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

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hiking
1 day ago

beautiful lake, beautiful trail. it is steep and quitr demanding. I was breaking in a new backpacking pack and had a lot of unnecessary weight, so that was a huge factor. I think that if I'd done it with half the weight, it wouldn't have felt so hard. we were stopped by a big bull moose on the trail, and the trail is popular enough our group went from two to almost twenty whole we waited for him to move away. he took his sweet time and we sat around for about 20 to 30 minutes. :) i

It was a good trail and a great workout. I definitely recommend it, but not for kids under 12. we saw lots of kids who pooped out before the end (or less than a mile into the trail) and were riding piggy back. Also, bring plentu of water. it is shaded in the morning, but it was hot with minimal shade in the afternoon. It's "hard" for a reason. don't punish your kids or yourself.

hiking
2 days ago

Magic is the only word.

Fantastic hike, well worth the effort to get there. Took my 2 kids (10 & 14) and though they were tired going up, the lake was their favorite! Would definitely do this hike again. Make sure you bring 3+ liters of water! So many people on the trail today ran out while still high up. One gentleman was completely out of water on the upper switchbacks and nearly fell off a steep incline right in front of us! We were able to grab him in time, sit him down, give him some water, electrolytes and a fruit bar, and he was apparently okay, but they had no food and he looked to be in serious shock. Though a relatively short hike, it’s hot and strenuous at times. Loved it!

hiking
2 days ago

Saw 5 different moose, a porcupine, and lots of deer! We started at the trail head at 530 AM ! Got to the top around 630 AM and watched the sunrise ! This is my favorite hike ever! So beautiful! Accurately labeled moderate!

birding
3 days ago

We hit the trail around 8:45am and saw a smattering of people now and then. This has lovely views on the climb, with lots of wild flowers and the lake is peaceful when loud talking people are not there. Why do people talk so loud? On the way down we stopped at Dog Lake which is small and more peaceful. We spotted a moose couple near the end of the hike which made our day; we couldn't miss them they crossed the trail.

Bring water and something to snack on at the lake. Amazing views of the great salt lake from several areas. Wear good shoes there are a lot of rocks to scurry over on the trail all throughout the hike.

Great hike. We camped at Emerald Lake and it was a beast with camping gear. In the morning we threw on day packs and hit the summit. Amazing views.

nature trips
4 days ago

Gorgeous. Loved every minute! It was a great day for hiking too!

I love this hike. So beautiful and a great escape from the heat. Amazing views and the best reward; silver lake.

4 days ago

Steep for beginners like me, but gorgeous. Lovely lake! Please be courteous and remember that swimming is not permitted.

Best destination in the Uintas! However, the hike is tough, even though it's relatively flat. There are so many rocks on the trail that it limits your speed and requires you to look where you place every step. Give yourself at least a day to rest and explore before heading back.

Great hike, though the smoke dampened the experience. Make sure to not stop at the first lake. There is no one at the other two if you go right as soon as you hit Lake Blanche and go to Lillian and Florence. Worth the extra mile or so. Wife and I (46 yrs old each)are in pretty good shape and are runners. We did the ascent in 1:34 and descent in 1:23, so if you are in good shape, you can comfortably do this pretty quickly and enjoyably. Would not be small child friendly IMO.

hiking
4 days ago

Got an early start to this hike (around 7-8) and it was a little chilly. The first 1/3 of the hike is in a beautiful aspen forest. Couldn’t get enough of the foliage! The hike then opens up and you’re able to see some beautiful views of the back of timpanogos. After a short steep section to the top, we were rewarded with a view of the amazing lake. It was around 9 at that point but the lake was warm enough that I took a quick swim. Beautiful clear lake! As we descended it got really crowded so I suggest if you want to have this lake to yourself come early.
All in all one of my favorite hikes out there.

Wonderful trail! The lake is crystal-clear. If you want to avoid crowds, go early in the morning.

Since my wife read the book “Return to Red Castle” about 35 years ago, this has been on her bucket list. Finally got in shape and did it this year. She’s 59 and I am 61. It was a fabulous hike over three days. Went with two of our kids and their spouses, and had a fabulous time. The trail is long but beautiful and very doable for just about anybody. With all of our extra hiking, we went about 36 miles. We did it from Wednesday to Friday. Saw very few people. On the hike down we came across about 40 to 50 people in small groups going up. The weekend looks to be quite busy. Huge, vast area that can accommodate a lot of campers and hikers. Lots of options and directions to go once you get there. Saw a cow moose on the lower half of the trail, and then three Bull moose hanging around Lower Red Castle and the meadows. Fishing was poor, we think due to a lot of pressure in both of the main lakes. We did see a lot of fish swimming around, that weren’t very interested in what we had to offer (flies). That was alright though, because there is so much incredible beauty to explore around there. Pictures don’t do it justice! Be sure to take bug spray and sunscreen. That’s a given for anywhere in the Uintas. A few blisters in our group, a little bit of altitude sickness for a couple of us for just a couple hours, and my wife tripped on the trail and kissed a boulder with her forehead, got a nice cut above her eye and bruises, and a blackeye, but with a little doctoring everything was back to normal. No way was she giving up after all these years of wanting to go there so badly. Loved every bit of it! Will probably be going back.

hiking
5 days ago

It’s really pretty worth the hike ...the only problem today was all that SMOKE !

