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Broads Fork Twin Peaks

Very Difficult
 4.3 (12) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A strikingly beautiful trail through glacial valleys with amazing views of the Salt Lake Valley.


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Map Key

9.6

Miles

15.4

KM

55%

Runnable

11,276' 3,437 m

High

6,254' 1,906 m

Low

5,325' 1,623 m

Up

5,324' 1,623 m

Down

21%

Avg Grade (12°)

78%

Max Grade (38°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

This is a very steep trail but extremely rewarding. It ends up at one of the most noticeable peaks from all over the Salt Lake Valley, and it definitely shows because the views from Twin Peaks are incredible.

The first part of the trail is a well-maintained trail that is less steep and crosses over a nice cascade. The last 2,500 feet of vertical gain are very steep and require a lot of scrambling over talus, but all of the struggle is worth it.

Need to Know

If you are not comfortable with off-trail wayfinding and scrambling, or you just want a shorter, easier option, turn around at the end of Broads Fork Trail #055.

If going in the early summer, an ice axe will be nice to have for the last sections.

Runner Notes

There is really only a trail until you get to the end of the main valley bottom (about 9,400 feet of elevation) and after that it's just scrambling either on scree or snow, depending on the season. If going in the spring or early summer, it wouldn't be a bad idea to bring an ice axe to get up the last couloir before getting to the summit.

Description

From the trailhead, the Broads Fork Trail #055 ascends through a pretty forest as it goes toward the Broads Fork drainage. The trail at this point is well-maintained, although still steep in most sections. About a mile from the trailhead, the trail crosses a footbridge right by a very pretty cascade.

About another mile from the bridge, the trail comes out into the glacial valley with great views of O'Sullivan and Dromedary peaks, as well as a couple of beaver ponds (with a weird log crossing in there as well). The trail continues, although (at least in early summer) it gets faint and sometimes covered by snow at this point.

Eventually, at about 2.5 miles from the trailhead, the trail starts to get really steep as it starts to carve through the giant talus pile that sits at the head of this cirque, and the trail completely disappears at some points under the snow and talus. The objective is clear, though: get to the head of the cirque, at the saddle just below O'Sullivan Peak, so even without a trail it is easy to keep sight of where you need to go.

After getting to the saddle, the "trail" goes back behind the rocky ridge that leads to Twin Peaks and follows below the rocky ridge until reaching a steep couloir. It then goes up the couloir, where the real trail reappears for the last few hundred vertical feet to reach the top.

The views from the top of Twin Peaks are incredible in all directions. To the west is the Great Salt Lake and the Salt Lake Valley; to the north are other sections of the Wasatch Range like Ben Lomond and Ogden Peak; to the east are the rest of the peaks along the ridge that divides Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, and to the south are the amazing cirques and aretes of White Pine Canyon, Red Pine Canyon, Maybird Gulch, as well as the Pfeifferhorn. The views are absolutely breathtaking, especially in the early summer when snow still lingers in the higher parts of the Wasatch Range.

Flora & Fauna

Keep an eye open for beaver dams and ponds and plenty of wildflowers in early summer.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tomsen Reed

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 12 votes

#1611

Overall
  4.3 from 12 votes
5 Star
58%
4 Star
8%
3 Star
33%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#98

in Utah

#1,611

Overall
55 Views Last Month
14,302 Since Nov 5, 2015
Very Difficult

0%
0%
0%
0%
36%
64%

Photos

A view across Little Cottonwood Canyon, looking up Hogum Fork to the ridge near Lone Peak and the Pfeifferhorn. It's hard not to feel small when peeking at the shoulders of these giants!
Nov 5, 2015 near Alta, UT
A killer view looking up Broads Fork at O'Sullivan Peak.
Nov 5, 2015 near Cottonw…, UT
Just before the log crossing, heading up Broad's Fork
Jul 14, 2019 near Cottonw…, UT
A view up Hogum Fork and Maybird Gulch, as well as a view of the Pfeifferhorn.
Nov 5, 2015 near Alta, UT
A view back to O'Sullivan (Sunrise) Peak and the ridge between the same peak and Twin Peaks.
Nov 5, 2015 near Alta, UT
A view of the ridge between Little Cottonwood and American Fork Canyons.
Nov 5, 2015 near Alta, UT

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Jul 23, 2018
Sam J
10.1mi