Pfeifferhorn (via Red Pine Lakes Trail)

HARD 214 reviews
#5 of 20 trails in

Pfeifferhorn (via Red Pine Lakes Trail) is a 9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sandy, 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 May until September.

DISTANCE
9.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,743 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

scramble

snow

off trail

no dogs

This trail leads to one of the most scenic and most frequently visited peaks on the south side of Little Cottonwood canyon. However, you will probably not see more than one group of hikers on the upper portion of the trail on a summer weekend. The majority of the hike is on a well-maintained and easy to follow trail. The portion of trail between Lower Red Pine Lake and the Alpine Ridge is only slightly difficult to follow, but the direction of travel is obvious and should keep you near the correct path. Above Upper Red Pine lake follow the faint steep ridge that leads to the Alpine Ridge. There is a trail, but it is faint and hard to follow. Once you've obtained the Alpine Ridge the rest of path to the summit is strait-forward.

hiking
3 days ago

This hike was an absolute blast! I did this on Sunday afternoon/evening and only saw two other people past the upper lake and before the boulder ridge. It was challenging but the views were worth the aches. It’s probably not wise to attempt the Pfeifferhorn if you are afraid of heights, are uncomfortable scrambling rocks, or are not acclimated to the altitude. It took us about 6.5 hours round trip with a few stops along the way and some trail running on the way down.

Also, bring some bug spray & a buff to cover your mouth, as there is an abundance of flies and gnats near the lake.

backpacking
4 days ago

Seriously beautifully hard hike. We climbed to the peak after work, starting at 6:00pm, and basically ran to the top by sunset. The hike down in the dark was scary but overall the hike was incredible! Beware of scree, very steep incline and bugs!

hiking
5 days ago

Very strenuous hike. Has to be the steepest trail I’ve done. Easy hike up to Red Pine Lake, but after that it’s vertical. I was crawling spiderman-like up to the ridge. I wish I had remembered the bug spray because the gnats around the lake are furious. Great view at the top!
.

6 days ago

The way up to the summit is very steep but well worth it. the lakes and the views were incredible.

hiking
10 days ago

This is my favorite trail, I do it every year. It is difficult and long, so bring a lot of water, snacks and be in good shape. The lakes and the views are worth it, wildflowers everywhere too. Take the right hand path at upper red pine, it is faster and safer. enjoy!

hiking
13 days ago

Great hike

hiking
13 days ago

Accurately rated as difficult once you get past Lower Red Pine. We hiked to ridge but didn’t attempt the final summit scramble as we were tired and decided tiredness with tough, steep, rock scrambling not the best mix for that day. Loved the challenge and the views anyway and would love to attempt summit another time. Took us 6-7 hours without the final summit.

hiking
14 days ago

This is quite a challenge and I am so looking forward to getting on the trails to this amazing summit.

hiking
14 days ago

Gorgeous and quite the steepness at the end. Continued on to cross ridge and hike top of Mt White Baldy. Came down dangerous ridge and slope into White Pine Valley. About 13 miles on loop.

hiking
16 days ago

The trail starts off fairly easy for the first half of the distance to the lake. It's a little rocky but not total loose rock. You'll get some good views down the canyon and across the canyon as well on the way up. The second half of the distance to the lake will be a little steeper and is probably better rated as moderate.

Once at the lake, I recommend going to the left as this will be a little shorter and you won't have to worry about crossing a small boulder field to continue toward the peak.

On the other side of the lake the trail can become hard to follow but you there will be a short, steep climb to reach the start of the climb up the ridge. There were a few small cairns to help lead me through the boulders but be careful as there was at least one that had me heading away from the ridge at first. Fortunately, intuition kept me from straying. The climb up the ridge is steep but fairly solid. There is no single trail at this point. Once atop the ridge, below the false summit, the trail is not well defined but still relatively easy to follow and at this point the summit is staring you in the face - head toward it.

Just below the climb to the summit, there is a saddle that will require some scrambling and, depending on your route across, moderate exposure to a fall. I hedged to the left side. It required more advanced scrambling but I avoid exposure when I can. The climb to the summit is steep but more stable than I expected,with plenty of solid handholds when needed - but don't get too cocky. The view is spectacular and there are plenty of places to comfortably sit and take it all in.

Overall, this is a fantastic hike that will give you a solid workout as well as reward you in the end. It is accurately rated as difficult.

