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Thread: Kings Peak from Henrys Fork: What is the actual roundtrip distance??

  1. #1

    Kings Peak from Henrys Fork: What is the actual roundtrip distance??

    I'm trying to figure the mileage for Kings Peak from the Henrys Fork TH.

    I've looked at several guidebooks and many online trip reports. So far I've seen numbers ranging from 23 miles to 32 miles. And yes I checked, these were all for trips starting/ending at Henrys Fork, not from other trailheads. In addition, the elevation gains quoted in various sources also vary widely.

    Nine miles is a ridiculous margin of error. For me, 23 miles is conceivable for a day trip. I recently hiked Mt. San Gorgonio in CA which is 20.2 miles roundtrip (but "only" 3342' gain). But 32 miles with considerable elevation change is out of my league.

    What is the accurate distance? Or for that matter, elevation gain?

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  3. #2
    I did a little googling because I was curious and because I'd like to do it myself. You're right, you get lots of different numbers, but the most common one I seem to find is about 30 miles round trip. I will verify this on my topo software when I get home.

  4. #3
    So far I've seen numbers ranging from 23 miles to 32 miles.
    It depends on the route. 32 miles is correct if you stay on the trail the entire way. If you do the shortcut route from Gunsight Pass directly to Anderson Pass, it cuts off some mileage. See map the map.

    If you use the official trail all the (Purple then Yellow-Green and Green), the distance is about 32 miles. If you use the dark red line variation, the distance is a little less than 30 miles. If you use the purple line both ways, the distance is 28 miles.

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    The 23 mile route is direct and off trail to the pass between West Gunsight and Henrys Fork Peak. It climbs to the pass from around the lake marked 11208. I would not recommend this route unless it is covered in snow. People using this route are going to create an ugly erosion scar, especially on the descent. Use one of the other routes, or climb the route early season on snow.
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

  5. #4
    I'm unsure of the route used, but a trail-runner friend mentioned doing Henry's Fork to the summit and back in a day.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Don View Post
    I'm unsure of the route used, but a trail-runner friend mentioned doing Henry's Fork to the summit and back in a day.
    I know people do it in a day, but I'm a little too close to this guy's age to be running up and down mountains, lol!

    Scottt P: you appear to have the info I was looking for. Some of the reports and guidebooks mentioned a shortcut, but I knew that alone couldn't account for the huge variation in distances. Looks like the lowest numbers were based on a largely XC route. So I doubt I'll be doing Kings unless I get into backpacking!

  7. #6
    Just get into backpacking. It's awesome!

  8. #7
    No need to get carried away with a typical backpack load. Check out some climbing web sites and see how they bivi. My guess you would be about 5-10 lbs heavier than your normal day pack. Normal people with good weather will probably not freeze to death in the summer even at high elevations. Hike as far as you can. Stop, rest and a short nap, get up and repeat. Go for it.

  9. #8
    Everything you ever wanted to know about climbing Kings Peak. Including maps and GPS waypoints. Includes both the standard route and short-cut.

    Kings Peak
    http://climb-utah.com/Uinta/kings.htm


  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by middlefork View Post
    ... Normal people with good weather will probably not freeze to death in the summer even at high elevations. ...
    Hmm, I need a sleeping bag when sleeping in the back of my SUV at 9000 feet! I can't imagine sleeping in a tent without one, at the same or higher elevation. I suppose I'd survive, but I like a little comfort. My metabolism is too slow these days to keep me warm, lol.

  11. #10
    Years later, I'm wondering if any of the shorter routes were formalized with a constructed trail?

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Candace66 View Post
    Years later, I'm wondering if any of the shorter routes were formalized with a constructed trail?
    Did it in a day a few years ago. 25.94 miles logged via strava.
    The start of the short cut was fairly obvious, a little bit of use trail, the rest is a mix of pleasant meadow between extensive rock fields, just angle along the slope looking for a path of least resistance.

    on the shortcut between passes

    Kings Peak Ahead by Jared Payne, on Flickr

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