Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Pfeifferhorn (via Red Pine Lakes Trail)

hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(523)
Lone Peak Wilderness

Pfeifferhorn (via Red Pine Lakes Trail) is a 9.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Mounthaven, 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.

Length 9.2 mi Elevation gain 3,713 ft Route type Out & Back

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Forest

Lake

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Rocky

Scramble

Snow

Off trail

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (8)
Contact
Getting There

Note: Because this trail lies within a protected watershed, dogs and swimming are not permitted in the area. 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 reached the Alpine Ridge the rest of path to the summit is straight forward.

Wasatch-Cache National Forest (801) 466-6411

From Salt Lake City, take I-215 south until you reach the 6200 South exit. Turn right onto Wasatch Boulevard and follow it to the its intersection with Big Cottonwood Canyon. Continue south up Little Cottonwood Canyon for another 8.6 miles to the White Pine trailhead on the south side of the road.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (525)
Photos (2098)
Recordings (303)
Completed (1577)
Rebecca Roatcap
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 12, 2020
Hiking

Hard to find but beautiful and really fun bouldering

View Rebecca's Recording
Jordan Olson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 12, 2020
HikingScramble
jimmy brungos
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

This was an excellent hike!! Started at 5:40 and made summit by 8:50. Like mentioned previously start early if you can. Makes the hike a lot more enjoyable in the summer. First 3 miles to Redpine Lake are gradual and on a well defined trail with around 2000' of elevation gain. When you hike around the the lake you reach a large boulder field to the south and a coniferous forest to your west. Follow the forest all the way up to the saddle, it is easy to lose the trail here as my party did and we ended up going up and alternate and hiking into the knife edge saddle a little earlier which I enjoyed. I'd categorize this scramble as a harder Class 2, not much exposure at all. I think this hike is within the capability of most able bodied hikers.

Sam Preine
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
Hiking

Absolutely gorgeous! Starting at 11 served us well with crowd and sun location. Not a very exposed hike minus the final ascents. Everything is in great condition and the push to the true summit has a well established trail for the first time. I recommend going up the boulder field to the ridgeline you climb to the fake summit instead of using the trail around to upper red pine. Take the trail on the way down, but it’s much more energy than you want to spend going up due to loose dirt

Rachel Denning
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking

This was a very challenging trail, especially the scramble up to the peak. Unfortunately, there was a rock slide and a young man was hit on the ankle with a very large rock. My husband is trained in first aid and was able to help him and then helped him get off the mountain by carrying him down most the way. The rest of the family helped out by carrying packs, etc. The entire hike took about 8 hours up and back and was very challenging for me (one of the hardest I’ve done) although my teens seemed to handle it well. And of course my husband was carrying a 20 yr old on his shoulders or back on the way down, so he was pretty tired

View Rachel's Recording
Ellie Gilbert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2020
Hiking

So fun!! Loved this trail, BUT, stick to the very unmarked trail. Once you get past the Lake, stay on the tree line and go straight up to the false summit. Keep on the south west side of the knife edge, and then head to the top. Feels great when you make it!

Lili Beirouti
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

What a climb! This has to have been the most fun and challenging hike I've done. The first section is a steady, moderate climb to Red Pine Lake. After the lake things do get sketchy; you'll 100% want to have the map downloaded. Not too long after the lake, there are a few beaten paths that brach off towards the left, leading you into a boulder field and some meadows, but the trail actually sticks to the treeline, then goes straight up to the ridge. I had to cut back to the trail many times on my way up because I kept drifting East. Although there were cairns mentionned in the comments, I only saw 2 tiny ones and only spotted them on the way down. The hike along the ridge turns into some gnarly scrambling through huge boulders with a significant dropoff on either side, which can be scary or awesome depending on your level of comfort with hights. The final climb to the summit is a straight-up scramble. I'd recommend staying close to the exposed rock face on the right of the trail, as the trail itself is mostly made up of loose gravel and rocks, less forgiving if you slip and potentially dangerous for any fellow hikers below you. This is an amazing one, challenging but totally worth it!

Marie Robison
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 4, 2020
HikingGreat!
View Marie's Recording
Sierra Hastings
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020

Wow, what a hike! Definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you're confident in your scrambling skills then it is 100% worth it. The views from the peak are my favorite that I've seen in Utah. Bring lots of water, and don't forget your trekking poles - the descent from the peak would be killer without them.

