Elevation: 10,828 ft
GPS: 40.527, -111.757 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 152,838 total · 835/month
Shared By: Vince Romney on May 13, 2004 with improvements by Alex Temus
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq
52°F - 36°F 11°C - 2°C
54°F - 33°F 12°C - 1°C
Memorial Day
41°F - 32°F 5°C - 0°C
47°F - 34°F 8°C - 1°C
51°F - 36°F 11°C - 2°C
53°F - 36°F 12°C - 2°C


Alpine granite within view of the valley floor! The cirque has always been a bit of the Canadian Rockies right here in Salt Lake. Beautiful four to five hundred foot, almost-vertical granite with cracks, seams, off-widths, chimneys, and exquisite face climbing surround an idyllic alpine meadow, with snowfields providing fresh water until late July.

Routes range from 5.4 to 5.12. If you're stout enough to make the 5600'+ vertical, six-mile long grunt, the climbing will more than reward your efforts. For best effect, plan on spending 3 or 4 days and sampling a half-dozen or more of the best climbs. Don't leave without doing the "triple crown" of cirque climbs... Triple Overhangs (5.10a), Vertical Smile (5.10a), and The Undone Book (5.9+ R). All three are correctly given four stars.

Getting There

The hike I take is a bitch and has minimal to no natural water until you're almost into the cirque. This lack of water has nearly killed a few folks, myself included. Take plenty of water and hike at a moderate pace.

There are two or three well established approaches, but as of this date I've only used the Corner Canyon approach. I've heard both good and bad about the Alpine approach, but I can't address it accurately. There are a ton of hike descriptions for both on the web as well.

As far as the Corner Canyon Approach goes, here's my version:

Because most everyone knows where BCC and LCC are, I'll start there. Follow Wasatch Drive south from BCC or LCC. Stay on Wasatch as it meanders through the kings and their castles and ultimately turns west. After turning west, travel another couple of miles and at the first stop light, turn left onto Draper Parkway.

Follow Draper Parkway south until it also bends and heads west. At the first light after it heads west, turn left onto 1300 East.

Follow 1300 East to the "Roundabout". Exit east out of the roundabout onto Pioneer Road (12300 south).

Follow Pioneer Road east until you hit 2000 East. Turn right, and head south as it transitions from pavement to dirt.

I usually park about about 3 miles up this dirt road at an obvious pullout (the Falcon guide book has a couple adequate maps, but some good route-finding skills are a bonus).

Hump the packs on and head up the four-wheel drive trails to the northeast of the pullout. Look up the hillside and you'll see two major rock outcroppings. Both of these have trails leading up to them, but you ONLY want to head to the east-most outcropping, creatively called "Lone Rock".

By the time you reach this rock, you'll be covered in powdery dust and will start wondering what you've got yourself into. From Lone Rock, head north up the steep scrub-oak covered hillside, following a faint but visible trail. When you get to a steep ravine, don't descend into it, but follow the edge of the ravine east until you catch the trail that proceeds north again up the large ridge above you.

Follow the steep trail and switch-backs all the way up this ridge, and after your intestines completely knot up and come out of your throat, you'll join another trail that comes in from the west (this is called the "Draper Ridge Trail", which I've descended before and is NOT recommended).

As you head east on this trail the hike actually begins to be enjoyable. The scenery improves consistently until you feel as though you're in the Canadian Rockies. The trail is pretty obvious, and passes through a pine forest, then across a huge granite slab, and then up the drainage that runs from the cirque itself.

Where the trail becomes faint, look for cairns as they are plentiful. Once you begin moving up through the obvious talus towards the cirque itself, don't head north along another line of cairns. Stay eastbound and begin working your way over the huge boulders in the talus field.

Once you crest the talus, you'll see the meadow and the cirque beyond. Work across the boulders to the meadow, drop the pack, stuff your head in the icy water, and prepare for some truly outstanding routes.

Remember you are climbing/camping in a wilderness area, and please pack it ALL out.

A few side notes; the water usually only lasts until late July so climbing in late summer or fall requires packing water in. Emergency contact can be made via cell phone by standing within view of the valley (at least with AT&T). Try to tread lightly in the camping areas so the meadow can maintain its pristine nature.

