Fork, Mount Raymond Trail
9.3 miles (plus 3.9 miles by car or bicycle)
3,120 ft. gain, 4,020 ft. loss
Butler Fork Trailhead (start): 7,120 ft.
Baker Pass: 9,340 ft.
Mount Raymond: 10,241 ft.
Mill B North Fork Trailhead: 6,220 ft.
The trail is generally well used and easy to follow, except
for the last two hundred yards below the summit of Mount
Raymond. Here the path vanishes, and some scrambling is
needed for the final ascent up a rocky ridge to the top.
Midsummer to mid-fall. The higher parts of the trail are
usually covered with snow each year until late June. For
current conditions call the Salt Lake Ranger District,
Wasatch-Cache National Forest, at (801) 943-1794.
Big Cottonwood Canyon, east of Salt Lake City
Raymond is slightly lower than its popular neighbor, Gobblers
Knob, but it is more fun to climb. The angular peak rises
from the apex of three weathered limestone ridges that
come together at roughly equal angles on the eastern side
of the Mount Olympus Wilderness Area. The assent route
described here follows one of the ridges up from Baker
Pass. It is an easy walk most of the way, but the last
few hundred yards involve just enough scrambling to make
the climb interesting. At the top you will be treated
to an exhilarating view of Dromedary Peak and Twin Peaks
on the other side of Big Cottonwood Canyon and Gobblers
Knob east of Baker Pass.
hike begins in Butler Fork, one of the prettiest areas
in Big Cottonwood Canyon. The path meanders along the
fork through the aspen and Douglas fir for about 0.5 miles,
and then turns left onto another trail that follows a
side canyon to the ridge east of the Mill A Basin. A Forest
Service sign clearly marks the trail junction where you
should bear left. From Butler Fork the trail climbs steadily
to the west, beginning a series of switchbacks just before
it reaches the ridge. Then, when you finally reach the
ridge above Butler Fork the trail abruptly becomes flat
again, and makes a sudden turn along the ridge to the
Once you reach the ridge,
stop for a moment and look both ways. The main trail heads
north to begin the long traverse around Mill A Basin,
but you should see another fainter trail going back to
the south. This is the trail to Circle All Peak. The trail
to Circle All Peak is only 0.2 mile long with an elevation
gain of 150 feet, so it would be a shame to miss it. The
ten minute walk to the top will reward you with a nice
view of Big Cottonwood Canyon, and also of your destination,
Continuing north on the
main trail again, after 0.4 mile of level walking you
will come to another trail junction. The right fork leads
to Dog Lake, but to get to Baker Pass and Mount Raymond
you must turn left. Again, the junction is clearly marked
with a Forest Service sign. The next 1.2 miles across
Mill A Basin to the top of Baker Pass is one of the most
pleasant parts of the hike. The forest is more open here,
with only an occasional grove of quaking aspen blocking
the view, and Mount Raymond is clearly in sight. As you
walk, study the ridge that runs from the west side of
Bakers Pass to Mount Raymond. This will be your route
to the summit. From the trail you can see the outcroppings
of limestone on the ridge near the summit where you will
have to do some scrambling to reach the top. Ten minutes
before you reach Baker Pass you will see a smaller trail
leading off to the left. This is the Mill B North Fork
Trail that you will take on your way down. The trail to
Baker Pass turns upward at this junction, reaching Baker
Pass 0.2 mile later.
From Baker Pass it is a
short but steep climb to the top of Mount Raymond. You
still have about 900 feet of elevation to gain at this
point. Two smaller trails branch off the main trail at
the top of the pass, one leading to Gobblers Knob and
one leading to Mount Raymond. Turn left here for Mount
Raymond. (See page 116 for a discussion of the trail to
The trail to Mount Raymond
climbs steadily up the grassy ridge for 0.5 miles, but
then seems to disappear at the base of a badly fractured
knife-edge ridge of quartzite. Proceed straight up the
crest of the ridge. Although you will need both hands,
the climb along the knife-edge is not nearly as bad as
it looks. Furthermore, this is the worst part of the climb.
Beyond the knife-edge there is more minor scrambling,
with bits and pieces of the trail visible. It is easiest
if you stay right on the crest of the ridge. Within another
ten to fifteen minutes you should be at the top.
While you are at the top
be sure to study the route from Baker Pass back down on
the Mill B North Fork Trail. The first part of the trail
is clearly visible south of the peak. Also, you might
want to study the ridge connecting Baker Pass to Gobblers
Knob, just in case you want to do that hike on another
When you are ready to return
retrace your steps to a point about 0.2 mile below Baker
Pass, where you earlier passed the Mill B North Fork Trail
junction. If you are in a hurry you may want to continue
down your original route to the Butler Fork Trailhead.
For the sake of diversity, however, I suggest you turn
right and make your descent along the Mill B North Fork
Trail. The route is only 1.7 miles longer, and the scenery
is much different.
The Mill B North Fork Trail
winds around the south side of Mount Raymond for 1.2 miles,
then comes to another junction with the Porter Fork Trail.
Bear to the left at this point, towards Big Cottonwood
Canyon. For the next 3.5 miles the trail meanders down
the south slope of Mount Raymond, cutting through two
small canyons and a grove of huge Douglas Fir trees before
reaching the Mill B North Fork Trailhead. Finally, if
you have time and energy left, you might want to double
back up the bottom of Mill B North Fork Canyon to see
Hidden Falls before you leave. It is only 0.1 mile from
provided by David
Day of utahtrails.com. Click here to order his book
Favorite Hiking Trails.