormally cool June day, 60*, allowed us to keep moving at a fairly quick pace. The snow fields were pretty much all melted except a couple small patches. Jacobs Ladder is brutal but once you get past it it’s a lot of fun scrambling and amazing views.
3:50 from trailhead to summit

3 months ago

The views are beautiful and the trail is challenging. I really enjoyed this hike.

3 months ago

If your looking for a tough climb with a spectacular reward, this is the climb for you. Went to the top and there was still snow but wasn’t to bad. The downhill killed me and had to run 2 miles in boots to get off mountain before storm really started to come down. Would do this one again if I had more time here!

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome hikes and climbs!!

backpacking
4 months ago

definitely worth the view. Went up on the 4th of July last year, beautiful to watch the valley light up with fireworks.

hiking
4 months ago

We started this hike from Coyote Hollow Ct this past Saturday (see our track in recent Recordings). Trail all the way up through Jacob's Ladder is clear and dry. Really not muddy at all. Snow isn't prevalent until just before you get to Mount Ennis. From Mt. Ennis on, it's basically all snow fields. Warm bluebird day and post-holed a few times up to the knees, but the previous tracks helped quite a bit.

We created just the 3rd or 4th tracks up. Snowshoes not needed for this. I would definitely bring microspikes and gaiters though. We stopped about 7.5 miles in at elevation 9,800ft (a daunting 4,800ft net climb) which is where we had the best open views of the cirque. Had we started earlier than 9am, we would've continued on toward the summit.

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