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.

backpacking
1 day ago

Backpacked up to Henry's Fork Lake for an overnight-er. The trail was mild, good for carrying a pack. Plenty of water available, as most of the trail is near the river or has stream crossings. The first 4.5 miles to the trail fork is through forest, then the view opens up to red peaks and cliffs. We hiked past Bear Lake, which looked like a nice place to camp. The view around Henry's Lake was worth it though. Saw 4 moose in the 2 days, so keep your eyes peeled. Total distance to the lake and back was 18.8 miles and took roughly 6-7 hrs each way (I'm a slow-medium speed hiker).

very beautiful and very well trafficked.

nature trips
3 days ago

What a great hike for a beginner backpacker. It’s just enough to challenge you. Just got back today on August 12th.

Hey everyone! First off, this was a beautiful hike! We backpacked in, and it was a great overnight trip. It wasn’t too steep, and the dogs loved it as well.

The parking lot fills up quick! If you don’t get there at 5:00 A.M, you could be looking at an extra mile from where you have to park. (Unless you are a rebel and have no problem getting a ticket for parking where it clearly says you cannot.

There were no signs leaving from Washington Lake. If it wasn’t for the All Trails app, I would have been really confused on where to go. So make sure to open up that little map All Trails has to offer.

iPhone users beware, if you hit the directions option from your all trails app, it WILL lead you to a different parking lot! Open up the actual map all trails provides, click on the little arrow to the bottom left, and actually follow your phones directions to the correct parking to get to the trailhead. And as I said before, there were no signs, it actually says there are two different lakes that you’ll be hiking past.

Best destination in the Uintas! However, the hike is tough, even though it's relatively flat. There are so many rocks on the trail that it limits your speed and requires you to look where you place every step. Give yourself at least a day to rest and explore before heading back.

Since my wife read the book “Return to Red Castle” about 35 years ago, this has been on her bucket list. Finally got in shape and did it this year. She’s 59 and I am 61. It was a fabulous hike over three days. Went with two of our kids and their spouses, and had a fabulous time. The trail is long but beautiful and very doable for just about anybody. With all of our extra hiking, we went about 36 miles. We did it from Wednesday to Friday. Saw very few people. On the hike down we came across about 40 to 50 people in small groups going up. The weekend looks to be quite busy. Huge, vast area that can accommodate a lot of campers and hikers. Lots of options and directions to go once you get there. Saw a cow moose on the lower half of the trail, and then three Bull moose hanging around Lower Red Castle and the meadows. Fishing was poor, we think due to a lot of pressure in both of the main lakes. We did see a lot of fish swimming around, that weren’t very interested in what we had to offer (flies). That was alright though, because there is so much incredible beauty to explore around there. Pictures don’t do it justice! Be sure to take bug spray and sunscreen. That’s a given for anywhere in the Uintas. A few blisters in our group, a little bit of altitude sickness for a couple of us for just a couple hours, and my wife tripped on the trail and kissed a boulder with her forehead, got a nice cut above her eye and bruises, and a blackeye, but with a little doctoring everything was back to normal. No way was she giving up after all these years of wanting to go there so badly. Loved every bit of it! Will probably be going back.

Unbelievable! Gorgeous views and perfect camping. The first night of our trip we camped at China Meadows and spotted three bull moose. One of which was of trophy size. The hike was pleasant with a gradual incline. The switchbacks were a little difficult but do not last long. Mosquitos were virtually nonexistent and we spent the day enjoying leisure time at Lower Red Castle Lake. We were lucky enough to witness a brilliant thunder storm our first night there. Truly ear splitting booms echoed across the drainage as lightning struck the mountainside. Be ready for quick changes in weather. This is the High Uintas.

On our way to explore Red Castle Lake, we ran into a cow moose. I would suggest taking a day hike to the south side of Red Castle. The views are spectacular from Red Castle Lake and Upper Red Castle Lake. Life truly is different above the tree line. This hike is a little steep but not too difficult without a pack. Bring a good camera and wait until the sun is setting to get magnificent lighting of the red rock. You will walk away with gorgeous photos. This area is so serene and beautiful. If possible, try to go early in the week. The crowds die down on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I would do this again in a second.

backpacking
11 days ago

This trail is much tougher than some of these reviews would have you believe. Check the elevation charts and you'll see what I mean. It's also the only time I've backpacked in the High Uintas and had to deal with multiple large groups of campers. That said, there is a reason it's so popular and busy. The mountains, lakes, and meadows are absolutely stunning. I prefer solitude, so I'm not sure if I'd go again, but it's a beauty for sure.

hiking
11 days ago

This hike has beautiful lakes to hike past as you hike to Lofty Lake. At the summit you can see several Mountian ranges as well as other lakes around.

hiking
11 days ago

We did this route counter clockwise. This route starts out all uphill for the first 1.5 miles. The trail is well defined in most places and there are a few cairns laid where the trail may get confusing. After reaching the ridge summit you come to Lofty Lake. Great place to take a rest and grab some water and snack. Most of the trail from here is downhill. We saw a few people camping here. Next you come to Cutthroat lake although the trail doesn’t take you down to it. There is a spur trail that can take you down. Our final lake was Kamas Lake. This is the largest of the lakes on this loop. The water was cold but not enough to keep us from taking a quick dip. Once you leave Kamas lake you scramble down some rocky trail and then wander through meadows until you reach the parking lot where you began. For us the weather was just right and we had a breeze to keep the bugs off us. We didn’t even use bug spray. Great quick loop. Would be challenging for kids but not impossible. We saw plenty of families with small children. I would rate this trail as moderate.

hiking
15 days ago

There seem to be two different, but very close, trails at the parking lot that join at the first bridge. The one I took need some maintenance (large fallen trees, eroding down the creek bank). However, in late July there were plenty of thimble berries on the trail.

backpacking
16 days ago

Definitely worth pushing that last mile or so past Ostler Lake to Amethyst. The water is strikingly blue! Temps are prime this time of year, plenty of great places to set up camp!

backpacking
16 days ago

Great backpacking trail/lake. Heavy use, so please make sure you pack in/pack out. The ranger at the trailhead told us open fires due to the “Extreme” fire danger rating. Unfortunately the people around us didn’t get the memo. The pit next to us re-sparked with the wind- luckily my friend and I were there to put it out.

