Located in northeastern Utah, the Uinta Mountains were named for the Uintaat Indians, early relatives of the modern Ute Tribe. The High Uintas Wilderness envelops the wild core of this massive mountain range. Characterized by the highest peaks in Utah, countless lakes, and a unique alpine ecosystem, it is among the nation's most outstanding wilderness areas. The High Uintas Wilderness is administered jointly by the Ashley and Wasatch-Cache National Forests. The Uinta Mountains were carved by glaciers from an immense uplift of Precambrian rock. Some of this rock is exposed as colorful quartzite and shales. The main crest of the Uinta Mountains runs west to east for more than 60 miles, rising over 6,000 feet above the Wyoming and Uinta Basins to the north and south. Massive secondary ridges extend north and south from the crest of the range, framing glacial basins and canyons far below. This rugged expanse of peaks and flat-top mountains is the largest alpine area in the Intermountain West and is the setting for Kings Peak, the highest peak in Utah. Hundreds of picturesque lakes, streams, and meadows lie within sculpted basins. Cold, clear rivers plunge from the basins into deep canyons that form the headwaters of Utah's major rivers. The Uinta Mountains rise from 7,500 to 13,528 feet at the summit of Kings Peak, offering diverse habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna. Above treeline, tundra plant communities thrive in the harsh climate of the highest altitudes. Thick forests of Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, and lodgepole pine blanket the land below treeline. These forests are interrupted by park-like meadows and lush wetlands. In the lower elevations, aspen groves and countless mixed species offer contrast to the scene. The Uinta Mountains are home to: elk, mule deer, moose, mountain goat, coyote, black bear, bighorn sheep, ptarmigan, river otter, pine marten, cougar, and 75 percent of Utah's bird species, among many others. The High Uintas Wilderness boasts 545 miles of trail, which may be accessed from a number of trailheads surrounding the wilderness near the gateway communities of Duchesne, Roosevelt, and Kamas, UT and Evanston and Mountain View, WY. This extensive network of trails leads visitors deep into the wilderness, through thick forests, past rushing streams and placid lakes, to sweeping alpine vistas below majestic peaks. Opportunities for exploration are endless.
Great hike for a quick and not too strenuous adventure. We left earlier in the week (Wednesday) and it was fairly quiet...passed a few hikers. By Friday it was like a scout camp up there. Fishing was very poor except for power bait (but I'm kind of a fishing snob and power bait isn't fishing unless you're 5 learning how). Plus it's really over fished. It seems to be a popular place to hike with dogs ...I took mine and she loved it. The down side was a lot of barking at night. It was easily one of the most beautiful places I've been though and will go back. Next time I'll hike thru the basin over to mirror lake instead of stopping at Betsy. I'm also going to take my three girls on a daddy daughter trip...it's perfect for that
Also we went in early August and didn't kill a single mosquito...lucky I guess
Trevor T. on Amethyst Lake Trail
love this trail, i recorded 14.5 miles out and back, but i did lose the trail a bit in about a foot a snow near the lake.
Zhou (Joe) Y. on Lofty Lake Loop Trail
Not too hard. But not easy peasy either. May be easier to go counter clock wise, which is what we did. You would climb more in the first third and enjoy the more steady descent in the latter part.
Trails are pretty clearly marked. Beautiful all around. Many lakes. Weather changes quickly. Be careful with high altitude.
Camped down by Wall lake and fished one of the smaller lakes, and no bites. Probably fished pretty hard there. Went up to Ibantik and on to Seymour Meadow Lake. The fishing at Meadow lake was lights out. Every cast was a bite. At Ibantik there were mountain goat hanging out on the cliffs. Was well worth the hike up
Great hike - We did a one night out and back, my only gripe was I wish we stayed longer. You couldn't ask for a better setting and reward at the end. The whole hike was gorgeous though, filled with streams, meadows, steeps, etc.. Fair warning though, it's a longer than advertised hike - The Garmin had it 6.6mi (13.2 RT) from parking lot trailhead to the lake.
My husband and I just finished this trail. Most of it is delightful. We backpacked in and camped at Dollar Lake. It was not too crowded and we had no trouble finding a great spot to camp. We awoke early the next morning and we took the gunsight pass through painter basin route. I am glad we did because I would not have wanted to miss the basin--it was both of our favorite part of the hike. Getting over gunsight pass is not too difficult and the ascent through the basin and up to Anderson pass isn't bad either. Other people here seem to think the last mile to the summit wasn't so bad but we'd disagree. Physically, it's about what I expected (challenging but very do-able) but mentally, it's a total mind, uh, screw. Besides being somewhat hypoxic, it's really not clear where you are supposed to go. It's just a big boulder scramble and you can't see the actual summit until you get right up on it. You may be tempted to scale below the ridge and then climb up to the summit--don't do it! Stay on the ridge line as much as you can. Every time you think you are about there, you are wrong! Well, except the last time, obviously. The way down is not much better--you still can't tell where you should go and it's not marked at all. The boulders are unsteady which is unsettling, especially if you have any fear of heights (I do). If I do this hike again, I will go up to Anderson pass and watch other people try to get to the summit while I bask in the beautiful sunshine! The last mile is also really exposed so be sure to wear sunscreen!
Bryce C. on King's Peak Utah Highpoint Trail
Great trip with the buddy's. I will recommend if wanting to summit that you camp in the pines near the base of the chute north of Kings. Early morning start and hike the chute and then summit. We have done it both ways and the chute saves about 4.5 to 5 hours compared to gunsight pass. Anyway you choose you will not be disappointed. Awesome sights.
Started late on Sunday to avoid crowds. Beautiful scenery. Too many cows in the meadows. Easy hike with beautiful scenery. Worth it to take a light rod for some catch and release. Plenty of wildlife along the way. Nothing difficult on the trail. Trail is golden as it gets close to dusk.