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

uintas Map

Such an awesome hike. Did it in two days one night, but spreading it out over another night would have been nice. Started in a Thursday morning and was back Friday evening. Saw other people out but we’re alone on the peak for most of the time we were up there. Starts out forested then opens into valleys with awesome views of the surrounding mountains, then over the pass and up to an epic peak.

I did this a couple years ago and it was gorgeous!!

Anyone know if we can still hike it now in October?? I know it says best through September but does that mean it’s closed off?

This is one of my all time favorites! Definitely a two-nighter to enjoy it! Very busy on the weekends! Start the summit very early, thunder and lightning storms come from out of nowhere in the afternoon!

Go clockwise. The Yellowstone side is more gradual, prettier, and has water. The trail maps aren’t very accurate. It was closer to 28 miles.

Hiked with scout troop over a course of 3 days. Don’t go down the side of the main peak the back way, go down the way you came up... we learned that the hard way.

A great summit. Don’t despair when you hit a false summit - the real one is close. We took the shortcut. From the pass, follow the cairns to hikers right. Lots of rock hopping. Trekking poles are nice to have. 40Mph? winds made standing on the summit block a bit challenging.

beautiful place to go I have done it in one day don't recommended if your not fit for it. it's better in 2 days so you can enjoy it better

What a great adventure. Encountered plenty of wild life, the beauty of the mountains, and a killer hike. As usual the weather in the Uintas was unpredictable. The window of 3pm thunder showers quickly turned into noon thunder showers. We hunkered down for about 20 minutes until storm passed over. This ended up working to our advantage because it allowed us to enjoy the Peak to ourselves for awhile. So glad to finally have this one under my belt.

4 months ago

Loved this hike. Camped at Ostler lake, and hiked to Amethyst the next day. The scenery was spectacular. I agree it was well over 11.7 miles. From the bottom, to Ostler we clocked 6.5 miles. The next day it was about 1.7 miles to Amethyst Lake which was spectacular. Definitely worth the trip.

4 months ago

Nice hike, but a long day trip. I agree with the prevailing sentiment that it is absolutely 13 miles, not 11.7. I was actually trying to go to Kermsuh lake, but went left when I should have gone straight. I didn't see any signs, but I have screwed up before. For the last mile, I am not sure what is represented by the track shown here on AllTrails. Any trail matching that track is very subtle. The obvious main trail brings you right by the small, unnamed triangular-shaped lake at about 5.5 miles. There are well constructed campsites here, and then it is another mile and some significant additional elevation to Amythest Lake.

The whole hike is scenic, passing through forests, meadows and along a running stream with waterfalls. The lake is absolutely beautiful. No mosquitos at all right now. The elevation gain comes in fits and spurts, with parts that seem almost flat and other parts that are strenuous. The first 2.5 miles from Christmas Meadows requires some care to avoid mud in places and is lots of up and down, which is fine at the start, but a drag when you are coming back at the end. There is a sign at the trailhead warning that the trail is obstructed by downed trees. Not to worry, because the trail elves have cleaned them all up, bless their souls.

I don't think there is a clear trail to Osler Lake, but it might be fun to find it another time. People climb up to Osler Peak from there, which looks to be an adventure way beyond my comfort level.

The elevation is a killer! Great views, plenty of water until the summit. Watch the weather, it can turn quickly.

I rate it moderate! Very beautiful easy hike! The scramble was fun except watching people drag their dogs around. Not dog friendly. 2.5 to Henry’s lake 2 to summit. 2.5 down. Great weekend backpacking trek with 15#. Be prepared for the elements. Pack accordingly!

4 months ago

For those with dogs: while dogs are allowed, I wouldn't call this hike dog friendly. Especially the scramble to the summit.

We ended up carrying ours, only 13#s, larger dogs were struggling too. I would recommend to only summit with your dog if they are used to high altitude and have energy for days.

We'd go back to the area with her but wouldn't go beyond Anderson Pass, if that.

