Explore the most popular horseback riding trails near Kamas with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
6 days ago

Did this hike last August. Stayed 3 nights perfect weather. Hiked in on a Monday passed a few people leaving but only had neighbors one night. A few groups hiked by. Hiked to Meadows lake one day, beautiful had the lake to ourselves all day. Based on the reviews planned on a lot of mosquitoes didn’t get a single bite. Also didn’t get a lot of bites from the fish. Hiked the meadows lake for the day. A few mountain goats did pass right by our camp.

Did this hike 2 years ago at the end of June. Still some snow in places on the trail. A few steep places going in and coming out. Fortunately, that keeps traffic at the lake to a minimum. Slept in hammocks at the lake a couple nights. Caught lots of fish and woke up to mountain goats in our campsite every morning. There’s a lot of dead trees which made it interesting sleeping in hammocks, especially with the nightly storms. Writing this review as I get ready for another trip here this summer.

on Shingle Creek Trail

snowshoeing
2 months ago

A good trail for snowshoeing. Went up a couple miles after a snow storm and enjoyed the winter scenery.

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. Bench Lake is also a litter past Notch Lake

Love it easy fun lots of water

hiking
4 months ago

Easy hike that passes several other lakes.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice easy hike. Lake is prettier in the spring when the reservoir is fullest

backpacking
4 months ago

Gorgeous views, fabulous greenery when I went in July. Would definitely do it again

hiking
5 months ago

Lots of snow up above the beaver ponds and icy in patches below them. Didn’t quite make it all the way up this time but it’s worth coming back to complete. Might just wait until late Spring though!

hiking
6 months ago

There are certainly better hikes in the Uintas but still worth exploring. As a destination Castle Lake is nice but not great. It might be less crowded here than some of the nicer spots - it was deserted in November.
After departing from the Yellow Pine Trail this gets a bit difficult to follow. Especially if there is snow. Look for a talus slope below Castle Peak, just to the SE of this the trail climbs the slope across from the rocky buts.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike! About 13 miles total, with steep sections, and lots and lots of mud and water on the trail, but definitely doable. We hiked this pretty late in the season, so about a mile from the lake, we hit some pretty deep snow and lost the trail. We kept trekking, though, and made it to the lake about an hour later than planned. The snow was a lot of work! Definitely will do this hike again, but probably earlier in the season, like early September. The good thing about going later, though, was that we didn't see any other hikers at all until the end of the hike when we got back to the parking lot.

backpacking
7 months ago

Amazing Hike!
Requires a recreational day pass for overnight parking. I usually buy my passes at the Chevron located in Kamas outside the west entrance to the forest. It cost me $6 for a 3-day pass. (Closes at 9pm)

Difficulty: It can get rough at times. Incline the entire way. Very steep sections.

It has many rivers/creeks running through multiple areas so you don't need to worry too much about water. (I recommend Iodine and neutralizer tablets you can buy at Walmart for $7, water tastes great with those)
If you are hiking off-trail from Salamander Lake to Ostler Lake on the West side of the basin, there aren't very many water sources, be sure to prepare for that section.

Our dog loved this trail, and did fine. Horses are welcome as well.

Recommended camping places:

If you stay on-trail, Waypoint 2 or Waypoint 3 are a great places to camp. Amethyst/Waypoint 4 is with the tree line so wood will be scarce there.

Off-trail Camping spots: The small pond/lake south of Salamander on the south side has a great little meadow area. Very comfy. Moose love that pond. Be sure to 100% camp at Ostler Lake!!! Beautiful place! Best spot there is on the south-west side near an open meadow along the tree line. Lots of wood to burn.

By far one of the best hikes!

By the way, here are my route details. Each waypoint has comments/recommendations.

https://www.gaiagps.com/datasummary/route/06c5985d-0f03-4fdc-a475-ab082dfafc40/?layer=GaiaTopoRasterFeet

Questions? E-Mail me at JoshuaTravisFryer@outlook.com

7 months ago

We did this hike in May and the landscape was carpeted with wild flowers. We continued on to Shepard and Hoover Lakes, taking pictures all along the way. Bring mosquito repellant and your camera. Easy hike for any skill level.

