Ryder Lake Trail is a 16.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Oakley, Utah that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 16.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,945 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

wildlife

From Evanston, take the Mirror Lake Highway (Highway 150) south about 33 miles to the Christmas Meadows turnoff. Follow a good dirt road south about 4 miles to the trail-head.

backpacking
blowdown
muddy
rocky
8 months ago

backpacking
bugs
muddy
rocky
9 months ago

Hiked this twice in the last couple of weeks. The terrain is rough. Lots of rocks and plenty of muddy bogs to slop through. The second time around we left the trail head at 5:30 pm and reached camp at 9 pm but we’re hauling to try and beat the sunset. Didn’t quite make it and hiked the last mile and a half in the dark including the steep rocky ravine just before the meadows on top. Once you get to the lake and the water falls it’s worth it but getting there is tough. Expect the length to be more like 9 miles start to finish with lots of river and stream crossings. It will be better once it dries out a bit more. Make sure to hike up to the top of the waterfalls on the south west side of the lake and follow them down to the lake. It’s some absolutely amazing scenery. There are also some shallow caves on that side and more waterfalls farther south. Saw a mature 4 point buck deer first time out this year on the East side out in a meadow.

backpacking
bugs
muddy
rocky
10 months ago

RT Mileage more like 17 with the re-route. The old route is obliterated by the new growth to the point that it is effectively gone. Lots of water. Many stream crossings, muddy bogs, and rock hopping. Did I mention the mud? After crossing the Stillwater toward the end of the hike, the trail goes straight up a ravine for about 400 yards and almost breaks your heart at the end of a fairly long day. This is the new route? No thanks trail designers! After topping out, there is still some ground to cover (beautiful) before attaining Ryder Lake. Plenty of dry campsites on east and south sides. Fishing was good for Brookies (flyfishing with drys). Ryder and surrounding BR lakes, with the peaks as backdrop, are beautiful. Final advice? Wait until September! Less mud, less skeeters. Probably 4 stars without the mud.

backpacking
muddy
rocky
scramble
snow
10 months ago

My wife and I backpacked the trail from July 9th through 11th - nice trip. Lots of water to cross and often muddy, but otherwise the trail was fine - it was our first trip on this trail, and at the start of the steep ascent into middle basin shortly after the trail turns west (and I do mean steep!) we lost the trail - it was getting dark, lots of snow was on the ground, and we were tired, and I wasn’t expecting it to go straight up the little creek flowing down, so we made camp near there and hiked in the next day when it was easier to see the way up. Lots of snow still in the basin, but enough thawed to find decent campsites - sunrise at Ryder was beautiful! There were a lot of wildflowers blooming, but not many columbine - the many meadows along the way were very pretty. We only saw three ‘kids’ with the Forestry Service doing trail maintenance the whole time we were in Middle Basin - third day we hiked the entire trail back down to the meadows - good trip for this couple of 60+ year olds...we both had a blast! I posted a few pics.as well.

backpacking
Tue Sep 04 2018

We backpacked in for Labor Day. We were worried because there were so many cars in the parking lot but fortunately everyone was going to Amethyst Lake. We only shared the basin with two other overnight campers, it was so desolate and beautiful! The hike is great for backpacking because it’s not too steep. It had a mellow to moderate incline for most of the way, and only a quick steep area towards the end. There are so many beautiful meadows and stunning views. We measured the distance and it was actually 19 miles, so prepare for the extra distance. I highly recommend this hike!

Mon Jul 23 2018

This is the least trafficked lake trail that starts at Christmas meadows. the gradual incline makes it a little more manageable for those carrying packs. There are a lot of fish in the lake. The place is beautiful. The distance is closer to 20 miles round trip.

Tue Jul 10 2018

Beautiful area!

backpacking
Mon Jul 11 2016

I liked the feel of this lake less all the campfire pits in a permanent campfire banned area. I tied the Kermashu (sp) lake into this trail for a quick weekend get away. The trail is easy to follow with out much felt up hill until about mile 6.

backpacking
Mon Jul 04 2016

Hiked to Ryder and camped in meadow 1/2 miles below the lake. Day hiked Ryder and Mcpheters Lakes then to the end in the drainage below Hayden peak. Views of the entire middle basin were fantastic. Many downed trees blocking the trail

hiking
Tue Aug 11 2015

I have been on this trail many times through the years. I love to camp and hike the many trails in the area. One of my favorite parts of this trail are the wood bridges across some of the swampy spots. My kids also enjoy being out here. The only thing about the area you have to be aware of are the many Moose. Great trail for all.

fishing
Thu Jul 09 2015

One way, this one registered 10.2 miles on my GPS. So this is a 20 mile up and back trail. Beautiful trail. The off the shelf maps on GPS actually have the wrong trail going in and would have you bush whack for 4 miles. This has a steep incline near the end as you head up to the lake. If you do this one in June there will be small snow patches to keep your fish cold, but LOTS of bugs. Better done later in the summer. Ryder has more fish, McP has larger fish.

backpacking
Sun Jul 31 1977

Easy trail until the last couple of miles. Beautiful basin. Backpacked in the mid 70's

hiking
11 months ago

backpacking
Wed Oct 24 2018

hiking
Sun Jul 29 2018

backpacking
Sat Jul 21 2018

hiking
Thu Jul 05 2018

hiking
Sat Aug 12 2017

hiking
Tue Jul 05 2016