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

This is one of my all time favorites! Definitely a two-nighter to enjoy it! Very busy on the weekends! Start the summit very early, thunder and lightning storms come from out of nowhere in the afternoon!

Went in on September 28. Really windy. Great spot at the lower lake. Didn’t see the bear, but at 6 pm Saturday night a forest fire to west threatened to blow in. Got the heck out through smoke and darkness. Check the fire conditions before you go!

What an amazing hike! We had a late start and set up camp the fist night at about 5pm. We found a great area at about 300ft from the trail. on day two we reached Lower Red Lake. it was beautil. we set up camp the second night just by the lake at about 400ft from the trail. After we had fallen asleep, we woke up to a bear circling our tent, ended up leaving maybe after half hour. Talking about being scared!! we had our food on a bear proof container and inside a smell prood bag away from the tent. the scenary on this trail is breathtaking. the switchbacks are long so it makes the elevation gain easy. the hike was overall challenging for us (we come from.florida). def will do it again.

This hike is rated as moderate, but it was very easy. There is hardly any elevation gain and the switchbacks are long making what little you have to gain a breeze. Plenty of water along the trail to filter, or for your dog to drink. As noted by the previous review, lower red castle lake is picturesque but definitely not pristine. We camped in the site with the heart shaped rock. It was nice until we noticed all the human waste that was not properly buried. We had set up our tent not realizing till the next morning how close it was to utter grossness. Leave no trace is important. If your not sure what this requires look it up and please respect our wilderness.

Scenery and setting are truly spectacular. Really a photogenic place. But you’ve gotta embrace the poop smeared toilet paper fluttering in the wind, fire rings...everywhere, footpaths through delicate alpine meadows...and dogs barking at sunrise. Pristine? Not so much. Leave no trace? What’s that?

Hiked with scout troop over a course of 3 days. Don’t go down the side of the main peak the back way, go down the way you came up... we learned that the hard way.

A great summit. Don’t despair when you hit a false summit - the real one is close. We took the shortcut. From the pass, follow the cairns to hikers right. Lots of rock hopping. Trekking poles are nice to have. 40Mph? winds made standing on the summit block a bit challenging.

beautiful place to go I have done it in one day don't recommended if your not fit for it. it's better in 2 days so you can enjoy it better

Awesome hike. Beautiful scenery. But the fire in Spanish fork canyon smoked me and several other groups out. We left before our original departure date because it was raining ash. Fire is over 100 miles away.

What a great adventure. Encountered plenty of wild life, the beauty of the mountains, and a killer hike. As usual the weather in the Uintas was unpredictable. The window of 3pm thunder showers quickly turned into noon thunder showers. We hunkered down for about 20 minutes until storm passed over. This ended up working to our advantage because it allowed us to enjoy the Peak to ourselves for awhile. So glad to finally have this one under my belt.

Spent three days. Hiked toward the end of lower lake ~10 miles in about 5.5 hours. Lots of horses and horse dung. Don’t fret if you don’t find camping before the end of lower lake. There are a few spots in the woods past it as well as on the opposite side of the lake. Labor day weekend had tons of other people. By the time we hiked out sunday, the parking lot was overflowing with cars. Lows were about 30-35. One person claimed their thermometer said 28. Very rocky at some points in the trail. I’m not currently in running shape but I wouldnt deem it a difficult hike. There are only a few times that really feel like you’re hiking up. Upper red is worth the extra couple miles. Saw over half of a dozen moose.

The elevation is a killer! Great views, plenty of water until the summit. Watch the weather, it can turn quickly.

I rate it moderate! Very beautiful easy hike! The scramble was fun except watching people drag their dogs around. Not dog friendly. 2.5 to Henry’s lake 2 to summit. 2.5 down. Great weekend backpacking trek with 15#. Be prepared for the elements. Pack accordingly!

Went over labor day so it was super busy. Still got a decent spot tho. Temps get low enough for frost and the lake to start icing so pack warm clothes. Overall a challenging backpack but with a killer payoff!!!

For those with dogs: while dogs are allowed, I wouldn't call this hike dog friendly. Especially the scramble to the summit.

We ended up carrying ours, only 13#s, larger dogs were struggling too. I would recommend to only summit with your dog if they are used to high altitude and have energy for days.

We'd go back to the area with her but wouldn't go beyond Anderson Pass, if that.

Great Hike!! kicked my but. but well worth it. Cant wait to do it again.

Trailhead, drop gear at Dollar lake, bust it up the mountain, get down before dark, headlamps blazing, Lifestraw a must, missing the Gunsight pass turn off, Hi-line trail for miles, stumble on sign for Gunsight, cross over, crawl up the pass, freeze your assets all the back to Dollar, fall into sleeping bag, sleep like the dead, quick pack out and back to reality. This was one for the books. I love the mountains in UT!