Nathan May
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 1, 2020
HikingGreat!Off trailScramble

I did this today and it was incredible! The views along the hike up and at the summit are one of a kind, though I’m sure that you know that if you have hiked a mountain before. Some things to be aware of: The hike to Red Pine Lake is easy enough, but there are four more difficult “sections” following it to the Pfeifferhorn summit: 1. After Red Pine Lake the trail becomes a little bit difficult to follow in some parts, but this is easily rectified by downloading a map or bringing a physical one along. Other reviews mentioned cairns but I didn’t see any. 2. The first ascent to the ridge involves steep hiking up a dirt “path,” though I found it easier to climb straight up the boulders rather than worry where the trail was. 3. Following an easy hike along an obvious trail along part of the ridge, there is a section of large boulder scrambling that is quite exposed. It’s not like you’re navigating sheer cliffs, but there were a few “If I slip and fall I might die” moments. This said, the quartz monzonite is easy to grip and I never felt like I was anywhere close to actually slipping or falling. 4. After the boulder scrambling, the final ascent to the summit is very steep, but not exposed at all. Take your time here, especially on the way down, and you will be fine! I slid down on my butt for parts of this, which really helped. There is some loose rock and dirt but there is plenty to grab onto. Pro Tips: 1. BRING GLOVES, preferably leather ones. It makes the boulder scrambling so much easier and helps you avoid cutting your hands. 2. If you use trekking poles like myself be sure to have a place to stow them once you start climbing using all four limbs. 3. Be sure to check out Gloria Falls, a quick detour on the earlier part of the trail. If you liked Pfeifferhorn, tackle its neighbor Lone Peak next! The Cherry Canyon Logging Trail route features a log cabin. Lone Peak is much longer and involves more elevation gain but man is it worth it! Be sure to download a map for it as well as there is no trail once you reach the cirque.

Tyler Howe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking

A remarkable accomplishment. This took us two attempt since we ran out of daylight a couple of weeks ago. A Tuesday night and a Saturday morning definitely produce a different turnout of hikers. Today (Saturday) was crowded. Two weeks ago (Tuesday) we saw only one other person when we turned around on the ridge. Two parts of this hike appear undoable when you see it from afar, but seems far more realistic when you get on the slope: the climb from the lake to the ridge and the final climb up to the summit. We’re feeling pretty proud of ourselves.

View Tyler's Recording
Austin Schuetzle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
HikingGreat!
View Austin's Recording
Leigh Harris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking

My friend and I would have had a difficult time finding the trail after the lake if we didn’t have the Gaia GPS app installed. Great hike, challenging scramble at the end. We were lucky enough to meet some amazing folks prior to that scramble who helped us navigate those last miles. Challenging but so worth it.

Taylor Arnold
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 29, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

My gps said 11.2 miles round trip. Not the 9.1. So heads up. A little too crowded for my liking. But the peak is really rad, it’s quite the scramble to the top. And the views are great! I recommend bringing gloves for climbing over the granite. That shiz is sharp. Also. Bring bug spray and/or mosquito head net, down by the lake the bugs are brutal. Hiking/trekking poles makes the final climb so much better. The trail is...MOSTLY easy to follow after the lake. Just know. You need to go up. And follow the cairns. WATER AND SHADE: I’d guess 40-50% is shaded. And you could filter water at the lake if needed. If not, bring at least 70 oz. I saw some people just holding a water bottle and I was worried for them.

View Taylor's Recording
Chandler Cross
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 28, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

Awesome trail with great views. However, it is quite difficult once you pass the lake. The trail is pretty hard to follow after the lake, as someone else mentioned. Ended up adding about an extra mile and a half cause I couldn’t find the trail to the saddle. Nevertheless, breathtaking trail, and the views from the summit are well worth the trudge up to the top. Started at about 6:30 am. Took 3 hr 15 mins for me to summit, and about 2 hrs to get back to the trailhead. Bring lots of water and some food. The last stretch after the lake is pretty brutal.

Johnathan Nuss
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 27, 2020
HikingBugsRockyScramble

Good hike. Summited today around 12. We backpacked to Red Pine last night in about 1:45. About 2 hrs to summit. So around 3:45 total. Couple of observations: 1. Lots and LOTS of Mosquitos: Bring spray and even a net. You’ll be glad you did. 2. Storms: Weather said clear for today but we got some rain. On the drive back we saw lightning over Granduer. Just be careful with afternoon storms here. 3. Knife’s Edge: Not as bad as I was expecting but still some nervous moments. Use your hands a lot. 4. Final ascent: lots of loose rock. Had to be careful not to shoot a loose mini-boulder at the people behind me. Same for the decent. 5. Trail from Red Pine: kinda confusing to find it. There are several. I followed Gaia GPS on my phone. Worked great. Thanks.

Megan Avery
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 22, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

This is an amazing hike. There are several rocky parts, especially the knife-edge 100-yard scramble along the ridge at the top. I wore gloves because the quartz monzonite can shred your finger tips. Fabulous for heights lovers, not so much for anyone else. Request: if you must hike with music, please use earbuds and not speakers. Many of us hike for peace and quiet and to hear the lovely sounds of nature. The wild animals, in whose home we are visiting, would appreciate it too.

Cameron Duvall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2020
HikingScramble

This is an amazing hike with beautiful views from start to finish. There were wildflowers blooming everywhere. It is a very difficult hike though, with sketchy scrambling on the ridge. Honestly that’s my favorite part so no complaints here. Bring more than enough water this time of year because it gets very hot. I would recommend going with someone who has been before because the trail past the lake becomes faint at best. My favorite hike I’ve been on since moving here.

Avery Parker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
Hiking

Start at 6 am or don’t start, it turns into Disneyland around 9 am. Worth waking up early to be the only couple at the top, two techy scrambles, beautiful 360 views.

Showing results 1 - 19 of 525