Wildcat Ridge Traverse - May 25, 2014


Dec 23, 2013
Woke up bright and early on Sunday morning and drove to the Butler Fork Trailhead in Big Cottonwood Canyon to meet a group of hikers at 5:00 am. The group consisted of six hikers from the Wasatch Mountain Club and was led by a gentleman named Sam Grant. Sam had hiked the route the previous year in June with ninety degree temperatures and so he felt by moving the date up to May, it would not be so hot, though we would have to deal with snow. The other hikers, including myself, had never attempted Wildcat Ridge before.

We left three vehicles at the Butler Fork Trailhead and drove the rest to the Mount Olympus Trailhead, where we began to hike at 5:30 am.

Our route for the day would begin at the Mount Olympus Trailhead, on to the top of Mount Olympus, which is the official start of Wildcat Ridge, and then follows the ridge line east to Mount Raymond, the official end of Wildcat Ridge, and then hike down to the Butler Fork Trailhead to our waiting cars. Along the ridge line we will be summiting not only Mount Olympus and Raymond but Triangle Peak and six other unnamed peaks which are all part of the Mount Olympus Wilderness.

Wilderness boundary sign

The Hike up Olympus was uneventful and we took a short break at the top to fuel up for what lay ahead.

Approaching the top of Olympus

Breaking on top of Olympus

After the short rest, we began to downclimb the east side of Olympus and then make our way onto the ridge that separates Olympus from Triangle Peak.

Gaining the ridge between Olympus and Triangle Peak

Once on top of the ridge, we worked our way along the knife's edge at a slow pace; occasionally we would drop slightly off the ridge to the north or south for an easier route. Eventually we made it to a flat area at the base of Triangle Peak. We discussed the easiest way to ascend the peak and determined that any line to the top would be good, so we all chose our own route.

Working our way along the knife's edge

Looking up at Triangle Peak

Good view looking back along the knife's edge and the north and south peaks of Olympus

Almost to the top of Triangle

Once at the top of Triangle we took another short break. While the distance to the top of Triangle Peak from Mount Olympus is only .8 miles; it took us three hours to get there!

After Triangle Peak, we headed slightly south east to Peak 9,587 where we could see Mount Raymond for the first time, and then on to Peak 9,773.

Downclimbing Triangle Peak

Peak 9,773 as seen from Triangle Peak

First glimpse of Mount Raymond (towards the upper left of the image)

View looking west of Peak 9,587, Triangle Peak and the two peaks of Mount Olympus

We then continued to follow the ridge line, though again we dropped down off of it when necessary. Since we are hiking this route in May instead of later in June, we had to deal with some snow along the way.

Working our way along the ridge with snow added to the mix

Mount Raymond getting closer!

After twelve hours, we finally reached the base of Mount Raymond! Looking up the south slope towards the top of the mountain, I'm not sure that I can get it done. But I figure that I've come this far so I might as well grind it out.

Almost at the base of Mount Raymond

Nearing the top of Raymond

We made it - the group on top of Mount Raymond

After resting and getting a good bite to eat, we descended the last four miles back to the trailhead. It took us 15 hours and 45 minutes to complete the route and I was worn out.

Thoughts - If you enjoy a lot of scrambling and don't mind a fair bit of exposure along with some bushwhacking, or perhaps you would like to test your stamina, then this hike is for you. Seriously though, you get great views to the north and south when on top of the ridge and we had the entire route all to ourselves. If contemplating hiking Wildcat Ridge be sure and bring plenty of water and food and make sure you're in good physical condition to complete it because there are few points where you can bail out. I might add that three days later my legs are still sore. :(

If anybody would like to see all the photos of the hike here is the link.

Wildcat Ridge Traverse Images



Aug 9, 2007
Wow!! This is awesome! I didn't know what Wildcat Ridge actually was when you had mentioned it before. What a route!


Jan 25, 2012
Awesome! I don't think I'd ever be able to bring myself to triangle peak. I've heard from other accounts it takes hours for that small stretch and I just don't think I could manage.


Dec 23, 2013
xjblue - Is the Beatout hike worth considering?