Fun hike, wouldn’t recommend taking the “short cut” unless you like walking through rock fields for a longer period of time. Also recommend doing this in 2-3 days and not 1

I spent 5 days backpacking the area. Deliberately went during the week to avoid people but I underestimated how popular this trail is. Saw others every day of this venture Sunday to Thursday.

First night near Dollar. There are about a dozen established campsites with stone firepits just around Dollar. I had neighbors the first night. Even in tree cover the night winds are cold. Did not have a tent, just a hammock, tarp and rain fly sinched tight around me to save weight so I needed trees.

Left for King's at 8:30. At Gunsight Pass I missed the shortcut that I intended to take and went into the basin. Wish I hadn't, because I had packed up my campsite with the intent of going south to Atwood lake after summiting King's, so I climbed Gunsight and descended into the basin with full pack weight.

When the trail ascent began I ditched all weight except water, gloves and windbreaker(ABSOLUTELY take one) and summited. The last scramble was not too bad, but I keep a ferocious pace and I don't take breaks. Altitude did not affect me as anticipated. Took about 4 hours from Dollar to peak without the shortcut. I passed 3 other men, all of whom took the shortcut, two of which were my campsite neighbors, the other I met at the trailhead and had a similarly brutal pace up until the scramble, from Anderson Pass to the peak with 20 minutes for photos and lunch before one of them joined me up there. We had a King's Peak bonding of strangers and I left. Views from peak were faded by Cali wildfires.

Immediately after starting the descent from the peak, my knees were on fire. Every step was agony. And I couldn't even take the shortcut down the chute of Anderson or to Gunsight because all my gear was left in the basin. Climbing back up Gunsight and trekking to Dollar was a hell that could not have ended soon enough. Glad I packed so much ibuprofen and tiger balm. Take as little weight as possible for the peak!!! Dollar to peak to Dollar took 9 hours because each step going back was pain I'd never felt. Knelt in Dollar while filtering water to ease my knees in lieu icing inflammation. Very effective. It is cold.

Expected heavy mosquito presence but did not see a single one until filtering water at Dollar. Also, this isn't well covered, but at this altitude the body doesn't effectively adjust to the lack of oxygen, 18% at 13,000ft. 59% at 4500 in Ogden where I live. You know that cusp of sleep where thoughts become dream and then sleep? Usually takes me 30-90 minutes to get there. Here took me 10 minutes each night. VERY quick. And you keep awakening throughout the night due to low oxygen so you never long exit rapid eye movement into deep sleep. You will dream A LOT. Or just awaken frequently with recollection of dreams all night, but still well rested if your campsite was setup right.

Third day went west to Henry's Fork Lake where there's much less traffic. Six moose, 4 bulls 2 cows eating in the lake for hours whilst I fished. Day-hiked up to Blanchard lake and around. Wanted to see Cliff Lake but my knees hurt way too much, even with just a daypack of mostly water. Saw three wild horses and two flocks of 30+ sheep. Unending chorus of baaa. Baaa. Baaa. Made me laugh out loud alone maniacally.

Trail south-north is not well marked. It diverges at Henry's Fork Lake, actual trail going northwest, the other just north remaining in the valley with the east bench almost always in view. I took the latter and missed all the western lakes, Bear, Sawmill, etc. Wouldn't likely happen to anyone north-southbound as the trail has permanent markers.

No rain except a sprinkle <10 minutes the first night. A blessed, sunny journey. Hope this helps anyone.

had a hard time with my water filter.... taste was not great making it hard to drink... hard to stay hydrated. we hiked a mile past dollar lake, to another lake above it, took about 3 hrs. 10ish miles. Weather here seems to be unpredictable at best.. it hailed, rained, thundered/lightning all night. we started around 6:30am sat made it to the peak in 3 hrs., back in 2.5, then left the camp and made it back to the TH at 4pm.... tough weekend. Be careful on pack size 35 ponds of gear exc gets heavy after a while and have fun!

Started at the trailhead at 8am. Hiked as far as we could to gunsight pass. We arrived at Gunsight around 4pm and decided not to go over and into the valley for the night and instead picked out a small group of trees overlooking the basin below. That night was windy but not bad. Left the next morning for the peak at 9am. We went over the pass and into the valley and back up to the Andersons pass. We got back to our campsite around 7pm. My recommendation is when you get to the boulder scramble climb up to the ridge and stick to it as much as possible (way easier than trying to scramble the entire way up to the peak). We scrambled the entire way up and cost us a couple of hours. Next day we packed up at 8am and got back down to the trailhead around 2pm. Overall the hike in and put was very easy. The hike up to the peak was tough although if you have good knees you won't have a problem. the campsite views were incredible, better than any other place I've camped at yet.

