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