This trail delivers a feast for the eyes and spirit. The excitement starts as the trail opens to a spectacular view of Little Cottonwood Canyon. Next, throw in a few springs, rushing creeks, huge scree fields, brilliant wildflowers and lush ferns on this shady adventure. From the parking lot, the trail crosses Little Cottonwood Creek and turns right for the junction. You arrive at the junction for Red Pine Lake in one mile. Stay right and follow the trail behind the sign. The trail leaves White Pine Fork and goes around to Red Pine Fork. At 1.5 miles, the trail opens to a terrific canyon view. After the overlook you arrive at Maybird Bridge and junction, at 2.5 miles. Don't cross the bridge; stay left. Just before Red Pine Lake, the trail stays in conifers and follows a spring with a beautiful, sweeping scree field on the left. At 3.6 miles you arrive at Red Pine Lake. The lake is so beautiful; take a moment to take it in. My advice is to loop around to the south side, have lunch and see all the stunning views surrounding the lake. If you decide to loop around the shoreline, there is a bouldering section to cross over. Water flows below the boulders as you hop across with joy.
Round trip miles 7.3 miles
Hiking time 5 to 6 hours
Elevation gain 1,965 ft.
Trailhead restrooms Yes
Dogs allowed No
Directions: Drive 4.6 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon and park at White Pine Trailhead. The trail starts near the restroom.
SOURCE: National Geographic "Topo!"