Monday, March 28, 2016

Summit Park Peak

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Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Summit Park Peak is a relatively unknown, local's hike for those living near Summit Park, Utah and Park City, Utah. Look on any map, and you will see the official name as "Point 8,618". Because Summit Park Peak looks down on Summit Park, UT, the name is fitting. From the summit you will have beautiful 360 degree views of the Wasatch; on a clear day you can see as far West as Antelope Island and Stansbury Island. To the North you can see Lewis Peak, and to the East, the High Uintas (pronounced You-In-taas). Summit Park Peak is accessible year round, and is popular in Winter for back country skiers, due to the low angle terrain with low avalanche danger. Be sure to grab your microspikes and hiking poles, and get ready for a short but sweet climb to the peak.

The Snyderville Basin Recreations District serves as the managing department for over 140 miles of non-motorized trails. The majority of trails in the Basin are on private property, and the connectivity of the trail system can be attributed to these land owners. By staying on designated trails, outdoor enthusiasts can help preserve public access on private lands. For a list of the Basin Trails, click here.

There are four starting points for this Summit Park Peak:
Inssbruck Strausse TH
Matterhorn Drive TH
Matterhorn Terrace Drive
Lambs Canyon

I will be referring to the way I went, starting at Innsbruck Strausse Road in Summit Park, Utah.

From SLC drive East on I-80 through Parley's Canyon. Take exit 140 towards Summit Park. At the bottom of the ramp, turn Right. At the first stop sign, turn right again at the Sinclair Gas Station, which will now be Aspen Drive. Continue on Aspen Drive, as it turns into Maple Drive, which turns into Crestview Drive, and then will turn into Innsbruck Strausse Drive. Park at the end of Innsbruck Strausse Drive, where the dirt road begins. You will see an electrical box on your right, and a neighbor's little red storage unit. This is where you will want to park. This area only fits about 4-5 cars. There are no restrooms.

Distance: 2.7 miles one way
Elevation gain: 1250 ft
Time: 2-4 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes, but it may be steep for them

Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 This is the parking area for the trail. Begin by walking up the dirt road about 100 yards, and look for the TH on your right side.
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 The trailhead will have a sign saying "motor vehicles strictly prohibited".
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 And will also show a map of the area.
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 There initially 7-8 switchbacks, with a moderate climb. The trail is very well shaded for this portion of the hike.
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
The trail begins to open up more, and spots on the trail were muddy from the recent snow melt.
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 At about 0.7 miles you will come to the first of 3 trail splits. At this first one, stay left to continue up the switchback, and you should now be heading South.
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 As the trail heads south, you will now have a great view of Summit Park Peak!
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Continue past the Grease Mark Trail.
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Oh, the life of a trail dog! Charlie has a blast running in snow.
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Soon you will now be on the South facing slope, with small trees, and a more exposed trail. At the 2nd trail split, veer right.
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 At the 3rd trail split, if you continue straight onto the "Trail to WORS" and up a wide road, as did me and Charlie, you will be walking above a green water tank. This is NOT the correct way.
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Charlie and I ended up going off trail, following ski tracks. We ended up in knee deep snow! I decided the best option was to backtrack to where I had split off, and continue up the "correct" way, which was following a packed trail to the ridge.

So the correct option is at the 3rd trail split, to head directly right (up & west) to the ridge.
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Finally on the right path on the ridge! Charlie leads the way.
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 On the next ridge, you will have beautiful open views with Mt. Aire in the distance.
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Continue South along the ridge. You should now have Summit Park Peak in full view ahead.
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Pass the ski lift chair on your left - a memorial for Craig A. Patterson.
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Gaining elevation...
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 The trail wraps around the west side of the peak, then makes it's way up the West facing slope through pine trees.
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 The final approach. Super steep! This is where my poles really came in handy.
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 On the summit with Charlie, showing off my newest style of Fitness Fox Headband (style: Color Run).

Learn about What to Wear While Hiking in Winter - For Women!
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
 Looking North to Lewis Peak in the distance, also on my hiking to-do list. Who wants to go with me?! 

I had the whole peak to myself.
Hiking to Summit Park Peak, Utah, Point 8618, Hiking in Utah with Dogs
Return to your car the same way you hiked up.
Summit Park Peak trail map, Guide to Summit Park Peak, Utah
 Map looking West.
Summit Park Peak trail map, Guide to Summit Park Peak, Utah
Map looking East, where you can see I-80 and the town of Summit Park and Jeremy Ranch, Utah.

9 comments:

  1. I'll have to try this one soon on a sunny even number day. The girls and I have been doing Upper Pipeline and beyond in Millcreek. They like it but as soon as we get to Elbow Fork, they come to life because of all the snow and cooler temps. Thanks for posting a new trail for us to try.

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    1. Great thing about this trail, is there are no rules about dogs being off leash on certain days. They can be off leash everyday! Have fun! - Alicia

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. I just did this with snowshoes today. My dog had a blast, we didn't get all the way to the top with the conditions but it was AMAZING!! We passed lots of other people with dogs and plenty of backcountry skiers. So glad I found your post :)

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    1. Fantastic! Glad you enjoyed it. It's one of our favorites in Winter! -Alicia

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  4. Just did this with my dog and a group yesterday. I wish I'd looked it up because the group leader didn't give a lot of description and said to bring spikes. I had little traction and broke through a few times. The views were great but I was exhausted and had wet feet.
    Apparently, it's pretty popular to bring a sled for the way down, too.

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    1. Ahh I hate wet feet too! Which group was it? A meetup or facebook group? Just curious. It seems sledding down trails has become popular, but I think it's a bit dangerous, especially with a lot of people on these popular trails and dogs running around. -Alicia

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  5. Utah Outdoors Meetup. There were several clearings. Someone let me borrow their sled for a run. I'm pretty chicken when it comes to sledding so it has to be where there are no people, trees or animals.

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