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    Travis A reviewed Abes Lake Trail

    4 months ago

    This is a remote trail in the NW corner of the high Uintas. It begins at Gardners Fork trailhead which gets light traffic. You'll probably have the trail all to yourself. However, the trail appears to get enough traffic that it's seldom overgrown, even in late summer. The trail starts out steep and rough, then descends briefly on moderate terrain to the 1st river crossing. Between the 1st and 2nd crossing is relatively smooth single track for the middle third of the trail. At the large cairn (see photos), take a left at the obvious fork in the trail. This marks the start of the Abes Lake side trail. You'll then immediately make the third and final river crossing, which marks the beginning of the steep and rocky climb to Abes Lake. It's rarely loose, with good footing, but makes for a challenging technical descent for runners. The three river crossings had many logs and large rocks for relatively easy crossing without getting wet. You should definitely have no problem at the end of summer (late July/Aug/Sept), though it might be a problematic in spring or early summer with lots of snowmelt. The trail is clearly defined except for a few sections on the steep climb up to Abes Lake. Wander a little to the left and right if you seem to lose your way, keep an eye out for the numerous small cairns, and you'll be able to find your way with a little basic route-finding.

    Travis A completed Abes Lake Trail

    4 months ago

    Travis A reviewed South Fork, Provo River

    6 months ago

    Travis A updated South Fork, Provo River

    over 1 year ago

    Travis A reviewed Dry Creek Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Condition report: the trail has only a few small patches of packed snow up to the 7200 ft elevation level (near the upper turnoff to the falls). Above that it's a 50/50 mix of packed snow and muddy trail. At 7600 ft the mud ended and it turned into a snowfield, but that's also where the boot track ended and the snow got soft. I didn't go up any further.

    Travis A completed Dry Creek Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Travis A reviewed Horsetail Falls Trail

    over 1 year ago

    The trail is 95% clear. There are a few small patches of packed snow (easy to cross) and a few small patches of mud/runoff from recently melted snow, but otherwise the trail up to the falls is in great shape.

    Travis A completed Horsetail Falls Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Travis A saved Neffs Canyon Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Travis A saved Heughs Canyon Trail

    almost 2 years ago

    Travis A reviewed King's Peak Utah Highpoint Trail

    over 2 years ago

    Condition Report: We climbed Kings Peak on July 4, 2016 via Henry's Fork. From the trailhead to below Gunsight pass, the trail is almost completely snow free and relatively dry. Sporadic patches of mud can be navigated around without much difficulty. After crossing the river and gaining the upper meadows of Henry's Fork, there's a good amount of snow runoff to contend with, but there are well established "workaround" trails that divert you around soft mud and towards narrow spots for hopping steams. Despite this, you definitely want to avoid mesh shoes and wear something that offers water resistance or waterproofing, especially with the conditions higher up. There are still several snowfield crossings and lots of snowmelt trickling down the meadows up above Gunsight.

    Dollar Lake had tons of great camping spots, but the mosquitoes and flies were really bad, even after we had slathered on DEET. In retrospect we wish we would have camped higher up. If you don't mind backpacking a couple more miles, the last lake before Gunsight Pass is a beautiful spot. It's located at 40.802934, -110.364489.

    After camping at Dollar Lake, we hiked to Gunsight Pass and took the Gunsight cutoff route (instead of dropping down into the Upper Painter Basin as described by AllTrails, you veer right at the pass, traverse the hillside for a while, and then head up a small cliff band to gain the upper bench to Anderson pass). We took the same path back down and avoided the Anderson "chute" which is reported to be very steep, loose and dangerous, for only modest time savings.

    The first real snow we encountered was up near Gunsight Pass. The switchbacks right below the pass are covered with soft snow, putting them in terrible condition. I would highly recommend taking a direct route straight up the Gunsight drainage. This was quick, direct, and far better than the snowy switchbacks we decided to try on the way down. Once you get up to Gunsight Pass, continue over the crest just a little towards Painter Basin and you'll see a clearly marked cairn on your right. This signals the start of the cutoff route, which is shorter and keeps you from losing elevation into Painter Basin. To climbers right, you'll make a few moderately long snow traverses (the longest of the route). They're not very difficult, but a trekking pole comes in handy for balance and stability. Don't bother bringing crampons or an ice ax, as the snow is just too soft. After the snowfields, you'll scramble up the cliff band (somewhat loose class 2/3).

    After ascending the cliff band and gaining the bench, there were several snow fields above us. However, we simply stayed below them. It appears that many parties make the mistake of continuing to hike "up and over." However, once you reach the bench above the cliff bands, you should simply begin traversing, neither gaining nor losing elevation. There are a number of cairns you'll pass at approximately the 12,300 foot level. Just stay at this elevation as you walk around N Gunsight. Once Kings Peak comes into view, make a bee line for Anderson pass (at the base of King's north ridge). There are just a few snowfields to navigate on your way to Anderson pass, but they can all be skirted around or crossed in narrow sections that are no more than 10 or 15 feet across.

    For reference, total time for us from Dollar Lake to Gunsight Pass was 1 hr 15 min. From there, it took us an additional 3 hours to summit. We took a few short breaks, kept a moderate pace, and had no route-finding delays. We had typical scattered thunderstorms for July and needed our waterproof jackets on multiple occasions. Be prepared with waterproof layers if there are any thunderstorms in the forecast. Also, be mindful of the lightening risk. The hike in and out at the lower elevations were definitely short and t-shirt weather. If you're heading up soon I hope this condition report helps!