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This hike was magnificent. I recommend starting before 10am if you want to do the whole thing in a day. I didn't come across many mosquitos at all. Weather was beautiful and the lake is a great place to stop and take a dip in before or after taking on the steep part of the trail. I will definitely be coming back here for a camping trip.

very beautiful and very well trafficked.

Amazing!

backpacking
9 days ago

This trail is much tougher than some of these reviews would have you believe. Check the elevation charts and you'll see what I mean. It's also the only time I've backpacked in the High Uintas and had to deal with multiple large groups of campers. That said, there is a reason it's so popular and busy. The mountains, lakes, and meadows are absolutely stunning. I prefer solitude, so I'm not sure if I'd go again, but it's a beauty for sure.

This trail is a hoot and a half. Jacobs ladder will be sure to destroy your thighs and calf’s. Wonderful view at the top though.

Don't trust GPS especially if coming from Provo. The GPS puts you 4 miles away from the trailhead. I was able to find a housing development being built that put me 1.3 miles away from the trailhead.
You will want to drive to Orson park in Draper, and there will be a dirt road that takes you all the way to the trailhead but be warned cars will not like that road. I would say a crossover vehicle is pushing it.

Bring lots of water! It is dry now so you can't filter any water this time of year. I went through 2 power aids and 3 liters of water and still felt pretty dehydrated the last 3 miles down.

Plan on going in the morning. I got out late (11 am) and was in the sun the whole time. There isn't much shade from trees so the sun is on you the whole time.

I would not recommend this for the first time to beginner-moderate hikers. It is a brutally hard hike that I would recommend working up towards. It is probably the most gorgeous hike of all the peaks in my opinion though.

backpacking
15 days ago

Definitely worth pushing that last mile or so past Ostler Lake to Amethyst. The water is strikingly blue! Temps are prime this time of year, plenty of great places to set up camp!

backpacking
15 days ago

Great backpacking trail/lake. Heavy use, so please make sure you pack in/pack out. The ranger at the trailhead told us open fires due to the “Extreme” fire danger rating. Unfortunately the people around us didn’t get the memo. The pit next to us re-sparked with the wind- luckily my friend and I were there to put it out.

Closer to 7 miles each way. The water spots along the way were my favorite. The steep part is steep going up, an slippery going down. Saw 2 moose (at separate times). Weather was mild and didn’t go below 44°.

backpacking
15 days ago

My son and I loved Grandaddy Lake! This was my son’s first overnight backpacking trip and it did not disappoint. The hike up was challenging for him, but he’s only 9, so there was a little complaining; however he did great on the way back. We fished a little and didn’t get any bites. Our only regret was not staying one more day to explore the area.

Just finished this hike early today. We did the loop with a night at Big Sandy and the second night at Dads lake.

The Cirque is a great spot, but stopping there is a mistake. Views from Texas Pass are amazing and a great sense of accomplishment accompanied summiting. Shadow Lake and Dads lake are also gems that would be missed if not doing the loop.

In the 25 miles trail navigation difficulty was only an issue at Lonesome Lake/Texas Pass area as cairns seem to be all over. However, this was also a highlight for my wife who loved scrambling through boulders. You will work hard to get to top, just to look down and see that your heading straight down. BUT it’s well worth it.

This hike offers streams, lakes, peaks, forests, wild flowers everywhere. Only thing we missed out on seeing was wildlife.

**As for mosquitos, I only had a problem when I didn’t spray. When I sprayed they seemed to leave me alone.

Good long hike! I got cell coverage the whole way so it was really helpful in staying on the route, plus in a lot of areas there are a ton of Carins (unlike pfieferhorn). Hiked in late July and saw about 30 other people. So it is nice that the trail is not packed (like Timp). We started at 5:45 am, took 5 hours to summit, 3.5 hours to descend. And it seems like that pace is just above average for those on the trail. Temps were perfect until it started heating up about halfway down the mountain, not sure how to avoid that.

This trail is short and easy, you can make it longer by exploring around the lakes. Great for dogs and kids- or out of towners:)

This is a great Trail if it wasn't for the middle part being so Steep and Rocky I would give it 5 stars.

STEEP!!! If you’re looking to gain as much elevation as possible within a short distance, look no further. The trail is ruthless on the ascent and descent if you choose to not do the loop. Save your knees and descend via the loop. Throughout the trail, you have a beautiful view of the city and an even better view from the top. Start early to beat the heat since there isn’t much shade. Overall, decent trail (besides all the snakes).

Definitely a very difficult hike, long, grueling, and one that will push your limits. I’d recommend starting early (4-5 am) to get past Jacob’s Ladder before it gets too hot. Views are amazing and the summit push is fun but exposed, not for people who don’t like heights or inexperienced hikers

Hell hath no fury like Jacob's Ladder. That stretch of trail is steep, unrelenting, and loose. I've also dealt with multiple rattlesnakes on the trail and in the bushes. I usually climb it at night, sleep in the saddle, and summit in the morning. If you want to hike in the day, start at 5am or you'll hate your life. The scramble to the top has some exposure, but for experienced hikers it isn't bad. Awesome views. Summit is a small rock with three drop offs on each side. Not for the faint of heart.

This is the least trafficked lake trail that starts at Christmas meadows. the gradual incline makes it a little more manageable for those carrying packs. There are a lot of fish in the lake. The place is beautiful. The distance is closer to 20 miles round trip.

So worth it. Bring plenty of water, and a filter just in case!!

