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Five days in SLC at the end of August, completely open
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Jun 2, 2016
Howdy.

My girlfriend and I will be flying into SLC at 11:00 AM on August 25th. We then leave the 30th in the afternoon. This is all on a whim because we wanted to see SLC and do another outdoor trip. So we have zero plans right now... I am trying to fill up our schedule with climbing, hiking, and camping but would love some input.

We were originally thinking we could go back to the Winds (were there a few summers ago) but that would mean we wouldn't really get to do anything around SLC. Now are thoughts are to stick around the area.

The dream would be a peaky/treeline area that we can backpack into, camp and climb (trad/alpine or sport) for 2 days and then hike out, climb a 4th class peak, and spend a day in SLC. From what I have read, the Uinta Mountains are great for the dispersed camping and scrambles but not the climbing. Big and little cottonwood are the climbing places but not dispersed camping near good climbing it seems. What would the best area for dispersed camping and climbing be?

What other areas are worth a look?

Are there national forest sketch balls in some areas like near boulder canyon/eldo?
Jameshew12
Joined Mar 28, 2016
20 points
Jun 2, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing at the Gallery in Red Rocks
Jameshew12 wrote:
Howdy. My girlfriend and I will be flying into SLC at 11:00 AM on August 25th. We then leave the 30th in the afternoon. This is all on a whim because we wanted to see SLC and do another outdoor trip. So we have zero plans right now... I am trying to fill up our schedule with climbing, hiking, and camping but would love some input. We were originally thinking we could go back to the Winds (were there a few summers ago) but that would mean we wouldn't really get to do anything around SLC. Now are thoughts are to stick around the area. The dream would be a peaky/treeline area that we can backpack into, camp and climb (trad/alpine or sport) for 2 days and then hike out, climb a 4th class peak, and spend a day in SLC. From what I have read, the Uinta Mountains are great for the dispersed camping and scrambles but not the climbing. Big and little cottonwood are the climbing places but not dispersed camping near good climbing it seems. What would the best area for dispersed camping and climbing be? What other areas are worth a look? Are there national forest sketch balls in some areas like near boulder canyon/eldo?


Lone Peak Cirque sounds like exactly what you are looking for. The only issue is that there may not be any water source up there that late into the season.
kennoyce
From Layton, UT
Joined Aug 12, 2010
2,061 points
Jun 2, 2016
I agree with Lone Peak Cirque as a perfect destination and the possible water issue in late August. Also, the Uinta's have a ton of climbing. They really might have everything you mentioned.

A great forth class scramble is the South Ridge of Mt Superior in LCC.

There are also several campgrounds in LCC and BCC that are pretty nice. They are not back country camping but it's pretty fun to stay up there.
Ben Ricketts
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Apr 22, 2009
39 points
Jun 2, 2016
Ben Ricketts wrote:
I agree with Lone Peak Cirque as a perfect destination and the possible water issue in late August. Also, the Uinta's have a ton of climbing. They really might have everything you mentioned. A great forth class scramble is the South Ridge of Mt Superior in LCC. There are also several campgrounds in LCC and BCC that are pretty nice. They are not back country camping but it's pretty fun to stay up there.


Just looked up Lone Peak Cirque. Looks like great fun! But the water doesn't sound like fun. Every bad camping experience I have had has been because of water.

Where in the Uinta's would you suggest?

The campgrounds in the LCC and BCC are pay, correct?
Jameshew12
Joined Mar 28, 2016
20 points
Jun 2, 2016
Lone Peak Cirque would be the place, but the lack of water all but makes it not worth it. The Uintas would be good. Good climbing at a few places with good backpacking and/or camping. Plus, it's nice and cool up there. Ryan Hamilton
From Orem
Joined Aug 11, 2011
34 points
Jun 2, 2016
You could drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon to the White Pine trailhead, backpack up to a camp in the trees near Red Pine lake, spend a day or two at Red Pine crag doing several one or two pitch trad routes in a pretty alpine setting, and from the same camp you could scramble/climb the North Ridge of the Pfifferhorn. Late August would be prime time for the Uintas; higher elevation and not so hot. There is dispersed car camping along the Mirror Lake Highway, or you can backpack in a little ways and set up camp in many spots. Any of the crags listed on MP will have great climbing. Have a good trip. JimG
Joined Jul 14, 2007
20 points
Jun 2, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Rapping from the top of Cat in the hat
You could hike up to Lake Blanche, camp by the lake and then do the sundial. Tyson Anderson
From SLC, UT
Joined May 14, 2007
140 points
Jun 2, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing in Smuggler's Notch
Jameshew12 wrote:
From what I have read, the Uinta Mountains are great for the dispersed camping and scrambles but not the climbing. Big and little cottonwood are the climbing places but not dispersed camping near good climbing it seems. What would the best area for dispersed camping and climbing be? What other areas are worth a look? Are there national forest sketch balls in some areas like near boulder canyon/eldo?