Entire summit was about 17.3 miles. We hiked it from 10am until 7pm. Very difficult but definitely worth it (especially seeing the mountain goats near emerald lake on the way up and way back down)! The air quality is really bad right now so the views are pretty hazy. But you should still make it to the shack for that overall sense of accomplishment! We saw a lot of people backpacking in around 6-7pm with hopes of camping. There didn't seem to be a ton of places to camp so that was interesting. A fellow hiker told us the chipmunks are so bad up there, they'll eat through anything you have. Anyways, do this one. You may hurt the next day but it's worth it!

hiking
6 days ago

Loved this hike! A bit difficult but there are many opportunities to stop along the way and the entire time there are beautiful views so if you decide you don’t want to do the whole thing no worries you still get to see amazing views! Kind of crowded but friendly environment. 10/10 will do again.

First part of trail .5 miles is all sun and you feel like your in the desert. Then it turns along the river and all shade. Nice to follow river up to waterfalls. Waterfall is nice and you can splash around before heading down.

hiking
6 days ago

A difficult trail but worth it! The view is amazing. Try to go early in the day if the weather is warm because a large portion of the trail is unshaded.

hiking
7 days ago

Loved this hike. It was pretty easy at the beginning. I did the first mile in under 30mins. Then it just got progressively harder. There were rocky sections off and on, which makes for a tough trail. It took me about 2 hours and 10 mins to get to the first lake and about an hour and 30 mins to hike back down. I clocked it as 3.7 miles from the parking lot bathrooms all the way up to where you see lake Blanche. It’s 4 miles if you make your way to the third lake.
I saw a deer, but sadly no moose. I brought bug spray, but never used it. I think if you are there early in the morning or in the evening you would probably need it, but late morning through the afternoon you should be fine without. I would consider the trail fairly exposed, depending on the time of day you go. I was in full sun most of the way down, which was around 2/3pm.
Have fun out there!!

We loved this hike. Started 6:30 am and had plenty of shade on the way up. We stayed exploring around the lakes for a couple hours and there was a lot more sun on the way down but lots of shaded areas still. Beautiful views at the top. Only a few hikers on the way up but passed by several who were headed up on our way down.

Oldie but goodie. Not too difficult for the most part. The last half mile or so may be a little challenging for kids.

hiking
7 days ago

I wish we had gotten to the trail earlier in the morning! It was about 10am when we started, and the sun really beats down on the first section, making 67 degrees feel like 85. Plus, there were quite a few people on the trail. But the trail is beautiful and Lake Mary is gorgeous. And since it’s so big and many hikers continue to Lake Martha and Lake Catherine, it felt like we had the place to ourselves. I know people love Cecret Lake at the top of Lil’ Cottonwood Canyon (I do in too when the wildflowers are in full bloom), but this lake it WAY prettier. Can’t wait to go back and do Martha and Catherine too next time! My kids (15,12,10,8) enjoyed this one too, though they didn’t like all the people on the trail. I can’t figure out where they got their disdain for crowds...oh, wait...

We saw a moose! We also saw deer, pika, and chipmunks. When you get to the lake head left and go over the boulder and then head away from lake. There is another hidden lake and that’s where the moose are.

This was a beautiful hike. There was always a beautiful view to look at. I left at 7:30 in the morning. There were only six hikers that I counted. But on my way back around noon there was constantly someone coming up the trail, making it difficult to get down in some spots. This trail is very heavily trafficked during mid day. I also do not consider this trail difficult. The last mile is the hardest but totally doable. Going down was much harder on me than going up. I brought up 2 L of water and one water bottle. I didn’t go through all of my water but it was close. I did spend a good 2.5 hours exploring the area once I hit the lake. It is quite warm on the trail in the mid day so bring lots of water. Totally worth it!

hiking
7 days ago

This is my son's favorite trail. We have to do it every year. I have to admit with the heat I was not looking forward to it. Leaving later in the day was really pretty nice. The creek kept the heat down and the traffic was not too bad. Watched a great sunset on the way down.

awesome

Great hike! Be sure to bring lots of water, and if you're going to bring your dog, pack them lots of water too if it's hot. About half way up the tree cover is very sparse and it can get hot in the summer.

hiking
8 days ago

Went after lunch, not too crowded, lovely waterfalls and rock formations along the way with the reward of beautiful Lake Mary. Highly recommend.

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