Bald Mountain Summit
Updated: Jul 7, 2020
Base Elevation: 10,715
Summit Elevation: 11,949
Elevation Gain: 1,234
Distance: 3.2 miles (summit round trip is 2.8)
Moving Time: 1:33 (under 45 minutes to summit)
Date: July 3, 2020
You know a hike is short when the one hour drive takes longer than reaching the summit. This has to be the shortest and most accessible ~12,000 peak in Utah but don’t let the ease of the hike deter you from checking this summit off your list. It is the tallest peak on the western side of the Mirror Lake Highway so it is a must do and the views most certainly don’t disappoint. The summit offers an amazing vista of Mount Agassiz and Hayden Peak to the east and Mt. Watson to the west.
I did this hike on a Friday over July 4th weekend so to say it was crowded in the Uintas would be a vast understatement. I spend a lot of time in this area during the winter snowmobiling and you often don’t see another soul. The plethora of people/RVs/ATVs/campers… reminded me of a KOA campground in Moab and the march to the summit was like a line of ants (ok- I am being rather hyperbolic).
The trail is conveniently located right off the highway and there is a large parking lot to accommodate at least 50-75 vehicles (bring $6 to pay for parking and don't cheap out). At the end of the parking lot (north side) you will see a sign that says Bald Mountain 1.4 miles (pictured below).
The trail is very well marked, no major exposed sections and the summit doesn't require any bouldering. The day that I hiked it, there were numerous kids, dogs and families. In short, it is a very pleasant and achievable summit hike for all to enjoy. It took me about about 37 minutes from the car to the summit and I wasn’t charging it.
Given how short the hike was, I explored the possibility of summiting Reids Peak as well. I ventured to the north side of Bald’s looking for a route down the saddle and then back up Reids. The north and west side of Bald is primarily cliffs so I didn’t find any easy route down to the saddle that separates these two peaks and the summit to Reids from the south side is quite steep so I opted to just be satisfied with summiting Bald Mountain.
I still have a strong desire to ski this peak from the summit and after hiking it, my conclusion is to ski the south facing ridge that this trail more or less follows but I understand there is a line off the east side as well.
Mirror Lake from the summit
Butter & I at the summit
Hayden Peak looking east
Mt. Watson looking west
Murdock Mountain looking south