Great Hike!! kicked my but. but well worth it. Cant wait to do it again.

Trailhead, drop gear at Dollar lake, bust it up the mountain, get down before dark, headlamps blazing, Lifestraw a must, missing the Gunsight pass turn off, Hi-line trail for miles, stumble on sign for Gunsight, cross over, crawl up the pass, freeze your assets all the back to Dollar, fall into sleeping bag, sleep like the dead, quick pack out and back to reality. This was one for the books. I love the mountains in UT!

Fun hike, wouldn’t recommend taking the “short cut” unless you like walking through rock fields for a longer period of time. Also recommend doing this in 2-3 days and not 1

I spent 5 days backpacking the area. Deliberately went during the week to avoid people but I underestimated how popular this trail is. Saw others every day of this venture Sunday to Thursday.

First night near Dollar. There are about a dozen established campsites with stone firepits just around Dollar. I had neighbors the first night. Even in tree cover the night winds are cold. Did not have a tent, just a hammock, tarp and rain fly sinched tight around me to save weight so I needed trees.

Left for King's at 8:30. At Gunsight Pass I missed the shortcut that I intended to take and went into the basin. Wish I hadn't, because I had packed up my campsite with the intent of going south to Atwood lake after summiting King's, so I climbed Gunsight and descended into the basin with full pack weight.

When the trail ascent began I ditched all weight except water, gloves and windbreaker(ABSOLUTELY take one) and summited. The last scramble was not too bad, but I keep a ferocious pace and I don't take breaks. Altitude did not affect me as anticipated. Took about 4 hours from Dollar to peak without the shortcut. I passed 3 other men, all of whom took the shortcut, two of which were my campsite neighbors, the other I met at the trailhead and had a similarly brutal pace up until the scramble, from Anderson Pass to the peak with 20 minutes for photos and lunch before one of them joined me up there. We had a King's Peak bonding of strangers and I left. Views from peak were faded by Cali wildfires.

Immediately after starting the descent from the peak, my knees were on fire. Every step was agony. And I couldn't even take the shortcut down the chute of Anderson or to Gunsight because all my gear was left in the basin. Climbing back up Gunsight and trekking to Dollar was a hell that could not have ended soon enough. Glad I packed so much ibuprofen and tiger balm. Take as little weight as possible for the peak!!! Dollar to peak to Dollar took 9 hours because each step going back was pain I'd never felt. Knelt in Dollar while filtering water to ease my knees in lieu icing inflammation. Very effective. It is cold.

Expected heavy mosquito presence but did not see a single one until filtering water at Dollar. Also, this isn't well covered, but at this altitude the body doesn't effectively adjust to the lack of oxygen, 18% at 13,000ft. 59% at 4500 in Ogden where I live. You know that cusp of sleep where thoughts become dream and then sleep? Usually takes me 30-90 minutes to get there. Here took me 10 minutes each night. VERY quick. And you keep awakening throughout the night due to low oxygen so you never long exit rapid eye movement into deep sleep. You will dream A LOT. Or just awaken frequently with recollection of dreams all night, but still well rested if your campsite was setup right.

Third day went west to Henry's Fork Lake where there's much less traffic. Six moose, 4 bulls 2 cows eating in the lake for hours whilst I fished. Day-hiked up to Blanchard lake and around. Wanted to see Cliff Lake but my knees hurt way too much, even with just a daypack of mostly water. Saw three wild horses and two flocks of 30+ sheep. Unending chorus of baaa. Baaa. Baaa. Made me laugh out loud alone maniacally.

Trail south-north is not well marked. It diverges at Henry's Fork Lake, actual trail going northwest, the other just north remaining in the valley with the east bench almost always in view. I took the latter and missed all the western lakes, Bear, Sawmill, etc. Wouldn't likely happen to anyone north-southbound as the trail has permanent markers.

No rain except a sprinkle <10 minutes the first night. A blessed, sunny journey. Hope this helps anyone.

