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Super fun moderate hike. Water is plenty considering the river runs along most of the trail. The forest ranger had us move our campsite about twenty feet. He said every campsite needs to be "70 paces" from the lake. Also, fires need to be 1/4 mile from the lake. Stunning landscape and view as you ascend the trail towards the towering red castle. We saw three moose and a bald eagle.

backpacking
2 days ago

For those of you who have stayed the night at Island Lake- where are the best campsites?

This hike is amazing. The trail follows a stream the entire way, easy to navigate, and pretty flat until reaching the last 1.5 miles of switch backs. I calculated 23 miles round trip, so 11.5 miles each way. The lake is pretty shallow and my friend got leeches on her feet, so watch out for those if you get in. Camping spaces and water are plentiful. I took the China Meadows trail that starts here Forest Rd 186, Evanston, UT 82930. Happy trails!

Made it out in mid June it was really nice, hike takes you along the Duchesne for a majority of the time so there’s almost always fresh water available

backpacking
3 days ago

Hiked in on July 5th with my kids for one night. Hike wasn’t bad. The only challenging part was going over the pass and it wasn’t hard at all. Fishing wasn’t great. Caught one fish on a worm. 9 mountain goats walked through our camp. 6-7 awesome camping spots and a few more that are decent. By evening most were occupied. Two streams feed into the lake on both sides of the lake. Plenty of firewood within 80 yards of the bank. Breeze blows from the West most of the day and stops a little after sundown. Mosquitos weren’t bad, but we wore 100% Deet.. Perfect first back packing trip for my 4 kids (18, 16, 14, 11). Views are spectacular. Water is so clear. Would definitely go again.

Worth the trip. Not the best fishing but a great view!

hiking
9 days ago

Very pretty! Went and the parking lot was very crowded, the trail became less crowded the further in we hiked. Lots of dogs on and off leash. Bugs weren’t bad, but they were out.

Good hike but totally worth it. Caught a couple nice trout. Scenery is unbelievable!

Great trip with 11-13 year old scouts. This was our second year in a row coming here. We took three days for this trip. Backpacked to the lower lake of red castle and set up camp. Next day went fishing and played around. Fishing was great in the morning. Caught Brooke trout and Tiger trout both on spinner rods and fly fishing rods. Due to wind fishing was best on the West side of the lake. Didn’t make it up to the upper lake though but heard fish are bigger up there. Hiked 5 miles back and set up camp along the river. Last day fished and hiked back to the trailhead. Mosquitos were bad until you used repellent. Needed to reapply every four hours or so. Stars were amazing! No snow. Bring sunscreen. Nights were decent, not freezing. Afternoons were very warm.

Absolutely gorgeous park. As others have said, trail is clear and not too strenuous up to Gunsite (unless you’re carrying a heavy pack). I didn’t see any signs for Dollar Lake where I had planned to camp so I overshot that and found a nice spot off the trail about a half mile further.

I had planned to take the trail at Gunsite that did NOT descend into Painter Basin but I didn’t see any sign or clear path so I decided to just hug the contour line off the trail. I don’t recommend that. Wasted a lot of time and energy scrambling over loose boulders and ended up dropping down into the Basin anyway.

The ascent to Anderson pass is steep, from Anderson to the false summit is steeper, from the false summit to the true summit is even steeper. Views are outstanding.

On the return I figured I’d play it safe and go down through the basin. The trails are hard to follow and it seemed much longer.

Overall excellent hike, tough near the summit and views are amazing. Water was plentiful up to Gunsite.

What a beautiful beastly hike. Definately rated hard, moreso an "extreme" hike. Took us 3 1/2 hours moving constantly to get to the top. Our fitness trackers from the parking lot (overflow) to the upper reservoir said about 6 miles (one way) and about 450 floors. The trail narrows after the lower falls and definitely criss crosses. All trails go UP to the same place! When you reach the large granite rock "garden" or slide/field, stay to your left. It's a little less than a mile from the top. The mosquitoes were pretty heavy. Bring Deet! Bring plenty of water (we sure enjoyed a bottle of Gatorade too).

