Kings Peak in Utah is a must-do for anyone searching for a challenging hike while spending some much-needed time in nature. Most of the Kings Peak hike is remote and untouched by human activity. Yet, Kings Peak is one of the most popular hiking spots in Utah, and it is also the highest point in the state. So you might be wondering how long it takes one to hike to Kings Peak.
Kings Peak in Utah is a 27.8 mile out and back trail. The summit of King’s Peak sits at 13528 feet above sea level. Although it is possible to complete the Kings Peak hike in a single day, most people make a multi-day trip of Kings Peak and take about two or three days to complete the hike.
Kings Peak is quite a challenging hike, and there are many factors to consider when hiking to the highest point in Utah. Fortunately, you don’t need any permits for this hike. We will discuss the dangers of this hike and what to pack when hiking to Kings Peak in Utah.
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How Long Does The Kings Peak Hike In Utah Take?
As mentioned, the entire Kings Peak hike in Utah is 27.8 miles long. During these miles, there is an elevation gain of 5160 feet. You will also have to do some rock scrambling for the last section to reach the summit. This is quite a challenging hike, and most hikers have a four-day itinerary when hiking to Kings Peak.
The best time for hiking Kings Peak is from mid-Summer to early Fall. During this time, the weather is best for hiking, and you are sure to find other hikers along the path.
Kings Peak in Utah is described as a class 2 – strenuous hike. There are many trails to follow to reach the summit. However, the most popular trail is via Henry’s Fork. The hike’s trailhead is also located at the Henry’s Fork parking lot. Here, you will find bathroom amenities and sufficient parking.
Most hikers choose to camp near Henry’s Fork the day before starting the hike, which allows them to get an early start. You can either camp at Henry’s Fork, where campsites are on a first-come, first-serve basis, or you can choose a campsite nearby where you need to make reservations ahead of time.
On the second day of the hike, you will start the Kings Peak hiking trail at Henry’s Fork. Most hikers choose to make their camp at Dollar Lake, about seven miles from the trailhead.
There are many lakes on the Kings Peak trail where you can fill up your water bottles. There are also many campsites to overnight. However, these are primitive campsites with no amenities. Therefore, you must pack what you need.
On the third day, you will make your way to summit Kings Peak. Most hikers leave their gear at Dollar Lake and only take a backpack to hike to the summit. This makes the hike more manageable as you don’t have a heavy bag.
The final climb before reaching Kings Peak is more like climbing from boulder to boulder. Although you don’t need any special equipment for this part, it is considered the most strenuous part of the climb.
Once you have summited Kings Peak and enjoyed the view from the highest point in Utah, you can head back down to Dollar Lake, where you will spend the third night. Then, on day four, you will hike back down the way you came to finish your hiking trip at Henry’s Fork.
While Kings Peak is considered a strenuous hike, most hikers who start it can complete the hike and visit the summit. Kings Peak is also a pet-friendly hike, and there are certain parts of the trail where dogs can be off-leash.
Is It Dangerous To Hike To Kings Peak?
As with any hike, there are some dangers when hiking Kings Peak. However, if you are prepared and go at the right time, you shouldn’t have any problems.
The best time to go hiking Kings Peak is between the middle of Summer and early Fall. If you go in Springtime, the temperatures are still too cold at night, and you might encounter some snow-covered parts. This is truer if you go in winter.
Apart from cold weather and snow, Utah also has its share of lightning storms. You should always watch the weather and don’t try to summit Kings Peak during a lightning storm as this can be very dangerous.
Because you are hiking in the wilderness, many animals live in the area. You might see some moose, deer, or even the occasional bear on your trip. Be watchful of predators, and don’t keep your food out at night as it may attract bears to your campsite.
Dehydration and exhaustion are two of the main challenges of hiking to Kings Peak. Fortunately, there are many water sources to fill up your bottles. Be wary of elevation sickness and take a break from hiking when you need to. Keep your body fueled with sufficient food to avoid exhaustion.
While there are some dangers to hiking to Kings Peak, they should not deter you from attempting the hike. With the proper preparation, you will easily have a fun and safe hike to Kings Peak.
What To Pack When Hiking Kings Peak In Utah
As you can imagine, any multi-day hike requires some gear and equipment to go. You must be prepared for any situation, as the hike is mainly in the wilderness and far away from shops or medical help. Therefore, we have compiled a list of what to bring when hiking to Kings Peak in Utah:
- A tent and sleeping bag. You will spend roughly two nights sleeping on the trail, and therefore you must take your camping equipment.
- Any cooking utensils. The “campsites” on Kings Peak trail are primitive, and therefore you must take everything you will need, such as a gas stove and a kettle to boil water. There aren’t any trash cans along the trail. Thus, you must carry all your trash with you and follow the “pack it out, pack it in” rule of hiking.
- A bear box or rope to suspend food. As mentioned, there are bears in the area. To prevent them from coming to your tent to look for food, store any leftover food in a bear box or suspend it in a tree.
- A day bag. On the day you summit Kings Peak, leave your big backpack, and gear at Dollar Lake and proceed to the summit with a day bag. This will make the final stretch much easier.
- Water purification tablets. Fortunately, there are many lakes to fill up your water bottles, meaning that you don’t have to carry as much water. However, it is best to purify the water from the lakes to prevent getting sick.
- Food, clothes, sunscreen. You must pack enough food for the entire trip, as well as some warm clothes and layers to dress up if it gets cold. Sunscreen is also a necessity on any hiking trip.
- First-aid kit. Another necessity for any hiking trip is a good first-aid kit with which you can treat any minor injuries, such as cuts or blisters.
Kings Peak is a popular hike in Utah and the highest point in the state. This out and back hike is 27.8 miles long and will take an average hiker about four days to complete. This is a strenuous hike, and proper preparation is needed. However, many people have completed this trail and recommend the Kings Peak hike to anyone looking for adventure.