Island Lake Trail

MODERATE 61 reviews

Island Lake Trail is a 8.4 mile out and back trail located near Kamas, Utah that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, fishing, horses, and backpacking and is best used from June until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

8.4 miles
1,076 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly





horseback riding






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.

10 days ago

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.

15 days ago

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.

16 days ago

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.

22 days ago

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.

29 days ago

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

1 month ago

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

1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

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.

2 months ago

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!

2 months ago

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

7 months ago

10 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Really fun cliff jumping and beautiful views!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Great trail, I thought it was well marked despite the occasional rock field. Not too busy, beautiful cliffs above the lake

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Beautiful hike, trail is clear, hardly any traffic on weekdays. Stopped and set up my hammock at long lake, which is about the halfway point to Island lake.
Mosquitoes are vicious near the lakes though, packing some mosquito spray wouldn't be a bad idea!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

This is a great hike. Island Lake is beautiful and during the entire hike you pass a different lake every 15 or 20 minutes. Today, I just went straight from the Crystal Lake Trailhead as described in the AllTrails directions. You can just follow the signs to Island Lake and Long Lake. Long lake is about the halfway point. In total, it is 4 miles to Island Lake and another .5 miles if you want to get to the side of the lake with the cliffs, which you will want to do. In either direction, you can take the trail that runs by Weir Lake and Duck Lake to do part of the hike as a loop, but that will add a little bit to the mileage. The overall elevation gain is not that bad, but it is up and down in both directions, so don't use all your energy on the way to the lake. There was more snow than I would have expected, considering how hot June has been in SLC. The trail was wettest at the beginning and end of the hike, and there are trees down across the trail, but nothing that could be described as challenging. On the way back, there are a couple places where you could lose the trail if you don't pay attention. There was a large group camping by Long Lake, but only 2 gentlemen up at Island Lake. They had carried canoes up with them, which is pretty intrepid.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Nice little trail, great fishing, expect other people camping near you.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Great experience. But we did not reach Island Lake. We were misled by a number of cairns. It is at least 4 miles one way.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The trail distance markers are completing wrong, they falsely advertise 3 miles to Island Lake from Crystal Lake and are spaced completely off. It's an okay hike.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

As others have mentioned. Fun hike that gets steep on the final stretch up to Island Lake. much quieter during the week than the weekend. I will likely try this hike again in late summer.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Love this lake. The trail is a bit of a scramble at times but well worth it for the views. Good fishing too.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Our family did a 22 mile loop here in June (4 kids ages 12,10, 8, 6 did well, but it was a challenge). We started at the Shingle Creek TH, going to East Shingle Creek Lake, South Erickson Lake, Big Elk Lake, Island Lake, Long Lake, then down the North Fork of the Provo River Trail. We probably will never hike in this area in June again because the mosquitos were horrible (we hiked Notch Pass in July and only saw one mosquito!). There was a great campsite at East Shingle Creek Lake (probably more than one, we were to tired that night to look). Between South Ericson Lake and Big Elk Lake the trail relies heavily on cairns and can be tricky to navigate. Long Lake was filled with campsites and very crowded. We had the North Fork of the Provo River Trail all to ourselves for nearly 9.5 miles. That stretch of trail is so beautiful and diverse, with waterfalls and meadows, highly recommended it.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

This is a great hike, and a really picturesque area to camp, although it can get a bit crowded. Tomorrow my brothers and I will be packing in early to try and beat the weekend crowd...

Monday, September 08, 2014

It's not too bad of a hike. We deviated to what we thought was the trail right at the longe lake dam. We got a little lost. We should have stayed more right going east but there are stacked rocks signaling a trail that goes down to I think Mehr lake. It's a really cool lake, and like others have said it can get noisy with all the people jumping off the cliffs. We hiked to a few near by lakes and didn't hangout at island very much. Fun hike

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Great short hike! Highly recommended for scenery/fishing/camping.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

This has been mentioned before but I'll say it again: if solitude is what you seek, go somewhere else. Otherwise it's a great hike. I absolutely love the cliff jumping... Very deep water below the northern cliffs (haven't tried the others).

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Did this hike with the wife and kids this summer. It was a little strenuous for the kids and I ended up carrying their packs for most of the time. The ascent up to Island lake at the end was a series of fairly steep switchbacks that offered a nice view of the valley below, but was too much for my 8 and 9 year-olds. The lake itself was beautiful. There were a couple groups of people cliff jumping off the north side. There were excellent camping spot on the west side of the lake, but they were full. If you want solitude, this is not the place for you - it was quite busy. Overall, a pretty enjoyable hike, but I would probably go down to Duck lake next time to get away from the crowds.
Here's our track:

Sunday, August 11, 2013

This hike was awesome!! Definitely a day hike, took us just over 5 hours. We did veer off the trail for a little bit, oops.
This would also be a perfect spot to backpack into.
We took the loop which passes you by multiple lakes: Crystal Lake, Long Lake, Island Lake, Duck Lake, Pot Lake, and Weir Lake.
This hike was beautiful!! I have uploaded many pictures and a map that shows the loop we took.

The campground you park by is very crowded, but as soon as we got onto the trail we only passed by 3 or 4 groups of people.

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