Take your time coming down. Hard on your knees and ankles.

We didn't see any snakes.

Much cooler at the reservoir (almost 20 degrees cooler than the valley).

Happy Hiking!

hiking
10 days ago

Great hike! We did an overnighter and backpacked in, but this would be a great day hike. There were several lakes along the way, possible to go to further lakes, caught several fish, several water locations to filter, fair amount of shade on the first half, and even saw mountain goats on the west side.

Difficulty: 5/10.
Length was 6.5 miles.
Traffic: Mild/moderate on this trail but the parking lot was a joke.
Tips: Fish at Meadow Lake, fly and bubble or golden Jake’s worked well.

hiking
11 days ago

While I haven't finished all of this trail, I have done the Eastern section that most people forget about.

From East Park Reservoir to a little beyone Leidy Peak, there is not a lot of water to be had directly along the trail. I was able to find a trickle (almost a small stream) through Manila Park, and Summit Park was pretty soggy, but that was it. For that reason, I would recommend a couple 1 liter water bottles and a 2 or 3 liter bladder to get through this section. As far as the scenery, it was beautiful! Thick forest, wide open parks, amazing views with Flaming Gorge in the distance. The trail can be hard to follow in a few areas partially due to dirt roads that interweave the area and lack of foot traffic (which is actually nice if you prefer solitude). Bringing a good map and a gps track of the trail, as well as keeping a close eye out for cairns, blazes, and other trial markers will help.

I'm giving this section of trail 4 stars instead of 5 due simply to the lack of water along the trail and route finding difficulties.

I'm hoping to do the whole trail this fall and will post another review at that time if I do.

Don't get me wrong, Francis Peak is amazing. The view is breathtaking. It's a great hike, but DO NOT TAKE THE ROUTE ON THIS MAP! The Wolverine Ridgeline Trail does not exist at all. Take another route up. Adams Canyon is the most popular; I went up Bair Creek Canyon and that was a very strenuous but enjoyable trail. Just make sure you take plenty of water because it's easy to underpack and run out.

backpacking
17 days ago

My wife and I loved this hike along with staying 2 nights at the lake. This valley is very green and beautiful! The trail has a very gradual incline through the nicely shaded trees in the beginning next to the mountain stream. Once you hit the beaver ponds, the trail opens up into this meadow where you can see some cliff sides and water falls. The last 1/3 - 1/4 of the hike inclines a lot in elevation towards the lake. We found a spring running into the lake on the south East end. It provided very clean water to drink while we were there.

Amazing place. Would be 5/5 but the mosquitos are still in full force as of 6/26/18. Mildly muddy. Still patches of snow around the upper red castle lake but the lake is thawed. Nights still chilly. Actually had a few snow flakes in the morning as we were heading out.

hiking
20 days ago

Top ten of my lifetime. Did this trail over two days (I'd recommend at least taking three). I started on a Saturday morning around 8:30AM and was at lower red castle in by lunchtime. I had the trail to myself for nearly the entire length. I saw deer, elk, and moose on the way up. Trail is in great condition, and had so many interesting turns, not at all unpleasant. Plenty of water to be had, so pack light and filter. The trail was never really steep, the switchbacks near the end are well graded and don't require a massive effort. Really exhilarating to hear the Red Castle disintegrating with the snow melt. I've recommended this trail to all of my friends, and will be back soon!

