Lone Peak - Wasatch Mountains

Lone Peak
Elevation 11,253'

Wasatch Mountains
Hiking & Mountaineering

          Lone Peak is the centerpiece of Utah's first congressionally designated Wilderness Area. The Lone Peak Wilderness was established in 1977 as part of the Endangered American Wilderness Act and includes 30,088 acres in the Wasatch Range. The mountain is a beautifully huge massif visible from Salt Lake City to Provo. The rugged terrain, narrow canyons and alpine cirque are dominated by the high peak.

          Lone Peak is one of the most challenging summits of the eighteen Wasatch peaks over 11'000' and is the only summit that requires class 4 scrambling.

General Information:
Click Here for MapClick Here for Map          The summit of Lone Peak is 11,253 feet. This peak can be climbed in summer and fall by experienced hikers. Most hikers will require 5 to 7 hours to summit using the various trailheads. All summit routes are rated 4 IV using the Yosemite Decimal System (YDS). All the trail options have their pro's and con's and all are worth climbing. Traversing the summit ridge is required using all route options. The summit ridge requires scrambling with serious exposure. The scrambling is not difficult, but a fall would be deadly. In mid to late summer, during Utah's monsoon season, afternoon thunderstorms are common and you want to be a well clear of the summit when one arrives.

          A GPS might be helpful, but is not required for hiking Lone Peak. The USGS 7.5' Maps titled "Draper" and "Lehi" shows the area described. Navigation for any of these routes is moderate. All waypoints and maps for Lone Peak use the WGS84 datum.

          The two historical routes to the top of Lone Peak are the Draper Ridge Trail and the Jacobs Ladder Trail. There is no reliable water using the Draper Ridge or Jacobs Ladder route after July until the first snows. Jacobs's Ladder is the shortest and fastest route to the summit; it also contains some miserably steep sections. If your only goal is to knock off the summit this is probably the route you want to try. The Draper Ridge Trail has fallen into disrepair and is no longer maintained, I advise following a different route unless you are into adventure.

          The Cherry Canyon Logging Trail is relatively new and is now rivaling Jacobs Ladder as the most popular route to the summit. This trail is sometimes referred to as the Bear Canyon trail as it actually access Bear Canyon and only briefly dips into Cherry Canyon. The Cherry Canyon Logging Trail is well maintained and passes next to a perennial spring located high in Bear Canyon. This route is slightly longer than Draper Ridge or Jacobs Ladder but the route is in better condition, much more scenic, and passes a reliable water supply.

          Trail of the Eagle is also relatively new and offers another option of accessing the summit and getting into the upper Little Willow Drainage.

Lone Peak - Wasatch Mountains Lone Peak - Wasatch Mountains

Winter Climbing:
         
Lone Peak can be climbed year round by experienced mountaineers. This is an excellent winter climb, most of the route is south facing and the snow consolidates after several sunny days. Winter climbing involves the use of ropes, crampons and ice axe with the knowledge of their proper use. A summit climb often involves a multi-day adventure or a Bataan Death March because the Corner Canyon Road is closed in winter and the daylight hours are short. Jacobs Ladder is the usual winter mountaineering route. and is easiest to access in winter by starting at the housing development on Traverse Ridge. In winter is not a hike but a true mountaineering adventure for the skilled. You have been warned!

Suggested Route:
          If a car shuttle is available I would suggest climbing Lone Peak using the Jacobs Ladder Route and descending by visiting the Outlaw Cabin and continuing down the Bear Canyon Trail. This allows you to visit much of the mountain and refill empty water bottles at the beautiful spring in Bear Canyon. The change of scenery this semi-loop hike creates is also welcome.

Lone Peak - Wasatch Mountains Lone Peak - Wasatch Mountains

Trailhead Information:
         
The Corner Canyon Road is open during the summer months up to the Peak View Trailhead. The road provides the best access to routes for hiking and climbing Lone Peak. The gate at the bottom of Corner Canyon is closed for winter, the exact dates of opening and closing change yearly depending on current road conditions. The road is usually open from May to December.

