Island Lake Trail is a 8.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Kamas, Utah that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 8.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,076 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

forest

lake

views

wildlife

bugs

snow

From kamas, take the Mirror Lake Highway (Highway 150) 27 miles to Trial Lake Campground. Exit left (west) onto a paved road, and travel about a mile to a fork in the road. Then turn right (north) for another mile to the trailhead.

hiking
icy
snow
7 months ago

Probably more fun in the summer

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

Freaking loved it!!! It was my first backpacking trip, super beautiful! The hike was harder than I was expecting but not bad at all. Fishing wasn’t that good only caught one fish but I should’ve brought my fly pole for the 5:00 rush of fish! Bugs were a little bit of a problem but only really In the morning, but not terrible overall.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful trail. Flowers all gone but a few:( Climbs were very doable for average abilities but it’s rocky so best to wear trail shoes or hiking boots to make it easier on your feet.

backpacking
9 months ago

Awesome ! All lakes to island have campfire approved sites at the lakes , great medium trail that’s easy . We pushed to big elk lake for the night , which was worth being alone ! Except for a few cigarette Butts people have been respecting the area well, not to crowded.

backpacking
bugs
rocky
9 months ago

This trail was BEAUTIFUL! There were so many wildflowers and it really wasn’t too hot and we started the trail around 5pm. Pretty much flat until the last half mile. But the steep part wasn’t too bad. I read a lot about the bugs but I didn’t think they were much worse than any other trail around central Utah. Perfect hike for a first time backpacker. It also wasn’t too over crowded, we only passed a couple people on the way up, (and we went Friday to Saturday) but there were a couple people is nearly every campsite at the lake. I should also add that the parking lot was super full. We’ve been here twice now for different hikes and it’s really hard to find parking.

hiking
rocky
9 months ago

hiking
bugs
10 months ago

The bugs are out in full force but with a nice layer of bug spray, the mosquitos leave you alone. Still such a nuisance. You pass by a bunch of different lakes on your way to Island lake. Trail is easy to follow & mostly flat. We didn’t see too many others out there during our Sunday morning hike. Lots of dead trees. Caught some brook, rainbow & cutthroat trout along the way & in Island lake.

recorded Island Lake Trail

hiking
bugs
rocky
10 months ago

hiking
bugs
rocky
10 months ago

It was so beautiful the whole way through but definitely save it for early morning or evening when it’s cooler, once the sun is out it’s almost too hot. It’s also very rocky in some parts and requires some large step ups over rocks, but nothing to difficult to manage. Because of all the lakes along the way there was a ton of mosquitos so make sure you have bug spray, but other than the heat and bugs it defiantly was well worth it to reach the final lake on the trail. You could see fish popping out of the water and it was fun for my dog to play in the water.

hiking
Wed May 29 2019

One of my favorite hikes. Went last summer and the summer before that (both in August) I must be lucky as well since it's never been crowded when I've gone. There's always a few people camping and hiking but nothing crazy or too annoying the times I've gone. The cliff jumping is thrilling and so worth the hike.

hiking
Tue Aug 28 2018

Camped elsewhere in the Unitas and hiked to Island Lake as a day hike. My boyfriend and I must have lucked out, the trail wasn't super crowed and there was only one other group at the lake when we got there. The lake is beautiful, we even went for a little dip, which was cold but definitely doable. The only negative thing I have to say has been said below, the people we did pass on the trail (mostly families/ boy scout troops) had absolutely ZERO trail etiquette. I love that more and more people are backpacking and hiking, but please teach your little ones that people traveling uphill have the right away. Barreling into me as your descending the trail... not cool.

hiking
Sat Aug 04 2018

Previous posts have said it all. The trail is fairly easy. Hiked it in an hour. Overcrowded doesn’t begin to describe this lake. One group had 30 in their gang and another had 45. Add to that the small groups of 5-10 and there were at least 200 people this morning. Those were just the campers. Add to that the day hikers. Unfortunately, the large groups don’t have any outdoor or trail etiquette and leave you wishing you were somewhere else. One of the large groups was set up right at the cliffs, and wouldn’t make room for the rest to enjoy. Gotta do it at least once, but know what awaits you and don’t be disappointed. If it’s solitude and serenity you seek, turn left and go to Marjorie, Weir or Duck lake. The parking lot is ridiculous. Too small. So many people that both sides of the road coming into the trailhead parking lot were lined with cars. Unfortunately, the road is marked “no parking.” The Forest Service wasn’t shy about leaving orange warning stickers on every single car. If you don’t want one of those, get there early and avoid the weekends. Other than that, get out and go hiking! You’ll have a great story to tell.

backpacking
Mon Jul 30 2018

Took me 15 years to get back to this lake and I was surprised by how many people where on the trail and at the lake. While I think this hiking/backpacking trip is fantastic, if you're looking for solitude might want to consider a different area. There was a lot of people on this one, cliff jumping was in full swing on Saturday and it was a little rough finding a good spot to camp for the night. For the trail itself I would say the moderate rating is pretty correct. The last half mile or so is a good solid climb and it did a number on me since this was the first trip of the season. When you get to the lake there is camp spots on the southwest side of the lake and then a few good spots on the north/northeast side of the lake.

backpacking
Mon Jul 30 2018

Word of island lake has gotten around almost a little too much. I’d have to call it the “party lake” of the Uintas. Which could be taken as a good or bad thing depending on what you’re looking for. Lake is beautiful, well worth the hike. The hike to the lake is a little sadder every year with how many trees have died due to the bugs in them.

