Explore the most popular wildlife 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 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!

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
21 days 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
25 days 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!

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.

backpacking
1 month ago

Be aware that there is a bridge to cross the river at the start. It is a hundred yards or so upstream from the trail.

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.

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

backpacking
6 months ago

Less Crowded that camping at Dollar Lake

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.

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