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Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

White Pine Lake in Little Cottonwood Canyon (LCC) sits at 10,200 ft, and is surrounded by several peaks. The trail follows an old mining road, so it is very wide and gradual. Even though you’ll hike 5.5 miles one way, you’ll only gain about 2,500 ft – not bad by Wasatch standards. The trail is only accessible in Summer months, typically from June until October. Dogs are not allowed on this trail due to it being within a watershed area (all of LCC is off limits to dogs). Start early to beat the crowds and heat. My friend Sarah and I parked at 5:30am on a Saturday, and 5 minutes later several more cars arrived completely filling up the parking lot. By the time we got back, cars lined the sides of the main road if they were able to find extra spots. As with any hike, be prepared to carry at least 2 liters of water, a snack, long sleeve shirt (even in summer it can be chilly at the lake), and sunblock.

Drive 5.4 miles up LCC and turn right into the parking lot for the Red Pine/White Pine TH. Here is a driving map.

Distance: 11 miles RT
Elevation gain: 2,500 ft
Time: 4-8 hours
Dog friendly? No, dogs are not allowed in LCC
Kid friendly? No
Fees/Permits? None

 

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

The starting point for this trail is the same as Red Pine Lake & Gloria Falls, and follows the same path for the first mile.

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

Cross the bridge and stay right.

  Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

At 1 mile reach the trail junction for White Pine Lake – stay left.

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

The trail is gradual the entire way, and the first 1-2 switchbacks are on the rocky side.

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

Eventually the trail flattens out some, and you will continue working your way up countless switchbacks.

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

The best part about start this hike early is that you will be in the shade most of the time. You can see the sun is barely hitting White Baldy as we hike up.

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

You will also cross several “bridges” to allow for all the natural springs to flow underneath.

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

Whew, more switchbacks. At least, we were getting higher up in elevation now!

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

Wildflowers lingered in mid-August.

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

See the line cutting across the mountain on the left? That’s the trail! We were getting so close.

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

I love a good, smooth single track. Running this on the way back down was so nice!

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

Don’t forget to look behind for some awesome views!

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

White Baldy on the left, Thunder Mountain on the right. The lake is in the middle, just beyond the tree line.

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

Last mile, here we go!

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

The trail dips down for the last 1/4 mile – don’t forget you have to hike back up this on your way out.

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

Ahh, just in time for the sun to hit the lake. It took us 2 hours 48 minutes to reach White Pine Lake.

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

Time for a break! I like taking my shoes off to let my feet air out while I have a snack. Also, if you’ve never tried compression socks before they are a leg-saver! I love the Lily Trotters brand – get 10% off entire order, use the code “girlonahike” at checkout.  Read about all the benefits of why you should wear them here.

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

Reflections from Thunder Mountain.

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

Ahh there we go, my favorite view!

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

What a great day on the trail! I had a blast jogging back down, and my new Get Sprints hat saved my face from sunburn! Having the right gear can make your hikes/runs so much more enjoyable!

Check out my 1 minute video!

My track via Gaia GPS – the best tracking app! Get your app here for a discount.

 

 

Hiking to Gloria Falls and Red Pine Lake

Hiking to Gloria Falls and Red Pine Lake

Hiking to White Pine Lake, Little Cottonwood Canyon

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