hiking

forest

lake

dog friendly

views

fishing

backpacking

wild flowers

birding

nature trips

camping

wildlife

walking

river

horseback riding

fly fishing

dogs on leash

trail running

waterfall

kid friendly

Located in northeastern Utah, the Uinta Mountains were named for the Uintaat Indians, early relatives of the modern Ute Tribe. The High Uintas Wilderness envelops the wild core of this massive mountain range. Characterized by the highest peaks in Utah, countless lakes, and a unique alpine ecosystem, it is among the nation's most outstanding wilderness areas. The High Uintas Wilderness is administered jointly by the Ashley and Wasatch-Cache National Forests. The Uinta Mountains were carved by glaciers from an immense uplift of Precambrian rock. Some of this rock is exposed as colorful quartzite and shales. The main crest of the Uinta Mountains runs west to east for more than 60 miles, rising over 6,000 feet above the Wyoming and Uinta Basins to the north and south. Massive secondary ridges extend north and south from the crest of the range, framing glacial basins and canyons far below. This rugged expanse of peaks and flat-top mountains is the largest alpine area in the Intermountain West and is the setting for Kings Peak, the highest peak in Utah. Hundreds of picturesque lakes, streams, and meadows lie within sculpted basins. Cold, clear rivers plunge from the basins into deep canyons that form the headwaters of Utah's major rivers. The Uinta Mountains rise from 7,500 to 13,528 feet at the summit of Kings Peak, offering diverse habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna. Above treeline, tundra plant communities thrive in the harsh climate of the highest altitudes. Thick forests of Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, and lodgepole pine blanket the land below treeline. These forests are interrupted by park-like meadows and lush wetlands. In the lower elevations, aspen groves and countless mixed species offer contrast to the scene. The Uinta Mountains are home to: elk, mule deer, moose, mountain goat, coyote, black bear, bighorn sheep, ptarmigan, river otter, pine marten, cougar, and 75 percent of Utah's bird species, among many others. The High Uintas Wilderness boasts 545 miles of trail, which may be accessed from a number of trailheads surrounding the wilderness near the gateway communities of Duchesne, Roosevelt, and Kamas, UT and Evanston and Mountain View, WY. This extensive network of trails leads visitors deep into the wilderness, through thick forests, past rushing streams and placid lakes, to sweeping alpine vistas below majestic peaks. Opportunities for exploration are endless.

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!

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.

Love it. A great day hike and seems like a good overnight destinations in the warmer months.

I have never hiked kings peak and I had a goal to do it this year. Yesterday was probably my last chance. Blue skies, with a high of 45 F. 18-hour hike, only 11 hours of sunlight, 2 feet of snow covering the trail in several spots. I had the entire mountain to myself; didn't see another soul.
It was just about perfect.
It is not my favorite mountain. The boulder scramble near the top is a slog, especially when they are half covered in snow, but I am glad I did it. I will have to try it in the summer.

backpacking
1 month 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.

backpacking
1 month 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.

backpacking
1 month 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.

https://www.gaiagps.com/datasummary/route/06c5985d-0f03-4fdc-a475-ab082dfafc40/?layer=GaiaTopoRasterFeet

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!

This was a fantastic hike! This was the first time my wife had done any backpacking, and she fell in love! We took the typical route, stopped short of gunsight pass and made camp. The next day, we climbed the summit, (pack plenty of water and warm-weather clothing) and packed out the next day. We loved it, we were fortunate not to hit any bad weather, but people leaving as we were coming in said they got snowed off the peak, in August! A wonderful hike, would definitely do it again!

hiking
1 month ago

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

on Spider Lake Trail

horseback riding
1 month ago

Spider lake was beautiful and serene. We were the only people there the whole time we were camped. however the trail is rocky, hiking it was not enjoyable, it was very difficult. warning to those on horseback to avoid this trail at all cost. the trail was so rocky and difficult that all of our horses suffered. We ended up having to spend extra time walking them out. beautiful area, but won't go on this trail ever again. especially with a horse

backpacking
1 month ago

This was a gorgeous, moderate hike to in with a few loose rock scrambles and some maneuvering through flocks of sheep. The lake itself proved to be the perfect place to camp for two nights with two dogs. I have provided a link to my blog post below, hope it helps!

https://www.kelseykagan.com/home/2017/8/22/kermsuh-lake-trail