Ibantik Lake ("eye-ban-tick") is located conveniently close to the Mirror Lake Highway in the High Uintas, and backpacking this route is perfect for beginner backpackers since it's a fairly short yet rewarding trail. It is a very popular lake to camp at, and therefore you won't have much solitude. The best things about this lake is how clear the water is, and you'll see plenty of mountain goats as Notch Mountain looms above you. The trail is really easy to follow, and is best done as a point-to-point route.
Check out these 8 Skills that Every Backpacker Needs to help make your trip successful! 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.
Backpacking doesn't have to be tough - check out my tips on 8 Backpacking Tips for Women so your first trip is as enjoyable as possible. Have you always wanted to go into the back country, sleep next to a pristine lake, on a mountain side, off the beaten path, in the middle of a dense forest, next to a campfire? Have you looked at your girlfriends photos or social media and been jealous of these places? Backpacking is fun and takes you to some of the most beautiful places in the world.
Backpacking Kane Gulch and Bullet Canyons are two popular routes in Bears Ears National Monument within Cedar Mesa, that require at least one night camping. This area is a mecca of ancient ruins and petroglyphs, deep within the canyon walls. Back in the day you wouldn't see people for days, however, with the increase of outdoor activities due to COVID you now can't go more than 2 miles without seeing other groups. This is not the area for solitude. Oh yeah, and there's another big issue...water.
Here's how to Get your dog ready for their first backpacking trip! Backpacking is one of my absolute favorite activities to do in Summer, especially since Utah has some amazing backcountry. But what really makes is great is that Charlie gets to comes along, and having him there just makes it so fun, I get a snuggle buddy, I feel like I have a protector, and I love that we get to explore new terrain together. Backpacking with dogs is awesome and whether you've been backpacking for years and just got a new dog, or maybe you've been a team for awhile and want to start together here are my tips to get going!
Hell Hole Lake (HHL) is located in the High Uintas Wilderness, and is a beautiful alpine lake surrounded by a bowl of mountains, including A-1 Peak and Kletting Peak. After a 3.5 mile walk along the road, the route follows the Main Fork Bear River Trail. The entire route is very gradual, only gaining 1,700 ft over 6.7 miles. The best time of year to hike/backpack this area is late Summer through Fall. This particular lake is part of a larger marsh, so the mosquitoes in summer are some of the worst in the entire Uintas range. Elk, coyotes, deer, and moose love this area as well because of this - plenty to eat and drink! Dogs are allowed off leash, but it is wise to always have a leash handy in case you come across wildlife.
Backpacking the Alice Toxaway Loopis one of the most popular routes in the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho. The main loop can be done in either direction and is 18 miles RT. Many people choose to do this in one day, others 2 nights, 3 days, or what we did - 5 nights, 6 days! There really are endless possibilities for however long you want to stay. This route passes through giant forests, tall, sharp peaks, steams, and of course, several lakes with the two most popular being Alice Lake and Toxaway Lake. Because we had a whole week, we not only did the main loop but also ventured over to Edna Lake and Imogene Lake plus bagged a small, unnamed peak.
Backpacking to Beaver & Coffin Lakes are part of the Middle Beaver Basin and trail, and sit at just over 10K in elevation. The Middle Beaver trail is about 7 miles to reach Beaver Lake, and just over 8 miles to Coffin Lake - the trail is constantly hiking up and down in elevation. Over two full days we only saw a total of five hikers, and only two of them were backpacking so if you're looking for some peace and quiet, this is the lake for you. We also saw a lot of wildlife, and the water in both lakes is very clear. Older kids can definitely hike this, as well as dogs used to hiking more than 6-7 miles in one way. While this can be done in one day, I recommend backpacking here to take it all in!
Backpacking to Abes Lake is located in the Uinta Mountains, and sits and an elevation of 9800 ft. The trail follows the Middle Fork of the Weber River for the first 3 miles, then take a sharp left turn where the trail gains 1200 ft in just 1.2 miles before reaching the lake. The trail gets very hot in the middle of summer, and the dirt trail can get too hot for dogs' paws and potentially yourself.
The Best Backpacking Trips in the Uintas are just around the corner from Salt Lake City, not more than a few hours drive! The best parts about backpacking in the Uintas are that there is plenty of shade, water, a mix of level and steep trails, plus dogs are allowed off leash! There's something for everyone, so check out these trips below! Not ranked in any order, click the title of each trip to learn more. Be sure to use a tracking app such as Gaia GPS (my personal fav!) and/or a paper map so you don't get lost.