hiking
22 days ago

Very Fun Hike !! The trail is well traveled and easy to follow, offering expansive views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.While hiking along you will pass many lakes and ponds so water along this hike is not an issue don't forget your filters. The Mosquitoes are hungry but easily controlled with a quality repellent. A sad note is the PINE BEETLE DAMAGE!!!! I did notice quite a few while hiking but after reviewing the photos taking on this hike I believe the damage is at least 50 percent maybe more. If you are interested in this hike you need to plan a trip soon, in a year there may not be any trees left alive.((( VERY SAD ))) ...This is moderate day hike for the average hiker myself I love the night sky up high which turns this into an easy overnight hike. The campsites are a little over 10,000 feet and the temps drop to the 40's still in late June be prepared for cooler temps.

backpacking
23 days ago

Loved it. Amazing scenery. Great for beginner backpackers like me. Camped one night and didn’t get too cold-40’s. My doggo was in heaven.

backpacking
24 days ago

I’m new to this app can anyone help me out. When it says the distance is 6.4 miles and then it says in and out, does that mean 6.4 round trip? Or just their is no other access out? And it’s 12.8 total? Thank you anyone that can help me out. Also is their any good spots to fill up your water jug with the water tabs?

hiking
25 days ago

This is one of my favorite trails but there's a rock field in the middle that can be really confusing (I've done this trail twice and I got equally confused both times!). Just keep your alltrails map handy to reassure yourself that you're headed in the right direction, and you'll quickly find yourself back on the dirt trail. It's worth it.

hiking
26 days ago

Beautiful hike! Fairly easy. Long hike though! I did it all in one day. Next time I’d prefer to backpack up and stay the night.

Did this a few days ago. Decent amount of mud but nothing crazy. Mosquitoes were decently bad in the trees. We camped in the open above the lake and it was super windy so mosquitoes weren’t a problem for us. Hiked to the upper lake and crossed one small snowfield but the upper lake was 90% ice. Caught 5 brook trout in the lower lake.

Stunning views and lots of wildlife. The trail all the way up to Gunsight Pass is quite easy and moderate. The trail to Anderson Pass is also fairly mellow. The ridge to Kings Peak is fairly challenging with continuous bolder scrambling and occasional exposure. Don’t recommend the ridge if weather is present. Overall really wonderful hike!

Perfect weekend trek! We started out from Henry’s Fork and ended up finding a camp spot near some trees right before gunsight pass. Things I wish I’d known:

-There is great camping in the valley after Gunsight Pass.
-there’s plenty of water on the trail all through the hike except once you get to the saddle next to King’s Peak and start climbing the ridge.
-Beware of altitude sickness, and watch for symptoms of high altitude cerebral or pulmonary edema (HAPE and HACE). Both are serious and require immediate movement to lower elevation.

That’s it! Amazing and would always recommend. Enjoy ya’ll :)

Gorgeous hike! Even spotted a moose on the trail not far from the lake. Expect lots of mud, multiple river crossings and TONS of rocks. The drive into the trailhead can be pretty rough also. There was still some snow on the trail 06/10/18 but wasn’t an issue at all. Trailhead had toilets available, no trash cans.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful! All the way! So many lakes along the trail from the Crystal Lake TH, with mountain views. As of 6/12/18 there was one snow patch just below the notch, then 80% snow or water down to Lavona Lake. Otherwise simply beautiful!

backpacking
1 month ago

Hiked and set up camp the night of June 12. Amazing stars and not too cold. Trout made it their life goal to taunt me by revealing their colored scales but not bite. Amazing views and saw only 6 other people camping there but it was very isolated. No mountain goats :(

We did this hike in early June. I was worried it would be too cold but it wasn't too bad. There was A LOT of snow melt which resulted in muddy trails. There were plenty of rocks to step on to try to avoid getting muddy. We backpacked in and stayed the night at the lower lake. Red Castle was absolutely beautiful and worth the long hike. This was my first backpacking experience and it was a good one!

backpacking
1 month ago

Hiked in with family on Friday. Very few people. The weather was perfect with a cool breeze all day. Still some snow to cross and the ground in some areas is soggy but beautiful. Lots of flowers. The night was cold so be prepared. All and all a beautiful hike!

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