Hard, but sooooo worth it!

backpacking
7 months ago

This was a gorgeous, moderate hike to in with a few loose rock scrambles and some maneuvering through flocks of sheep. The lake itself proved to be the perfect place to camp for two nights with two dogs. I have provided a link to my blog post below, hope it helps!

https://www.kelseykagan.com/home/2017/8/22/kermsuh-lake-trail

fishing
8 months ago

Caught 6 trout on a fly with bubble and 2 with powerbait. Great spot.

gorgeous hike through breathtaking views. one of my favorites in Utah!!!

Close to the end of the trail, where you get up on the last ridge before descending to Big Elk Lake, I came across a Trail Closed due to fire conditions sign.

My original goal was to use the Upper Setting Trail to link the Shingle Creek Trail with the Big Elk Trail, but I didn't want to push through a trail closure.

backpacking
8 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.

hiking
8 months ago

It's great up here right now. The cooler weather is keeping most of the crowds away and you can still find wild raspberries and gooseberries to snack on the whole way!

hiking
8 months ago

Love this hike! It is long but not too challenging. The lake is smaller than I expected but still has some good camping spots around it. Can't wait to go back!

backpacking
8 months ago

Beautiful area lots of lakes and lots of bear sign up by morat lakes

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike! A few tricky crossings but doable. 12.9 miles recorded. Relaxing by the quiet lake was magic. We rarely saw others on a holiday weekend. It was the perfect long hike in a day!

backpacking
8 months ago

Incredibly beautiful hike through meadows, pine forest, and aspen groves. As others have said, this hike is 13 miles round trip from the parking lot. The first 2 miles are fairly easy and pleasant...BUT...once you turn left to head toward Amethyst the trail becomes quite steep for about a mile and then continually ascends until you reach the lake. The trail is very rocky and there are quite a few areas where it is muddy. You will likely ask yourself several times, "How and why is this fun??" However, you can take regular breaks and enjoy the waterfalls and cascades that border the trail. After you've endured the grueling uphill climb you come to Amethyst Lake. It is well worth the hike and the most gorgeous mountain lake I have visited to-date!!

Went today, bridge is no longer out at 2.5 miles. There are a couple of tricky crossing but all doable. Went up to East Shingle Creek Lake, 6.5 miles 2500ft+ in elevation climb. Must have missed the 5 mile up lake. Wonderful trail to run.

Awesome hike. As others have said, it is longer than listed.... at least 13 miles round trip to Amethyst Lake. End of August is the perfect time for this trip. It was nice and cool at night, slightly warm during the day, and the bugs had mostly disappeared. There are some nice campsites near the unnamed lake about a mile from Amethyst. We stopped on the opposite side of the trail in a meadow that had an awesome fire pit with some tree trunk benches. Plenty of firewood due to the blight.

backpacking
8 months ago

My dad, my 14 year old sister, and myself went backpacking here last week. Beautiful and very easy hike into the Lake. There are plenty of places to set up camp here, with firepits from previous backpackers and plenty of firewood all around. Would recommend bringing an ax if you will be having a fire. There is also a little spring running into the lake with fresh water, but I recommend either using a filter or boil the water to make sure it's clean. From the parking lot to Fehr Lake, it's just over a half mile. Very easy for little ones as well. If you keep following the trail, it will take you to the other 3 lakes. We only went to the first one, which was about another 2 - 2.5 miles to get to, which was shepherd lake. Gorgeous mirror like water with a waterfall on the other side. We only made it to this lake before heading back to Fehr Lake. We tried fishing at both lakes with no luck, but neither of us are big fishers which could explain our bad luck. Overall this is the perfect place to go backpacking if you are a beginner or have little ones. We were the only ones camping here, but there were plenty of hikers coming through during the day. But we camped on the south west side of the lake, which is the opposite side of the trail, so we were not disturbed. We will definitely be returning here next year!

backpacking
8 months ago

This trail was amazing! Beauty all around, and wonderful campsites at the top. Hardly any bugs this time of year. Didn't have to use deet once. Gorgeous waterfalls on the way up, and crystal aqua waters up top. However, the trail is indeed 13 miles round trip, not 11 as stated on All Trails. It may be 11 round trip from the fork, but it's 13 miles round trip from car, to Amethyst, and back. I will definitely do this trail again someday.

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.

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