You’ll see this large brown TH sign when you turn off HWY 12, on the right side (West). Drive up to the TH, or as far as your can make it.
The road wasn’t too bad the first mile.
The Elantra could only make it up so far – but we were able to find a small pullout to park. We had to walk up the actual TH for only 1/2 mile. If you had 4×4 you could drive all the way.
Made it to the TH! The trail starts on the East side of the road.
Follow the old jeep road downhill.
Within a few minutes you’ll cross Pleasant Creek.
Most of time there’s no actual trail – you need to look for cairns to know where to go. I would highly recommend downloading a GPS app like Gaia GPS so you know exactly where you are and where to go. I looked at my app for this trail more than I could count. If you miss a cairn, you’ll be lost pretty quick. So don’t forget to look up!
You’ll hike through several really pretty meadows! From here the trail will wind up to reach the ridge. Don’t forget to look for cairns!
We got off trail close to 5 times the entire loop simply because we couldn’t find cairns or anything that “looked” like a trail. Finally, we found the trail to the ridge (Boulder Top) by following Gaia GPS.
Whew! Finally on top. It was about 3 miles to this point and close to 2,000 ft elevation gain. PS I’ve been loving my new Ultimate Direction hiking/running vest! I bought this one because my nose runs constantly and I’m always grabbing Kleenex and wanted immediate access to those, plus my phone, chapstick, etc. Everything is literally on my front should straps. I’ve also picked up running again (it’s a love-hate relationship LOL!), and I wanted to be able to hike up somewhere then run downhill. Loving this pack!
Around mile 3.6, look over the ridge down to the basin and you’ll see scattered reflective shreds of metal. We were pretty sure it’s from a plane crash (after doing some research it was – read it here). Scary!
You can also see a muck pond from the ridge. You won’t hike by this.
You will know you are on the right trail when you see the GWT mini plaques on trees. There are very few of them though. Cains will still be your best friend on this trail.
Pass by another meadows, and hike down a few small switchbacks.
Charlie takes a break to soak up the snow as often as he can.
You’ll come to a very rock area around mile 5.
This is once again Pleasant Creek, but on top of the ridge. This creek does overflow to Pleasant Creek Falls which you can hike to from the basin. If you were to drive to the end of FR247 you would start hiking from there, and its only 3 miles one way. I yell at Bryon for stepping too close to the snow edge, since I could see it was hollow underneath!
Looking down the Pleasant Creek gorge, just above the falls.
Just past the creek you should reach the high point of the hike, roughly 10,300 ft! You’ll also have a perfect view down into the basin you’ve been hiking around.
At mile 6 reach Pleasant Lake – perfect for a swim, fishing, and our first real food break. We also filtered water from here.
Pano of Pleasant Lake. This would be perfect to backpack to.
Utah doesn’t sell these mini wine bottles (because, well…Utah), so my friend picked up three 6 packs for me in Colorado! A chardonnay is perfect on a summer day!
Continuing on past the first lake, you will now be able to look back and see Pleasant Falls though you can’t really see it in this photo because the water flow was quite low.
At mile 8.7 you’ll reach Meeks Lake.
We tried fishing here but the lake was only about 1-2 feet deep across. We knew that because I tossed a stick for Charlie out to the middle and he didn’t need to swim, he just ran through the water. So we didn’t catch any fish here. This would be another good lake to camp at.
Keep going past Meeks Lake, and you’ll be back on the ridge and will start to drop back down to the basin via the Meeks Lake Trail.
I’ve never seen Aspen trees so tall before!
Hike by more meadows. Here, we saw lots of deer.
You’ll come to another trail intersection. This is where you can catch the Pleasant Falls trail to the left. To get back to your car keep going straight, downhill.
Pass a gate. You used to be able to ride your ATV up here, but now it’s closed off to motorized traffic.