Ascent of Kings Peak on 2013-08-06

Climber: Tye Scott

Date:Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Kings Peak
    Elevation:13528 ft / 4123 m

Ascent Trip Report

After summiting Borah Peak and sitting in the car to drive to Henry's Fork Campground the day before, Pete and I thought we should wake up early and get about an hour of headlight hiking in just to be certain we beat the predicted thunderstorms. We had noticed the clouds over the Uintas on our drive to the trailhead and had a light drizzle that evening.

We set off 75 minutes before official sunrise and packed light (water, food, and rain gear) since we'd planned on making the round trip summit that day. Just as the sun was rising to meet the mountain tops we popped out into the large opening where the Henry's Fork Lake trail turns right (mile 5.5). The views up the Henry's Fork Basin from here on up are stunning and you'll have a few miles to enjoy them before starting up Gunsight Pass. The basin is also open up to campers which I would recommend if you have the time. From the trailhead to the start of Gunsight Pass you'll hardly notice the elevation gain as it's over such a long distance.

Once you reach the top of Gunsight Pass there are two routes leading to the summit. The first route which is probably the traditional route continues down into the valley below and then wraps around the base of a mountain before turning up towards Anderson Pass. It adds unnecessary mileage in my opinion. The second route heads right up over the ridge just to the west of Gunsight Pass. If you look closely you'll find the trail that leads to the rocks and heads up over the top and across a boulder field to Anderson Pass. There's some very mild scrambling here but very well worth it as it'll knock off a little over a mile from the other route.

From Anderson Pass you basically scramble your way to the summit...which seems to never get any closer thanks to some false summits. The views of the valleys below from the summit are beautiful and well worth the trip. We only rested for about 15 minutes before making our way back down as we thought it might take a little longer since our legs were sore from Borah.

The only route change we made on our decent was the Anderson Pass 'shoot'. It's a scree slide. You'll drop close to 1300' in about a 1/3 of a mile and it cuts out about 3/4 miles from the shortcut mentioned above or 2 miles from the standard route. You could climb up this on your way to summiting I suppose but the footing would be so loose I can't imagine it's worth the effort.

Our gps indicated 12.5 miles to the summit and 11.55 miles on the return for a 24 mile round trip. I'm guessing if you took the shortcut route both ways you'd have a 25 mile round trip and if you took the standard, longer route it'd be close to 28 by the time you finished.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:4088 ft / 1246 m
    Elevation Loss:4088 ft / 1246 m
    Distance:24 mi / 38.6 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:4088 ft / 1246 m
    Distance:12.5 mi / 20.1 km
    Route:Henry's Fork Basin - Gunsight Pass
    Trailhead:Henry's Fork Campground  9440 ft / 2877 m
    Time Up:4 Hours 50 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:4088 ft / 1246 m
    Distance:11.5 mi / 18.5 km
    Route:Anderson Shoot - Henry's Fork Campground
    Trailhead:Henry's Fork Campground  9440 ft / 2877 m
    Time Down:3 Hours 55 Minutes

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