52 Total Climbs

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Location: Lone Peak Cirque Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Lone Peak Cirque

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
The Open Book
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Pika Paradise
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Lowe Route
Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
The Answer
Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Center Thumb
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Triple Overhangs
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Vertical Smile
Trad, Alpine
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
The Undone Book
Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Out of the Question
Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Shadow of Death
Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13
Free Mexican Air Force
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b R
Question Mark Wall Route
Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Open Book Summit Wall
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Pika Paradise Question Mark Wall
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
Lowe Route Question Mark Wall
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
The Answer Question Mark Wall
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
Center Thumb S Summit Wall
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Triple Overhangs Summit Wall
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
Vertical Smile Summit Wall
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, Alpine
The Undone Book Summit Wall
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R Trad, Alpine 5 pitches
Hyperform Hyperform Wall
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
Out of the Question Question Mark Wall
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
Shadow of Death Hyperform Wall
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Alpine 2 pitches
P-38 S Summit Wall
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad, Alpine 3 pitches
Free Mexican Air Force S Summit Wall
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13 Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
Taivallista S Summit Wall
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
Question Mark Wall Route Question Mark Wall
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b R Trad, Alpine 4 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Lone Peak Cirque »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season


Bobby Hanson
Spokane, WA
Bobby Hanson   Spokane, WA
The Corner Canyon road is currently closed due to "washed out and dangerous conditions". From the look of things, it may be a while before it is drivable by passenger cars, though we did see a police GMC go through there. This adds about 3 flat (but very warm) miles to the approach. Also, you can now avoid some of the steep 4x4 road at the start of the hike by starting up a bike trail 150 feet up road from the parking pullout (just before the hairpin turn). Jul 18, 2005
As of 8/28/05 still plenty of snow in the cirque!! Aug 29, 2005
I recently attempted this approach to Lone Peak, and found much of the information listed here outdated. Firstly, lots of new housing development has gone up around the old 'dirt road' and the dirt road no longer exists- it is paved. there is still, however, a dirt pull-out by the corner canyon road (which is gated and unusable to vehicles). also, a new trail head termed orson smith trailhead sign has been put up in the pull out. my best advice for those attempting lone peak is to research the heck out of the approach. this can best be done by simply googling lone peak, utah. i found much better beta and certainly interesting facts that would have actually made my climbing attempt a success. basically i can tell you what not to do. do not take trail of the eagle(although it is well maintained-accessed off the bonneville shoreline trail fron the orson smith trailhead), do not head for the outlaw cabin hamongog, and do not trust that cairns will be placed early on in the season. we took trail of the eagle, and though we did eventually reach the cirque, we were dumped out exactly across from the peak and bowl itself with a scary down climb to get into the cirque. we ran out of time becuase the approach took us so long and didn't get to climb after all that uphill torture. it's a beautiful inspiring place though- can't wait to go back and actually climb. still lots of snow in the cirque and melted run off for water. Jun 30, 2006
Bobby Hanson
Spokane, WA
Bobby Hanson   Spokane, WA
Polly, did you approach via Corner Canyon or via Alpine? Jul 2, 2006

I parked my car at the dirt corner canyon pull-out (where there is a sign post for the gated corner canyon road). However, we did not start from the corner canyon road at all. we headed directly east on the orson smith trailhead(located in the northeast corner of the dirt pull-out), intersected the bonneville shoreline trail, and headed north to trail of the eagle. I think we could have made it into the cirque if we had continued east on the cherry canyon logging trail-i've read some reviews about getting to the cirque via this route. there was a critical moment there where we turned north instead of going straight east into cherry canyon. whoops. Jul 10, 2006
John Ross
Wasatch Front, UT
John Ross   Wasatch Front, UT
The Jacob's Ladder trail is worth mentioning as a good approach to Lone Peak Cirque. Draper City has built a nice trail head called the Orson Smith Trail Head Park for accessing numerous trails at the foot of Lone Peak. You can drive from the Orson Smith Trail Head on a graded dirt road 2.5 miles into Corner Canyon to a gate and parking area at the start of the Jacobs Ladder Trail (elevation 5,700', GPS = N40.49398 W111.81595). It is 7 1/3 miles from the trail head to Lone Peak Cirque.

Orson Smith Trail Head Park
12600 South Highland Dr. (2000 East)

Draper Parks & Trails Map

A slightly more direct route (steeper) to Lone Peak Cirque is via Alpine. This route starts from a neighborhood in north Alpine and follows a well used trail past First & Second Hamongog. The trail then heads right up the south face of Lone Peak followed by a scramble to the summit. Some route-finding may be necessary to navigate around the west side into Lone Peak Cirque to the base of the climbing routes.

