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
1 month ago

This trail is probably one of the easier hard rated hikes. If you’ve done Jacobs ladder and summited or even upper bells, this will be pretty easy. Awesome views at the top though. Really fun for a day hike.

hiking
1 month ago

This one is a beast! I was ready for a steep incline (hello, it's a peak) but whew! I was also not prepared for the fairly scary bouldering along an entire ridge. It was made scarier for me due to a lightning strike that tossed rocks up in the air nearby. The trail disappears and you are climbing on rocks with steep drops on either side. It is also windy, so don't wear any hats that wind can grab and pull off- you will lose it forever.

1 month ago

This is one of the best hikes I’ve done in Utah. The trail to Red Pine Lake is lovely, not too steep, adorned by aspens and beautiful views. From there the climb to the ridge features stunning views and solid footing. No soul-crushing scree fields that leave your boots full of rocks. The ridge and summit push require some intense scrambling with plenty of exposure, but it’s all worth it. I finished the round trip in 4:55. It was quicker than I expected.

backpacking
1 month ago

Just did an overnight backpack trip at red pine, and summited pfeifferhorn at sunrise the next morning. Definitely a challenging one, but It is gorgeous right now. Highly recommend. Also, if you happen to see my grey, kids, RVCA hat the fell off my pack on the hike, I'd love you forever for getting it back to me!

trail running
1 month ago

Much busier than any other trail I've done in the Wasatch, but gorgeous. Only problem is staying on the trail, as there are "false" tributaries all over the place. We kept losing the trail after Red Pine (Though never straying too far). The final ascent up the Pfeiff looks intimidating from afar but is easy once you're on it. The spine to get there is a little spicier, especially if you're afraid of heights, but it, too, is pretty straightforward. I never felt nervous.

1 month ago

Great hike. Amazing views of the entire Wasatch range, including Timpanogos to the south. A word to the wise: pay attention once you summit. I ended up going down the west side of the mountain and got stranded and had to be airlifted out. Also start early. I’m sure I could have hiked out of the next canyon if I had enough light, but after dark I wasn’t taking any chances. Stay safe my friends.

1 month ago

Excellent!!!

2 months ago

Fantastic! One of my very favorite hikes in the Wasatch. Fairly shady up to Red Pine, then exposed to the summit. I love the big boulder section.

hiking
2 months ago

It’s phenomenal for a trail that’s so close to SLC. Be prepared for a tough ascent past upper Red Pine Lk!

hiking
2 months ago

what a great Trail to do just outside of Salt Lake City it's definitely a butt-kicker that's for sure but if you take your time it's doable. the views of the surrounding peaks, the city and Salt Lake itself are magnificent.


I will say that alltrails is definitely way off. on Strava I logged in 10.9 miles and 4000+ ft of elevation gain.


you would think for people that pay for subscriptions to a service for trails that they would always at least be like accurate and up-to-date as much as possible

hiking
2 months ago

This a good and tough hike. Felt like an unlocked achievement. Still not clear on the trail length. I have seen many conflicting numbers.
The view at the top is average but the view on the way is amazing, including the foliage and the view of the valley
This hike is not good for the knees or the ankles. The trail is very stony. You have to pay attention to where you go.
Carry lots of water and food. We ran out of water and food at the top and hence the return journey was miserable. We are not very experienced hikers and it took us around 4.5 hours to complete.
Overall it was fun and very pretty!

2 months ago

The trail isn't well marked past the lake, and my friend and I ended up on some really dangerous terrain heading up to the ridge. We didn't realize our mistake until the way back down, when we saw people coming up the right way.

