Explore Backpacking - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Backpacking Map
10 days ago

We decided to hike this one last year. It was the first hike I’ve done on the south slope. It sure seemed like a never ending uphill. The fishing wasn’t very good at Betsy or Mohawk. It appeared to me that this trail gets a lot of traffic. We had a group of annoying kids yelling across the lakes the whole time which was definitely a major annoyance. Overall this hike was ok and so I wouldn’t do it again. The drive up to the trailhead is pretty cool though. You drive right along the edge of this huge mountain and keep going up and up and up.

It’s a nice short easy hike. I take this route often on excursions up Timpanogos before the road opens to turn it into a loop. Up the road and down via salamander flat and pine hollow.

The red castle really is worth all the hype. The trail is pretty level and never steep, but the trail surface was trash from all the horse traffic, and really wore my feet out, so wear good shoes. There were moose along the lake. When we went the last weekend in August, it rained for a little bit but it was fine. There were also about a couple hundred sheep being run late at night from east red castle down the valley so that was... interesting. You’ll also pass lots of cows on your way there and the trail appears to be more popular with horse packers than backpackers. So it was more like the High Uintas Farm than a wilderness... still worth it to camp under the red castle.

3 months ago

exhausting, but amazing view.

Awesome trail. Very glad I had the chance to do this hike!

3 months ago

camped and hiked, very easy hike, beautiful

Hiked about southwestern half of the trail on a loop trail from the Pine Hollow Trailhead. Good trail with limited views of the surrounding mountains because of the trees even with all of the leaves gone from the Aspens

I have never hiked kings peak and I had a goal to do it this year. Yesterday was probably my last chance. Blue skies, with a high of 45 F. 18-hour hike, only 11 hours of sunlight, 2 feet of snow covering the trail in several spots. I had the entire mountain to myself; didn't see another soul.
It was just about perfect.
It is not my favorite mountain. The boulder scramble near the top is a slog, especially when they are half covered in snow, but I am glad I did it. I will have to try it in the summer.

October 28th 2017..
Amazing is the best thing I can say. Every turn was a photo moment and the challenges were significant enough to make them exciting but still entirely doable!
I met some wonderful people along the way including eight year old Kylie who was near the top when I met her and her mother Julie. .. see what I mean very doable ...if I lived here I would probably do this hike at least once or twice a month..
I decided to take the Aspen Trail because I heard there were waterfalls and I am a big fan of waterfalls. Even though they were not running like they would be in the spring or early summer they were still quite beautiful. Even the frozen ice Falls we're enough to have made me want to take the trail. Ran into a family of moose along the way... a bull mom and two calves. They actually impeded my progress twice while hiking up and again while coming down. They like the lower Trail around the aspen trees so if you hike that area just be aware. I did not get confrontational with them and they do seem to be somewhat used to humans but they are still wild animals and you never want to take that chance. Also heard from one of the hikers with her daughter on her 21st birthday that the billy goats up near Emerald Lake we're somewhat aggressive. I imagine being the fall of the Year might have something to do with it especially for the Billy.
Once I was up past the shack and headed towards the peak I had to cross the ice field. I had a couple of options. There is a narrow precarious ice Trail right up against the edge of the cliff which I do not recommend you taking without crampons or katula's. Something to keep footing in the ice. I think what is more dangerous is the fact that ice is on top of the loose Rock and boulders that have fallen from above. If the rocks give away under the ice you are not going to have any options. My solution was simple go up over the boulders furthur back away from the edge. ( to Dave from Visalia thank you for the tip ) It's somewhat of a scramble but I didn't need the crampons. Then come back down on the other side (Northwestern side) far back from the edge of the cliffs walk through the snow to find the trail once it has moved away from the edge. one set of hikers I talk to on the way up said they didn't go past the ice field simply because it looked too dangerous along the edge and they weren't prepared. That was a good call on their part. you should always research the trails thoroughly that you plan to do and make sure you have the equipment you may need. All Trails here has some good reviews even though you may have to read down to find enough information to truly prepare. Have fun and happy trails!.... Gideon

We hiked this on Oct 18 and it was great. Perfect weather and no snow still. Very safe. Mt. Timp hike is the best in Utah County.

Started at 10am and the temperature was perfect. Emerald Lake was covered in ice and snow.

After Emerald Lake the path that goes under the ridge until you get on top of the ridge was covered in snow. I HIGHLY recommend bringing crampons/spikes going through that section. Also bring a light jacket / vest as there's chilling winds all the way to the peak.

The trail from Silver Lake to Silver Glance is a little hard to follow, and it’s pretty steep, but worth it.

This was fantastic. There was one area with enough snow I wished I had waterproof boots, but it was absolutely beautiful out there. This was my first time up and it did not disappoint.

6 months ago

Great hike! About 13 miles total, with steep sections, and lots and lots of mud and water on the trail, but definitely doable. We hiked this pretty late in the season, so about a mile from the lake, we hit some pretty deep snow and lost the trail. We kept trekking, though, and made it to the lake about an hour later than planned. The snow was a lot of work! Definitely will do this hike again, but probably earlier in the season, like early September. The good thing about going later, though, was that we didn't see any other hikers at all until the end of the hike when we got back to the parking lot.

6 months ago

Amazing Hike!
Requires a recreational day pass for overnight parking. I usually buy my passes at the Chevron located in Kamas outside the west entrance to the forest. It cost me $6 for a 3-day pass. (Closes at 9pm)

Difficulty: It can get rough at times. Incline the entire way. Very steep sections.