Directions to the Hamongog trailhead in Alpine:
(elevation 5,400', GPS = N40.47919 W111.76209)
- Drive north on Main Street in Alpine
- Turn RIGHT on 200 North
- Turn LEFT on 200 East. 200 East becomes Grove Drive
- Follow Grive Drive for about 1.5 miles
- Turn LEFT on Alpine Cove Drive
- Turn LEFT on Aspen Drive where you will find the trail head Jul 23, 2008
To access lone peak via cherry canyon trail:

start at Orson Smith Trail Head as previously mentioned hike straight up from the PAVED lot via the cherry canyon/BST access trail, See topo in photo section. (currently this trail has a closed sign on it due to flooding in the spring of 2008, but is still usable, if you find yourself in a large cravasse just look for the little orange flags marking the new trail location) Once you reach the BST then go LEFT(North) for about 100 yards or so of the 'cherry canyon trail' sign where you will then see the new, very sandy start for cherry canyon trail, marked by orange flags. Follow this trail for a horrendous 3.1 miles to a T in the trail marked with a pile of rocks. Left (north) takes you to the outlaw cabin (not lone peak cirque) right take you on the draper ridge connector trail. This would be the trail you want except that it is exptremely overgrown and almost impassable, to the point where you WILL lose the trail and end up bush wacking until you find the draper ridge trail. The best option is to leave the trail at the T and continue up the hill to the East South East, Staying on the ridge, just south of the tree line. The first 500 yards is a bit of a bush wack through wild rose bushes(see photo), but look for the horse trail through and it will go well. After that you will reach the grassy, slightly sagebush ridge with a single dead tree marker (see photo). Follow the ridge, Just south of the tree line until you eventially run into the Draper ridge trail. This method will save you probably 500ft of vertical and maybe 45 minutes hike time. You will join the draper trail somewhere near the end of Jacobs Ladder. From there follow the Jacobs ladder trail until the split and the stream that may or may bot be running. Look for the karn on the large log on the right trail, go right. This may be your first point to find water. Then continue until the trail splits again and go left. After this point the trail comes and goes but you will work your way up to the cirque via the small canyon stream. Like the other methods this is a long and strenuous approach, bring lots of water and don't expect to find any until the cirque. Aug 1, 2009
CalmAdrenaline   SL,UT
The best way to access the Cirque is the Jacobs Ladder approach from Alpine . The approach is around 2-4 hours depending on fitness level and is pretty strenuous. It is key to go light for this one, and bring plenty of water for the hike and food for the stay . Water can be found in the form of snowpack run off, and because of the high snowpack this year will probably be running from late June through the end of August.

Camping is easy, just find a flat spot among the boulders and call it home. There are a few very strongly recommended ethics guidelines to follow pushed heavily by the climbing community up there to continue to support the pristine nature of the area.

-Packing out your crap by the use of doggy bags is the biggest one. Bags dedicated to this are available at IME or other outdoor retailers. Or can be made by using a large gallon sized ziploc bag and a trash bag with about one or two cups of kitty litter, you use the garbage bag for a larger target area while doing your buisiness, then spin it shut and put it in the ziploc, the kitty litter and double bagging reduces the smell to tolerable levels for the hike out.

- The other big one is the Russian Thistle, it is a non native invasive species that is choking up the valley, bringing some gardening gloves and doing a little Thistle pulling around camp during rest times goes a long way and if seen by the right ones might earn you a beer or two. Feb 11, 2011
steven sadler
steven sadler   SLC, UT
Went up this past weekend (june 29-july 1) and saw two rattlers on the hike up. Just about stepped on one of them. Be careful on the hike. gettin bit by one of those would definitely ruin your weekend Jul 3, 2012
Eric and Lucie
Boulder, CO
Eric and Lucie   Boulder, CO
Since we could not find this info elsewhere and had to find out for ourselves (I hate carrying water!), here goes:

Alpine approach:
Water can be found:
1. 15 minutes before the first hamongog at a tiny stream that runs right across the dirt road. Not sure how reliable this is in late season. This is about 45 minutes from the trailhead with heavy packs.
2. At the entrance to the first hamongog. Looks like year-round stream. About 1 hour from TH with heavy packs.
3. At the spring just below the trail exiting the second hamongog. Looks like year-round. This is about 2 hours from TH with heavy packs. This looked like the last reliable water before the cirque.
4. About a half-hour later while hiking up the steep slabs, there was (July 1st 2012) a tiny runoff stream. Only the lower half of this section had surface water (running underground higher up). Looks seasonal.
5. The first water you will encounter after this is in the cirque, at least 2 hours further.

If I did this again, I would not carry any water up to #3, then a quart per person to cover the rest of the way into the cirque.

I found this approach steep and long but easy to follow and on mostly good trails (except the steep slabby section above the 2nd hamongog).

Let's hope the Quail fire doesn't change all this... Jul 5, 2012
Climbed Open Book on Pie and Beer Day last week. Some how lost a number 2 TCU and Wild Country sling draw. If you find it and would be kind enough to return it I would gladly make it worth your time i.e. Beer, Money, a Thank You Card or Cookies.

