Difficulty: Experts Only ♦︎♦︎
Length: 13.5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 3,800 feet
Dog Friendly: No
Trailhead coordinates (copy + paste): 40.5753, -111.6812
Directions: The coordinates will bring you to a mid-sized parking lot. This trailhead also leads to multiple other destinations, so on a busier day you may need to park along the road. Walk past the bathrooms and across the broken bridge. After a mile you will reach a fork where you can turn to White Pine Lake, instead turning left, keep going up along the river. You will reach a bridge a few steps later—cross it, and follow the trail all the way to Red Pine Lake. Continue to the far side of the lake and up the steep, narrow path to the smallest of the Upper Red Pine Lakes, which may be dried up late in the season. From here, take a sharp right and ascend the very rocky trail up the ridge. At the top of the ridge, you will see the trail continue flat for aways, and then reach a short scramble zone. After this, just scramble on to the summit—it isn't as far or steep as it looks.
Pfiefferhorn is accessible via the Red Pine Lake trail in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Enjoy the moderate and beautiful hike up to the lake, before the real work begins. On your way up to the ridge you will look down on the three Upper Red Pine Lakes, the smallest of which is likely to be dried up during the summer months. The view from the top of the ridge down onto all four lakes is incredible, and is the last time you will see them until you return—you cannot see Red Pine from Pfiefferhorn, and vice-versa. The trail becomes flat for awhile before arriving at a short horizontal scramble. The boulders are all well set, and if you can reach the top of the rocks there is a partial trail. From here you ascend directly up the peak, which looks daunting but is easy enough to hike and only takes about 15 minutes. Take in views wrapping 360° from the Great Salt Lake over the Maybird Lakes and many of Little Cottonwood's great peaks, Mount Timpanogos, and Utah Lake from atop the narrow 11,325-foot summit. Keep in mind that dogs are not allowed in Little Cottonwood Canyon, so they will need to sit this one out.