4 months ago

Very beautiful trail the whole way. I'm no bird expert but the back half of the trail seems to have more than usual bird nests, so if you're into that, this might be a good place!
This is perfect for a quick overnighter with no planning, or a first time backpacking trip, or even one to take the younglings with. It is a little bit of a climb to get over the notch both ways, but definitely not bad. The great thing is, there are several bodies of water along the way that you could stop at if your legs got too tired and just set up camp there. The parking lot does get full, so get there early (or late) to get into that parking lot.
There are two trailheads that I saw from the parking lot, one that is big and welcoming, and the other that you want to go on is hidden behind cars. If it wasn't for the AllTrails app I would have kept going for a while longer haha. Get on the trail that says Wall Lake.
The trail is well maintained and easy to stay on, even when the trail disappears, people have lined rocks up to form a trail over the boulders. Very hard to get lost once you're on the trail.
The lake is fairly small, but very pretty being nestled next to a big cliff mountain. There will be a lot of other campers with you there. The best camping spots are on the east side of the lake in the trees. Much better for hammocks, and there is actually firewood over there. No fire for me on the rocky west side haha.
Very fun overnighter, will do again next year.

4 months ago

Very beautiful lake, with many scenic places along the way.
Went backpacking in mid July there and the temps were very moderate. The trail was definitely muddy in many places, but using logs, rocks and higher trails made it easy to keep my feet dry. When you arrive, there is a very small lake on your right about 1/4 mile away from the actual lake. If I had to do it again I would have camped there. The bugs at Amethyst Lake were absolutely terrible, it was mostly flies and gnats, not many mosquitoes. The lower lake or pond had no bugs, and better trees for hammocks. It's not as scenic, but better a better spot to lay down the fort.
It gets pretty steep after the fork, but definitely doable.
Beautiful place, would do again.

had a hard time with my water filter.... taste was not great making it hard to drink... hard to stay hydrated. we hiked a mile past dollar lake, to another lake above it, took about 3 hrs. 10ish miles. Weather here seems to be unpredictable at best.. it hailed, rained, thundered/lightning all night. we started around 6:30am sat made it to the peak in 3 hrs., back in 2.5, then left the camp and made it back to the TH at 4pm.... tough weekend. Be careful on pack size 35 ponds of gear exc gets heavy after a while and have fun!

4 months ago

Great hike and destination. It can be a day hike or overnight backpacking trip.

If coming from the Kamas side pick up your recreational pass at the Chevron in Kamas or if you have exact change at the spot where the old ranger station was. It’s a couple miles up the canyon.

If hiking to the meadow below Amethyst Lake (to the east of Ostler Lake) then I think the mileage of about 11.5 miles is correct. If hiking further to Amethyst Lake then I believe that’s at or around 12.5 miles.

It’s about 2.5 miles from the parking lot to the turn off for Amethyst lake. The sign is located on a tree at the fork. At this point and for about the next mile it’s fairly steep and rocky. After that it’s a fairly consistent rise with small bouts of steeper grades.

The trail is muddy at many spots. Generally with well positioned steps you can get through without any issue. I hear mosquitoes and bugs can be a problem but our late August trip had none.

As a reminder, it does get cool/cold at night and storms are known to roll through even if the day has looked great. We had bouts of heavy rain, lightning and thunder even though it had looked clear and the forecast was calling for good weather. Always be prepared in the Uintas.

I camped at Amethyst lake but still hiked Ostler peak. If you want great views it’s worth the effort. Most climb the north ridge from Ostler lake and I would recommend this. I decided to go up the main chute on this mountain. As you reach the top I exited the chute to the left and then climbed up to the saddle. Took the west side of the peak to summit.

