Bald Mountain is an excellent hiking destination in the summer for those looking for quick access to high alpine terrain and big, wild views. When snow is on the ground, Bald Mountain changes into a serious mountain with high-consequence lines and long, steep descents. Skiing off of the summit of Bald Mountain is a memorable experience, and the skier is rewarded with unparalleled wilderness, mountain views, and an exceptionally sustained descent.
Skiing Bald Mountain is a matter of timing. The road to the typical starting point is not plowed in the winter, requiring more than 30 miles of snowmobiling round trip to ski this peak. To catch this peak at the right time, one must wait until the Mirror Lake Highway is plowed, which is typically in late May. The week or two after the road is plowed typically features excellent access to Utah's tallest peaks, most of which are still covered in snow.
To ski Bald Mountain, it is best to park near Pass Lake on the east side of Bald Mountain Pass. It is preferable to park here, despite the extra climbing, because it eliminates the need for a shuttle or return hike.
There is an obvious saddle between Reids Peak and Bald Mountain. Skin to the saddle and take in the incredibly rugged views of Reids Peak. Unique views of the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains spread out around you, from Hayden Peak all the way to Mount Timpanogos.
The route to the summit is obvious from the saddle. Ascend the northern ridge of Bald Mountain until you reach the summit. The ridge, and the entire west-facing side of Bald Mountain, will most likely be pure talus and large rock later in the year. The hiking from the saddle is tedious. Rock hopping up 1,000 feet with skis on your back is a slow process, so take your time and work around the obstacles to the summit.
The best descent option begins just below the summit, so drop your gear and walk on up to the summit to enjoy the astounding views of Hayden Peak and Mount Aggassiz, the two crown jewels of the Mirror Lake Highway.
Initially, the descent will most likely be rocky. Pick your way around the rocks to get into the main descent off the east face of Bald Mountain. Once through the rocks, this is one of the premier runs in all of Utah. Long, steep, and sustained, it is hard to find a better run than this. For almost 1,300 feet, this run is above 30 degrees in steepness and does not let up. It's a truly unique and challenging ride. Enjoy the turns and the scenery as you ski all the way from the summit to the car.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.