Explore the most popular forest 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.

good trail. started at 10 in the morning after finding the trail head and got back to the car as the sun was setting. this trail has nice veiws and water everywhere! you really only need to bring a filter and maybe one bottle. The trail seems to go on forever. would be more enjoyable to stay the night below the peak instead of doing it all in one day

The red castle really is worth all the hype. The trail is pretty level and never steep, but the trail surface was trash from all the horse traffic, and really wore my feet out, so wear good shoes. There were moose along the lake. When we went the last weekend in August, it rained for a little bit but it was fine. There were also about a couple hundred sheep being run late at night from east red castle down the valley so that was... interesting. You’ll also pass lots of cows on your way there and the trail appears to be more popular with horse packers than backpackers. So it was more like the High Uintas Farm than a wilderness... still worth it to camp under the red castle.

You have to go to the upper lake! It might be hard to motivate yourself after already hiking 10 miles, but it’s so worth it. The layers in the rock and the view you get of the valley are spectacular, and the upper lake itself is more scenic than the lower one.

Awesome trail. Very glad I had the chance to do this hike!

backpacking
4 months ago

Less Crowded that camping at Dollar Lake

backpacking
4 months ago

Crowded lake where many camp for the King Peak Climb

Great area to backpack. Red Castle Mountain at sunset is amazing

I have never hiked kings peak and I had a goal to do it this year. Yesterday was probably my last chance. Blue skies, with a high of 45 F. 18-hour hike, only 11 hours of sunlight, 2 feet of snow covering the trail in several spots. I had the entire mountain to myself; didn't see another soul.
It was just about perfect.
It is not my favorite mountain. The boulder scramble near the top is a slog, especially when they are half covered in snow, but I am glad I did it. I will have to try it in the summer.

This was a fantastic hike! This was the first time my wife had done any backpacking, and she fell in love! We took the typical route, stopped short of gunsight pass and made camp. The next day, we climbed the summit, (pack plenty of water and warm-weather clothing) and packed out the next day. We loved it, we were fortunate not to hit any bad weather, but people leaving as we were coming in said they got snowed off the peak, in August! A wonderful hike, would definitely do it again!

We had a great time, hiked the entire trail to the lower lake in one day. Camped the night before at China Meadows. Left at 5 am and returned by 2pm. Didn't hike hard and stopped a plenty. Beautiful lake and Red Castle Mt is awesome!! A MUST-DO!

Wonderful hike! This starts out as a gentle uphill through pine and aspen woods along Henry's Fork. Multiple small stream crossings this time of year are easily passed. Gunsight Pass is the first steep climb. On the way down from the pass, the largest cairns take you down into the valley below before heading up to Anderson Pass. If you want to do the route highlighted here, stay closer to the mountain after crossing Gunsight. I was able to do the 29mi (added 0.9mi each way) out and back in a little over 11hrs with a few breaks for fueling and taking in the sights. I also enjoyed the perfect weather.

Absolutely spectacular... we were extremely lucky and had perfect weather, clear sky, no wind, no bugs. One of the most beautiful places! Totally worth it... take your time and enjoy.

Just did this as a two night backpack over Labor Day weekend. It was stunning! And there are no more mosquitoes!!! I never had to use bug spray once. It also never rained! It is a long 10 mile hike in, but there's so little elevation gain it feels almost flat. There were a lot of groups camping, but everyone was very friendly and I enjoyed talking to great new people. Spent the second day going up to the upper lake for lunch. We sunned on the rock, dipped our feet in, and even swam for a second. We woke up to five moose in our campsite the second morning! I will never forget this incredible experience.

We started Wednesday early morning hike to the summit Thursday morning. Absolutely amazing experience. Super challenging but worth it. I will do it again.

Stuff to think about on this trip:
Bug spray, sunscreen, waterproof shoes, woods stay pretty damp, hiking in some muddy spots, mushrooms, fishing pole, camera, basic survival kit.

This hike will take from 7-9hrs. in. I would suggest camping before the Upper Red Castle Lake. May be wise to bring rain gear if you don't typically pack it. It's worth the hike just to cleanse the soul.
Just go with it. It's good for you. You'll not have cell service.

Beautiful area, take your time and make it a 2-3 day trip. Don't forget your flies!!!

I did a one day out-and-back with a group of 5, started at 5am and got back at 9pm, that being said a few in our group were pretty worn out, so the pace coming down was slower. this hike is challenging for one day, and although someone told us that the first 10 miles were flat, that wasn't quite the case. the last two or three miles are very steep, and little to no trail is present. that being said, the summit was worth all the hard effort! Simply an amazing view! if I were to ever do this again, I would hike in about 8 miles and camp, and then summit the next day. My only true complaint is that there are like NO SIGNS! unless you have a gps, you have no idea how far you've gone, or how much is left. NOTE: A scout died up there the weekend we went due to elevation sickness, so if you feel nauseated, head back to lower elevation right away! Also, don't mess around with the storms near the summit; play it safe and live to hike another day. The storms were intense on our way down! Oh, and one more thing: there were some amazing views, but plenty of boring terrain later on with little to no shade, so come prepared.

Not a very difficult hike. Although you will find that most of the trail is mud as it's a heavily used equestrian trail. Dog friendly. Look for moose in the meadows! Mosquitos are plentiful. Trails seems busy on weekends.. We backpacked in and stayed two nights at Lower Red Castle Lake. Took a day hike to Red Castle Lake as it's only about two miles past Lower Red Castle Lake. Very scenic and peaceful place. Worth every mile!

This trail is the most beautiful trail I've ever hiked. Also the longest and I read some of these reviews saying it's too hard and what not.. well by the time I got to the lower lake I had been up for a total of 26 hours from working and then driving 2.5 hours and then taking the 6 hours it took me to get to the lower lake and although strenuous. It's not at all difficult. It's super muddy and it hailed on us everyday so be prepared. The upper castle lake doesn't provide much to look at but when you're up there looking out over the land and you can see red castle and the lower lake it's worth the hour hike over the boulders to the west of the red castle lake.

I've been making the trek to RedCastle for 27 years... it's never disappointing! I chose 4 stars because of the current condition of the trail... it's muddy and wet up there, lots of damage to navigate from horse packing, if you are on a horse 5 stars.
The fishing was great at the middle lake, nailed the tigers and cuts. Use black and yellow jigs, wooly buggers.
Campers need to be more tidy and clean.. came across a few spots where human waste or trash was noticable... bark beetles have wreaked havoc on about 80 percent of the lower pines.. but up above the switch backs ... the pines are pretty healthy. Such a beautiful place to visit and come back to!

This hike was absolutely worth it but I think knowing a few things ahead of time would have helped my overall experience. Be prepared for some serious bolder scrambling towards the end of the hike!! I anticipated about a half mile of this and it was more like a mile if not more. If you don't do well with heights this will slow you way down. I'm very grateful there were plenty of other people hiking it that day or we would have had no idea where we were going. Once on the ridge line it's really not clear where to go. The cairns are very few and far between. Also, bring plenty of water!! We each had a liter on us along with a filter to fill up but once you start up the ridge the opportunity for water isn't there. And as other have said, bring sunscreen when you summit! We applied first thing in the morning but the hike took longer than we anticipated and I got fried! We camped at Dollar Lake which was beautiful, saw plenty of wildlife and had spectacular views from King's Peak thanks to the beautiful weather we had! Overall it lived up to my expectations for being on my bucket list for so long!

Done in 3 days one fishing day wonderful fathers and sons trip

We started from the trailhead at 7:45pm Friday night and returned to the car by 4:10pm Saturday afternoon. Hiked very fast, but it was doable for my friend and I. Tip for driving there: either download a map for offline use, or if you're using printed directions then watch your odometer to know when to turn. We made a a couple wrong turns that put us back an hour from starting the hike. The hike in to Dollar Lake is fairly flat--nothing too strenuous, and we backpacked in two hours that first night. Set up camp in some trees by 10pm and were up again at 6am to start hiking at 7am. Got off the path and climbed up the shoot. Very difficult, but some others hikers said it cut the distance from the vally to the peak in half. Just be very careful climbing over all the boulders. Made it to the peak at 10:30am (3hr moving time) and back down our camp by 1:30 (2.5hr moving time). View from the peak was amazing! Well worth the effort. Also saw moose, dear, sheep, groundhogs, horses, and a LLAMA along the way. Weather was perfect; warm, but not hot, and the peak is quite breezy and cool. That said, we got pretty sunburnt, so still be sure to cover up. As for water, I kept two liters on me. Filtered and refilled them in the morning and they lasted the rest of the day, but probably could have used 3L. Lots of people, but no roads, power lines, or buildings in sight. Beautiful hike, and I'd definitely come back and take more time to explore the other features of the area.

We loved this hike, but we were also well prepared, which is part of why it was so enjoyable. A couple things I would recommend to adequately prepare:
-plan for rain (it is the high Uintas afterall)
-bring lots of bug spray
-bring sunscreen (the sun exposure is deceiving because it's not very hot, but the elevation will cause most people to burn without protection)
-bring a water filtration method, there are plenty of opportunities to fill up
-take the peak slow, adjusting to the altitude is essential
-become familiar or make sure you're confident in your ability to climb and maneuver boulders as it is all you will be doing the last mile of the summit

Did this over 3 days. We got lucky and the weather was beautiful!! Bug spray is definitely a must. Camped near Dollar Lake, plenty of water. Fishing was good in the stream but not in the lake. We left camp at 5am to make sure we were at Summit and down before noon. The rock cairns were helpful to stay on trail. Make sure and take water for Summit as moving water availability is scarce after Gunsight pass. Pack a jacket as the top is cold and windy, and gloves may be helpful for boulder hopping and hand warmth. The area was beautiful and the views were breathtaking. Happy to say we made it!!

Extremely challenging climb but worth it! We took 3 days to hike the peak. Day One: Hiked from Parking Lot to Just Above Dollar Lake in Complete Downpour - the hike took about 5 hours. Be prepared for heavy rain and a "string & log" bridge crossing. Mosquitos are rampant - 100% DEET did the trick. Day 2: Left camp to climb King's Peak at 5AM. It is a long haul over rocks and boulders. No need for spikes as you can climb around the snow. You will be on all fours and there is ample exposure near the peak. Bring plenty of water - you will need it. We returned to camp at 4PM. Thunder/lightening/rain began at 8PM and did not stop until 8AM the following day. Day 3: Hiked back to parking lot at 6:55AM - it only took 4 hours on the return, and we had sun! Totally worth the work of the climb. Bring water and warm clothes!

Trail conditions were okay. Tons of horseback riders; makeing the trail really muddy at some points. Lots of mosquitoes. We spent a few days there and camped at a different place each night. Most camps had trash. Fishing was amazing. Day hikes were fun. Sunsets and weather conditions were good. Rained daily for about an hour in the evenings. Would definitely recommend.

Awesome but challenging trip! Took the advice of others and got as close to Gunsight Pass the first day as we could. We left the next morning at about 10:30 am but would recommend leaving no later than that because by the time we got up to King's Peak, took a twenty minute rest and hiked all the way back to camp it was 8 pm and the sun was going down quickly. As others have said, the weather up there is unpredictable and we hiked the first day completely in the rain(9 miles is where we stopped) but got lucky and were able to summit with clear skies. No ice axes or anything like that is necessary right now as of 7/23. Bring a water filter along with you and some good bug spray and/or treat your clothing because the mosquitoes are vicious. Our Corgi was able to do this entire hike with only a little help scrambling the bigger boulders so this trail is dog friendly all the way to the sunmit for a healthy dog! The trail maps will tell you to go back down the backside of Gunsight Pass and around the corner and then back up but we took a shortcut at the top of the pass by veering left and climbing the rocks up. Plenty of piles of rocks are built up to show you the way. We estimated that the shortcut saved us an hour and a half each way.

backpacking
9 months ago

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.

This hike was fantastic. My only gripe was the viscous thunderstorms. We did it in two days, and camped below Gunsight pass. This absolutely wasn't the hardest hike I've ever done, but the length of the hike combined with the weight of my pack definitely made it pretty tough. I'd absolutely do this again. The view from the top of Kings is incredible!

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