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Went in on September 28. Really windy. Great spot at the lower lake. Didn’t see the bear, but at 6 pm Saturday night a forest fire to west threatened to blow in. Got the heck out through smoke and darkness. Check the fire conditions before you go!

hiking
7 days ago

Took the dogs out for this fun hike last week. It was pretty dry out so part of the trail was really dusty but still fun. It was nice to have the variety of terrain from dirt, to wooden foot bridge crossings, to climbing rocky boulder steps. Loved having plenty of little lakes and ponds to stop at. We took the clockwise route on accident and found that it was still fun, just a little steep for the dogs at times. There were definitely no bugs out so that was a plus! Don’t forget to pay the park fee before you start exploring because we forgot and found a nice little envelope on our windshield requesting payment when we got back to the car. Oopsies!

We went on this hike the first Monday in October. The weather was perfect (overcast with a chill to keep you from sweating). we went counterclockwise and found it was the best choice since the switchbacks were easier to go up than the loose rocks coming down. We only saw 4 other people on our hike and there were NO BUGS! we also saw some wildlife, including Mountain goats! overall this hike was really fun and pretty easy, even for my New England lungs. I definitely recommend taking a photo of the map since there is NO SERVICE and some unmarked splits in the path.

What an amazing hike! We had a late start and set up camp the fist night at about 5pm. We found a great area at about 300ft from the trail. on day two we reached Lower Red Lake. it was beautil. we set up camp the second night just by the lake at about 400ft from the trail. After we had fallen asleep, we woke up to a bear circling our tent, ended up leaving maybe after half hour. Talking about being scared!! we had our food on a bear proof container and inside a smell prood bag away from the tent. the scenary on this trail is breathtaking. the switchbacks are long so it makes the elevation gain easy. the hike was overall challenging for us (we come from.florida). def will do it again.

Great hike in the Fall, wish I would’ve brought a fishing pole to try the lakes along the trail.

hiking
20 days ago

First visit in the Uinta. The landscapes are beautiful but there were TONs OF MOSQUITOES!!! Make the hike much harder than we anticipated because we could not rest around the lakes... We heard that is common in June-July and it's much better in August so we might come back later in the season next year.
Because of the elevation, I would rate this hike moderate. Also, the "3 divide lake" trail on the North-West of the loop is hard to find.

This hike is rated as moderate, but it was very easy. There is hardly any elevation gain and the switchbacks are long making what little you have to gain a breeze. Plenty of water along the trail to filter, or for your dog to drink. As noted by the previous review, lower red castle lake is picturesque but definitely not pristine. We camped in the site with the heart shaped rock. It was nice until we noticed all the human waste that was not properly buried. We had set up our tent not realizing till the next morning how close it was to utter grossness. Leave no trace is important. If your not sure what this requires look it up and please respect our wilderness.

Scenery and setting are truly spectacular. Really a photogenic place. But you’ve gotta embrace the poop smeared toilet paper fluttering in the wind, fire rings...everywhere, footpaths through delicate alpine meadows...and dogs barking at sunrise. Pristine? Not so much. Leave no trace? What’s that?

hiking
26 days ago

Just like everybody says, there's no marked trailhead so check the tips for directions. The pond is still there but it's all climb. LOTS of rock climbing, I'd check for wind speed before heading up because there's parts that are incredibly sketchy. The part I got confused on how to get up was getting to the ridge, you'll find a kind of cave when you get up top, climb the side as I found it to be the easiest way up for a short person. Other than that just follow all the stacked small rocks that people have placed as a guide. Totally worth there climb for the views

Awesome hike. Beautiful scenery. But the fire in Spanish fork canyon smoked me and several other groups out. We left before our original departure date because it was raining ash. Fire is over 100 miles away.

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.

