Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

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.

Great hike. Day 1 we left Henry Fork trailhead and went in past dollar lake 2 miles to camp (9.5 total). Did this to make our summit shorter. Water was harder to find but it was less crowded. Day 2 we left camp at 7:30 am and hit the top at 11:15. We went the shorter but steeper route over the bolder field to Anderson pass. Back to camp just after 3:00 pm. Then packed up and went to dollar lake to camp to make day 3 shorter. Day 3 we left dollar lake at 8 and we were back to the trailhead at 11:00 am. Overall great hike with amazing views. Bucket list item checked off.

Unbelievable! Gorgeous views and perfect camping. The first night of our trip we camped at China Meadows and spotted three bull moose. One of which was of trophy size. The hike was pleasant with a gradual incline. The switchbacks were a little difficult but do not last long. Mosquitos were virtually nonexistent and we spent the day enjoying leisure time at Lower Red Castle Lake. We were lucky enough to witness a brilliant thunder storm our first night there. Truly ear splitting booms echoed across the drainage as lightning struck the mountainside. Be ready for quick changes in weather. This is the High Uintas.

On our way to explore Red Castle Lake, we ran into a cow moose. I would suggest taking a day hike to the south side of Red Castle. The views are spectacular from Red Castle Lake and Upper Red Castle Lake. Life truly is different above the tree line. This hike is a little steep but not too difficult without a pack. Bring a good camera and wait until the sun is setting to get magnificent lighting of the red rock. You will walk away with gorgeous photos. This area is so serene and beautiful. If possible, try to go early in the week. The crowds die down on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I would do this again in a second.

It was an awesome but very difficult hike. From TH to Dollar Lake is fairly easy. We went up Gunsight Pass and descended down into the valley. It is steep going up to Anderson Pass. It was much further to Anderson then anticipated. Once we got to the Pass it was boulder scrambling for an hour. It was very tiring and hard. Coming down off the summit was difficult because there isn’t really a trail so it is more boulder scrambling for about an hour. We anticipated that it would take us roughly 7 hours to summit and get back to camp. It actually took us 10 hours. Some people in the party took upwards of 12 hours. There are spots for filtering water almost all the way to Anderson Pass. I had 2 liters and ran out on the descent. All in all it was an extremely tiring hike and most likely won’t do it again.

Camped about 1.75 miles past Dollar Lake. Started up at 6:30am through Painter's Basin, made it to the top at 11:30. Great climb and hike and amazing views throughout. Went back the same way, and packed up and camped by the fork in the trail just after the river crossing to make the last day shorter. Good thing too as the clouds really rolled in and looked, like storms near Gunsite, the Basin, and the lakes. Great Hike, plentiful water with a filter.

Awesome!

nice

Camped at Dollar Lake. Took the short way after the cairn at Gunsight Pass by hugging the side of the mountain instead of going into Painter Basin. There are markers all along the way until you can see Anderson Pass. Most of my group did take the chute down. Two went around the way we came. They beat us by 10 minutes back to Dollar Lake. This is something to consider if you are thinking of taking the chute down. It is probably a little quicker if you are at Henry’s Fork Lake, but not Dollar, and is definitely much more physically demanding.

Awesome hike, very difficult (even for me, who just finished it for the fourth time). Make sure you have plenty of water. All four of my group started with at least 40 oz of water and we all ran out, and that was starting from base camp, eight miles from the trailhead, and it wasn't even a particularly sunny or hot day. Bring a water filter if you have it, there are streams to fill up almost the entire way.

backpacking
24 days ago

Absolutely stunning trail and spectacular views. We will be doing this hike again soon.