763-458-4825 Jul 30, 2012
Sean C
Sean C   SLC
Google Earth .kml file for the Jacobs Ladder approach.



.kml for the Alpine approach.

drive.google.com/open?id=0B… Jun 30, 2015
The nut on the left bolt for the rappels to Petes Staircase is loose. I didnt have anything to tighten it down with, but if anyone is going up there it would be great to see that thing tightened before the hanger falls off. Jul 27, 2015
Bill Uffmann
Bill Uffmann   SLC, UT
At bottom of pete's staircase on 7/3/16 a petzl mini trax type device with a belay biner. Alicia (sp?) if this is yours send me a message billuff@yahoo.com Jul 4, 2016
Thank you Bill! I would be very happy to get the device back. Please check you email. Jul 11, 2016
I recently approached Lone Peak Cirque from Alpine, which is a longish hike but not too bad; plenty of water along the way as of late July. One funny mess-up: instead of heading west/right around the cliff and to get into the Cirque, we trended too far east coming up out of the granite gully that heads up from the hikers' trail, and it wound up taking us up around the backside of the Cirque to near the summit of Lone Peak! We were bummed at our mistake and all the extra elevation we'd gained, but just found the regular ramp descent past the Lowe Route. We wound up actually making it into the Cirque a half hour ahead of a party that had been hiking about 300 yards ahead of us! Kind of a cool alternate route. Jul 20, 2016
Is there a walk-off possible from the summit wall? I'm new to the SLC area looking to make some ascents over the summer. Would love some Beta on a walk-off, if any. Feb 20, 2017
New Wasatch Granite by Smith/Burr/Phillips will have the info you need. Feb 20, 2017
much appreciated, I'll check it out Feb 20, 2017
Alex Temus
Alex Temus   Utah
The most useful and detailed information that I've found for the Jacob's Ladder trail to Lone Peak is on MP's sister-site "Hiking Project": hikingproject.com/trail/702…. I downloaded that app for this trip, downloaded this trail and followed the gps on the app. Pretty slick system! Just delete the app after your trip if you're concerned about space.

That being said, the link on that site for driving to the trailhead is not reliable because Google maps doesn't (currently) recognize the dirt road (Corner Canyon) with the pullout and trailhead. Instead drive to Orson Smith Park then hop on the dirt road at the south side of the parking lot for about 2.6 miles to a gate, with the pullout and outhouse on the right. Go all the way to the gate, there are a couple other parking areas on the road before the one for this trailhead. Jul 29, 2017
Regarding water, my partner and I found 1 small, slowly trickling baby sized creek amongst the flowers next to the trail on the last bit of the hike, the funnel that puts you into the cirque. We filtered and it was great. This was 8/26/17. Probably won't last too much longer IMO. We camped aND didn't bring in all of our h20, so this was a lifesaver, otherwise we would have turned around. Aug 28, 2017
Mark Michaels
Draper, UT
Mark Michaels   Draper, UT
The approach info at the top is mostly shite. Disregard.

Among the several approaches, each has it's pros and cons, but it boils down to this: the hike sucks. I miss being able to DRIVE to the first Hamongog. But due to private development, that ship has sailed. See some descriptions above, research online for more detailed descriptions, and get a GPS if you can. Lone Peak is a big ass mountain. People get lost hiking it every year. If you and your partner haven't done the hike, EXPECT to get off route at least once, and be alert for when you do.

Alpine: This hike is shorter than some, and DOES have water. Which is good, because it's south facing and hot as hell.

Jacob's Ladder. Trailhead is fairly easy to get to, pretty direct, but steep and a little loose/dirty (especially coming down). No water until the entrance to the cirque, but you're probably least likely to get lost on this trail. This trail also has the least elevation gain / highest trailhead.

Draper Ridge. Can be accessed directly from the Corner Canyon Rd, at the wide section of the road, about 2 miles from the bottom, with a scruffy cliff band that looks like a small quarry at one time. This is just before a trail sign on the RIGHT side of the road for the Rattler bike trail. Long, steep at start, loose/dirty, no water. Sure, why not.

Cherry Creek
. This is a fairly pleasant hike (if a 5500 foot vertical hike can be described as "pleasant"). There is one spring off the trail just before it connects to Draper Ridge. If hiking in the morning, this trail is SHADY for about the first half. Also, this trail is a little friendlier going DOWNHILL.

Finally, I recommended NOT leaving a car overnight at any of the trailheads. Nothing worse than hiking out to find your ride has been vandalized. Find a buddy to drop you off/pick you up. Nov 4, 2017
Todd Bushman
Todd Bushman   Bluffdale
snow conditions up there right now? Would like to get up in the next week or two if it's doable... Apr 25, 2018