Orson Smith Park and Trailhead:
         
From I-15, Take the 12300 South Exit (Draper Exit #291). Drive east on 12300 South for 1.9 miles to 1300 East. Turn south (right) on 1300 East and drive 0.2 miles to a traffic circle. Take Pioneer Road (12400 South) east for 1.1 miles to 2000 East, Turn south (right) on 2000 East and drive 0.2 miles to the Orson Smith Park and Trailhead (N40 31' 18", W111 50' 02"). The Orson Smith Trailhead is signed, easy to locate, contains a picnic area, small playground, information kiosk, and restrooms. On the south side of the Orson Smith Trailhead you will find a gate and the Corner Canyon Road. The gate is unlocked and open if the road beyond is dry and drivable.

Shoreline (BST) Trailhead:
          From the Orson Smith Trailhead follow the Corner Canyon Road south for 1.1 miles to the Shoreline (BST) Trailhead (N40 30' 22", W111 50' 06"). The Shoreline (BST) Trailhead is signed, easy to locate, contains a picnic area, information kiosk and restrooms. Most passenger vehicles can drive to this trailhead with no issues. At the Shoreline Trailhead you will also find a second gate. The gate is unlocked and open if the road beyond is dry and drivable.

Draper Ridge Trailhead:
          From the Shoreline (BST) Trailhead continue driving south on the Corner Canyon Road for 0.5 miles to the Draper Ridge Trailhead (N40 29" 58', W111 49' 50"). The Draper Ridge Trailhead is not marked or signed, it is identified by steep 4-wheel drive tracks on the left (north) side of the road and the hillside is cut away. There is a small turnout on both sides of the road.

Ghost Falls (Jacobs Ladder) Trailhead:
          From the Draper Ridge Trailhead continue driving south on the Corner Canyon Road for 1.0 miles to the Ghost Falls/Jacobs Ladder Trailhead
(N40 29' 39", W111 48' 59"). The Ghost Falls/Jacobs Ladder Trailhead is signed, easy to locate, contains a picnic area, information kiosk and restrooms. This is also the trailhead for hiking Storm Window Arch and the popular Ghost Falls. At the Ghost Falls/Jacobs Ladder Trailhead Trailhead you will find a third gate. The gate is unlocked and open if the road beyond is dry and drivable.

Peak View Trailhead:
          From the Ghost Falls/Jacobs Ladder Trailhead continue driving east on the Corner Canyon Road for 0.8 miles to the Peak View Trailhead
(N40 29' 18", W111 49' 14"). The Peak View Trailhead is signed, easy to locate, contains a picnic area and information kiosk. At the Peak View Trailhead you will encounter a fourth gate. The gate is never unlocked and motorized vehicles are prohibited beyond this point.

Lone Peak - Wasatch Mountains Lone Peak - Wasatch Mountains

Jacobs Ladder Route:
          The Jacobs Ladder Trail is 5 1/2 miles to Lone Peak with an elevation gain of 5650-feet. The route will take 5 to 6 hours to reach the summit. From the Ghost Falls/Jacobs Ladder trailhead locate the trail that begins next to the gate and starts climbing north up the mountain. Follow the trail up and it will soon reach a junction with a trail on a spur ridge (N40 29' 41", W111 48' 41"). Follow the trail east as it climbs the spur ridge. Other trails and a 4-wheel drive track will feed into the trail (N40 29' 40", W111 47' 59"), as long as you are heading up, you are traveling in the correct direction. Continue to Lone Rock (N40 29' 52", W111 47' 22"), which is an outcropping with a big drop to the east and south. The trail drops slightly to the north and than climbs steeply for 1 1/2 hours until the trail leads to an open grassy ridge and a junction with the Draper Ridge Trail (N40 30' 47", W111 47' 19").

