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Salt Lake City, UT: The Pfeifferhorn (Little Matterhorn Peak)

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Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 4.6 miles


Take two days to savor this 4.6-mile (one-way) climb that ends on the Pfeifferhorn, a rocky, 11,326-foot peak less than an hour from Salt Lake.
  • View from the Pfeifferhorn
  • 1st Bridge
  • Junction to Red Pine Lake
  • Little Cottonwood Canyon
  • Steep Grade, Rocky Trail
  • Meadow
  • Scree Covered Hills
  • Red Pine Lake
  • Trail Around Lake
  • Lake Side Rest Stop
  • Boulder Field
  • Follow Cairns Through Boulders
  • Steep Scree Ascent
  • View
  • View of Mt. Timpanogos
  • View of Utah Lake
  • First Look at Summit
  • Rocky Spine to Summit
  • Steep Ascent to Summit
  • Chipmunk

Though BACKPACKER’s editors live in peak-blessed Boulder, we still envy residents of Salt Lake City for their access to deep powder and skyscraping summits. Exhibit A: 11,326-foot Pfeifferhorn, a mini-Matterhorn 45 minutes from downtown. Bonus: It’s just five miles to a lakeside basecamp, where you’ll stage a summit scramble.

Although the route to this 11,326-foot peak is not easy—you’ll gain 3,700 feet of elevation in 4.6 miles—it’s worth it. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with sky-high views of Utah Lake, the Great Salt Lake and Mt. Timpanogos. From White Pine trailhead, hike one mile to the junction for Red Pine Lake. Turn right, and after gaining 1,900 feet in 3.5 miles, you’ll reach its blue-green waters.

Make camp 200 feet from shore. Next morning: Head southeast on a climber trail along the stream between Red Pine and Upper Red Pine Lakes, then southwest up talus to a 10,897- foot false summit. Head west along an airy ridge across the saddle, then scramble to the Pfeifferhorn’s summit.

GUIDEBOOK:
Hiking Utah, by Bill Schneider and Ann Seifert ($16, falcon.com)

CONTACT:
(801) 733-2660, fs.usda.gov

-Mapped by Chelise Simmons

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