King's Peak, looking like a shark's tooth, pokes its head above and between two unnamed summits in the basin's south wall.
Summit photo courtesy of Mark Seaburg (who incidentally made his 50th highpoint summit in 1997).
High Uintas Wilderness Area
Ashley National Forest
355 No. Vernal Ave.
Vernal, UT 84078
Kings Peak, Utah, 13,528 feet
Kings Peak is usually approached from the north. From the Henry's Fork campground--a good two hours from Salt Lake City, accessed by a dusty gravel road from Lonetree, Wyoming, a trail leads south and up into Henry Fork Basin, a beautiful alpine bowl studded with small lakes and stands of trees. Kings Peak, looking like a shark's tooth, pokes its head above and between two unnamed summits in the basin's south wall.
Most parties camp in the basin, then cross the divide at Gunsight Pass, descend a bit, traverse west, and climb Kings Peak by either the east face or the north ridge.
The peak can be approached from the south, too--it's a longer hike, but offers the opportunity to climber along the easy ridge between Emmons Peak and Kings Peak, featuring many 13,000 foot bumps.
The Swift Creek Trail and Basin, north of Mountain Home, Utah, are probably the best approach for this route.
The shortest route to the summit of Kings Peak is the approach from the north at the Henrys Fork Basin, about sixteen miles. Henrys Fork is a good two-hour ride from Salt Lake City.
Take Route 80 east into Wyoming and exit at Fort Bridger.
The hike begins at 9,000 feet (elev.) and climbs gradually through a lush valley floor containing lakes and streams until the approach to Gunsite Pass where the climb begins to steepen. A good spot to spend the first night is at Dollar Lake. This is situated about ten miles in from the trail head and in the last pine stand before the real climbing begins. (The trout fishing, we were told, is excellent, as the lakes in this region are stocked.)
From Dollar Lake you can expect a four- to five-hour hike to the summit of King's Peak at a moderate pace.
Here's a picture of the huskie "Bear" on Kings. See more pictures of Bear.