West Fork Blacks Fork Trail to Dead Horse Lake

MODERATE 12 reviews
#15 of 92 trails in

West Fork Blacks Fork Trail to Dead Horse Lake is a 20.8 mile lightly 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 May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 20.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1,715 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly




nature trips




wild flowers



From Evanston, take the Mirror Lake Highway (Highway 150) south about 30 miles to the East Fork of the Bear River turnoff.(North Slope Road) Follow this road east 15 miles to a four-way junction. At this point, follow a good dirt road (Road 063) south until you come to a stream crossing. From here you may need a high--clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle to safely cross the river- and to negotiate the rock and mud holes that lie ahead.

Beautiful! It’s 10 miles to the lake. We set up camp and hiked Red Knob in the morning and hiked out Monday. We had the entire lake to ourselves and the weather was perfect! The wind gusts were brutal between 6pm-5am.

6 months ago

We started hiking at the ford where we left our car. We made it 8.25 miles before the weather was too wet and we turned back. We were only planning a day hike and we didn't want loved ones sending out search and rescue. Make sure you take the trail that is to the right of the trail sign at the trailhead. The trail was fairly dry. The 3rd river crossing (where you go across the meadow following the fence) does not have a full bridge anymore. I'll have to go back and make it to the lake someday.

Tue Sep 04 2018

For the Uintas this is one of my favorite hikes. It is a good place to go if you like open meadows and a relative easy hike. If you go all the way to Dead Horse Lake it is 10 miles but an easy hike with no real steep uphill until the very end, and then it is minimal. Then you are rewarded with one of the most picturesque lakes in the Uintahs. I would suggest not camping at the lake as it is right along the Highline Trail. There are many good sights all along the river that runs nearly parallel to the trail. We Hiked in 5.5 miles, made camp and made a round trip to the lake the next day. The only negative to this hike is the getting there. It is basically 22 miles of dusty washboard road. With the last 6 or so very rocky. Given that you have to make two stream crossings better have a vehicle that can handle all this. That said it probably keeps people away.

Thu Aug 02 2018

So pretty! Great backpacking trip. See my full trail guide, with photos and a map here: http://www.girlonahike.com/2018/08/backpacking-to-dead-horse-lake-uintas.html

Sun Jul 30 2017

The scenery is 5 stars, one of the best hikes in the Uintas. The trail on the other hand is pretty awful. It's not a difficult trail, moderately long with a gentle incline the whole way, but it's more difficult than the stats lead you to believe. The trail is constantly disappearing, often instead of skirting around the boggy marshes the trail will head straight into them, where it then disappears for a quarter mile. If you are lucky you will find it on the other end of the marsh at which point it will lead you straight into another marsh. There are many river crossings as well with no bridges, but instead of river crossing that would help divert you onto higher or drier land these river crossing have the sole purpose of leading you through the maximum amount of marshland possible. Eventually you realize the futility of trying to keep your feet dry and just embrace it. Weather you spend 30 minutes carefully picking your way across the marsh, or walk straight through it in 10 minutes, either way your feet are going to get wet. I say all this not to discourage, but simply to let you know the trail takes longer and is more difficult than you might be led to believe, but yes, I would and will definitely do it again.

Mon Jul 24 2017

Hiked this trail as part of the 37 mile loop starting at the West Fork Blacks Fork trailhead. Crossing over to the East Fork Blacks Fork trail on part of the Bear-Smiths Trail. Then to the end of the West Fork Blacks Fork trail where it joins the Highline trail at Red Knob Pass. Followed the Highline trail to Dead Horse Lake and returned down the West Fork Blacks Fork trail to complete the loop Great loop hike with tons of great scenery.

Thu Oct 06 2016

relaxing hike through gorgeous Meadows and streams.

Sat Aug 20 2016

It was a fun hike up in the Unita's. If you like fishing (I do not but people in my group did) you can catch a lot of fish in the river. One person caught over 50 in 2 partial days. Camping by the lake was nice. We went over and saw EJOD lake which is pleasant. If you feel up to it worth going up to dead mans pass. You can look over into another valley with some lakes. We did not stay long because of lightening. Good trip but probably won't go again. Enjoy.

Fri Jul 19 2013

The road to the West Fork Black Fork trailhead is the roughest and most difficult of all the trailhead roads in the Unita Wilderness area. I blew a tire leaving the trailhead road. This is the best trail in all the Unita Wilderness area. The hike through Buck Pasture is very serene. At the end of the trail is a cirque containing Dead Horse Lake. Dead Horse Lake is just drop dead gorgeous. If you can hike just one trail in the Unita Wilderness; this is it.

Sat Jul 01 2017

Fri Jun 30 2017