No mosquitos, amazing journey, the beauty is endless. A memorable experience, one of my favorite backpacking trips ever

Started at the trailhead at 8am. Hiked as far as we could to gunsight pass. We arrived at Gunsight around 4pm and decided not to go over and into the valley for the night and instead picked out a small group of trees overlooking the basin below. That night was windy but not bad. Left the next morning for the peak at 9am. We went over the pass and into the valley and back up to the Andersons pass. We got back to our campsite around 7pm. My recommendation is when you get to the boulder scramble climb up to the ridge and stick to it as much as possible (way easier than trying to scramble the entire way up to the peak). We scrambled the entire way up and cost us a couple of hours. Next day we packed up at 8am and got back down to the trailhead around 2pm. Overall the hike in and put was very easy. The hike up to the peak was tough although if you have good knees you won't have a problem. the campsite views were incredible, better than any other place I've camped at yet.

We completed this hike with the typical 3-day itinerary that involves camping in the Dollar Lake area. The first day's hike was moderate, climbing about 1500 ft over 8 miles to Dollar. There is a 1/4-mile "no burn zone surrounding the lake, so we continued just far enough past Dollar to be able to enjoy a campfire in one of the many established fire rings scattered around that area. Though we past many hikers on the trail (it was busy on a Saturday), we had plenty of private options with good, flat tent sites in the shelter of mature trees.

The second day was tougher. We left our packs behind and the hike started pretty easy. We decided not to take the "short cut" from the top of the pass because it didn't seem nearly as enjoyable and we were in no hurry. There were many water sources all the way up to the saddle below the peak at 12500 ft. The last mile was a beast though. Scrabbling up the skree at 13000 ft was rough on this low-lander's lungs!

As we came back down, we were tempted to leave the ridge in favor of a more direct descent, but we regretted it. The rocks seemed to be much looser and the way was more difficult than if we had just stayed along the ridge all the way down. In fact, the climb down was more difficult than going up.

Once we reached the trail, the going was easy again and we were back to our campsite at Dollar by early afternoon. I've seen various estimates, but taking the long route through Painter's Basin was 12.75 miles round trip, according to my GPS.

Sunday night we enjoyed a visit from 8 deer slowly passing our campsite, and there was a giant bull moose lounging in the lake.

The third day, we broke camp early and just beat the storms back to the trailhead. Our entire trip was 29.3 miles.

Two more quick notes... I expected a lot of flies and/or mosquitoes since this is lake country, but I didn't see a single bug.

Also, I did not see any mention of bears in other trail reports, so I was surprised to see a sign at the trailhead warning of "bear country" and the need to store food properly. I asked a passing ranger about that and he said it was bear habitat (thus the signs), but there had not been a bear sighting in 30 years and the food storage concern was more for the squirrels and chipmunks.

Can’t give it 5 stars because of all the people and horse poo on the trail. Would not recommend the short cut after gunnison pass as rock slides are very easy to trigger. Good water source in valley right before the final climb to Kings. Shoulda got 2 liters there but only got 1.

Decided to do this with my brother in one day after doing a little research. We started from the trailhead at 3:45 AM and made quick work to dollar lake. We saw three different moose on our way up. We took the shortcut at Gunsight pass and bouldered up the mountain. The summit was hard as there is no defined trail through the boulders, but just keep making your way up and try and stay close to the ridge line. The one thing I would change would be not to take the chute down to try and save some mileage. The loose rocks sliding down the steep incline kept hitting my ankles and multiple times I had to sit down to try and stop myself. Finished the hike at 5:30 and was physically fine, but mentally drained from the long day.

Clear path up to dollar lake, but climbing up to peak isn’t so well marked but still not bad. Was still an amazing hike!

This review is important.
We planned to camp at dollar lake and made it easily up there in about 4 hours, the next day we summited and got altitude sickness but made it in about 11 hours to get back to camp.
What we should’ve done, hike near a lake after gunsite pass and had a shorter summit the next because that is the hardest part of the hike because about 90% of that day is bouldering. Good luck on this very difficult hike

5 months ago

Wildflowers are gone now but so are the mosquitoes. Meadow has dried out so it is easy crossing. Less crowded here than other lakes in area. Beautiful views.

Load More