Red Pine Lake


I ❤️ GYE
May 31, 2015
First trip report. Here goes.

My wife and I decided to go on a quick overnighter this weekend. It was her first time backpacking, and we had time constraints due to work, etc., so we decided to keep it local and go up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Red Pine Lake. I was a bit hesitant about the location at first, since I prefer to be around as few other people as possible when hiking/camping (don't we all?), but hiking up on Friday turned out to be pretty good.

We got to the trailhead around 6 PM, and we had 3.6 miles to go to get to the lake. Sunset was at 9, so we had ample time to get there and set up. The first stretch was nice and gentle, with a big wide trail due to the area's pretty heavy use (more on that later). We passed a nice cascade and headed on. As we ascended to the lake, the trail got a lot steeper, with lots of big rocks in the middle. It was fairly wet, with water running down the trail in places. Nothing too hard to navigate. Lots of pretty wildflowers in the meadows next to the trail.

We came across two deer grazing in the meadows. They were so close to us and seemed completely fine with the fact that there were two humans within 5-10 yards of them.

DSC00847.JPG DSC00850.JPG

After passing a family headed up to camp (we want to be like that when we have kids) and some guys with a boy scout troop, we got up to the lake. It was much prettier than either of us had expected. Larger than expected as well.

We looked for camp sites, but there were already at least 4 groups up there. We managed to find an excellent spot just above the lake, a bit away from the other sites. My only gripe was some ugly fire remnants on the ground with aluminum foil in the ashes. You'd think people would've learned by now that that stuff doesn't burn and go away. We got the tent set up, ate some food, and hung the food (after a few comical failed attempts) from a tree nearby. I wasn't too concerned about bears in this area, but I'm not sure if my confidence was unfounded. Do any of you guys know much about black bear activity in the Wasatch Front?

It got pretty cool that night, especially since the high in the valley that day was only in the 70s. We had two brief rain showers in the night too. One of them was a downpour for maybe 5 minutes. The tent proved itself and held up well.

We woke up to a pretty morning. This is on the backside of our campsite. Looking North into Little Cottonwood.

We needed to get back quickly, so we took some pictures around the lake and headed down. The wildflowers were looking great. Lots of different kinds growing up there.
(So the indian paintbrush picture is rotated properly in my files, but I can't get it to work here. Weird. Sorry!)

The hike out was fine. There was a noticeably larger volume of water on the trail and in the creeks.

I was blown away by the number of people we passed that were headed up to the lake. I wasn't counting at first, but I'd estimate that 40 people passed by while I wasn't counting. Then, I started counting and around 80 more people went by, bringing our total to about 120 people. It was only 10:45 AM when we got back, so I'd imagine even more headed up afterward. I'd never believe that number if I hadn't counted all those people myself. Glad we went on Friday night when less people have time to get up there.

It was a fun, quick trip. Nice for when you don't have a ton of time for camping/hiking on the weekend.

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Hiked up there earlier in the morning yesterday. Despite how popular the area is, if you're willing to get up early, you can pretty much avoid the people. I think we saw many 5-10 on the hike up?
Hiked up there earlier in the morning yesterday. Despite how popular the area is, if you're willing to get up early, you can pretty much avoid the people. I think we saw many 5-10 on the hike up?

Yeah I hiked up there morning of July 5 and had the lake to myself except for one guy who I knew was there somewhere but couldn't actually see. I was surprised to see the White Pine lot more than half full at 9am on Monday and totally full by 11:30.
I was up there saturday morning with my almost 3 year old son and my 18 month old daughter so we probably passed each other on the trail. Nice pics!
I was up there saturday morning with my almost 3 year old son and my 18 month old daughter so we probably passed each other on the trail. Nice pics!

Awesome! The weather was perfect that day. If you saw a redheaded guy with a big orange pack and his brunette wife with a big purple pack heading down, that was us! We tried to say hi to everyone that we passed.
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