It has many rivers/creeks running through multiple areas so you don't need to worry too much about water. (I recommend Iodine and neutralizer tablets you can buy at Walmart for $7, water tastes great with those)
If you are hiking off-trail from Salamander Lake to Ostler Lake on the West side of the basin, there aren't very many water sources, be sure to prepare for that section.

Our dog loved this trail, and did fine. Horses are welcome as well.

Recommended camping places:

If you stay on-trail, Waypoint 2 or Waypoint 3 are a great places to camp. Amethyst/Waypoint 4 is with the tree line so wood will be scarce there.

Off-trail Camping spots: The small pond/lake south of Salamander on the south side has a great little meadow area. Very comfy. Moose love that pond. Be sure to 100% camp at Ostler Lake!!! Beautiful place! Best spot there is on the south-west side near an open meadow along the tree line. Lots of wood to burn.

By far one of the best hikes!

By the way, here are my route details. Each waypoint has comments/recommendations.


Questions? E-Mail me at JoshuaTravisFryer@outlook.com

6 months ago

Didn’t make it all the way to Silver Glance Lake as it was snowing & with the steepness, I opted to turn around after I had a nice view of Silver Lake below.

This was a fantastic hike! This was the first time my wife had done any backpacking, and she fell in love! We took the typical route, stopped short of gunsight pass and made camp. The next day, we climbed the summit, (pack plenty of water and warm-weather clothing) and packed out the next day. We loved it, we were fortunate not to hit any bad weather, but people leaving as we were coming in said they got snowed off the peak, in August! A wonderful hike, would definitely do it again!

6 months ago

Great hike today although it was snowing. Very beautiful and remote.

Unforgettable experience. We were camping nearby and decided to venture up Mt Timp the next morning. We weren't very prepared, since we hopped in the trail last minute without any research. The trail isn't well marked in places and there is confusion over some "man made trails". We got lost a few times, hesitated finding a route to scramble at the end to reach the shack. Ultimately, the most amazing hike! We had to run down the last few miles and made it back to the parking lot just after dark.

6 months ago

Caught 6 trout on a fly with bubble and 2 with powerbait. Great spot.

I would rate this as an easy hike. saw a few deer and a moose... pretty cool

gorgeous hike through breathtaking views. one of my favorites in Utah!!!

This trail was really fun. I was expecting it to be a lot steeper. The longest part until you get to the meadow (about 5.5 miles in) is a really gradual incline with a few little bit steeper parts here and there. Once in the meadow you pass emerald lake and the shelter, you can either walk across the snow or follow the cairns across the rocks (we did the rocks, they were in the sun.) The hill up to the ridge is the steepest part of the whole hike and it really is a butt kicker after hiking forever. Don't stop at the ridge. You did not walk this far to not summit. From the ridge to the summit is my favorite part of the hike. You get to climb on the rocks and this is where we got pretty close to a mountain goat.

We started at 5:30 am and finished about 6pm. This was with taking a lot of breaks (my friend was really hungover hahaha) and stopping to filter water.

7 months ago

Great easy-ish hike. The are a few steep sections but they are short. The trail is well maintained and there is some fantastic stone masonry in some areas along the trail after Long Lake. Not a whole lot of tree cover along the trail. The topography is amazing. Lots of cliff spines to explore. Only have seen two deer as far as big wildlife. At the lake there are some cliffs on the north end. Tons of fun to jump from. The water is certainly polar. Ha ha. Very refreshing. Be sure to hike south from Island Lake for some fantastic overlook views of Duck lake and the whole valley. I also highly recommend venturing less than .5 miles over to Fire lake around the bend (you will need to map it out). You will be glad you did. I would like to actually camp there sometime. There are a couple of little springs on the northwest end of Island Lake sufficient for filtering. I don't recommend coming on a holiday weekend. This is the most people I have ever seen while backpacking. We are surrounded by camps. Sooo many people. Almost feels like car camping. Thus the 4 star rating. Venture away from the lake a little for more solitude in camp. Bugs were minimal for the Uintas. Big flies here and there but hardly any mosquitoes. Temperature was almost hot during the day and 49 at night for the lowest. Zero precipitation! I will absolutely come back.

very breath taking....literally in every way! So glad i made it to the top of Timp! Round trip took 13 hours with breaks and a whole hour just relaxing at the top, enjoying the view and victory of conquering Timp! Wish i had a hiking stick to help control my footing going down slick paths of loose gravel and the long path of snow that never melted. Also a hat and sunblock would have been nice as well as a big group to match the pace with at least one person. Grateful i had the opportunity and would do it again next year but take a different path other than Aspen Grove.

Super hard hike for me but very rewarding!!!!! Adrenaline will kick in after a few miles lol just keep pushin!!! Bring food and water and head lamps if its going to be dark coming down!!

only made it to the shed, but I will conquer this hike this year. I started at 2:40am and the moon lite most of the way.

We had a great time, hiked the entire trail to the lower lake in one day. Camped the night before at China Meadows. Left at 5 am and returned by 2pm. Didn't hike hard and stopped a plenty. Beautiful lake and Red Castle Mt is awesome!! A MUST-DO!

Great hike! The trail has a very consistent grade until the very top so, although it's longish, it's not a killer on my knees coming down. Love the diversity of views, geology, and wildlife.

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