Pfeifferhorn (via Red Pine Lakes Trail)

HARD 170 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
3743 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.

3 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
6 months ago

hiking
6 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
6 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
6 months ago

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

hiking
6 months ago

7 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
7 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
7 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
8 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!

8 months ago

Great hike, highly recommend it.

8 months ago

So fun but a little crazy too

hiking
8 months ago

This hike was a nerve-wracking yet fun challenge. Final summit was a definite mental challenge. Terrain was very difficult. If you weren't bouldering over rocks you were walking on loose dirt and gravel on a steep incline. Just mind your footing. Be aware that rocks can come tumbling down the mountain and if you see one coming just be sure to yell something like "rock" so other hikers know to watch out

hiking
8 months ago

On the trail at 6:00 am. Back to the car at 10:00 am. 10.5 miles, RT. Be careful making the summit, loose boulders. Advanced hikers, only.

hiking
8 months ago

8 months ago

Trail packs a lot into it. Forest walk, lakes, scrambling, route finding ridge walk and a summit. Not an easy hike for sure

hiking
8 months ago

Equally beautiful and difficult, I highly recommend. Take strong shoes/boots as there are a ton of rocks you'll need to walk across. Also take plenty of water. The final summit is not for those faint of heart. You need to scramble over a fairly thin ridge of boulders and then make it up a very steep hill where the footing is somewhat loose.

trail running
9 months ago

Ran this today for the first time. Great trail but a little hard to follow on the scramble up to the saddle. The knifes edge crossing was fun and the last steep ascent is very steep. Went car to car in 3.5 hours and felt pretty good about it.

hiking
9 months ago

This was probably the best and most exhilarating hike I've ever done. It had everything from gorgeous scenery to gentle sloping trail to boulder fields and rock scrambles and you summit via a super steep ascent that's harder on your lungs than your psyche. The hardest part (to me) was Knife Edge Ridge, which is right before the final ascent. It's essentially a ridge of huge boulders that you climb right over the top of. If you do this, I strongly recommend going right over the top of it. It seems the scarier route, but we took someone's advice and went about 20 feet down to the right and nearly got completely stuck. It's extremely steep and the boulders give you grips to climb over, where the lower part of the ridge is loose gravel and too steep to get foot or handholds.

I did this hike with my husband, and neither he nor I are expert hikers by any means, but we love getting out and trying new and challenging things. That's EXACTLY what this was. We started on the trail at 7am and got back around 2:30pm. *Added bonus is the wildflowers are in full bloom right now and are absolutely gorgeous!

9 months ago

Beautiful and quite difficult. You need to be in good shape and be steady in your feet to do the last half after Red Pine Lake to Pheifferhorn

hiking
9 months ago

It was perfect in every way today!!! wild flowers everywhere, with a nice breeze and breath-taking lakes and scenery. definitely a tough, but rewarding hike. it is my favorite by far!! be sure to take the ridge line on the right side of the valley to pfeifferhorn, it will save you some scrambling. and go early, when things are cooler

camping
9 months ago

Beautiful scenery, not for inexperienced hikers/campers. Weather was flippant but the lakes were amazing. Be prepared for less oxygen then you are used to in the valley.

9 months ago

Praise the Lord God Almighty! AMEN! What a great, beautiful, and tough hike this was! I clocked 9.5 miles round-trip. Six hours to the summit of Pfeifferhorn Peak and down. I'm 55, so I take it a little bit slower! I may not be good, but I'm slow! Ha ha! Lots of rocks on this hike, so I recommend good shoes with good ankle support! I'm grateful for Jeff and Jeremy motivating me to Summit! Thanks guys! PTL!

hiking
9 months ago

Amazing! Hike to the top is fun and the view at the top is breath taking. Just be sure to give your self plenty of time to complete because the last part takes a while and isn't very easy.

hiking
9 months ago

Amazing views of the city, lakes, and mountains. Very rocky and intense terrain towards the end but very worth the view. Take your time to enjoy it because it's filled with tons of beautiful animals and wildlife. One of my favorite hikes so far.

hiking
9 months ago

The Pfeifferhorn is a great peak. It offers stunning 360 views. It is perhaps one of the most easily accessible 11,000+ peaks in Utah. The Lake is a great place to camp if you want to take your time to enjoy the beauty of it all. If you're someone who is afraid of heights, I wouldn't attempt hike.

hiking
9 months ago

Fantastic hike with amazing views. The spiney ridge before the final ascent can be pretty scary for those afraid of heights. It requires plenty of bouldering strength to pull and lift yourself up, over, down and around the boulders. The final ascent is also VERY steep but completely worth it once you get to the summit.

hiking
9 months ago

Fantastic hike! We started around 4am and it was so worth it. The trail gets busy around 10am, so I would recommend starting early. The hike to Red Pine Lake wasn't bad at all, and what took the most time was the scrambling to Pfeifferhorn. The ridge that leads to the summit is not for the faint of heart. Be careful and watch your steps. If you don't feel comfortable with heights or climbing at least a little bit, then I don't recommend this hike. Views at the top were incredible!

9 months ago

Amazing hike. Must start early. Red Pine to Pfiefer horn is steep and in the sun. Scrambling required to cross one section. Last few hundred feet are very steep with lose rock/gravel and therefore slippery.

hiking
9 months ago

Absolutely incredible views. Red pine lake is clear and beautiful, and the hike only gets more beautiful from there. It has some scrambling and technical sections, but is well worth it.

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