Explore the most popular trail running trails in High Uintas Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

7 hours ago

Backpacked past Ibantik and in to Meadow Lake at the beginning of August last year. Views from The Notch were amazing! Moderate hike with a few steep places but totally manageable. Wind was a bit fierce on day 2 but other than that, a great trip. Bring your fly rod.

10 days ago

Did this hike last August. Stayed 3 nights perfect weather. Hiked in on a Monday passed a few people leaving but only had neighbors one night. A few groups hiked by. Hiked to Meadows lake one day, beautiful had the lake to ourselves all day. Based on the reviews planned on a lot of mosquitoes didn’t get a single bite. Also didn’t get a lot of bites from the fish. Hiked the meadows lake for the day. A few mountain goats did pass right by our camp.

Did this hike 2 years ago at the end of June. Still some snow in places on the trail. A few steep places going in and coming out. Fortunately, that keeps traffic at the lake to a minimum. Slept in hammocks at the lake a couple nights. Caught lots of fish and woke up to mountain goats in our campsite every morning. There’s a lot of dead trees which made it interesting sleeping in hammocks, especially with the nightly storms. Writing this review as I get ready for another trip here this summer.

1 month ago

This hike is not for the faint of heart... Features stunning views and exhilarating hiking and bouldering. This is a Family favorite for my family and I. Just a note from us... Go around the west side of the false peak and there is a chute a few hundred yards north of that--that you can climb back up to the ridge before you summit. This hike requires a lot of steep bouldering and climbing. The hard work is worth it for the amazing view at the end.

on Shingle Creek Trail

2 months ago

A good trail for snowshoeing. Went up a couple miles after a snow storm and enjoyed the winter scenery.

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.

Love it easy fun lots of water

Nice area with lots of lakes

I loved this hike. Very rewarding, beautiful views along the way. Not hard. Very very green in the middle of the the summer. Great escape!

Gorgeous views, fabulous greenery when I went in July. Would definitely do it again

6 months ago

Lots of snow up above the beaver ponds and icy in patches below them. Didn’t quite make it all the way up this time but it’s worth coming back to complete. Might just wait until late Spring though!

6 months ago

Snow on the trail, other than some slippery spots and occasional concern we had lost the trail...beautiful hike! Felt the elevation so took it slow. Went yesterday (Wednesday) and we didn't see anyone else along the trail or at the trailhead.

7 months ago

Awesome views... did it in July and there was still some snow on the pass before the drop down to lofty lake. We did it counter clockwise passing Picturesque and Scout lake first. It was an easy route but I had my wife and 10year old who were new to hiking. And coming from Florida where our highest elev. is about sea level, the altitude got to them quickly. In hindsight I think it's 50/50 on going clockwise or counterclockwise from the trailhead. Either way you gotta climb. Our hike was somewhat rushed due to trying to get to Vernal by nightfall but I think it took about 4/5 hours if I remember correctly.

The views at the pass, Lofty lake, coming out to the overview looking at Cuttthroat lake and Kamas lake are amazing! I have to say I really wish we could have spent more time and maybe fished at Kamas. Anywhere would be an ideal lunch spot.

The trail itself is in pretty decent shape. The only moderately sketchy part was coming off of Lofty and heading towards Kamas. There are several trails meandering about but as long as you have a basic map and know your directions it's pretty obvious which direction to head with using the mountains as landmarks. Sooner or later you will pick up the trail again.

There were several people (not too many) on the trail throughout the day so that put my little one at ease that we weren't lost. All in all, an awesome adventure! Highly recommended.

7 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.

One of my all-time favorite hikes! The picture moments just keep coming.

7 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

An annual hike that we do counter clockwise. We like starting early in the morning and we always bring Deet to fend off the hungry mosquitoes! Wonderful views of many lakes, including Mirror Lake. Great hike!

8 months ago

Caught 6 trout on a fly with bubble and 2 with powerbait. Great spot.

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

8 months ago

Beautiful hike, did it counter-clockwise. We hiked trail to Lake Ruth and back to Lofty Lake trail, added 1.4 m. Rugged in a few places up and down. Eat lunch at Lofty lake and seemed to stop every bend or rise to take pictures. With pics and lunch and Ruth: 5 hour hike for us.

amazing hike! many more lakes than listed in the description. it's about 3 hours home for me, without stopping for the views.

We had a great time, hiked the entire trail to the lower lake in one day. Camped the night before at China Meadows. Left at 5 am and returned by 2pm. Didn't hike hard and stopped a plenty. Beautiful lake and Red Castle Mt is awesome!! A MUST-DO!

excellent loop trail. a bit steep in places, but just awesome! several more lakes are visible than are noted in the description. it's about a three hour hike for me, if I hadn't stopped to enjoy the view so often.

8 months ago

Love this hike! It is long but not too challenging. The lake is smaller than I expected but still has some good camping spots around it. Can't wait to go back!

Just did this as a two night backpack over Labor Day weekend. It was stunning! And there are no more mosquitoes!!! I never had to use bug spray once. It also never rained! It is a long 10 mile hike in, but there's so little elevation gain it feels almost flat. There were a lot of groups camping, but everyone was very friendly and I enjoyed talking to great new people. Spent the second day going up to the upper lake for lunch. We sunned on the rock, dipped our feet in, and even swam for a second. We woke up to five moose in our campsite the second morning! I will never forget this incredible experience.

Perfect short day hike with gorgeous views and some challenging spots.

Very nice hike that is not terribly difficult and offers great views of the western side of the Uinta Mountains.

8 months ago

Beautiful hike! A few tricky crossings but doable. 12.9 miles recorded. Relaxing by the quiet lake was magic. We rarely saw others on a holiday weekend. It was the perfect long hike in a day!

8 months ago

Incredibly beautiful hike through meadows, pine forest, and aspen groves. As others have said, this hike is 13 miles round trip from the parking lot. The first 2 miles are fairly easy and pleasant...BUT...once you turn left to head toward Amethyst the trail becomes quite steep for about a mile and then continually ascends until you reach the lake. The trail is very rocky and there are quite a few areas where it is muddy. You will likely ask yourself several times, "How and why is this fun??" However, you can take regular breaks and enjoy the waterfalls and cascades that border the trail. After you've endured the grueling uphill climb you come to Amethyst Lake. It is well worth the hike and the most gorgeous mountain lake I have visited to-date!!

Went today, bridge is no longer out at 2.5 miles. There are a couple of tricky crossing but all doable. Went up to East Shingle Creek Lake, 6.5 miles 2500ft+ in elevation climb. Must have missed the 5 mile up lake. Wonderful trail to run.

Load More