Red Pine Lake Trail

HARD 682 reviews
#1 of 20 trails in

Red Pine Lake Trail is a 7.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Sandy, Utah that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November.

7.1 miles
2,099 feet
Out & Back





nature trips


trail running






wild flowers




no dogs

The White Pine trailhead is on the south side of the road, 5.5 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon and 0.7 miles below Snowbird. The turnoff for the parking area is just after a turn and is easy to miss. Start slowing down just after the "White Pine Slide Area" sign. An asphalt path leads from the parking area to a footbridge across the stream. No Fires.

1 day ago

Awesome hike! Really not that hard of a hike we ran into a group with little kids that made it up there! So it’s possible! Only took us 2 and a half hours to get to the upper lake lake.

2 days ago

Did this trail today with my Dad. It was a lot of fun. Wear a hat & bring more water than you think you’ll need. It’s not Mt. Olympus or anything, but still one that gets the heart rate pounding pretty high.

3 days ago

This was a tough one. The last mile or so seems to just be straight up hill. But don’t let that scare you. It was definitely worth it. The turn off to the parking lot is right BEFORE the White Pine sign if you’re coming from Salt Lake, so I missed it and had to turn around. The lake has plenty of little private spots where you can sit and relax. I saw someone in a hammock up there. Maybe I’ll try that next time. It did get a little chilly once I was in the shade at the lake because you really sweat a lot going up. It was a Sunday and there were people around, but not too crowded for my taste. The bugs didn’t bother me at all on the way up, but they were driving me crazy on the way down. I headed up at 11:30 and headed down at 1:30. No snakes I could see. Yay! But I did get to talk to a couple squirrels. Haha.

3 days ago

This is easily my favorite hike I’ve done in little cottonwood so far. It is so pretty all the way up with some pretty great views of the valley/canyon road below. The lake itself is so serene and there’s a ton of places around it for pictures and relaxing. It can get breezy up there which makes it cold if you’re all sweaty, so bring a light jacket! There were a quite a few people in hammocks! We decided to extend our hike and ascent up over the large rocks to another lake above(the rock scrambling was pretty strenuous). The views from above of Red Pine also made this extra mile worth it. I will be back to hike the white pine trail here soon!

3 days ago

Mostly shaded so nice on these hot summer days. Lots of little things to see from flowers to little animals. Good for chilling by a lake all day with a cool breeze.

7 days ago

Awesome hike, can be challenging. Passed many people resting on the way up. Take your time and enjoy, if it seems to difficult. If you're an avid hiker, you'll enjoy this one.

Be sure to follow the trail around the lake. Beautiful scenery.

Trail Running, parts of the way down, was also fun.

Went on a Monday and it was pretty crowded. I can just imagine what it's like on the weekends.

9 days ago

Gorgeous. Insanely gorgeous. Not an easy hike at all, but worth every second and every mosquito bite!!

9 days ago

Love this hike. Take time to go to the upper lake as well. Plenty of bug spray will allow you time to enjoy the lake.

10 days ago

First hike for me in Utah, just moved from Phoenix so I’m definitely not used to big mountains or the elevation. Spectacular hike with gorgeous views, but definitely steep in some sections. Will definitely do it again and go for the pfeifferhorn!

11 days ago

I hiked this yesterday evening. Began around 5:45 pm and reached the lake 7:15 pm. Temp at the trailhead was about 85 degrees when I began; I forgot to check the temp at the lake. There were a number of groups backpacking in. Several pockets of mosquitos and biting flies (ouch!!). I had doused myself in mosquito repellent with Picaridin 5% and have found 6 mosquito bites today and one fly bite. It was worth it, though. The time of day meant the hike was primarily shaded. Just enough breeze that it wasn’t stifling. The views were beautiful, with a good variety of wild flowers the whole way up. I’m looking forward to making this one of my regular destinations.

11 days ago

Great hike! We left at 8am, back at noon with some time enjoying the sites at the lake. Beautiful wild flowers and sights along way (birch, pine trees), views of the valley, mountains and of course, the lake. The trail gets more of an incline halfway though and there are a few spots with decent size rocks to walk over, otherwise not too difficult terrain. Mostly covered but was getting hot coming down as we entered the afternoon- would recommend early start. There were a decent amount of hikers at top, but nothing to block great photos or ruin the hike. Has been one of my favorites so far Northern Utah.

11 days ago

This is a stunning trail. The meadows and wildflowers and the river are so wonderful. If you live at elevation and are in relatively good shape, this hike will rank as more moderate for you. It wasn’t as hard as we were anticipating and we got up to the lake in 90 minutes. The lake is beautiful. If you plan on hanging out up there for a while, bring something to keep you warm as it gets chilly up there with all the wind. Recommendation: 1. bring bug spray - the mosquitos were doing their thing the entire stretch. 2. Start early. It’s a relatively crowded trail on Saturdays. We started at 6:15am and enjoyed a very peaceful hike. But on the way down we passed a lot of people/families heading up. 3. Wear sunscreen. The trail is covered about 40% of the time. If you go later and the sun has crested, you’ll definitely be at the mercy of her rays. Great hike overall!

12 days ago

My phone had the total distance at 8.4 miles round trip, but I walked around the lake.

Overall, this hike is not that impressive. The trail is littered with human feces, there is no shade anywhere, and the lake is just... meh. I don't think anyone should really do this trail unless you are trying to waste your own time and energy. And if you've read this far, you should know that everything I just wrote is not true and I'm just trying to keep people away from my favorite hike in the Wasatch!