Great trip. We hiked in to dollar lake area (difficult to identify which lake was what) and found a good spot to set up for the night. Did not get super cold (maybe low 50's). Set out at 6 am the next morning towards gunsight pass and took the shortcut around. Lots of rocks to climb and walk over. We made it to the summit by 11. Descent was easier but still difficult due to the rocks. We took a left coming off the trail to the peak down what we were told was called 'the Devil's Chute' (because who can pass something with that kind of a name up?). First half was walking down steep rocks, the second half was skiing down rocks with hiking boots. We wandered back to the main trail and found the camp by 2. Broke it down and walked out leaving the trail at 630.

Would 3 days have been more pleasant? Probably - with a more relaxed start time might have dealt with more sun but there would be more time to come down and recover before making the hike out. All in all - ~20 miles is a lot for one day.

This hike is worth the pain to see the red castle and the upper lake views. Like most people have said the switch backs do hit you hard being that they are at the end of the hike. My hiking partner and I just took it slower when we hit them and we made it up just plan a little extra time and you will be fine. There is a bridge with a good running water right before the switch backs its good spot to take a break and get some water if you need it. Once you get up you find a fork in the trail with a sign I will tell you to go left it will take you closer to the lower lake and more camp sites. I will also tell you the all trails says it is 9.7 that is to the north side of the lake and you will need to keep walking to find any place to make camp. We camped at the south end of the lower lake and it was more like 10.4 miles at least that’s what both of our GPS’s showed. We hiked up to the upper lake and the water was clear and you could see the fish about 20 off shore. We only fished the lower lake we only get one fish but did see people pulling them in all around us. If you have time you will need to get over to the water fall it was spectacular. If you have not read by now the mosquitoes are in force up there right now. Being that there were some many people up there we didn’t think we would see much wild life but we did get to see a moose on the way down. I was a great hike and a good start to getting back in to backpacking. We did a 3 day set I would recommend this be the shortest time you do this hike a 4 or 5 day would be better. If you are debating if you should do the hikes don’t just do it. Just a reminder people if you are hiking with a group stick together and have a plan. We were asked more than a few times if we had seen someones group and if we knew where they were. Unfortunately my hiking partner and I didn’t get the memo that we were the mountain babysitters.

I’m too old and fat for this hike. 80 lbs overweight and a 50 lb pack was too much. Hike was not steep but very long. The switchbacks were steep and after the switchbacks it was still tough. Beautiful scenery. Red Castle Mountain was spectacular. Lakes were beautiful as well but the hike was too long for me. Tons of flies and mosquitoes. River views were nice as well. Saw a moose also. We did this hike Thursday through Saturday. Not enough time to do this many miles.

Super fun moderate hike. Water is plenty considering the river runs along most of the trail. The forest ranger had us move our campsite about twenty feet. He said every campsite needs to be "70 paces" from the lake. Also, fires need to be 1/4 mile from the lake. Stunning landscape and view as you ascend the trail towards the towering red castle. We saw three moose and a bald eagle.

This hike is amazing. The trail follows a stream the entire way, easy to navigate, and pretty flat until reaching the last 1.5 miles of switch backs. I calculated 23 miles round trip, so 11.5 miles each way. The lake is pretty shallow and my friend got leeches on her feet, so watch out for those if you get in. Camping spaces and water are plentiful. I took the China Meadows trail that starts here Forest Rd 186, Evanston, UT 82930. Happy trails!

Perfect this time of year. Beautiful everywhere!

Great trip with 11-13 year old scouts. This was our second year in a row coming here. We took three days for this trip. Backpacked to the lower lake of red castle and set up camp. Next day went fishing and played around. Fishing was great in the morning. Caught Brooke trout and Tiger trout both on spinner rods and fly fishing rods. Due to wind fishing was best on the West side of the lake. Didn’t make it up to the upper lake though but heard fish are bigger up there. Hiked 5 miles back and set up camp along the river. Last day fished and hiked back to the trailhead. Mosquitos were bad until you used repellent. Needed to reapply every four hours or so. Stars were amazing! No snow. Bring sunscreen. Nights were decent, not freezing. Afternoons were very warm.

