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Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest

Central Wasatch Mountains, Utah

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Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe

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  • Trailhead for the Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • The large bridge near the trailhead.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • Looking east up Little Cottonwood Canyon.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • A large slide on the south-facing northern slope.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • The wide path along the Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • Open views along the Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • This is the second bridge, which is much smaller than the first. This is how you know you are headed to Red Pine rather than White Pine.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • While the route is very popular on the weekends, you may have the area to yourself on a weekday.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • The views get better and better as you climb.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • Looking down the valley as well toward Salt Lake City.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • Looking down the valley as well toward Salt Lake City.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • Looking north on the Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • Lots of small to medium sized slides.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • Lower Red Pine Lake.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • Lower Red Pine Lake.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • Taking in the views at Lower Red Pine Lake.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • White Baldy (10,321 ft) above on the left, the Pfeifferhorn (11,325 ft) on the right, and the frozen Red Pine Lake in the middle.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • Taking in the views at Lower Red Pine Lake.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • Some incredibly dynamic cliffs sit just above the trail.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • Views from Lower Red Pine Lake.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • Taking a breather and enjoying the Wasatch views from near Lower Red Pine Lake.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
  • The drainage where White Pine Lake lies as seen on the way back to the trailhead.- Lower Red Pine Lake Snowshoe
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Stunning beauty. Challenging.
Cons: 
Can be crowded. Can be dangerous.
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Region:
Central Wasatch Mountains, UT
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,860.00 ft (566.93 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring
Total Distance: 
6.90 mi (11.10 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
7,685.00 ft (2,342.39 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Red Pine Lake is an iconic hike in Little Cottonwood Canyon located at the same trailhead as its sister lake, White Pine. The trailhead is a common jumping off and finishing point for backcountry skiers because it is located just down the canyon from Snowbird Ski Resort. The snow lasts well into spring here, which also means the avalanche danger is very real and prevalent. The sights along the trail and at the top are quite spectacular so its definitely worth a try on safe days. There are amazing jagged granite cliffs and sweeping down-valley views alongside thick pine and aspen groves. Views of White Baldy and the Pfeifferhorn sit above the giant bowl in which Red Pine Lake lies. It is a gorgeous setting with nearly 360-degree views.

The trail is not too steep from the start, but the last third has some steep pitches. You can access the mighty Pfeifferhorn from this trail, and upper Red Pine Lake and Maybird Lakes  are nearby as well. They remain frozen and covered in ice until late spring or early summer. 

The route crosses a large bridge and hugs the canyon walls, heading west and then south. The trail will fork: Stay on the Red Pine Trail, continue over the small bridge, and make your way further west rather than doubling back to head to White Pine. After heading down the canyon to the next drainage you will begin to head south and hit steeper parts of the trail. There are a few sections with sheer drop-offs so be careful. This trail is one where you should pretty much always use full snowshoes and poles because of the technical aspects.

This is a classic, must-do Wasatch hike in the summer that is just as fantastic in the winter. Keep and eye out for moose and porcupine, and keep your ears out for downhill skiers that can come around corners quickly. Check the conditions at the Utah Avalanche Center before you head out. This hike is not recommend if conditions are any worse than yellow. Small and medium slides are clearly visible along the route. You'll want to give yourself at least a half a day to complete this trail and enjoy the views in the winter. Because the trail is exposed most of the way up, a hat and sunscreen can be handy. Finally, if you have extra time, stop by Secret Falls near the White Pine and Red Pine junction.

Backcountry Safety

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.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(19 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(169 within a 30 mile radius)

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