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

Utah backpacking Map

Attempted a climb just yesterday and the trail was pretty accessable. there were places where spikes were very useful. On the approach to the final climb snow shoes are required. My buddy brought his but I didn't so we ended up having to turn back. Another hiker on their way down said that he got to the base of the final climb but there was steep ice covered by snow that just slid away so we had to turn back. Those looking to summit this time of year need spikes, snow shoes, and actual crampons / ice axes.

Favorite peak in the Wasatch. The upper red pine lakes and the view of the ridge that divides BCC and LCC is insane. There is some boulder hopping/scrambling above the Maybird Lakes basin that was hard on the way out, but easier on the way back when you could easier scout your route. We saw a marten on the scrambling part! The last little bit is very steep but it looks more intimidating than it really is. Did this in mid July. Get an early start as it is long and there isn’t much shade after red pine lake.

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.

You have to go to the upper lake! It might be hard to motivate yourself after already hiking 10 miles, but it’s so worth it. The layers in the rock and the view you get of the valley are spectacular, and the upper lake itself is more scenic than the lower one.

Only went up to Lone Rock but the view was great there. Just so AllTrails users know, the road is closed for the season about a mile and a half before the trail head, so bear that in mind. Also the trail was quite muddy and slick towards the beginning of the ascent.

Great area to backpack. Red Castle Mountain at sunset is amazing

No snowshoes needed today, but slushy and slippery. Micro spikes used after 9200 feel.

11/12/17. Extremely difficult. I’d say it’s closer to 14 miles round trip. Look for the stacked rocks to follow the trail plan on making a day out of this 10 -14 hours.

Made it to the ridge and turned around. Was very windy and a a little icy and snow above red pine

Beautiful day for a trail run / hike. Turned around at knifes edge due to wind, snow and ice. Very dangerous right now above Red Pine, only attempt with proper equipment. GREAT route!

Snow kept us from making the last couple hundred feet. Beautiful hike with amazing views!

I did this yesterday and it kicked my butt. I hike every other day and struggled to do this!! also, directions are wrong here and take you too a closed road. i hiked from a parking lot many miles away. very steep and easy to lose the path at the end. bring water and company.

We do this hike every year. Jacobs is always hard (up and down). Minimal snow on the top. There is some ice, but going to summit is not a problem.

Made the summit just after sunrise today with help of crampons and ice axe. Others who came later behind me didn't use such gear, though a few had some on hand.
Finding the trail at night was tough, but the full moon was a great help in saving batteries on the simpler paths. A tiring but absolutely excellent experience!

Very challenging but worth it! We did this Oct 7th and made it to the top. There was snow on the ridge line but it was doable!

5 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.

5 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

Climbed this on September 30. Talked to some campers who said there were others attempting it on prior days but gave up 100 meters from the summit do to the slippery snow conditions. We (stupidly) pressed on and made it.

The last 50 or so meters was super scary and dangerous. With only 4 inches of snow on most of the boulders, there isn't enough to remain stable on top of the icy base. The block with the survey marker was under about 2.5 inches and way too slippery for my comfort.

I would recommend everyone ether wait for more snow pack and have proper mountaineering gear, or do this one when there is no snow or ice.

amazing hike I've done it over 20 times there is no water after June bring lots of water start before the sun comes up it gets very hot. I'm going up in a few days I'll post how much snow is up there when I get back

5 months ago

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

It’s. Hard. And. I hike a lot! I think just because it’s so long. Blanche/sundial has a better view.. but still worth doing once!

Thankfully I didn't bring my 18 moth old there's too much bolder hopping and scrambling to have a child (unless maaaaybe if they're asleep for the last 2 hours). It took my husband and I from 8am -5pm but we took our time on the final summit push.

Great hike. There is a ton of snow now and because we get dumped on on the way down. It's pretty sketchy with all the snow but definitely worth it!

Challenging hike but the best peak around, hands down.

A bit of snow on Saturday made the summit not quite safe, so we turned around at the knife edge. Great views from the ridge!

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

Awesome hike, make sure to keep track of where you are going thought because you can easily lose he trail near the top.

Great hike, highly recommend it.

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