August 02, 2007

THE QUEEN OF KINGS PEAK














{Kings Peak is on the right with Gunsight pass on the left}
Kings Peak is the highest peak in Utah weighing in at 13,528 feet. I hiked it with my then boyfriend about five years ago and had a great experience despite the mudslides, heavy rain, sheep, and more sheep. Did I mention it rained? So hard, in fact, that I had to change my clothes {down to, and including, the skivvies} after about two hours on the trail.
It's recommended that you do the hike in 3-4 days although we did it in two. According to many of the websites I've read, it's best to do the hike in August and September when the trail has dried out a bit. And, most importantly, the wildflowers bloom in late July so you don't want to go sooner and miss the display.
I have been CRAVING a wilderness camping experience for a long time now - the car camping Nate and I did last summer just did not cut it! Here is my dilemma. The boyfriend five years ago was a mountain man. He could read topo maps and, somehow, his intuition always lead him to the summit. To be sure, I was a strong hiker, but I was also a lemming. I followed him and relied on him to lead the way. So I don't really trust myself to navigate an unknown trail and not get lost.
So the dilemma continues. I have been watching several episodes of Man vs Wild and I'm pretty sure I couldn't drink my own pee or eat an earth worm so I don't really want to risk getting lost in the high Uintas. While Nate is a hellova skier and can program a computer to make gourmet dinners, his forte isn't hiking around on unmarked trails and knowing which leaves to use as make-shift toilet paper.
I'd like to plan this hike for late August or early September but want to be really prepared {bring chainsaw for cutting off trapped arm so I don't have to spend hours hacking away at it with a butter knife}. Nate likes to hike and camp but he isn't motivated enough to plan a trip, study the map and buy a water filter.
Has anyone done this hike recently? Do you have a good trail book to recommend? Something that will basically hold my hand and not let go until I hold up both arms at the summit to exclaim, "I'm the Queen of Kings Peak"!

"Mountains are the means, the man is the end. The goal is not to reach the tops of mountains, but to improve the man." - Walter Bonatti

2 comments:

Carly said...

My husband and I did King's peak last Sept in 2 days. We hiked to Dollar Lake the first day, summitted the peak and packed out the second day(mainly because we missed our bed). It was pretty easy (I was expecting a lot worse) and we only had rain at night when we were asleep. The trail was really defined the majority of the way until you reach the boulder field at the top, but usually there are other people that you can follow. You could buy a trail book at Barnes and Noble that will show you everything. Other decent sites to look at are: http://www.utah.com/hike/kings_peak.htm ; http://www.utahtravelcenter.com/activities/hiking/hiking-trailsnorth/kingspeak.htm

Hope it helps! Have fun!

SJ said...

Hi. You don't know me but I occasionally meander over to your blog. Like your writing. Anyway, I usually don’t post on peoples blogs I don’t know but I felt compelled to today. My friend at www.jessbaucom.blogspot.com, is coming in from NYC to hike Kings Peak over Labor day. You two would like each other, I’m pretty sure of it. She has done it a couple of times and has the type of know how you are referring to. You should check it out. She even said “Even if you don't know me but you want to come you should."