Late August there won't be any water at Lone Peak Cirque...

Uintas has great climbing. Multi pitch and single. Great camping especially mid week when its not as crowded. Afternoon t-showers can be nearly every day in late summer though...but...that's the rockies.

Albion Basin camping (pay camping) is good again, especially during the week. A route or two on Devil's Castle would be good. And remember, you don't need to go all the way to Canada for longer crappy limestone routes (ha ha). Actually, its a pretty nice setting and a good hang and the climbing is fun. Will be cool in the shade and its up high (10k+).

Do you need dispersed camping?

Reminder in case you're flying in with fido...no dogs in LCC/BCC. And, no swimming in the watershed in LCC/BCC either (as tempting as those mountain lakes might be...). By August there could be fire restrictions as well...

Some national forest sketchball action but mostly confined to weekends. The usual target practise across roads and ATV's. Not usually a biggie.
Brian in SLC
Joined Oct 6, 2003
13,066 points
Jun 3, 2016
Brian in SLC wrote:
Late August there won't be any water at Lone Peak Cirque... Uintas has great climbing. Multi pitch and single. Great camping especially mid week when its not as crowded. Afternoon t-showers can be nearly every day in late summer though...but...that's the rockies. Albion Basin camping (pay camping) is good again, especially during the week. A route or two on Devil's Castle would be good. And remember, you don't need to go all the way to Canada for longer crappy limestone routes (ha ha). Actually, its a pretty nice setting and a good hang and the climbing is fun. Will be cool in the shade and its up high (10k+). Do you need dispersed camping? Reminder in case you're flying in with fido...no dogs in LCC/BCC. And, no swimming in the watershed in LCC/BCC either (as tempting as those mountain lakes might be...). By August there could be fire restrictions as well... Some national forest sketchball action but mostly confined to weekends. The usual target practise across roads and ATV's. Not usually a biggie.


How many of the crags are up near tree line or at least when it starts thinning out? Im assuming that would be in the high wilderness area? It sounds like Devil's castle that you mentioned earlier fits that bill. We would like to camp up high where the trees are at least thin.

We love dispersed camping since 1) it's free and 2) we're away from people.

Ideally we would have a water source/alpine lake, good dispersed camping with not many people and some good relaxed climbing (5.7 trad, 5.10 sport range). From what I have seen Uintas is the place. Now we just need to figure out what trailhead and what our objectives are.

Also, what peaks are around that would be good hikes that aren't necessarily scrambles (3rd class highest) but really fun technical hikes up?
Jameshew12
Joined Mar 28, 2016
20 points
Jun 3, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Bouldering on the back side of Castleton Tower
I agree with Brian, the Uintas will be a great bet for what your looking for. Everything is near or at tree line, tons of backpacking, and the crowds are usually pretty small especially during the week. Ruth Lake during the week when we are all at work is hard to beat. Some of the best summer sport climbing Utah has to offer. Bares
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined Apr 2, 2008
8 points
Jun 3, 2016
Bares wrote:
I agree with Brian, the Uintas will be a great bet for what your looking for. Everything is near or at tree line, tons of backpacking, and the crowds are usually pretty small especially during the week. Ruth Lake during the week when we are all at work is hard to beat. Some of the best summer sport climbing Utah has to offer.

I was thinking of Ruth lake too. It's a beautiful hike, one of my favorite. Ruth Lake is a great place to camp and climb.
Ryan Hamilton
From Orem
Joined Aug 11, 2011
34 points
Jun 3, 2016
Is camping in the Uintas just 100 ft (what I see on the NFS site) from water otherwise anything is fair game? Jameshew12
Joined Mar 28, 2016
20 points
Jun 3, 2016
Ryan Hamilton wrote:
I was thinking of Ruth lake too. It's a beautiful hike, one of my favorite. Ruth Lake is a great place to camp and climb.


Good climbing and camping there.Be well-prepped for skeeters and watch for lightning in the afternoons.
a.l.
Joined Jan 5, 2008
11 points


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