Ascent of Kings Peak on 2017-08-05

Climber: Mike Zampino

Others in Party:Kelli Allstot
Date:Saturday, August 5, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Kings Peak
    Elevation:13528 ft / 4123 m

Ascent Trip Report

With a fairly good weather forecast for August we headed up to Henrys Fork trailhead straight from the airport on Thursday. The drive went quicker than expected and we arrived around 3:30pm. As we were sorting gear we discussed hiking up to camp right away to give us a "backup" day if needed. It was a good decision as the first 3 miles only took slightly over an hour as did miles 4-6. At that point we started looking for a camp spot since we figured Dollar Lake would be crowded and we planned on camping the next night too after the summit instead of hiking out to the car. We found a nice secluded spot at 6.2 miles just off the trail in a grass area.

The next morning we woke up at 5:45 to eat and prepare for the summit. We were on trail slightly after 6:30am. Once again with the lighter packs we were averaging 3 miles/hour and before we knew it we were at Gunsight pass. This is where travel slowed. We took the shortcut which is now a mix between a use trail and rock hopping following cairns. One you go over the saddle it is continuous rock hopping slightly downhill until you meet up with the regular trail. The further south you veer the quicker you will pick up the other trail, but you will lose slightly more elevation (negligible). There is a trail up Anderson pass but the trail is intermittent up the ridge to the summit. It is mostly rock hopping, looking for the flattest sturdiest rocks. We reached the summit in 4 hours and spent just over 30 minutes on the crowded summit.

At about 11:15 the clouds started building so we started the descent. We booked it back to Gunsight pass dodging some rain and sleet and a little bit of thunder. We stopped to fill water 1 mile above Dollar Lake, but failed as the water filter broke and was unable to pump. We still filled up the water bottles so we could boil water back in camp. After resting for an hour in camp we discussed hiking out so we would have fresh water, but decided to just stay since we were tired and not sure if we would have a place to camp.

After taking a few naps and going to sleep around 8pm we got up the next morning early and packed up. We were on the trail at 7 and back at the car by 9:30 with a stop to chat with a friend we passed on trail.

This was a great hike even though a little length. It is mostly gradual elevation gain on a good trail. There were many sheep near our camp site. Other than some marmots and pica we did not see any other wildlife. The Bull Moose continues to evade us. :-) Like you will read elsewhere, don't go on this hike expecting solitude. There were several boy scout groups on trail and many other large groups.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4128 ft / 1258 m
    Round-Trip Distance:25 mi / 40.2 km
    Route:Henry Forks Trail
    Trailhead:Henry Forks TH  9400 ft / 2865 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Stream Ford
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Tent Camp
    Nights Spent:2 nights away from roads
Ascent Statistics
    Time:6 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:6 Hours 

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