We did the out and back in a day, 4th of July week, last few miles back we were dragging ass but for us Floridians that get to the mountains twice a year it was an accomplishment, lol. the squitters, if working together, could've picked me up and taken me away but like I said we're from Florida so we've encountered these swarms before. Repellent repellent! Absolutely beautiful and we can't wait to come back and spend a few days, and nights, exploring the side trails!

hiking
27 days ago

Did this trail 2 years ago. A wonder! It’s the untouched backyard that mysteriously brings you back to the dinosaur era. 20 people per day are permitted, which means you won’t see any other human most of the time. Complete wilderness without any man made sign, so you have to notice the landscape then roam freely!

Very difficult hike. Took about 7 hours and that was with us trying to go fast. I’m mid 30s and relatively fit, but this hike pushed me to my limit. Trail is challenging to follow and we turned an 11 mile hike into a 12.5 mile because we took a couple wrong turns.

backpacking
1 month ago

Amethyst Lake is a great overnight backpacking destination. You can do it as a day hike, but why hurry. As others have noted horses and dogs are allowed. There is plenty of water along the route so you will not need to carry more than 1L (and a good water filter or alternative water treatment). Wildflowers are blooming everywhere. It rained on Saturday afternoon and evening. I checked the temp at 4:00 AM Sunday and it was 39 degrees. So remember at elevation the temps are vastly different than in the SLC valley :).

There is only one section of the trail that gains elevation quickly and is in poor condition due to the loose rock. This section of trail follows the creek (I think it is the outflow from Amethyst Lk) with amazing waterfalls and water slides. When you hit the top there is a gravel bar with a pool of water perfect for hydration and cooling off before beginning the gradual climb to the lakes.

The hike itself is absolutely amazing! My brother and I set out to climb the seven major peaks in utah county this year (Nebo, Santaquin, Spanish Fork, Provo, Cascade, Timpanogos, and Lone Peak) This one was the last one that we climbed, and it was by far our favorite! It was definitely one of the more challenging peaks though as the trail is quite steep and fairly long. Make sure to start early and take lots of water! It took us about 8 hours total.

I only have one complaint and that is that, when coming from the Provo side, the driving directions take you to a closed road! Eventually after looking at the topographic map I figured out how to get there: after driving up highland blvd to the top of the hill, I turned into a new development to the east of the road. Once in the new development, I went to the far northeast corner to where the paved road turned into a dead end, but a dirt road continued off of it. If you keep traveling north here it will bring you to a gravel road that brings you through a gate to another trailhead. Keep traveling past this trailhead about another 3/4 of a mile along the road and you will arrive at the Jacobs ladder trailhead.

I hope this helps! It delayed our start by about an hour to figure out, but we were still able to get up before it was too hot, so I’m not mad about it. The trail is very easy to follow until the cirque but even within the cirque it’s not too hard.

Bottom line: the views from the top are very rewarding and well worth the difficulty of getting there.

backpacking
1 month ago

A lot of mosquitos. After being there for an evening and night I have over 20 bites and I used bug spray plus a bug net around my head.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike. The view of the peaks over the meadow about 5.5 miles in is really something. Make sure you keep going past the first smaller lake! I agree with other reviewers that the trail would be a bit nicer without all the horse "remains" all over the trail, but such is life.

nature trips
1 month ago

A wonderland!

Absolutely stunning views all the way to the peak. I’m relatively fit, and it took 4-4.25 hours to reach the top. If you’re looking for some true adventure, this is definitely one for you. Although the hike is long, it’s certainly worth doing.

FAIR WARNINGS:
The road to the trailhead, which starts at Orson B. Smith Park, is rather long, very rough and rocky. Make sure your vehicle has good ground clearance, as you may bottom out (scrape the ground with the underside of your car, or possibly even get stuck if your ground clearance is really low) in some sections if you’re driving a compact car that’s low to the ground. Trucks and SUVs can handle this quite easily. 4WD is not exactly necessary.

Some sections of the trail are very steep, so I recommend a trekking pole or two.

Bring at least 5-6 half-liter bottles of water (or fewer larger bottles). I saw no source of water anywhere on the trail, so don’t bother packing a filtered drinking straw. I started with 4 and a half 1/2 liter bottles of water, and ran out long before I got back to the trailhead.

At one point, you will be walking across what seems like a large, hilly field of granite rock. There are many cairns which should lead you in the right direction(on your way back down, stay to the left as much as possible as many ill-placed cairns may lead you in the wrong direction). After this, it’s scrambling over large boulders almost all the way to the top.

Watch out for snakes, including rattlesnakes. If it weren’t for a fellow hiker warning me of a rattlesnake on the trail, I would’ve likely stepped right on it since it was rather well hidden in the middle of the trail.

Pack something warmer to wear for when you reach the peak, like a long sleeved shirt or a windbreaker. The wind was quite gusty, and the temperature was in the high 50s, even at noon.

Beautiful area!

backpacking
1 month ago

This was a great trail. I'm 62 and, although I do a couple of 8-12-mile day hikes a year, I haven't carried a full pack for an overnight stay in 12 years. To my delight, I was able to do this trail with no trouble. Yes, the first mile is vigorously uphill, but it wasn't bad. And once past that point, it's just miles of the reasonably easy mountain up and down I'm used to. The environment and views are outstanding. The fishing is splendid but the catching is no better or worse than anywhere else. Be prepared for mosquitoes, however, and I mean bring the big guns or full-coverage nets. 100% DEET kept them from biting, but they swarmed and hovered within inches of treated skin by the score whenever I wasn't moving.

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