Anderson Pass

Anderson Pass is the highest summit you will climb on the Highline Trail. From the top you can see 8 miles of Highline Trail to the west and 13 miles of trail to the east, which is roughly 20% of the entire Highline Trail! This summit is for real! 

 

From the east, the pass shows off the elevation you'll need to climb before you reach the summit. However, from this angle the pass appears to be gentle and not nearly as ferocious as what you'll experience on the west side of the pass. Water is plentiful on the east side so hold off taking a lot of water so you can have less weight for the climb. From the top of Anderson Pass, you'll have a fantastic view of the Yellowstone Creek Basin. You'll also notice that the Yellowstone Creek valley is far, far below you, so from either side you have some serious elevation to climb. From the west, the trail is a series of switchbacks that goes straight to the top. This is a much quicker climb than coming from the east side of the pass.

 

Anderson Pass is also the location where you can take a detour and hike to the top of Kings Peak, which is the highest point in Utah. The trail heads south from the top of the pass, though it is poorly marked and by trail we mean "rock hopping with an occasional bare spot". However, the views are fantastic from the 13,527 foot top! Kings Peak also makes this stretch a crowded part of the trail. Many people stage in the Henry's Fork Basin and make the day-hike to Kings Peak. Be prepared to encounter a lot of people in this area, particularly in July and August. 

One last thing about Anderson Pass - the weather in this area can change in an instant. It's not uncommon to experience sun, rain, hail and snow in a one-hour period. Be prepared for unexpected weather changes and be ready to descend off the pass if poor weather conditions are present. The Yellowstone Creek and Painter Basins are also good places to stage if you need to wait out a passing storm.  

 

Camping Potential - 1
Water Availability - 4
Difficulty - 4
Scenery - 5

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