Bald Mountain (11,942 ft) in the High Uintas Wilderness is one of my favorite peaks to summit. Not only is this peak one of the easiest to summit in the area, but it also offers grand views of the Mirror Lake Highway, surrounding lakes, several peaks, and on a clear day you can see Mt. Timpanogos. Along the Bald Mountain trail you may see mountain goats, pika, squirrels, and an abundance of wildflowers in early summer. As with any high altitude terrain, start this hike early in the day to beat the daily afternoon thunderstorms, the afternoon heat, and crowds.
Bourbon Lake sits at an elevation of 9,800 ft and offers a beautiful high alpine lake in the High Uintas Wilderness. This lake gets its name from the color of the lake - the deep amber color reflected against the surrounding cliffs creates an amazing reflection of yellow and golds. Hiking to Bourbon Lake is great for the whole family, since it is only 1.5 miles to the lake with only 600 ft elevation gain. You can camp across the road from the trail head at Sulphur Campground, then follow this short trail for some beautiful views. Bring a hammock and enjoy the scenery!
The Fehr Lake Trail (pronounced like "Fair") sits high in the Uintas Wilderness at 10,260 ft, and offers a few hiking options from really easy and short at 1 mile round trip, to a little longer at 4 miles round trip. The trailhead starts across from the Moosehorn Campground, just below Bald Mountain Pass. The Fehr Lake trail will take you to three lakes - Fehr, Sheppard, and Hoover Lakes. All three lakes around about 29-30 ft at the deepest. Fehr Lake is highest in elevation gain, so most of this hike is downhill. Keep this in mind for the hike back - it will be all uphill. The traditional Uinta boardwalks are in place to keep hikers from tracking through the marshy areas. Bring bug spray - the mosquitoes are pretty bad on this trail because of how wet this trail is.
Ruth Lake sits high in the Uintas Wilderness at roughly 10,200 ft. Ruth Lake is one of the easiest trails in the Uintas, making it great for families with children, or perfect for the beginner backpacker. Where else can you hike to a high alpine lake at only 0.8 miles one way and 155 ft elevation gain? Along the way you'll get to see beautiful open meadows, streams that are perfect for the dogs to play in, and wide open opens of the surrounding peaks. The only downside? This is a heavily used trail, so don't expect solitude.
Check out my list of the BEST Day Hikes in the Uintas! The High Uintas Wilderness offers some of the best day hiking near Salt Lake City. It provides for a fun, quick getaway that you can do in one day. If you have time, I highly recommend backpacking this mountain range as well. The Uintas are the only mountain range in the lower 48 states that run East to West. The Uinta Mountains extend for 100 miles across Northeast Utah, and a small part of Northwest Colorado, bordered by the Wasatch Mountains to the West.
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.
Haystack Mountain (10,985 ft) is a long, prominent ridge in the High Uintas, easily accessed from the Crystal Lake Trailhead. Not to be confused with this Haystack Mountain in the LaSal Mountains near Moab, this one is much easier and shorter! The Haystack ridge extends for a full 3 miles and is one of the easiest peaks to bag in the Uintas - you follow a trail for the first two miles, then leave the trail for the last 1.75 miles. It's really easy cross-country hiking with very gently boulder hopping - a great intro to some of the harder Uintas peaks with bigger boulders. You get great views of the entire Washington/Trial Lakes area to the North, plus 360 views of the other surrounding areas.
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!
South Erickson Lake is a lake in the High Uintas Wilderness and can actually be accessed from two different trailheads. The first being from the Shingle Creek Trail off Mirror Lake Highway, and what this blog post will describe, from the Ledgefork TH at Smith & Moorehouse Reservoir. This route is 5.5 miles one way and can be hiked/ran in a few hours, or if you want a more relaxing weekend backpacked overnight. The trail only gains close to 900 feet over the first 3 miles, then when you turn at the trail split for North & South Erickson Lakes you will gain another 1500 ft in just 2.5 miles. The second half of the trail is rocky but full of wildflowers in July! This is a great trail for dogs off leash, and older kids who can carry their own backpack.
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.