          From the junction of Draper Ridge Trail and Jacobs Ladder Trail to the summit is an easier hike with excellent scenery. From the junction follow the trail east a short distance to a rise where a meadow and the summit of Lone Peak is visible. Many people get lost just past the meadow so pay attention to your route from this vantage point. Your route is to follow the trail down and cross the meadow, cross the stream, and to climb the saddle to the east of the meadow. On the east side of the meadow you will encounter the Outlaw Trail Junction (N40 30' 55", W111 46' 43"). The fork to the north (left) leads to the Outlaw Cabin. DO NOT follow this trail unless you wish to visit the Outlaw Cabin. The fork east (straight ahead) leads to the small saddle (N40 30' 59", W111 46' 27") and is the trail you want to follow if heading for the summit. From the small saddle, there is no trail but your route is clearly visible. Enter the cirque and follow the drainage north. Pay attention to where you entered the cirque since you must find this exit point when you return. Head for the obvious saddle to the north. From the saddle, follow the ridge east to the summit. The summit is the triangular peak farthest left along the top of the shear wall. The last 1/4 mile to the summit is very exposed and requires scrambling. Please use caution and know your abilities. The summit is a small flat toped rock (N40 31' 36", W111 45' 21").

Outlaw Cabin:
          To visit the Outlaw Cabin from the Outlaw Trail Junction on the Jacobs Ladder Trail. Follow the well-traveled Outlaw north 1/2 mile to a minor saddle. The trail than descends 200-feet in 1/4 mile to a meadow. The Outlaw Cabin (N40 31" 12', W111 46' 53") is located on the west end of the meadow in the pine trees. The cabin is a small log cabin complete with a wood stove and contains a sign that states "Enjoy It, Don't Destroy It". The Outlaw Cabin is a fun place to visit.  The Outlaw Cabin was used in October 1997 to save the lives of a Draper family who were caught in an early season blizzard high on the mountain.

Draper Ridge Route:
          The Draper Ridge Trail is no longer maintained and can be extremely difficult to follow. Consider the information provided here as historical information only. The Draper Ridge Trail is 6 miles to Lone Peak with an elevation gain of 6000-feet. The route will take 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours to reach the summit. From the Draper Ridge Trailhead, the route angles north across the hillside cut to join a 4-wheel drive road that switchbacks up the ridge. The route will criss-cross an incredibly steep 4-wheel drive track that heads straight up the ridge. Follow the switchbacks and count the number of times you get to the southern most point. At the fourth southern switchback, an easily visible trail (N40
30" 14', W111 49' 27") leads off to the right (east). Follow the trail, which drops slightly into the gully before beginning a steady climb up a minor ridge between Cherry Canyon and the Movie Rocks. The trail is deeply eroded in places as you climb through oak and mountain mahogany. The trail will eventually lead to an open grassy ridge, which is followed to the junction of the Jacobs Ladder Trail (N40 30' 47", W111 47' 19"). From here follow the Jacobs Ladder Trail to the summit.

Cherry Canyon Logging Route:
          The Cherry Canyon Logging Trail is probably the best trail on the mountain, it is usually well maintained and easy to follow. It is possible to reach the Outlaw Cabin and the summit of Lone Peak by the Cherry Canyon Logging Trail which reaches into the upper bowls of Bear Canyon and Little Willow Canyon.

          The Cherry Canyon Logging Trail is often used by horses to gain access to the Outlaw Cabin and the upper mountain. Hiking this trail to the Outlaw Cabin is a very enjoyable destination hike. Using this trail it will take approximately 3 1/2 hours to reach the Outlaw Cabin and 6 hours to reach the summit.

          From the Orson Smith Park and Trailhead, locate the trail that begins behind the restroom and begin following it east as it snakes up the mountain. After a few minutes you will cross the Aqueduct Trail but just keep climbing up and the trail will flatten out as it reaches the Lake Bonneville bench and the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST).

