We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

White Pine Lake or Red Pine Lakes or ???

Hudson, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
502 posts
27 reviews
Save Topic
White Pine Lake or Red Pine Lakes or ???

We are spending Sept. 12-16 down in Moab in Arches and Canyonlands hiking for a week. But since our flight out of SLC doesn't leave until 8:15pm on Sept. 17 (a Sunday), we were wondering if we should leave Moab midday on the 16th and drive up to SL and do a morning/early afternoon hike in the Wasatch on Sept. 17 instead of an extra day in Moab.

Two hikes we are considering are White Pine Lake or Red Pine Lakes.

Between these two, any that you recommend more than the other? Or, is there a similar hike (moderate to moderately strenuous) in the 7-10 mi. range that you would put above either of these in the area?

To give our hiking ability, we are hiking Chesler Park Loop in the Needles & Devils Garden Primitive Loop in Arches on this trip.

6 replies to this topic
Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
Level Contributor
18,926 posts
426 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: White Pine Lake or Red Pine Lakes or ???

Normally I suggest spending all the time you can in Moab. You have a decent amount of time there but could always find more. But if you want to come up to Salt Lake City for a hike, either of those would be good. There are myriad others. It's a flip of a coin between the two. Both are about the same distance. I think White Pine might be a touch more. Red Pine is in the Lone Peak Wilderness. White Pine is not - it's adjoining Snowbird. Both emanate from the same trailhead. These are popular hikes, especially on weekends. If you plan to do this, get an early start so you can get a spot to park.

A good place to stay would be the Hyatt or Residence Inn at 6200 South and I-215.

Another option would be to overnight in Park City. Tons of great hikes. We love the ridgeline from Empire Pass up to Jupiter Peak. This is less distance than what you have in mind in Little Cottonwood but with spectacular vistas during the entire hike. Checkout more trails at www.mountaintrails.org.

Have fun.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
Level Contributor
15,926 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: White Pine Lake or Red Pine Lakes or ???

I personally love Red Pine, but as Tumbleweed says either are great. Both of these are in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Some other great hikes there are Grizzly Gulch (only 3 miles) and Catherine Pass (3 miles to the pass, but can be extended to Lake Catherine or Sunset Peak). Either can be continued into Big Cottonwood Canyon over to Brighton but a shuttle would be needed.

Lake Blanche in Big Cottonwood canyon is also a nice hike (7 miles rt)

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
Level Contributor
4,683 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: White Pine Lake or Red Pine Lakes or ???

Red Pine has a lot of trees and also nice views of the 11,000-foot peaks on the other side of the canyon. It's probably the more scenic of the two. It's about 7 miles round trip. https:/…red-pine-lake

Further up from Red pine Lake is the Pfeifferhorn. It's only another mile and change past Red Pine Lake, so something to look into. There is some moderate scrambling, but nothing very dangerous. It's more just navigating a rocky ridgeline. The top section is very steep and there are often mountain goats up there. https://www.backpacker.com/trips/salt-lake-c…

White Pine is a longer hike and goes into a scree filled basin, so not as much vegetation, trees, etc surrounding the actual lake. Great views of the towering White Baldy to the south. Excluding other's subpeaks, this is the sixth highest peak in the Wasatch. The trail to get there is an old Jeep trail, so it's more gradual than Red Pine. But it's also longer, about 9 miles round trip.

Do note, that you cannot access these from Park City. They are in Little Cottonwood Canyon. So it would take about an hour to get there, as opposed to trails in Big Cottonwood Canyon that you could access from Guardsman Pass.

Lake Blanche is a another good one in BCC. A nice loop hike from BCC would be Twin Lakes Pass, around Wolverine Cirque, and then down Catherine's Pass past the Brighton Lakes. It's under eight miles. You'd pass 5 different lakes and bag 3 peaks over 10,000 feet. Cool thing is that none of the peaks require scrambling or anything technical. You could venture to two other nearby peaks as well, if wanted. Millicent and Sunset are easily accessible from the route but would obviously add more elevation gain and mileage.

Tons of hiking in the Wasatch.

Hudson, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
502 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: White Pine Lake or Red Pine Lakes or ???

Thanks for the responses. Just curious, if we go to Red Pine Lake, and we don't end up climbing the Pfeifferhorn, is it worth making the additional side trip up to Upper Red Pine Lake as well? It seems like it's only another 0.5 mi. further. Is it easy to reach?

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
Level Contributor
4,683 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: White Pine Lake or Red Pine Lakes or ???

The upper lake isn't as nice as the lower lake, but you get the great views of the lower lake and mountains, when you're higher above. The hike up there includes a lot of boulder field. It has some elevation gain, looks to be about 350 feet in a .25 miles. That's pretty steep. I haven't been up there for a couple of years, and don't remember it being that difficult, but that doesn't mean anything.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
Level Contributor
15,926 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: White Pine Lake or Red Pine Lakes or ???

If you happen to go on a busier day there will be fewer people at Upper Red Pine. It is not as big a lake. Though this time of year Red Pine can be smaller as well.

Reply to: White Pine Lake or Red Pine Lakes or ???
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted