Lower Red Castle Lakes Trail

MODERATE 41 reviews
#5 of 76 trails in

Lower Red Castle Lakes Trail is a 19.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mountain View, Utah that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
19.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1437 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

fly fishing

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

bugs

Take Wyoming State Highway 410 South out of Mountain View about 8 miles. Where the highway makes a sharp right turn to the west go straight on to Uinta County Road 283 (gravel) and continue to Forest Service Road 072. Follow the signs past the Stateline Campground and past the China Meadows Campground to the China Meadows trailhead.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

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!

backpacking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

backpacking
2 months ago

Stuff to think about on this trip:
Bug spray, sunscreen, waterproof shoes, woods stay pretty damp, hiking in some muddy spots, mushrooms, fishing pole, camera, basic survival kit.

This hike will take from 7-9hrs. in. I would suggest camping before the Upper Red Castle Lake. May be wise to bring rain gear if you don't typically pack it. It's worth the hike just to cleanse the soul.
Just go with it. It's good for you. You'll not have cell service.

backpacking
3 months ago

Not a very difficult hike. Although you will find that most of the trail is mud as it's a heavily used equestrian trail. Dog friendly. Look for moose in the meadows! Mosquitos are plentiful. Trails seems busy on weekends.. We backpacked in and stayed two nights at Lower Red Castle Lake. Took a day hike to Red Castle Lake as it's only about two miles past Lower Red Castle Lake. Very scenic and peaceful place. Worth every mile!

backpacking
3 months ago

This trail is the most beautiful trail I've ever hiked. Also the longest and I read some of these reviews saying it's too hard and what not.. well by the time I got to the lower lake I had been up for a total of 26 hours from working and then driving 2.5 hours and then taking the 6 hours it took me to get to the lower lake and although strenuous. It's not at all difficult. It's super muddy and it hailed on us everyday so be prepared. The upper castle lake doesn't provide much to look at but when you're up there looking out over the land and you can see red castle and the lower lake it's worth the hour hike over the boulders to the west of the red castle lake.

backpacking
3 months ago

I've been making the trek to RedCastle for 27 years... it's never disappointing! I chose 4 stars because of the current condition of the trail... it's muddy and wet up there, lots of damage to navigate from horse packing, if you are on a horse 5 stars.
The fishing was great at the middle lake, nailed the tigers and cuts. Use black and yellow jigs, wooly buggers.
Campers need to be more tidy and clean.. came across a few spots where human waste or trash was noticable... bark beetles have wreaked havoc on about 80 percent of the lower pines.. but up above the switch backs ... the pines are pretty healthy. Such a beautiful place to visit and come back to!

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

backpacking
3 months ago

Trail conditions were okay. Tons of horseback riders; makeing the trail really muddy at some points. Lots of mosquitoes. We spent a few days there and camped at a different place each night. Most camps had trash. Fishing was amazing. Day hikes were fun. Sunsets and weather conditions were good. Rained daily for about an hour in the evenings. Would definitely recommend.

backpacking
4 months ago

Backpacked this in July, 2016. One of my favorite trails in the Uintas! I spent many nights in the Uintas as a boy scout and this was everything I remember and more. Saw a bunch of moose and saw some really deep back woods country only few can imagine if you've been here. Great two night adventure.

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail! Amazing views. The afternoon thunderstorms in the Unitas really are a thing so pack appropriately. Lots of bugs as well. Tons of moose in that area so pack your cameras.

One of the most beautiful hikes! This trail is a MUST. Super easy trail along the river into the open meadow and up the Red Castle Lakes.

4 months ago

Don't listen to Clayton(below), we hiked this trail with 3 beginners and not one person had an issue reaching the lake. Everyone carried 35lb packs and had no issues, very few breaks were necessary and the elevation gain was very moderate. Even the switch backs were extremely casual and short lived. The scenery was amazing and we had the entire lake to ourselves! The bugs were in abundance and constant application of bug spray was absolutely necessary but that was to be expected. I recommend this hike for everyone, including first timers.

Additionally I didn't download the map from this app and still tracked the trail with no issues.

9.8 miles, 3.4 hours, 1450 elevation change.

backpacking
4 months ago

NOT EASY!!!

I'm so upset this trail was rated as "easy". So long story, but we ended up hiking in about 7 miles, and my friend decided he couldn't make the journey to the lake, so we backtracked a mile or so, headed up another trail for another mile or so. He sat down and I dropped off my pack, hiked in to see if I could find Lake Hessie about 2 miles, decided he couldn't get there, so I hiked back to where he was, and we put back all our gear and hiked all the way back to the car and headed home.

Now, maybe this wouldn't be too bad with just food and water, but it definitely wasn't easy with a tent and fishing gear. There were no distance markers whatsoever along the trail, so you never had any idea how far you had gone, or how far it was to go. I really think that would have been a huge help.

I'm giving the trail a 3 rating, because I never made it to the lakes, but the trail was pretty. We did see two moose. BEWARE, there are a LOT, I mean a LOT of mosquitos. They absolutely want to eat you, and possibly carry off your children, so bring high quality insect repellent, or you will be very sorry.

Another thing: I downloaded the alltrails app to my phone, so I could have an idea how far along the trail we were. The app is supposed to work without data. Now I'm not sure if there was absolutely no satellite signal up there, or what, but the app was completely unreliable.

backpacking
4 months ago

Beautiful easy hike! The trail follows a meadow all the way up basically, until you hit a few switchbacks to get up to the basin where the lakes are. The trail keeps on going up past the Lower Lake and goes by several smaller lakes until you reach the upper lake. There is another top lake above the upper lake that is absolutely worth checking out. The upper lakes hold lots of Trout, great fishing. If time isnt a concern, the saddle to the West of the upper lake provides amazing views of the Uintas and is easy to climb up. Highly recommended camping out! Bring lots of mosquito repellent too.