Free activities Hikes

Hike Peak 10,420

Peak 10, 420

Peak 10, 420

Who names a peak 10,420? I’m assuming that’s the elevation of this peak, which is only about a mile from Clayton Peak at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon. We were excited when we found out about this hike, because it is only a little over a mile roundtrip to the summit from the parking lot– it’s a pretty steep mile, though.

 

The trail starts at Guardsman Pass. To get there, go up Big Cottonwood Canyon until you see the sign for Guardsman Pass. Turn left on Guardsman Pass Road. Just 2 or 3 miles up the road, you’ll come to the pass, with a beautiful overlook and parking on the right. The trail climbs up from here.

 

After you park, you’ll notice two trails to the right of the parking lot. The one on the right is steep and goes to the summit. That’s the one you want. It was steep, rocky, and a little slippery, but we saw a group of 60 year-old women climbing to the summit. The trail runs for a little over half a mile through ragged pines and up along the ridge. Off to the left several alpine lakes come into view.

Take the trail that heads right. Yes, everyone else goes to the left, but you are brave and are taking on the summit!

Take the trail that heads right. Yes, everyone else goes to the left, but you are brave and are taking on the summit!

The trail is rough and rocky. Be careful up and down.

The trail is rough and rocky. Be careful up and down.

It is constantly up! It doesn't really get any better. Be prepared.

The trail is pretty steep, so be prepared.

Our 5 and 8 year-olds made it all the way to the summit without being carried, though we did hold hands on the roughest parts. We didn’t even have any big spills. As you near the top, you’ll see a false summit on the right. Well, actually, it is a real summit, and you’ll want to walk up there. There’s a pole right on top, and the views back over Big Cottonwood Canyon are spectacular! We thought this was our destination, but we were wrong. Peak 10,420 is a little farther.

This is the first summit you come to, but it's not 10, 420.

This is the first summit you come to, but it’s not 10, 420.

There are great views from this first summit, too.

There are great views from this first summit, too.

We climbed back from this knoll and up to the left to the real summit of Peak 10,420. The view was amazing, and we counted 7 lakes– 3 off to the west, and 4 back to the east– as we took in the 360 degree view. We spent a little time at the top, and it was a bit windy and cool, though the valley floor was around 95 degrees! Our boys didn’t complain about this hike, but it is probably better suited to children 8 and up than for the youngsters.

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You’ll know you’ve reached peak 10, 420 when you see this cairn.

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We saw seven lakes. Four to the Northeast, and three to the West.

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That is Clayton peak in the background on the left. You can continue on to that summit if you wish.

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You can look back and see your car most of the hike.

You can extend this hike to an even more spectacular summit called Clayton Peak, too. The trail continues as you come down from 10,420 to a small saddle. From there, Clayton Peak is to the south, and the trail is obvious. This peak is higher, and the distance is around 2.5 miles roundtrip to the top. The RT hike for Peak 10420 is slightly more than a mile.

The wildflowers were beautiful along the trail even in hot July.

The wildflowers were beautiful along the trail even in hot July.

This is a panoramic picture I took. It shows slightly more than half of the 360 degree view that you have on the top.

This is a panoramic picture I took. It shows slightly more than half of the 360 degree view that you have on the top.