          Once you reach the Bonneville Shoreline Trail follow it north (left) for 75-yards and you will encounter a junction (N40 31' 17", W111 49' 45"), that is signed "Cherry Canyon Logging Trail". The Cherry Canyon Logging Trail climbs east up the ridge south of Bear Canyon, dips briefly into Cherry Canyon and than turns northeast towards Bear Canyon at which point a spur trail (N40 30" 49', W111 47' 54") joins from the south (right) that leads to the Draper Ridge Trail. Follow the trail northeast as it drops into Bear Canyon and continues to a year round spring (N40 30" 58', W111 47' 35"). Approximately 1/2 mile beyond the spring you will encounter a junction (N40 31" 13', W111 47' 27"), where the Trail of the Eagle joins from the west (left). Just past this junction the trail leaves Bear Canyon and enters the South Fork of Little Willow Canyon

          The trail snakes for 3/4 miles through a number of large granite outcrops before arriving in an open meadow. In the trees on the south (right) side of the meadow is the Outlaw Cabin, (N40 31' 12", W111 46' 53").

          From the Outlaw Cabin you can follow the trail which begins behind the cabin to the standard Jacobs Ladder Ridge route. However, it is shorter and just as easy to continue east up the South Fork of Little Willow drainage. There is no trail beyond the Outlaw Cabin but the route finding is easy as you just follow the drainage east as it climbs. As the drainage begins to steepen stay on the north (left) side to gain access through the granite cliffs near the top.

          Eventually you will find yourself standing on the west wall of the cirque with a summit view of Lone Peak. At this point you will also want to notice where you are standing so you can find the correct location on your return. A small navigational error at this point on your return will deposit you in the wrong drainage, ask me how I know.

          From the rim of the cirque route find your way northeast to the west ridge of Lone Peak. Scramble up the west ridge to the summit of Lone Peak.

Trail of the Eagle:
          This route is suggested for family members looking for a fun morning or afternoon hike or for experienced hikers looking to test there summiting skills. The "Trail of the Eagle" is a well maintained trail which leads to a rock outcropping high on the mountain. From the rock outcropping it is possible to reach the summit of Lone Peak by using  one of two trails that extend to the upper mountain.

          From the Orson Smith Park and Trailhead, locate the trail that begins behind the restroom and begin following it east as it snakes up the mountain. After a few minutes you will cross the Aqueduct Trail but just keep climbing up and the trail will flatten out as it reaches the Lake Bonneville bench and the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST).

          Once you reach the Bonneville Shoreline Trail follow it north (left) for 75-yards and you will encounter a junction (N40 31' 17", W111 49' 45"), that is signed "Cherry Canyon Logging Trail". Continue following the The Bonneville Shoreline Trail north for an addition 1/4 mile to a spectacular suspension bridge over Bear Canyon. Cross the bridge, take the fork to the right and hike 50-yards to the junction (N40 31' 31", W111 49' 36") with Trail of the Eagle

          Hike up the trail 100-yards to a signed junction (N40 31' 29", W111 49' 31"), the trail heading up hill is the one you want to follow. Trail of the Eagle is climbs for approximately one-mile past the junction to a small rock outcropping (N40 31' 32", W111 49' 18"). Hiking to the rock outcropping makes a very easy and enjoyable afternoon or morning hike. Most family members will enjoy hiking to this destination.

          From the rock outcropping the trail climbs north into Little Willow Canyon. Follow the trail up for 1 3/4 miles to a junction (N40 31' 26", W111 48' 08"), The trail on the south (right) leads up to a junction with the Cherry Canyon Logging Trail. The trail on the north (left) leads into Little Willow Canyon. The Little Willow trail passes through pine trees, which is cool and refreshing during hot weather. The trail disappears when it reaches Little Willow Creek high in the basin. When you reach Little Willow Creek, follow the drainage up to the ridge. The upper basin is very easy to travel without bushwhacking but there is no trail. From the ridge, you can see Lone Peak and route find your way to the summit. The route will take at least 6 hours to reach the summit.