We completed this hike with the typical 3-day itinerary that involves camping in the Dollar Lake area. The first day's hike was moderate, climbing about 1500 ft over 8 miles to Dollar. There is a 1/4-mile "no burn zone surrounding the lake, so we continued just far enough past Dollar to be able to enjoy a campfire in one of the many established fire rings scattered around that area. Though we past many hikers on the trail (it was busy on a Saturday), we had plenty of private options with good, flat tent sites in the shelter of mature trees.

The second day was tougher. We left our packs behind and the hike started pretty easy. We decided not to take the "short cut" from the top of the pass because it didn't seem nearly as enjoyable and we were in no hurry. There were many water sources all the way up to the saddle below the peak at 12500 ft. The last mile was a beast though. Scrabbling up the skree at 13000 ft was rough on this low-lander's lungs!

As we came back down, we were tempted to leave the ridge in favor of a more direct descent, but we regretted it. The rocks seemed to be much looser and the way was more difficult than if we had just stayed along the ridge all the way down. In fact, the climb down was more difficult than going up.

Once we reached the trail, the going was easy again and we were back to our campsite at Dollar by early afternoon. I've seen various estimates, but taking the long route through Painter's Basin was 12.75 miles round trip, according to my GPS.

Sunday night we enjoyed a visit from 8 deer slowly passing our campsite, and there was a giant bull moose lounging in the lake.

The third day, we broke camp early and just beat the storms back to the trailhead. Our entire trip was 29.3 miles.

Two more quick notes... I expected a lot of flies and/or mosquitoes since this is lake country, but I didn't see a single bug.

Also, I did not see any mention of bears in other trail reports, so I was surprised to see a sign at the trailhead warning of "bear country" and the need to store food properly. I asked a passing ranger about that and he said it was bear habitat (thus the signs), but there had not been a bear sighting in 30 years and the food storage concern was more for the squirrels and chipmunks.

Can’t give it 5 stars because of all the people and horse poo on the trail. Would not recommend the short cut after gunnison pass as rock slides are very easy to trigger. Good water source in valley right before the final climb to Kings. Shoulda got 2 liters there but only got 1.

Beautiful place! Pack warm clothes. Can’t wait to return again!

Decided to do this with my brother in one day after doing a little research. We started from the trailhead at 3:45 AM and made quick work to dollar lake. We saw three different moose on our way up. We took the shortcut at Gunsight pass and bouldered up the mountain. The summit was hard as there is no defined trail through the boulders, but just keep making your way up and try and stay close to the ridge line. The one thing I would change would be not to take the chute down to try and save some mileage. The loose rocks sliding down the steep incline kept hitting my ankles and multiple times I had to sit down to try and stop myself. Finished the hike at 5:30 and was physically fine, but mentally drained from the long day.

Clear path up to dollar lake, but climbing up to peak isn’t so well marked but still not bad. Was still an amazing hike!

This review is important.
We planned to camp at dollar lake and made it easily up there in about 4 hours, the next day we summited and got altitude sickness but made it in about 11 hours to get back to camp.
What we should’ve done, hike near a lake after gunsite pass and had a shorter summit the next because that is the hardest part of the hike because about 90% of that day is bouldering. Good luck on this very difficult hike

One of the best hikes in Utah, or anywhere that I have ever been.

hiking
2 months ago

Best destination in the Uintas! However, the hike is tough, even though it's relatively flat. There are so many rocks on the trail that it limits your speed and requires you to look where you place every step. Give yourself at least a day to rest and explore before heading back.

Since my wife read the book “Return to Red Castle” about 35 years ago, this has been on her bucket list. Finally got in shape and did it this year. She’s 59 and I am 61. It was a fabulous hike over three days. Went with two of our kids and their spouses, and had a fabulous time. The trail is long but beautiful and very doable for just about anybody. With all of our extra hiking, we went about 36 miles. We did it from Wednesday to Friday. Saw very few people. On the hike down we came across about 40 to 50 people in small groups going up. The weekend looks to be quite busy. Huge, vast area that can accommodate a lot of campers and hikers. Lots of options and directions to go once you get there. Saw a cow moose on the lower half of the trail, and then three Bull moose hanging around Lower Red Castle and the meadows. Fishing was poor, we think due to a lot of pressure in both of the main lakes. We did see a lot of fish swimming around, that weren’t very interested in what we had to offer (flies). That was alright though, because there is so much incredible beauty to explore around there. Pictures don’t do it justice! Be sure to take bug spray and sunscreen. That’s a given for anywhere in the Uintas. A few blisters in our group, a little bit of altitude sickness for a couple of us for just a couple hours, and my wife tripped on the trail and kissed a boulder with her forehead, got a nice cut above her eye and bruises, and a blackeye, but with a little doctoring everything was back to normal. No way was she giving up after all these years of wanting to go there so badly. Loved every bit of it! Will probably be going back.

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