TRAVEL ALERT: Please follow local COVID-19 guidelines for safe, responsible travel. Read more.
browse allclose

High Uintas Hiking

The High Uintas backcountry has long been a favorite haunt for backpackers, anglers, and equestrians alike. Recreational use is heavy in some popular areas, while other remote spots may go years between visitors. Most lakes receive only light to moderate pressure. There is a lot of wilderness to go around, and you should have little trouble finding a lake that you can call your own for a few days. Maybe you’ll discover your own special place – one that seems custom made just for you.

Below, we have detailed five of the best hiking trails in Utah that provide an excellent sampling of the High Uintas near the town of Kamas. These hikes can be done as day hikes or overnighters. Information about usage, camping, and fishing have been noted. If you have an idea of what you are searching for in a backcountry experience, this guide can serve as an excellent tool in helping you find the best areas for your particular tastes.

The High Uinta Mountains offer more than fine fishing. Solitude and grand scenery are the real attractions of these family-friendly destinations. Peace and quiet abound in the expanses of the backcountry. So lace up your boots, pack your pack, and head for the backcountry of the High Uintas! You are sure to have a hiking experience you will never forget.

The Hikes

1. Big Elk Lake: 2.2 miles. You can pack extra gear into here. The hike is just a little over a mile one way, so bring the lawn chairs and float tube. There is a steep incline just before the lake, but otherwise it’s an easy hike.

2. Island Lake: 7 miles. Island Lake sits high on the Provo River Drainage and can be reached fairly easily. The first mile is steep, and the last half mile is steep, but sandwiched between these sections is some easy and level hiking. The trail is quite popular among overnighters, so expect to see a few people, especially on weekends.

3. Divide Lakes: 5 miles. Here’s a campout to take the kids on. You’ll see plenty of small lakes along the way, and the trail has a good mix of uphill and level slopes.

4. Bald Mountain: 5 miles. Bald Mountain — the best time investment you can make in High Uintas hikes. Just 2.5 miles of steep hiking puts you atop this well-known peak, where you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of four of Utah’s major watersheds.

5. North Erickson Lake: 5.6 miles. There aren’t many lakes in the High Uintas capable of yielding trout as big as North Erickson Lake does while requiring such a short, easy hike.

6. Lofty Lake Loop: 4-mile loop. One of the most popular hikes in the Uinta Mountains thanks to a bounty of lakes, peaks, meadows and views while gaining about 1,000 feet. With only a little extra energy (for two quarter-mile legs and a few hundred feet) hikers can bag two summits in Lofty and Scout Peak.

7. Shingle Creek Trail: 5.5 miles one way. A well-maintained trail through pristine terrain combining great mountain forest stretches with the scenic vistas that make the Uintas so popular. Allow at least a half-day. Also options to extend for backpacking. Fee area.

Plan a trip to some of the best hiking tails in Utah today!