Lone Peak - Wasatch Mountains

Sawmill Trail:
          This route is suggested for family members looking for a fun morning or afternoon hike or for very experienced hikers looking to test there skills. The "Sawmill Trail" is a well maintained trail which leads to the top of Big Willow.  This is a very enjoyable trail to hike.  You will visit a rock outcropping/viewpoint, followed by a visit to a nice waterfall and cascades and than up to Bells Canyon Reservoir or the summit of Lone Peak if you are tough enough.

          The Trailhead (N40 32' 25", W111 48' 45") is located at Hidden Valley Park in Sandy, Utah.  This park is located on Wasatch Boulevard at about 11700 south. The park is next to a LDS church.

          From the parking lot follow the paved trail 100-yard southeast to a bench and sign pointing the way to the "Bonneville Shoreline Trail".  Follow the sign and 4 wheel drive track as it climbs the mountain 300-yards to a red gate (N40 32' 22", W111 48' 35").  At this point a sign points the way south to continue on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail but to reach the Sawmill Trail you must pass around the red gate and climb the hill for 250-yards. At the top of the hill the road will flatten out and turn sharp to the right.  At this point you will notice a trail that leads south into trees; this is the Sawmill Trail (N40 32' 25", W111 48' 26"). If you get to where the water goes under the road through a cement pipe you have gone about 100-yards too far.

          Continue up the Sawmill Trail as far as you desire.  After one mile you will reach an avalanche warning sign (N40 31' 47", W111 47' 55") and a junction in the trail.  The Right (East) Fork leads 150-yards down to a stream with a small waterfall and cascades. The Left (North) Fork climbs over the ridge into Big Willow and climbs to the top of the canyon.

          For those who are serious hikers this trail provides access to an assortment of adventures including Upper Bells Canyon Reservoir and Lone Peak.

Bell Canyon Trail:
          This route is suggested for family members looking for a fun morning or afternoon hike or for very experienced hikers looking to test there skills. The lower section of the Bell Canyon Trail is a well maintained trail and well traveled up to the lower waterfall. Beyond that point the trail is not heavy traveled. This is a very enjoyable trail to hike that leads to the Upper Bells Canyon Reservoir and the summit of Lone Peak if you are adventurous enough.

          The Bell Canyon Trailhead (N40 33' 55", W111 48' 13"), is located at about 10245 South on Wasatch Boulevard. The trailhead is located on the east side of the road and consists of a paved parking area and kiosk. The trail leading east is clearly signed.

          Follow the trail east for 1/2 mile as it climbs to Lower Bells Canyon Reservoir (N40 33' 55", W111 47' 50"). Follow the trail north as it loops around the reservoir to where the Bonneville Shoreline Trail joins from the north (N40 34' 00", W111 47' 45"), continue following the trail around the reservoir to a second junction (N40 33' 57", W111 47' 37"). The trail to the south (right) leads to an irrigation box, the trail to the east (left) is the Bells Canyon Trail and the one you want to follow.

          From the second junction follow the trail east for 1/2 mile to a bridge (N40 33' 46", W111 47' 11"). From the bridge just keep following the trail east for 1 mile to a junction (N40 33' 38", W111 46' 14"), To visit the waterfall take the north (left) fork and follow the trail 75-yards to the waterfall (N40 33' 40", W111 46' 14"). This is where most families and casual hikers turn around. For those wanting more take the east (right) fork and follow the trail an additional 2 miles as it climbs to Upper Bells Canyon Reservoir (N40 32' 28", W111 44' 59"). The reservoir is a great destination for those seeking a strenuous hike.

          For the truly hardcore it's possible to scramble to the summit of Lone Peak from the reservoir. To do so you want to aim for the base of the west ridge and than scramble up the west ridge to the summit..


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