Big Cottonwood Canyon to Guardsman Pass

Elevation Profile


For the most part, this is a long tedious climb most of the way up Big Cottonwood Canyon. The part that makes it a bitch is the final climb to Guardsman. It is pretty smooth going from the turn-off up to the second switchback about a mile from the top. Then it gets ugly. The road takes a decidedly upward turn as you do a couple of hundred yards at 15% plus grade. Just when you think it can get no worse...the pavement ends. Dirt. Not just smooth dirt, but dirt with a regular washboard surface. After enduring 0.3 miles of this, its back to pavement and you think you have it whipped until...the pavement ends. Dirt. Not washboard this time, but sharp, pointy, closely-spaced rocks. After another 0.3 miles of manuvering, you are all done!

From the stop light on Wasatch at the mouth of the canyon to the pass is approximately 17 miles and 4790 vertical feet.

Road Distances

Miles   Elev.  Landmark          Latitude, Longitude
 0.0    4910   Intersection
 2.8    5750   Storm Mountain
 4.3    6190   S-curve
11.1    7750   Silver Fork Lodge
12.5    8190   Solitude
13.8    8630   Guardsman turnoff
16.2	9330   Pavement ends
16.9    9700   Guardsman pass

Mike Hibler <>