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So before you go to King's Peak, make sure you are in good hiking shape and you have climbed some mountains beforehand. My husband and I thought we were in shape and we were sadly mistaken! But here are some things we learned.
1. Pack light! If you are going to make this an overnight trip like we did. Bring everything in small size. Pads, sleeping bags, tent, etc.
2. Bring snacks and small meals. For some reason when hiking, your body exerts energy but won't take much to keep you going. I don't know if your body is going into survival mode and doesn't need much, but we didn't finish the serving sizes of our meals ever and we packed very light on food. And if you want hot food, make sure to bring a small backpacking stove. And beware of the animals. Make sure you understand the dangers of the animals and how to deal with one if you come across a violent animal.
3. Make sure your packs and backs are used to each other so you don't hurt your back and are miserable the whole time.
4. Bring cool clothes and warm clothes. The weather gets pretty bipolar on the mountain, so having some variety will help.
5. Bring some water, but mostly bring a lifestraw! It was so nice to not have to carry the water for our meals and to drink when we were on the trail. We had clean water for the summit because the water up there is scarce.
6. Best times to go: June-September! Less snow, but there will be bugs. So if you get eaten alive, like me, then bring some bug spray!
Now for the Journey!
1. Park at the closer lot. There is a lot that is closer on the right. It just makes the trail longer and made us feel miserable going there (because we could have saved some mileage) and back (we just wanted to get to the safety of our car cause we were exhausted).
2. The trail is about eight miles to Dollar Lake, which is usually the destination. DO NOT GO TO HENRY FORK'S LAKE. That will just make your life harder and the trail longer. If you want to explore, go after you set your camp up. It is a very beautiful trail and pretty easy to follow up until the sign that leads you to the peak. There are places where you have to step on rocks to not get wet by the streams running through the trail.
3. It starts off in a forest area and then will eventually lead to a clearing about 4-5 miles in. The forest is cool and changes a lot and having a river near by is fun because you can see it and hear it the whole time! The clearing part is short and then has a sign and a bridge to cross the river, then goes into a forest and then another long clearing until you will make camp.
1. Once you find your campsite, set it up quickly and lay down for a bit. Your body will hurt so laying down will help a bit.
2. Get dinner ready before you're hungry. If you get hangry like me, you will want dinner. Even if you don't eat it right away once you're hungry, you're hungry!
3. Bring some cards to play, or a book. You will have some down time and having a game or book to pass the time is nice. Watching the sunset and viewing the stars is awesome, but that probably won't happen right away.
4. Go to sleep early and make sure you are warm because it can get pretty cold at night. And I recommend sleeping with your clothes you are going to wear the next day so they are warm when you put them on in the brisk morning.
5. Leave everything you can at the bottom. You don't need your tent to summit. No one is going to steal your stuff. I was worried about that, but don't. No one wants to carry your crap down the mountain.
The Summit and Completing it!
The way to the summit is fun and there's a shortcut which is on the right side. It cuts out elevation and mileage, which is way nice! It took us a little under five hours to summit and get to the saddle.
You also will have to climb over a ton of rocks to get to the summit once you make it on the actual mountain. It is really hard and tiresome. It will cut a lot of time out of your summit because you have to check to see if the rocks are steady!
There are a bunch of false summits, but if you keep going, you will see where the peak is! It was a good feeling to get there because we were so exhausted and so excited to get to the top! We only stayed for like a couple minutes because we wanted to be done, ha!
I do not recommend going down the saddle unless you are an experienced climber, because it was very scary and I thought I was going to die. If you are a technical climber and want to save an hour and a couple miles, then definitely take this part! And rest before you finish the hike. You still have eight or nine miles to go, so resting a bit will help! Just don't rest too much because you
Overall it was a beautiful hike and very well worth it! If you want to do something amazing this weekend, go hike this mountain! You might regret it after because you will be so sore, but after that, you will be happy that you did summit the tallest mountain in Utah!