Absolutely gorgeous park. As others have said, trail is clear and not too strenuous up to Gunsite (unless you’re carrying a heavy pack). I didn’t see any signs for Dollar Lake where I had planned to camp so I overshot that and found a nice spot off the trail about a half mile further.

I had planned to take the trail at Gunsite that did NOT descend into Painter Basin but I didn’t see any sign or clear path so I decided to just hug the contour line off the trail. I don’t recommend that. Wasted a lot of time and energy scrambling over loose boulders and ended up dropping down into the Basin anyway.

The ascent to Anderson pass is steep, from Anderson to the false summit is steeper, from the false summit to the true summit is even steeper. Views are outstanding.

On the return I figured I’d play it safe and go down through the basin. The trails are hard to follow and it seemed much longer.

Overall excellent hike, tough near the summit and views are amazing. Water was plentiful up to Gunsite.

backpacking
1 month ago

Nice trail, lake was secluded because most people go to dollar lake. Saw 3 moose playing in the water.

Amazing place. Would be 5/5 but the mosquitos are still in full force as of 6/26/18. Mildly muddy. Still patches of snow around the upper red castle lake but the lake is thawed. Nights still chilly. Actually had a few snow flakes in the morning as we were heading out.

hiking
1 month ago

Top ten of my lifetime. Did this trail over two days (I'd recommend at least taking three). I started on a Saturday morning around 8:30AM and was at lower red castle in by lunchtime. I had the trail to myself for nearly the entire length. I saw deer, elk, and moose on the way up. Trail is in great condition, and had so many interesting turns, not at all unpleasant. Plenty of water to be had, so pack light and filter. The trail was never really steep, the switchbacks near the end are well graded and don't require a massive effort. Really exhilarating to hear the Red Castle disintegrating with the snow melt. I've recommended this trail to all of my friends, and will be back soon!

Did this a few days ago. Decent amount of mud but nothing crazy. Mosquitoes were decently bad in the trees. We camped in the open above the lake and it was super windy so mosquitoes weren’t a problem for us. Hiked to the upper lake and crossed one small snowfield but the upper lake was 90% ice. Caught 5 brook trout in the lower lake.

Stunning views and lots of wildlife. The trail all the way up to Gunsight Pass is quite easy and moderate. The trail to Anderson Pass is also fairly mellow. The ridge to Kings Peak is fairly challenging with continuous bolder scrambling and occasional exposure. Don’t recommend the ridge if weather is present. Overall really wonderful hike!

Perfect weekend trek! We started out from Henry’s Fork and ended up finding a camp spot near some trees right before gunsight pass. Things I wish I’d known:

-There is great camping in the valley after Gunsight Pass.
-there’s plenty of water on the trail all through the hike except once you get to the saddle next to King’s Peak and start climbing the ridge.
-Beware of altitude sickness, and watch for symptoms of high altitude cerebral or pulmonary edema (HAPE and HACE). Both are serious and require immediate movement to lower elevation.

That’s it! Amazing and would always recommend. Enjoy ya’ll :)

Gorgeous hike! Even spotted a moose on the trail not far from the lake. Expect lots of mud, multiple river crossings and TONS of rocks. The drive into the trailhead can be pretty rough also. There was still some snow on the trail 06/10/18 but wasn’t an issue at all. Trailhead had toilets available, no trash cans.

We did this hike in early June. I was worried it would be too cold but it wasn't too bad. There was A LOT of snow melt which resulted in muddy trails. There were plenty of rocks to step on to try to avoid getting muddy. We backpacked in and stayed the night at the lower lake. Red Castle was absolutely beautiful and worth the long hike. This was my first backpacking experience and it was a good one!

camping
2 months ago

I backpacked this with a scout troop this week (6/9/18). The hike was snow free (except for a couple tiny patches, relatively easy (the last few hundred feet is steep), and beautiful. The fishing was slow for me but one of our scouts did very well. We saw moose and deer. Excellent hike.

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

Load More