Duchesne County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: August 2006
Author: Theresa Gergen

I backpacked in (7.5 miles) from the Henrys Fork Trailhead one evening after it stopped raining, to Dollar Lake. Expect mosquitoes and flies in force, unless it's cold enough to kill them. Campsites are nice and plentiful. Horses had torn up much of the trail on the way in, due to the mud and rain at the time. There were horses around at some of the campsites. I used a water filter (not purifier) to take water directly from the lake and it was yellow in my clear water bag. Vomited the next day on the way to South Kings and would like to blame it on the water, although I was fine the rest of my time in there. So you might want to bring chemical tabs or enough fuel to boil water just in case. One of my guidebooks had suggested that and I'd ignored it.

So, from a camp at Dollar Lake, I followed the trail (easy to follow) to Gunsight Pass. Then there are cairns and at first a good trail leading off to the right and up from Gunsight Pass to get above the ridge, on the shortcut route to Anderson Pass, and it definitely makes sense to use the shortcut rather than to descend to the south of Gunsight Pass and then climb back up west to Anderson Pass on the official trails. There are some rock bands on the cairned shortcut route up but you can avoid them by continually moving farther to your left on the ascent as you encounter them. There was more than one set of cairns in this section, so look for the ones farther left as you go up. The rock was pretty slippery when wet.

Once you get above the ridge onto the flats, you can see Anderson Pass ahead of you to the west. Just head for it; you don't need a trail here. From Anderson Pass, head up the north ridge to Kings. There are a lot of small bumps on the way. It pretty much stays Class 2. You can continue south on the ridge to South Kings, another ranked 13er, and then reclimb Kings on the way back.

After this, I descended down to just below Anderson Pass and waited-out a thunderstorm. I'd planned to still climb Henrys Fork Peak and West Gunsight yet this day but Henrys Fork looked too committing for the weather. I settled for just West Gunsight (the ranked 13er between Anderson Pass and Gunsight Pass), then descended southeast from the summit to find the cairned shortcut route back down to the trail at Gunsight Pass, and returned to camp in the rain.