Nick - Sam said that he will be leading the hike again next year. You should sign up for it. You don't have to be a member of the WMC to participate on one of their hikes. I probably could be talked into giving it another go. :cry:

nonameiwant - I think you might just surprise yourself. If you can make it to the top of Olympus without any problems you could probably push on. The physical exertion is the climb up Olympus and then the scramble up Triangle. The ridge between is more of a mental thing due to the exposure. You're going slow enough that from a physical standpoint it's not too bad. It kind of reminded me of the last part of the approach (50-75 yards?) to Lone Peak, If you've done that, only much longer. Of course, then you would have to make your way back! :)
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Yvonne Snowshoeing near Wildcat Trailhead, Kolob Terrace Winter Sports 5
Gwen T Fortymile Ridge Road Trip Planning 5
Perry Dahlgreen Ridge - A Navigationally Challenged Day Hiking & Camping 7
scatman Neff's Ridge Loop - June 13, 2020 Hiking & Camping 10
scatman Parley's Ridge or Subaru to Jeep - April 25, 2020 Hiking & Camping 20
Perry Day Hike Exploring the Wasatch Ridge Line Hiking & Camping 5
Hiker Seth Franconia Ridge today Hiking & Camping 7
NorthwestWanderer Uncle visits Washington (Ptarmigan Ridge, Slate Peak & Wing Lake) Backpacking 4
Perry Middle Fork Blacks Fork Ridge Way Trail - Does It Exist? Hiking & Camping 5
SteveR Pocaterra Ridge, Alberta Hiking & Camping 7
NorthwestWanderer Poet Ridge - Glacier Peak Wilderness Hiking & Camping 3
scatman Van Cott Ridge - April 20, 2019 Hiking & Camping 5
balzaccom Comb Ridge and Wash Trip Planning 8
Ugly Snowy Dawn Traverse on Deer Ridge Hiking & Camping 6
NorthwestWanderer Ptarmigan Ridge, Mt. Baker Wilderness WA Backpacking 8
NorthwestWanderer Delancy Ridge via Driveway Butte, Okanogan NF, WA (5/20) Hiking & Camping 3
AbinadiWitness Part 1: Telluride Via Ferrata and Mount Sneffels SW Ridge from Blue Lakes- Colorado Trip # 1 - 2017 Backpacking 0
JDWalters Pioneer Ridge Trail, Hiking & Camping 6
Wanderlust073 Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness / Rattlesnake Canyon maps Trip Planning 6
Adventure monkey Steve Allen's exit out of Happy Canyon to the Big Ridge. Trip Planning 17
M VIDEO - Mt. Lindsey (14,042 ft) Northwest Ridge Hiking & Camping 0
piper01 Wolfman Panel, Comb Ridge/Valley of the Gods Hiking & Camping 3
Udink Nine Mile Canyon XIV: Warrior Ridge Hiking & Camping 4
WasatchWill A Recon Trip Around Comb Ridge Hiking & Camping 6
TannerT Adam's Canyon North Ridge 1/23 Hiking & Camping 10
Artemus Multimodal Transport on Wham Ridge Backpacking 41
Vegan.Hiker A Farewell to Fall along the Shawangunk Ridge Hiking & Camping 6
kansas ruins at Comb Ridge Trip Planning 3
kansas roads along Comb Ridge Trip Planning 6
Udink Price Canyon Recreation Area to Ford Ridge Hiking & Camping 4
scatman Millcreek Ridge - July 3, 2015 Hiking & Camping 25
T GSMNP Sunkota Ridge, Thomas Divide, Noland Divide, Deep Creek Backpacking 4
hatchcanyon Trough Spring Ridge Off Road 4
Nick Escalante access from Fortymile Ridge Trip Planning 7
scatman Grandeur Peak - Dragon's Tail Ridge Route - November 28, 2014 Hiking & Camping 19
toejam Mission Pine Ridge Hiking & Camping 5
IntrepidXJ Winter Camp Ridge Hiking & Camping 5
BrendanLB Coyote gulch via 40 mile ridge road Trip Planning 17
Vegan.Hiker Shawangunk Ridge, NY Hiking & Camping 14
peakbagger1971 Kings-Emmons ridge Trip Planning 1
Scott Chandler Darton Ridge-Cloud Peak Wilderness Hiking & Camping 6
Jammer Rainbow Ridge Redux Hiking & Camping 11
ram West Ridge of Cutthroat Peak Backpacking 0
Jammer Rainbow Ridge Backpacking 7
DAA Henry Mtns & Elk Ridge Off Road 18
TheDunedain Comb Ridge March 25-27 2012 Hiking & Camping 5
Nick The Maze Overlook and Jasper Ridge Backpacking 43
IntrepidXJ Black Ridge Trail Hiking & Camping 0
Seldom Seen Anderson Cedar Mesa and Comb Ridge Hiking & Camping 11
FourisTheNewOne Comb Ridge/Cedar Mesa - May 2008 Hiking & Camping 11

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.