Notch Mountain Trail to Trial Lake

MODERATE 35 reviews

Notch Mountain Trail to Trial Lake is a 17.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Kamas, Utah that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

17.8 miles
3166 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly




horseback riding

nature trips






wild flowers



This trail begins at the Base of Bald Mountain on the Notch Mount Loop Trail. It begins at 11,700 feet then drops 450 feet by the time you arrive at Notch Lake after 2.3 miles. The trail passes Clegg Lake 1.5 miles and Dean Lake 2.0 miles. Notch Lake experiences annual fluctuation of 21 feet

3 months ago

Hard, but sooooo worth it!

4 months ago

Great trail we hiked from one end to the other & all our fit bits said 11.5 miles one way so be prepared for a good hike. Beautiful scenery.

5 months ago

I took the point to point on the trail starting from Trial Lake. I left a bike up at the Bald Mountain trailhead to get back to my car at Trial Lake. The walk was good. It was a sunday morning with very cool air. Navigation is easy as there aren't a whole lot side trails merging with this loop.

There are sections of trail that are stubbornly rocky because of erosion but overall it's a good one. The inclines aren't crazy, however the trail does get a little steep and loose headed up the north flanks of Notch Mountain. I think I ended up with about a 10 mile day on the trail, according to the ole GPS.

The views are spectacular and well worth getting some photos. The trail is pretty heavily used but I didn't see that many people once I passed Ibantik lake. In fact, the stretch between Wall Lake and Ibantik is the only stretch that I really saw anyone.

5 months ago

Packed up the Grandkids [ages 4yr -13yr] 7 gk 5 adults [30- 64 yr]. Started at Bald mountain TH and headed to Notch Lake. Camped at the West end near the cliffs. We all went swimming and cliff jumping, even the 4 yr old did a 10 footer. Bugs not bad, intermittent rain which made the temps much better. Great place to hike and camp.

6 months ago

6 months ago

We started at Baldy's trailhead and hiked back down to Trial Lake (two car shuffle technique). It was no joke, but both my 9 yr old and my 11 yr. old made it. Going over the notch was an intense uphill, but so very, very worth it.

I'm a wuss with bad knees, so this is about as hard as I can do, but I loved it.

Monday, September 12, 2016

I did this hike over the weekend with a group of 12 yr old scouts. We started at the Crystal Lake TH and finished 10 miles later at Bald Mountain Pass. This route took us 5.5 hours with only a few stops for pics, snacks and a pace that all would enjoy. Everyone did awesome and already asking to do it again!

As a side note, I wouldn't call this route between Bald Mountain and Trial (or Crystal) Lake an "out and back" unless you hike from one of these THs and *return* to the same TH. Otherwise, if you start at one end and finish at the OTHER end, as indicated by this trail description, we call that a thru which case, you will need to make arrangements for a shuttle car as we had to do. That said, I also think the "17.8 mile" stated distance is wrong too. Whether that calculation was intended to be 1-way (from Bald to Trial) or 2-way (from Bald to Trial and then back to Bald), it's confusing and inaccurate! Lastly, we snowmobile this area in the winter and that trail is NOT accessible in March (nor April). The Mirror Lake Highway is typically under a LOT of snow until May (even into June) before they slowly start plowing up and over Bald Mountain Pass. If you are going to hike this trail in March, you better have a snow machine of some kind to get yourself to the trailhead and then snowshoes from that point on where you will be breaking trail the whole way in (and it is DEEP).

Monday, August 22, 2016

only went to the notch. started at parking for Washington lake / crystal lake . hike to wall lake and connected to notch mountain trail.
moderate trail 2.9 miles to point .
too many people but this was a Sunday in August!!
great views. had lunch at the notch (plus a little nap time) . views are wonderful looking from each side of the notch...great if your not in mood for a full 9 mile commitment to other side.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

We did a loop starting from the parking lot near Trial Lake, went by Wall Lake and Hope Lake, returned from the Notch. We came back from John Lake and bypassed Clyde Lake, Watson Lake, Cliff Lake, and Crystal Lake. Pretty flat. No particular challenge. Other than the section between Clyde Lake and the Notch, the trail is clearly delineated.

Can be quite warm in summer days during the day. Cool down quickly in the evening. Great Hike.

Friday, July 08, 2016

This was our first time to hike this trail. Great hike. When you reach Notch Lake be sure to climb up plateau that overlooks the lake. Awesome views.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Backpacked to Notch Lake and camped. Very nice hike, still a fair amount of snow patches and runoff making the trail muddy and running water in some spots.

Monday, November 23, 2015

This may be one of my favorite trails in Utah. You come upon so many lakes that it makes for a magical day. Near the end of the hike, we reached a campground area where we could connect to the road and walk it back to where the car was parked. (We were doing a loop) But, we thought it looked doable to cut across the side of Bald Mountain to get back to Moosehorn Campground. What a decision. We found a little meadow on a ledge that was invisible when looking up at the mountain from camp. It had the most beautiful little meandering stream and a little (tiny) glassy shallow lake with rocks nested half in the water. It was like a fairy tale. If you go this way you have to scramble down the side of the mountain to Moosehorn Lake. But, its SO worth it.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Just flat out gorgeous. Easy hike and amazing scenery.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Camped at about 2.5 miles in, great trail, tons of amazing scenery. Good stuff.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Nice downhill hike, in. Superb camping spots. Great for families. Beautiful lake and scenery. A little bit of an uphill back out.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Good hike, not too tough for the Scouts.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

We had lots of fun, super easier trail but a good little distance to make a fun few hours out of it. Water felt great, too.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Nice easy trail that you go mostly down to get to the lake and then have to climb mostly up to get back. My wife thinks that this trail is uphill both ways. Notch Lake is a reservoir so there is a lot a bare shoreline in the fall. Some people like to jump from the cliffs on the opposite side.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Notch Mountain Trail is a nice scenic hike with so many lakes you can't keep track of them all. The view from the notch at the top is spectacular and makes the whole trip worthwhile. From the Bald Mtn trailhead to Ibantic Lake the trail slowly winds and gently slopes up and down. This part is the easiest and doesn't take much effort. Each lake is worth a look and certainly a good reason to take a break. From Ibantic Lake to the notch is almost all uphill. The elevation from the trailhead to the notch is virtually the same.
From the notch to Lily Lakes trailhead is almost all down hill. The portion from Clyde Lake to Crystal Lake is quite steep and very rocky in some spots. This, however is the more scenic part of the trail. Easy access from Trial and Washington Lake make this part more crowded as well. We did this trail in late August where the lakes with dams are much lower and have more exposed shore line then the naturally occuring lakes which provide prettier and better photographic opportunities.
This is a great overnight hike or is also do-able as a day hike. I would recommend a map unless you know the area well. The heaver use lakes have trails around them, some of which are the actual Notch Mtn Trail and some portions are not. We did not see signs at most of the lakes and directions are not posted at the junctions. The hike, however is great!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

There was a threat of thunder storm, so we decided to take this trail instead of Bald mountain. It was easy enjoyable hike.

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