To the reviewers saying this trail should be rated "easy/moderate," I'm glad you could take a break from your ultra marathon training to do this hike! For the overweight and out of shape people like me, this trail definitely rates as "hard." OK, the first 1.5 miles are easy, but as soon as you get into the Red Pine drainage, it gets pretty steep. Not quite as steep as Broad Fork or Lake Blanche, but definitely some incline to deal with. Lots of bugs too. But the trail is gorgeous and the lake is stunning. If you don't like this hike, you don't belong in the Wasatch.

13 days ago

My favorite hike I've done in Utah. moderately difficult bit not over the top. only negative is when you get up close to the top, the trail can be easy to lose but just follow what looks like a dried up river bed of rock and it'll lead you safely to the lake. the hike up breaks away to some absolutely breathtaking views of the salt lake valley as well as the canyon. the lake itself is absolutely gorgeous. wonderful experience on this trail.

13 days ago

Wooo Buddy!
The first mile was definitely the easiest. Don't be deceived!
The fork between White Pine Lake and Red Pine lake is at mile 1. And from there... your elevation gain will start to increase.
The last .75 was the hardest. I'm short so some of the rocky areas required me to scramble.
There is a lot of shade on the trail... if you hike in the morning or evening. We were pretty exposed at that time of day.
There were several water crossings. Managed to not get my feet wet but it is a definite possibility.
And there are several spots where you walk along the river and some streams.

We got to the trail head around 1 PM. A little later than we would have liked. We passed at least 50 people as they were headed down. So we pretty much had the lake to ourselves once we got up there.
It is absolutely beautiful! Lots of opportunities for some great photos.
There isn't a defined trail ALL THE WAY around the lake but you definitely can easily make your way around. It just disappears where the rock slide is. And you have to walk on a rock wall at one point.

Please remember that this is part of the watershed. So NO DOGS and NO SWIMMING.
As we got to the end of the trail, with about .15 miles left, we saw a moose! She was just hanging out there on the trail. We watched her for a second and she walked into the woods.
Awesome experience!


16 days ago

dont let the bugs scare you away

16 days ago

Harder than we anticipated. The last mile is super steep. Lake is beautiful.

17 days ago

This is a moderate to hard hike. The elevation gain is significant and the trail is fairly steep and rocky for the last half. Expect to feel the effects of altitude at some point during your hike. The trail is also fairly narrow in spots due to vegetation. This is also a fairly busy trail at all hours of the day though afternoons do seem less crowded but also much hotter to hike in. Try this trail during the week and there will be smaller crowds.

The most solitude you will find is between the groups you meet on the trail. Once at the lake there is room to spread out around it to get away from other groups but you will never be truly alone. The scenery is worth the trip however. There is also a lot of space for exploring boulder fields in the basin and for climbing up to get a better view. Because of the heavy use, litter is becoming a problem. Take a small plastic bag for your pack and bring some of it out. Leaving the area better than you find it will increase the enjoyment of your trip.

Please also be aware of the potential for animal encounters especially moose! Give them space and admire them from a distance. Because of how steep and rocky the area is, you may encounter them on the trail.

18 days ago

One of my favorite hikes.

19 days ago

If this was your first hike of the season, I would rate it as hard. However, if you do weekly hikes then consider it to be easy/moderate. The last mile will have your heart rate going with the occasional stop.
The trail itself was easy to follow. I started out at 7:30am and there were about ten cars in the parking lot. I ran into a couple of moose about a mile in. As well as a few people already headed back. When I got to the lake there were people fishing and backpackers getting ready to leave. After taking in the beautiful views and eating a snack, I headed back around 10:15am. At that point there were a lot of people heading up. My suggestions would be to start early in order to avoid the crowds. This is defiantly not a lightly trafficked hike.

21 days ago

This trail is a tough one, but very rewarding when you make it to the top. The trail doesn't give you many places to catch your breath, so I agree that it is a difficult one.

I'm around 290 pounds and haven't seen a gym the last year. So the trail was very hard on the way up, but managable if you stop and catch your breath once in a while. I used around 4 hours up and down.

The lake on top is very nice and it seems like it would be a great place to set up a tent and spend the night.

Happy trails!

23 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous lake! The trail was quite steep most if not all the way up. It's definitely earned it's "Hard" rating. I wouldn't say it's lightly trafficked, since there were quite a few people on the trail early on a Saturday morning prior to peak season. Nevertheless, the hike was definitely worth it!

24 days ago

Hiked in January - breathtaking. Blue sky, sparkling snow, evergreens.

24 days ago

If you exercise youself more once a week. You may rate this trail as an easy morderate. The traffic is lot at the weekend.

25 days ago

Beautiful hike with so many wild flowers! I dont know if this trail should be rated as hard, I say moderate but my 15 year old daughter says it was hard (but shes a teenager)... It was roughly 20k steps per my watch. If I could offer a tip...Bring bug spray!!

25 days ago

Every time I do this trail I forget how tough of a hike it is. Worth every step though.

25 days ago

Great trail! Only snow patches are off to the side of the trail. Elevation gain is no joke though. But totally worth it!

25 days ago

My favorite hike in Salt Lake County. Reasonable elevation gain with a big payoff.

27 days ago

Beautiful trail.

29 days ago

Great, challenging hike. There is still a lot of mud and water on the last mile. I saw 5 people with significant injuries Sunday. All of them were wearing sneakers or sandals. You absolutely need hiking boots on this trail in it's current state.

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