hiking
Wed Jul 25 2018

Went backpacking to this lake in July of last year and were surrounded by mosquitos. The scenery was beautiful and the hike in wasn't difficult but the large number of mosquitos was miserable. It was not crowded at all when we went- there was one other group on the other side of the lake.

backpacking
Mon Jul 23 2018

07/21/18-07/22/18 Backpacking. We arrived at the trail head around 2 pm on Saturday...HOT. We made the mistake of going on the holiday weekend. (we didn't realize what Pioneer day means to people from Utah.) It was very busy with hikers and campers. There was a search and rescue happening that day also. It was a bit chaotic. The trail is well maintained. Some of the steps that were made are a bit tall for me. I struggled a bit with those. Otherwise, the trail is amazingly beautiful. And the elevation gain is very doable. It is a bit rocky in some places but not too bad. You can see the peaks and smaller lakes all the way up. The lake is very beautiful. But very popular. There was a group pumping music all night and jumping into the water. They even came up to our tent looking for logs to burn.... waking up us and our dogs. :( Overall.. very enjoyable.

backpacking
Mon Jul 16 2018

For those of you who have stayed the night at Island Lake- where are the best campsites?

Mon Jul 09 2018

Good hike but totally worth it. Caught a couple nice trout. Scenery is unbelievable!

hiking
Tue Jun 26 2018

Very Fun Hike !! The trail is well traveled and easy to follow, offering expansive views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.While hiking along you will pass many lakes and ponds so water along this hike is not an issue don't forget your filters. The Mosquitoes are hungry but easily controlled with a quality repellent. A sad note is the PINE BEETLE DAMAGE!!!! I did notice quite a few while hiking but after reviewing the photos taking on this hike I believe the damage is at least 50 percent maybe more. If you are interested in this hike you need to plan a trip soon, in a year there may not be any trees left alive.((( VERY SAD ))) ...This is moderate day hike for the average hiker myself I love the night sky up high which turns this into an easy overnight hike. The campsites are a little over 10,000 feet and the temps drop to the 40's still in late June be prepared for cooler temps.

hiking
Fri Jun 22 2018

Beautiful hike! Fairly easy. Long hike though! I did it all in one day. Next time I’d prefer to backpack up and stay the night.

backpacking
Sun Jun 10 2018

Hiked in with family on Friday. Very few people. The weather was perfect with a cool breeze all day. Still some snow to cross and the ground in some areas is soggy but beautiful. Lots of flowers. The night was cold so be prepared. All and all a beautiful hike!

backpacking
Sun Jun 03 2018

Packed in Friday night, June 1st. Great hike but lost the trail a few times due to snow. Thankful for GPS for sure. I would recommend gators this time of year. The lake was still 90% frozen over and the normal campsites on the south side were still under 3 feet of snow! Had to camp to the North West. Hate to say it as I don’t want to freak people out, but I did have a bear come through my campsite first light Saturday morning.... just snorted, sniffed the tent, then was on its merry way. Love this place, it’s always worth the trek! MK

backpacking
Sun Sep 17 2017

Great easy-ish hike. The are a few steep sections but they are short. The trail is well maintained and there is some fantastic stone masonry in some areas along the trail after Long Lake. Not a whole lot of tree cover along the trail. The topography is amazing. Lots of cliff spines to explore. Only have seen two deer as far as big wildlife. At the lake there are some cliffs on the north end. Tons of fun to jump from. The water is certainly polar. Ha ha. Very refreshing. Be sure to hike south from Island Lake for some fantastic overlook views of Duck lake and the whole valley. I also highly recommend venturing less than .5 miles over to Fire lake around the bend (you will need to map it out). You will be glad you did. I would like to actually camp there sometime. There are a couple of little springs on the northwest end of Island Lake sufficient for filtering. I don't recommend coming on a holiday weekend. This is the most people I have ever seen while backpacking. We are surrounded by camps. Sooo many people. Almost feels like car camping. Thus the 4 star rating. Venture away from the lake a little for more solitude in camp. Bugs were minimal for the Uintas. Big flies here and there but hardly any mosquitoes. Temperature was almost hot during the day and 49 at night for the lowest. Zero precipitation! I will absolutely come back.

Sun Aug 27 2017

Short version: Great hike for all ages, and activities. There's something for everybody. I saw families, fisherman, archers, horses, and hikers. Ok, some notes. Most people seem to go to Island Lake. If you want more solitude, either stop at Long Lake or even better, detour left to Duck Lake before you make the climb to Island Lake. Both are just as beautiful and have more privacy. The trail around Island Lake barely exists on the north side. Trails beyond Island Lake or Duck Lake will require navigational skills. There are a lot of open range cattle. Keep an eye out for them. They will stand right in the trail and refuse to move. They may come raid your campsite. Be cow aware. I saw no signs of bears. I saw lots of cow damage to campsites. Lastly, I don't think the map at the trailhead is correct. The milages are off (but are correct on here), and you go over 11,000 ft in altitude on Mt Watson, which is not correct according to the map (on this site or at the trailhead). I plan to go back at some point and get an accurate map. I just had a GPS wristwatch. The signage is adequate for navigation purposes.

Thu Aug 24 2017

Really easy trail for all ages, just wouldn't suggest bringing small dogs. beautiful views and a lot of scattered lakes and ponds. You pass by one every twenty minutes or so. Impossible to get bored, so perfect for kids.

hiking
Wed Jul 26 2017

Really fun cliff jumping and beautiful views!

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