Closer to 7 miles each way. The water spots along the way were my favorite. The steep part is steep going up, an slippery going down. Saw 2 moose (at separate times). Weather was mild and didn’t go below 44°.

Absolutely amazing. Bring tons of water, and if you’re not used to the altitude, you’re gonna be working a lot harder than normal.

Beautiful & remote trail with lots of different scenery along the way to a serene lake. Great trail for adventurous tourists!

hiking
19 days ago

One of my favorites. But it’s further than 4.5 miles. The views are amazing ! It’s mountain heaven !!

loved this hike. not too steep either way, great views of lakes, cliffs and rocks. We just hiked to Ibantic lake and back. the parking lot was overflowing and rude people parked by the no parking signs along the road, which blocked traffic. we parked in the overflow parking about a half mile away with no problem.

This hike had amazing views and lots of different terrain. We didn’t calculate it exactly, but all our fit bits tracked it close to 6.5 miles. Official or not it seemed longer. Bug spray is a must. The trail was busier than expected, but we went on a holiday. There is also a scout camp, so you may run into large groups of boys. Also, don’t forget to pay the recreation fee. ($6.00) The drop boxes are not near the trail head. Closest one is by Mirror Lake.

hiking
22 days ago

This is a beautiful hike that has a lot of beautiful vistas, lakes, meadows and forests. Fairly busy but not bad. We hiked only as far as the pass and didn’t go down to Ibantik Lake.

This is a great Trail if it wasn't for the middle part being so Steep and Rocky I would give it 5 stars.

This hike is a great find but definitely a moderate hike. I wish I had known about the bugs because I was eaten alive so bring bug spray! We passed like five lakes and it was so beautiful. Not too crowded which was super nice. I would definitely do this hike again.

Fun loop, lots of lakes. Bring bug spray!

This hike is worth the pain to see the red castle and the upper lake views. Like most people have said the switch backs do hit you hard being that they are at the end of the hike. My hiking partner and I just took it slower when we hit them and we made it up just plan a little extra time and you will be fine. There is a bridge with a good running water right before the switch backs its good spot to take a break and get some water if you need it. Once you get up you find a fork in the trail with a sign I will tell you to go left it will take you closer to the lower lake and more camp sites. I will also tell you the all trails says it is 9.7 that is to the north side of the lake and you will need to keep walking to find any place to make camp. We camped at the south end of the lower lake and it was more like 10.4 miles at least that’s what both of our GPS’s showed. We hiked up to the upper lake and the water was clear and you could see the fish about 20 off shore. We only fished the lower lake we only get one fish but did see people pulling them in all around us. If you have time you will need to get over to the water fall it was spectacular. If you have not read by now the mosquitoes are in force up there right now. Being that there were some many people up there we didn’t think we would see much wild life but we did get to see a moose on the way down. I was a great hike and a good start to getting back in to backpacking. We did a 3 day set I would recommend this be the shortest time you do this hike a 4 or 5 day would be better. If you are debating if you should do the hikes don’t just do it. Just a reminder people if you are hiking with a group stick together and have a plan. We were asked more than a few times if we had seen someones group and if we knew where they were. Unfortunately my hiking partner and I didn’t get the memo that we were the mountain babysitters.

backpacking
24 days ago

Great trail! Tons of lakes and lots of wild life. BE ADVISED the mileage on all trails is way off. My Garmin read 9.5 miles round trip instead of 6.4. Elevation is accurate.

I’m too old and fat for this hike. 80 lbs overweight and a 50 lb pack was too much. Hike was not steep but very long. The switchbacks were steep and after the switchbacks it was still tough. Beautiful scenery. Red Castle Mountain was spectacular. Lakes were beautiful as well but the hike was too long for me. Tons of flies and mosquitoes. River views were nice as well. Saw a moose also. We did this hike Thursday through Saturday. Not enough time to do this many miles.

Well the trail was difficult. but the Lakes were great. Definitely take big spray. I never got bit, but if they attack your be bloodless in seconds. The lake was gorgeous. I'd definitely recommend taking the hike in in two days. Getting out can be done in one (for me, it was 9 hours getting in 4.5 hours getting out). Early July was really nice, only cold at like 6 am, the rest of the time was perfect. Outside of the steep terrain, it was great!

Amazing trail! Well kept, beautiful. Most of the elevation gain was in a concentrated areas so small parts of it were pretty steep but elsewhere was moderate or flat. There weren’t too many bugs but definitely bring repellent. Tons of wildflowers, Lakes, streams, and high up views for great pictures.

Hiked to Marjorie Lake and then back tracked to Weir Lake- gorgeous trails, the wild flowers are blooming and beautifully aplenty! Loved my time in the Upper Unitas. The trail(s) are fairly rocky but well marked. Wear sunscreen lots of trail is in sun with almost enough shade to make it ok.

Super fun moderate hike. Water is plenty considering the river runs along most of the trail. The forest ranger had us move our campsite about twenty feet. He said every campsite needs to be "70 paces" from the lake. Also, fires need to be 1/4 mile from the lake. Stunning landscape and view as you ascend the trail towards the towering red castle. We saw three moose and a bald eagle.

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