Red Pine Lakes Trail

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Utah 84057

Elevation Gain1,961ft
Trailhead Elevation9,010ft
Elevation Min/Max8040/9667ft
Elevation Start/End9010/9012ft

Red Pine Lakes Trail

Red Pine Lakes Trail is a hiking trail in Salt Lake County, Utah. It is within Lone Peak Wilderness Area and Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. It is 2.4 miles long and begins at 9,010 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,961 feet. This trail connects with the following: Maybird Lake Trail.

Red Pine Lakes Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"A popular day hike or overnighter into the Lone Peak Wilderness, featuring beautiful views of Little Cottonwood Canyon, the Salt Lake Valley, and the Red Pine cirque, along with fishing for cutthroat trout.

The hike is accessed via Little Cottonwood Canyon, 16 miles southeast of Salt Lake City. This hike into Utah’s first wilderness area is a popular one for Salt Lake Valley residents. The trailhead is forty minutes from downtown, and the trail ascends through some of the Wasatch’s finest alpine terrain."

"Located in the heart of Utah’s Lone Peak Wilderness Area, Red Pine Lake definitely ranks among the prettiest of the Wasatch Mountains’ high alpine lakes. It is a popular day or overnight hike and you are bound to meet many other trekkers along the way. If you are looking for more solitude there are also several possible side trips off the main trail that receive far fewer visitors."

"Red Baldy and White Baldy are the two major peaks that crouch at the head of White Pine Canyon. Both are large mountains with exposed, rocky terrain and avalanche-prone slopes that offer some of the most adventurous skiing in the Wasatch, mostly due to variable snow and a long approach from the White Pine trailhead. You can cut your ascent time in half with a lift ticket at Snowbird, but the backcountry gates in the resort’s Gad Valley are rarely open until late spring. Periods of stable powder or late-season corn are the best times to visit."

"This popular and diverse ski-touring area has options ranging from avalanche-safe, wooded beginner tours to high-alpine ski mountaineering. Finish at White Pine Trailhead or separate lower-altitude locations in Red Pine and Maybird Gulches along Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC) Road (UT 210).

All tours begin with 2 miles of low-angle skinning along the summer hiking trail through White Pine and contouring into Red Pine Gulch. The Lone Peak Wilderness is entered as you exit White Pine and round the ridge into Red Pine Gulch. Red Pine can be accessed from Pink Pine Ridge by skiing a west-facing slide path but snow here is often sun-crusted or underlain by wet slide debris. The most expedient approach is to stay on the summer trail as it contours around the ridge and climbs southwest through aspen glades and finally intersects Red Pine Creek at 9,000 feet."

"As the lake opens up before you, you get your first full view of the mountain bowl above the lake, which tops out near 11,000 feet. To your right, the highest peak in back is the Pfeifferhorn (Little Matterhorn on some maps), and in the foreground, an unnamed peak at 10,897 feet (elevation shown on the Trails Illustrated Uinta National Forest map). Straight ahead looms White Baldy, and to the left are the American Fork Twin Peaks. Although there is no trail, the ascent to the lip of the glacial bowl to Peak 10,897 is well worth the effort. The steeper terrain of the bowl consists of rugged rock slides, so if you want to climb to the ridge, it’s best to hike in early June and bring crampons to ascend the snowfields. Ascend either the long slope to the southwest or along the tree-lined ridge just to the left. You’ll be rewarded with views of Little Cottonwood Canyon to the north , Salt Lake Valley to the west, Mount Timpanogos to the south, and Utah Valley to the southwest.

Because of the danger of avalanche, be cautious attempting the peak in early spring. You can call the Utah Avalanche Forecast Center before attempting to summit the ridge or peak. Later in the spring or in early summer, the consolidated snow makes an easy pathway to the top for those with crampons and ice axes. Red Lake Canyon is also a popular approach to the Pfeifferhorn."

"The popularity of this hike is due to two things. One, it’s close to a major metropolitan area. Two, it is a stunning example of classic alpine beauty, with rugged mountains, thick stands of aspen and pine trees, summer wildflowers, fall colors, flowing streams, and striking views down Little Cottonwood Canyon."

"A consistent climb up Red Pine Fork brings you to one of Utah’s popular high-mountain lakes. Red Pine Lake sits in the Lone Peak Wilderness Area, which boasts of wildflowers in summer and an array of birds to watch throughout the seasons. Red Pine Fork contains two high-mountain lakes: Upper and Lower Red Pine Lakes. This trail leads to the lower lake, but you can add on the upper lake as well. Red Pine Dam was built in 1920 and still sits along the west side of the lake. Lake levels vary with runoff, which varies by season, but the area is always an alpine retreat. Popular with day hikers and often a destination for overnighters, this is one of Little Cottonwood Canyon's most beloved hikes."

"Red Pine Fork is filled with big descents that require stamina, bravery, and mountaineering skill. But despite the imposing mountains above Red Pine Lake, there are in fact intermediate routes in the lower canyon, like the Red Pine Trees, where touring parties can find powder stashes and enjoy a mellow day. This is a pleasant, low-angle tour that mostly follows the summer trail up Red Pine Fork before veering off to the Red Pine–Maybird Divide, where a makeshift log shelter (assuming it’s still there) provides an ideal spot to picnic before skiing or snowboarding down."

"Red Top Mountain, also known locally as Red Stack, is one of many mountains in White Pine Canyon that’s over 11,000 feet. Red Top dominates the skyline with neighbors like American Fork Twin Peaks and Red and White Baldy. As a result, she’s a coveted mountain to climb and ski, with a long approach from the White Pine trailhead, or easier access from Snowbird. Many aesthetic lines, like Long John Silver and the Tri Chutes, fall from her crown, but the top is usually too rocky to ski from due to winds that scour her exposed crimson top."

Red Pine Lakes Trail Reviews

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5 miles out/back. straight up all the way, not too strenuous, through wooded areas. Lake was spectacular-very pristine. Lots of other hikers on the weekend
Busy trail on a Sunday evening, but understandable once you reach the west facing slopes vistas. Great views of the South S.L. Valley, and a rewarding hike for putting in the effort to push beyond to the lake. On the way down the sunset can be impressive.
Great Hike, easy access from Sandy, be careful in June as waterlevels rise fast if it is raining. Red Pine is not well marked, when you get to the first sign and river crossing with no bridge, head straight up on the smaller trail to the bridge and go up from there. White Pine Lake is to the left and wider/well marked. Funny as it sounds, KEEN wasatch shoes are dry and sticky; great for this type of trail.

Red Pine Lakes Trail Photos

Trail Information

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
Nearby City
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Salt Lake Ranger District
Local Contacts
USGS Dromedary Peak; Wasatch Backcountry Skiing; Alpentech Wasatch Touring 2
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018