Gilbert Lake is located in the High Uintas Wilderness on the East end of the range, with Gilbert Peak (13,442 ft) being one of Utah's "13ers" (a peak above 13,000 ft). It is the 3rd highest peak in the state, and the second highest county high point, and can be access by several drainages, with Henry's Fork being the most popular, however we accessed it from Gilbert Lake. The trail to Gilbert Lake follows the West Beaver Creek trail for 9.2 miles before reaching the basin which has four lakes total, great campsites, lots of wildlife, and of course, fairly "easy" access to the peak.
Mt. Hooker (12,509ft) is located in the Southern end of the Wind River Range in Wyoming, and is home to a popular climbing route. The face of the wall is a sheer 1,800 ft granite face - it's one of the tallest and steepest vertical cliffs in Wyoming, and also 16 miles from the nearest road. Mt. Hooker is named after Joseph Dalton Hooker, a prominent British botanist and explorer. The granite face was first climbed in 1964, which took over 3 days to complete. The climb is rated at a 5.14a. Mt. Hooker towers over Baptiste Lake, a very deep and clear alpine lake which offers great camping sites and fishing.
Round, Sand, and Fish Lakes are part of the upper Weber River drainage on the Western end of the Uinta Mountains. The trail steeply follows the Dry Fork stream and canyon, as it makes it way to the three lakes. Camping and fishing are plentiful here. Round Lake is actually home to three species of fish (somewhat unheard of in the Uintas, as there are typically only two species in the lakes). There are Grayling, Brook, and Cutthroat Trout. Further ahead is Fish Lake, which can vary in depth by 19 feet, depending on the snow year and dam levels. Plenty of day hiking options are available too, as most day hikers try to reach the ridge for better views. This route is kid and dog friendly!
Allsop Lake sits on the Northern slope of the High Uintas Wilderness at an elevation of 10,600 ft. It's 9 miles to the lake, so it makes for a perfect 1 or 2-night backpacking trip. The trail is fairly mellow, only gaining 1,600 ft and has one switchback. Allsop Lake is full of brook and tiger trout, and there are a few day hiking options from the lake as well including Cathedral Peak, Allsop Peak, and Yard Peak. This trail is dog friendly, however be aware that free-range livestock graze along the entire route. Plenty of tent and hammock sites line the lake for a perfect campsite. Keep in mind that the Uintas have regular afternoon thunderstorms, so be prepared for any kind of weather.
Dead Horse Lake is in the High Uintas Wilderness, and offers an 11 mile hike through large, open meadows, stunning vistas, and of course, leads you to a turquoise lake. This lake offers a great spot for fishing and day hiking. People hiking the Uinta Highline Trail also pass right by Dead Horse Lake. It's a dog friendly trail, though you'll want to give the sheep herds passing by in the meadows plenty of space. Bring your hammock or tent - there are several nice campsites around the lake and plenty of trees for shade. Be sure to check fire restrictions before heading out.
The Shingle Creek Trail in the High Uintas is a popular trail for an "early season" trail for hikers and backpackers to follow when the higher elevations haven't thawed out from winter. I have driven past this trail so many times, yet had never done it - until now! I decided to head up for one night with two friends and our destination was South Erickson Lake. East Shingle Creek Lake is more popular, but a little lower in elevation, and seemed to have more mosquitos so we wanted to keep going.
Kermsuh Lake is an alpine lake in the High Uintas Wilderness. It sits at an elevation of 10,200 ft, making it the perfect cooler destination while the SLC valley is baking in heat. Kermsuh Lake sits in one of the three basins in Christmas Meadows - Ryder and Amethyst Lake are the other two, more popular lakes.
The Ashdown Gorge is located on the boundary line of Cedar Breaks National Monument, and lies within the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness near Cedar City, Utah. The trail starts by following the Rattlesnake Creek Trail at 10,500 ft, and eventually drops into the gorge descending a total of 4,100 ft. This route is best done point-to-point, with 1 over night backpacking. You can definitely do this in one day, but to really experience the canyon and take your time, backpacking this trail is perfect.
The Escalante River Trail is a popular backpacking point-to-point route near the town of Escalante, Utah and within Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (GSENM). The entire length of the Escalante River is 87 miles, but this route allows you to see 15 miles of it overnight one night of backpacking. Much of the way, your path will be the river itself. On a blue sky, warm & sunny day, splashing through the stream along tall Navajo sandstone walls feels amazing. Around every corner is something new and exciting to look at. The Escalante Natural Bridge. An arch. Petroglyphs & pictographs. Ruins. You name it, it has it.
Are you ready to take the leap from car camping to backpacking?! Most people are intimidated to go on their first trip, not confident on their backcountry skills and maybe don't really know what they need to buy. Learning how to use the most important skills will make you a more efficient backpacker, make you feel more confident, and help make your adventure more streamlined.