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Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas

The Lofty Lakes Loop in the Uintas is a beautiful 4 mile loop that takes you past several high alpine lakes, a few cool overlooks, and is a 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 beginning 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 direction start from the TH in the southern end.

Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas

Charlie loves to jump up on boulders and pose! The trail is slightly rocky, but very gradual.

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

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.

 
The trail starts to gain more elevation as you hike towards a small pass in between Scout and Lofty Lakes.

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

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.

 

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 to complete the Lofty Lake Loop.

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.

 

June 2020

Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas

This year the Uintas melted out much earlier in the year, so we decide to do the Lofty Lake Loop again but this time hit Lofty Peak.

Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas

Once we reached the saddle, we just followed the ridge north through the boulder field.

Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas

Getting higher.

Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas

What a great view of Hayden Peak & Ruth Lake.

Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas

Charlie beats us to the summit marked by the weather station.

Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas

On Lofty Peak 11,158 ft

Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas

A little bit of snow remained, but nothing that we couldn’t hike around. I just can’t get over these views of Bald Mountain and Reid’s Peak!

Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas

We completed the normal loop to get back to the car. Such a great day in the Uintas!

 

Lofty Lakes & Cuberant Lake trail map via Gaia GPS – my favorite tracking app!
 

 

Backpacking to Ibantik Lake, Uintas

Backpacking to Ibantik Lake, Uintas

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Hiking the Lofty Lake Loop & Cuberant Lake, Uintas

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