Kings Peak - Henry's Fork
From Mountain View, WY, take State Route 410 south towards Robertson. When 410 makes a hard left (west) in about six miles, stay due south towards Bridger Lake Guard Station. In about 12 miles, turn east on Forest Service Road 077 towards Henrys Fork. In about 11.5 miles, turn west for the three-quarters of a mile drive to Henrys Fork Campground, and park near the trailhead.
Trails Illustrated's High Uintas Wilderness. For USGS topographical maps, ask for Gilbert Peak NE and Kings Peak.
Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Mountain View Ranger District, Lone Tree Road, Highway 44, Mountain View, WY 82939; (307) 782-6555.
Kings Peak (13,528 feet) stands taller than any other summit in Utah, and gets inundated with climbers during July and August. Several approaches to Kings Peak are possible--from Yellowstone Creek, from the Uinta River--but this one, being the shortest, is the most popular. From Henrys Fork Campground, the trail gains altitude gracefully for about 5.5 miles where it offers a side trip west through a lovely and very popular lake-filled basin. If you're eager for the summit, keep on due south, past Dollar Lake and up the switchbacks to Gunsight Pass. If you miss this slim notch in the ridge, you are extremely visually handicapped. From the pass, the trail drops east into Painter Basin and climbs west to Anderson Pass from where you scramble and leap from boulder to boulder to reach the summit. Whether you bag the peak or not, the route is rated as a great backpacking trip with numerous beautiful campsites, especially on the Henrys Fork side of the hike.
Special notes: Snow remains up high in the Uintas well into summer most years. Plan accordingly. You also might consider trying to avoid the July and August rush on the mountain.
Information courtesy of Buck Tilton, author of Utah Hiking.
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