Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas

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Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
The Lofty Lakes Loop in the Uintas is a beatiful 4 mile loop that takes you past several high alpine lakes, a few cool overlooks, and is relatively easy hike for most people. To make this route even better, add on a side trek to Cuberant Lake! It is one of the most popular trails along the Mirror Lake Highway, however don't let that stop you from hiking this loop at least once. This is one of the prettiest day hikes in the area! You can hike this loop in either direction, but counter-clockwise is a bit easier since the elevation gain is done near the begining of the hike and it's more gradual this way.

The Uintas are known for daily afternoon thunderstorms so you'll want to start hiking earlier in the day. The elevation of Lofty Lake is at 10,800 ft so temperatures can get chilly, even in mid-Summer. Dogs will love all the water that is available for them to swim in, and if you have kids you can hike turn this hike into a really short day hike to Scout Lake (only 1/2 mile in).

Use this map if coming from SLC.

Use this map if coming from Provo.

The road is paved the entire Mirror Lake Highway. There is a sign on the right side of the road, but the TH is on the left side of the road where'll you want to park. There is one restroom there. The Mirror Lake Highway is only open during summer months.

Distance: 7.6 miles Loop. If you skip Cuberant Lake it would be 4 mile RT loop
Elevation gain: 1,461 ft (including Cuberant Lake)
Time: 4-6 hours 
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes, 10+
Fees/Permits?  There is no permit, but there is a $6 fee (good for 3 days) for accessing the Mirror Lake Highway and trails. You can purchase the pass at the ranger station in Kamas, UT, or any of the self-serve stations along the highway. If you have an annual National Park Pass or annual American Fork Canyon Pass you can use either to park free. 

Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
The parking lot can get packed - you may need to park along the Mirror Lake Highway if it's full.
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
There are two THs - one in the NW corner of the parking lot and one in the southern area. We hiked this route in a counter-clockwise direction, so we started from the NW corner TH. If you want to hike this in a clockwise direciton start from the TH in the southern end.
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
The trail is slightly rocky, but very gradual.
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
Charlie loves to jump up on boulders and pose!
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
The first lake you will pass on the right is Picturesque Lake.  It's pretty small but Charlie was happy to take a quick swim!
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
The next lake you will pass by on your right is Scout Lake, where the boyscout Camp Steiner is.
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
The trail starts to gain more elevation as you hike towards a small pass inbetween Scout and Lofty Lakes.
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
At a really pretty overlook at the small pass. Hard to believe I was just on Hayden Peak a week ago! Hayden Peak is the tallest peak in this photo just above and to the right of Charlie.
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
As you make your way over the small pass, you get a beautiful view of Lofty Lake.
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
Hiking with these awesome gals, @hikesandhotsprings & @lindsayredd!
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
Playing in the water at Lofty Lake! Wildflowers were still in full bloom!
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
Past Lofty Lake you will start to descend down a few switchbacks, and will have another awesome view, this time of Cutthroat Lake.

 PS Check out my gear review of my new Ethnotek Premji Pack!
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
Stay left at a faint trail split, and you should be hiking directly south.
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
The trail gets steep for about 100 feet. Reids Peak is in perfect view!
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
Kamas Lake! This one would be a perfect, quick, overnight backpacking trip.
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
Just past Kamas Lake, you will see a trail split to the right for Cuberant Lake. If you want a shorter day hike, skip this lake. However, if you have time it's a really pretty trail! Cuberant Lake is 1.5 miles past this trail split.
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
You will hike around the south of Mt. Marsell.
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
The trail gets steep in two sections.
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
Hike down a few small switchbacks, and past the small pond.
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
Unnamed pond with a few nice campsites for backpacking. Cuberant Lake is only another 5 minutes.
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
Chillin' at Cuberant Lake. This would make for another quick, overnight for backpacking. You could do a day hike up to Mt. Marsell too!
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
Head back the same way until you reach the trail split, and this time head south. The trail will pass by a large meadow, and eventually come to another unnammed trail split. Stay left.
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
When you get close to the main parking lot you will finally see a trail sign. Stay left again.
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
Right before you get to the parking lot you will see the trail sign for if you were to hike this loop the opposite way.
Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas
Tired, happy pups!


Lofty Lakes & Cuberant Lake trail map.


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Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas

6 comments:

  1. I love the looks and sound of this hike with all the lakes. Charlie isn't looking too happy at the end.

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  2. Your description of this hike and others are PERFECT! Also much better to go counter clockwise as you suggest. We saw less than 15 people today on this hike. BEAUTIFUL!

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    Replies
    1. Awesome, glad you guys had fun! -Alicia

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. My 13 year old and I did this hike on July 1 of this year and there was still plenty of snow on the trail. Great hike to test out new gear and the scenery is amazing. We hammocked at Cuberant Lake for a couple of hours.

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