King's Peak (backpacking) ♦︎

Difficulty: Most Difficult ♦︎

Length: 29 miles round trip

Elevation Gain: 4,500 feet

Dog Friendly: Yes


Trailhead coordinates (copy + paste): 40.9091, -110.3312

Directions: The trailhead is abut 2.5 hours from Park City via Evanston, WY. The coordinates will lead you to the Henry's Fork trailhead, where there are multiple parking lots. The trail is easy to follow from here and marked by signs along the way. Note: this route travels on many miles of unpaved roads. Though washboarded, they can be traversed by any car with some caution.


The crowning glory of the Uinta Range with a summit elevation of 13,528 feet, King's Peak earns it's name. Utah's top peak ranks number seven on the list of the U.S's 50 high points, so to stand atop it is an accomplishment to remember. Best completed over two nights and three days, King's Peak via Henry's Fork is a diverse trail with plenty of river crossings, lakes, and wide-open views. There is lots of water to filter along the way, with the last reliable source being a small lake located just before Gunsight Pass (last photo below), so you don't need to carry three days worth of water on your back. Many people choose to camp at Dollar Lake, but the closer you get to the mountain the easier day two will be. There are plenty of places to camp after the lake up until Gunsight Pass, and the grand scale of the area makes it easy to find solitude. Start as early as possible on day two to avoid the heat on the long and exposed trek to the summit, which passes through Painter's Basin before reaching the rocky area at the base of the peak. You may notice a shortcut from the top of the pass which skips by Painter's Basin, but this route is treacherous and not recommended. Better to stick with the crowds on this one, following the designated route all the way to the saddle. The ascent up the rocky ridge to the summit is more of a boulder-walk than a scramble, and can be done by anyone with enough time and water. Take in the endless views from the top of Utah's world before heading back to camp for one more night, then making the trip back to the car on day three.

King's Peak, Utah
King's Peak Henry's Fork, Utah
King's Peak hike, Utah
Painter's Basin King's Peak, Utah
King's Peak summit, Utah
King's Peak summit, Utah
lake below Gunsight Pass