This hike is beautiful, fun, and full of adventure. But seriously, it is hard. And if you're even a little bit afraid of heights (like I am) you'll be uneasy, to say the least, at everything beyond the upper lake. All in all I'm glad I summited, but I probably won't do it again. There is some pretty serious exposure to a dangerous fall, particularly on the boulders at the saddle.

hiking
2 months ago

I started the hike with a couple of friends this weekend. We got to the trail head around 0900 and it was packed so If you would want to go be prepared for that. This trail gets steep at the top we hiked up to red pine like and took a nice rest before heading the rest of the way up. If you are just heading up to the lake I have been told there are fish in it but I have never see or caught any fish nor have I seen anyone catch any fish here. After the lake there is a lot of bolder hopping any way you go so just take your time and have fun. We did get to see some mt goats on the saddle they were on the south side don’t for get to give a glance over there to see if they are hanging out. It took up right at 6 hrs up and down. Also plan on it being a 10 plus mile day the parking lot is about a mile from the trail head.

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent hike with great views. Ended up being 10.1 miles and took just over seven hours. From red pine lake we went directly south up to the spine which was a bit longer but less steep. There was more bolder scrambling this way. On the way down we went the more traditional route which is more southwest of red pine lake. Probably about the same time wise. I was not expecting the last portion to be as steep as it was. All in All a great hike but properly rated as difficult.

2 months ago

Awe inspiring

hiking
2 months ago

This is by far my favorite hike on the wasatch. Start early so you can be to the lake just after sunrise, and you'll probably see moose.
I've hiked it many, many times, and it doesn't get old.

hiking
3 months ago

Great day! Enjoyed the solitude of the Beatout as well.

3 months ago

Challenging and fun!

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing!

Excellent Views make the bouldering WELL worth it!

I absolutely loved the Alpine lake!

Definitely one to add to the List if not already on there!

:-)

rock climbing
3 months ago

Loved it!

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked this on a Saturday morning with decent foot traffic at the top of the ridge overlooking Red Pine before the final traverse to Pfeifferhorn’s summit. The trail from trailhead to Red Pine is pretty typical, but one of my favorite hiking destinations. The trail including summitting Pfeifferhorn is one of the hardest hikes I’ve done.

Once you start the summit though, be prepared to use your hands and arms just as much as your legs to get up the summit with it being an extremely steep climb. Then take a good rest at the top and look around at the back side of Lone Peak to the west, Timp and Box Elder to the south, White Baldy to the east, and Twin Peaks to the north.

The climb down off the summit is worse than going up, because of the slope and how much loose rock there is. Also, my legs were a bit wobbly already from the climb up even with using my arms a bunch, so going back down with all my weight on my legs made them feel even...better?...

Overall, I was in good shape and still needed from 7 am to early afternoon to get this one done, including lunch at the top.

hiking
3 months ago

One of my favorite hikes in Utah, absolutely beautiful the whole way up!

3 months ago

Wonderful views. Trail not well marked above Red Pine Lake. Got lost, hiked an extra 1.4 M

3 months ago

Yesterday was a perfect day for this hike. A little annoying that there is absolutely no trail or posting of where a good place to go is, after the lake. Go slow and keep your wits about you. This was the hardest hike both physically and mentally (and emotionally) I've ever done. Coming down was definitely scarier than going up. Took my time, went down backwards, like going down a ladder. Seemed easier. Maybe leave water at the lake. Made it with 4 liters, but just barely. Great hike to check off my list!

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

By far my favorite trail in Utah. Along the way, you see the three Red Pine lakes and an amazing 360 degree view.

hiking
3 months ago

One of my favorite hikes. Steep but scenic. You'll get the chance to see lower and upper red pine lakes. There's three challenging sections. First is the climb from upper red pine to the saddle. Loose rock, steep, and long. Next is the saddle itself. This is a scramble with steep drops on either side. Last section is the climb to the summit. Steep and loose like the section after upper red pine. Two hikers accidentally dislodged two large boulders above me. I and several others and to make some quick moves to get out of the way. Otherwise it would have ended poorly. Be careful on this section and make sure you test each rock you grab. We hike up and back in 4.5 hrs. Do it early to avoid heat.

hiking
3 months ago

Challenging and fun. Do yourself a favor and plan it as a full 8 hour hike so you have some time to enjoy the ridge and scenery from the peak.

hiking
3 months ago

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