19 days ago

I started hiking a year ago and after doing Timpanogos last September thought I was up to anything. Ha! I set my sights on Lone Peak then decided maybe that was a bit too much for a 64 year old. I went alone because I am slow. The scrambling was more than I’d ever done and the last ascent was slippery and steep. At the top I was afraid of slipping on the way down. But I decided to take it slowly and finished it just under 9 hours. Did it 2 days ago.

hiking
25 days ago

Super difficult rock scramble (for me at least) but it was worth it to see a mountain goat!

26 days ago

Great hike. The way up is great with some very fun scrambles. Little snow still on the trail but not much.

hiking
1 month ago

Just a smidge of snow left on parts of the trail. Most of it you can go around, so it doesn’t add much issue to the trail. Summited 6/16/18. Be aware, after you reach the lake, the trail is basically a scramble and ‘make your own’ up to the 1st main scramble, so please tread lightly and try to follow the path that is already defined. When we hiked up, there were people coming down all over the place, so remember to try to make the least amount of impact. From the bottom of the 1st scramble, its a false summit, so make sure you prepare. Its a rock crawl on and off from there. Once you make it over the 1st ridge, you’ll slowly climb up to the final ascent. Again, you’ll make your own path across the rock wall ridge to the bottom of the peak. Then you’ll climb to the top for a view that is just amazing. Worth the work. Next time, I would probably camp at the lake because it was hard on the knees going up and down in one day. Absolutely beautiful!

hiking
1 month ago

MISSING SOMETHING?!?
Today we summited and mistook a black garbage bag as trash, when we opened it at the trailhead we noticed 4 identical items that I assume were purposefully left and are expected the next time the owner summits. If these are yours, text me at 801-245-9145 what those 4 items were and I'll meet you and return them to you. We're really sorry for grabbing them, we had only good intentions.

hiking
1 month ago

Good amount of snow, enough for a few short glissades but the steepest sections of trail are now clear to the summit. In my opinion this is the ideal time of year to summit, if you can’t handle a few small snowfields you can hike around almost all of them.

1 month ago

Hard, but oh so worth it. if your going to try in the next 2 weeks or so be prepared for snow.

1 month ago

Post hole for the last third of the hike. Windy and freezing up top (bring gloves and beanie). Amazing. Only made it to the false summit before dark. I’ll be back in fall to actually summit. Views to die for ;)

hiking
1 month ago

Just when I thought nothing could compare to the glory of Deseret Peak! Because others have sung the praises of the vistas, I'll spare you all the lengthy panegyric I want to write and simply give a conditions report.

As I've said elsewhere, I'm really not a mountaineer (glamping : camping :: whatever I do : Freedom of the Hills stuff), but I was glad to have a helmet and ax today thanks to what I considered to be copious and steep snow starting at Red Pine Lake. What was the snow like? Up high, I'd liken the texture to a melty sno-cone. Lower down, it was more packed, but I did randomly post-hole past my waist on several occasions -- just enough to keep you hyper vigilant...

5 months ago

Favorite peak in the Wasatch. The upper red pine lakes and the view of the ridge that divides BCC and LCC is insane. There is some boulder hopping/scrambling above the Maybird Lakes basin that was hard on the way out, but easier on the way back when you could easier scout your route. We saw a marten on the scrambling part! The last little bit is very steep but it looks more intimidating than it really is. Did this in mid July. Get an early start as it is long and there isn’t much shade after red pine lake.

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Made it to the ridge and turned around. Was very windy and a a little icy and snow above red pine

trail running
8 months ago

Beautiful day for a trail run / hike. Turned around at knifes edge due to wind, snow and ice. Very dangerous right now above Red Pine, only attempt with proper equipment. GREAT route!

hiking
8 months ago

Snow kept us from making the last couple hundred feet. Beautiful hike with amazing views!

hiking
8 months ago

9 months ago

It’s. Hard. And. I hike a lot! I think just because it’s so long. Blanche/sundial has a better view.. but still worth doing once!

hiking
9 months ago

Thankfully I didn't bring my 18 month old. There's too much bolder hopping and scrambling to have a child (unless maaaaybe if they're asleep for the last 2 hours). It took my husband and I from 8am -5pm but we took our time on the final summit push. The knives ridge was so fun! We'll have to go back when the clouds don't totally obscure the view! We went 9/2017 and definitley needed the yak tracks.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike. There is a ton of snow now and because we get dumped on on the way down. It's pretty sketchy with all the snow but definitely worth it!

hiking
10 months ago

A bit of snow on Saturday made the summit not quite safe, so we turned around at the knife edge. Great views from the ridge!

10 months ago

Great hike, highly recommend it.

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