Spent three days. Hiked toward the end of lower lake ~10 miles in about 5.5 hours. Lots of horses and horse dung. Don’t fret if you don’t find camping before the end of lower lake. There are a few spots in the woods past it as well as on the opposite side of the lake. Labor day weekend had tons of other people. By the time we hiked out sunday, the parking lot was overflowing with cars. Lows were about 30-35. One person claimed their thermometer said 28. Very rocky at some points in the trail. I’m not currently in running shape but I wouldnt deem it a difficult hike. There are only a few times that really feel like you’re hiking up. Upper red is worth the extra couple miles. Saw over half of a dozen moose.

beautiful, but I'm not sure this is really a loop. I went clockwise and couldn't find the intersection with the Notch Trail. my nat geo map does not show a loop. it's missing the east west connector at the top. Nice to see the fall colors.

This trail is great, every lake has another view it is always beautiful. Absolutly not crowded. Much silenc, awesome.

hiking
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a fantastic hike. We only had time to go about 2 miles in. We saw birds, deer, squirrels and chipmunks. We took our 7 year old and she was fine for this portion of the trail. I would consider this a technical hike due to the rocky terrain and the horse crap. Over all this was a great hike with great views.

Went over labor day so it was super busy. Still got a decent spot tho. Temps get low enough for frost and the lake to start icing so pack warm clothes. Overall a challenging backpack but with a killer payoff!!!

Wonderful hike today! Our info said 6 miles. Perfect weather!

For the Uintas this is one of my favorite hikes. It is a good place to go if you like open meadows and a relative easy hike. If you go all the way to Dead Horse Lake it is 10 miles but an easy hike with no real steep uphill until the very end, and then it is minimal. Then you are rewarded with one of the most picturesque lakes in the Uintahs.

I would suggest not camping at the lake as it is right along the Highline Trail. There are many good sights all along the river that runs nearly parallel to the trail. We Hiked in 5.5 miles, made camp and made a round trip to the lake the next day.

The only negative to this hike is the getting there. It is basically 22 miles of dusty washboard road. With the last 6 or so very rocky. Given that you have to make two stream crossings better have a vehicle that can handle all this. That said it probably keeps people away.

hiking
1 month ago

The views of the many lakes all along the way are beautiful. The trail is easy to follow except up to Three Lakes Divide. There isn’t a trail here and I felt bad walking on the foliage. I would have given this 5 stars if it did not include this section. Also, be prepared to pay for parking and it can pretty full. You’ll need $6 cash for one day.

Really beautiful, quiet trail with wildflowers and a serene lake. Unfortunately, it seems this trail may not be currently maintained, and it was difficult for us to find where the trail continued past the first lake. Also worth noting the road up to the trailhead is very rough. Would advise against driving up it without an all wheel drive vehicle.

Pretty busy. Sunday of Memorial weekend and got there at around 10:30am, so guess that’s to be expected on an already known busy trail. Had to park in overflow parking down the road a bit. Lots of hikes start here, and after the first bit it thinned out some. Lots of cool lakes along the way. Hiked to the last one and had a pretty peaceful lunch and tried to photograph some dragonflies. Saw some tent campers and people fishing. Overall we enjoyed the area and hope to come back for an overnight sometime.

horseback riding
1 month ago

Fun but challenging ride for horses. A decent portion of the trail is either granite slab or loose boulders. Horses made it but it wasn’t the best trail for them.

hiking
1 month ago

Camped elsewhere in the Unitas and hiked to Island Lake as a day hike. My boyfriend and I must have lucked out, the trail wasn't super crowed and there was only one other group at the lake when we got there. The lake is beautiful, we even went for a little dip, which was cold but definitely doable.

The only negative thing I have to say has been said below, the people we did pass on the trail (mostly families/ boy scout troops) had absolutely ZERO trail etiquette. I love that more and more people are backpacking and hiking, but please teach your little ones that people traveling uphill have the right away. Barreling into me as your descending the trail... not cool.

backpacking
1 month 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.

backpacking
1 month 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.

backpacking
1 month 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

Beautiful place! Pack warm clothes. Can’t wait to return again!

Great trail for all ages

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