Allsop Lake, High Uintas Wilderness


Aug 9, 2007
August 2010

I went on a backpacking trip to Allsop Lake over the weekend. We car camped nearby Thursday night and started the hike on Friday morning giving us two nights at the lake. The hike from the trailhead to our spot halfway up the east side of the lake was almost exactly 9 miles. I had read that it was more like 8 to 8.5 miles but I think it's more like 8.8 to the closest shore. The last mile is really deceiving, it seems like the lake should be over the next hill, over and over again.

This is a map of the approximate route and some key locations.

This is on the way out of town. Nikita gets such a stupid happy face when she knows we're heading out on a trip.

The hike in was great; despite what I had heard, the burnt forest was actually quite nice to walk through. The lower trail had a ton of wooden bridges built to get over the meadows and streams which was nice.

Unfortunately there was severe damage in a lot of other areas, I would suspect mostly from the heavy herding of cows up and down the trail. We had the pleasure of being caught by surprise by about 20 cows in a stampede up the trail being herded by a few men on horseback. Really kind of a scary thing to happen when they sneak up behind you and you just kind of have to hunker down behind a tree as to not get hit.

The trail passes by several of these old tie hacker cabins along the way. These were built by laborers who were up here cutting railroad ties for the transcontinental railroad way back in the 1800's.

One of the views of the East Fork Bear River along the trail

At about 4 miles in the trail reaches the junction where you can either hike up to Priord and Norice Lakes or on to Allsop Lake. Up until this point the trail is not too steep with a lot of ups and downs (mostly ups). But after the junction it takes a few switchbacks and a good amount of elevation is gained quickly. This shot is from the top of those switchbacks looking down on the river coming out of the Allsop Lake drainage.

After the switchbacks the trail heads south towards Allsop Lake, gradually gaining elevation. Much of the trail is through dense trees and meadows like this.

Adam and I hiking through an opening in the trees on the way to Allsop Lake. Photo by Nate.

The open space gets better and better the higher we go.

Passing by Mount Beulah

The last couple of miles are very deceiving. We could see the peaks and the cirque around Allsop Lake and it looks so close so we kept thinking it was just another half mile, quarter mile, etc. It inded up being another mile and a half from the first time we figured a half mile to go. Photo by Nate.

Finally! Allsop Lake. We were not alone here but that was to be expected. There was a couple camped right on the shore (not cool) near the outlet and then a group tucked away on the opposite end near the inlet. We found a nice camp on the east side of the lake about half way down.

Our campsite at Allsop Lake. Awesome except for the fact that there was cow crap EVERYWHERE. There was plenty of spring water around so we never had to filter but again, watch out for the cow crap.

We thought about day hiking on our middle day but like usual we decided to take it easy instead. After breakfast we went down by the shore of Allsop Lake and did some fishing mixed in with a lot of laying around. This is Nate showing his first catch.

The fishing was great for Cutthroat, I probably brought in about 25 during the day on Saturday, mostly on spinners or a renegade/bubble. I was surprised to catch nothing but Cuts, it’s pretty much been all Brookies for me in the Uintas before this trip. This shot is looking north from Allsop Lake with The Cathedral on the horizon.

Very happy dogs

Mountain goats were plentiful on the cliffs of the cirque above Allsop Lake. It was fun to watch them run around up there. We also saw two moose from a good distance, just the way I like to see them.

My three dogs sitting in our campsite. From left; Nikita, Teak and Patina.

Later that afternoon we went back down to the lake for more fishing and Nate went for a swim.

Nikita is always so interested in the fish I reel in so I let her take one from me. She walked it away and then dropped it. I don't think she knew quite what to do about it.

As the sun got lower in the sky I got a little more serious about reeling in some keepers for dinner.


We split 9 fish amongst the three of us for dinner. Something about fish caught at this elevation makes them so delicious. It was nearly a full moon out but I decided I would setup my camera and do some star trails. I had been so tired the night before that I didn't even think about it.

The next morning we got an early start on the hike home. The alpenglow on Yard Peak in the morning was awesome.

The lighting was almost surreal with the big clouds rolling in

We caught a bit of rain with about a mile to go to the truck. First rain of the trip thankfully. Back at the truck we kicked back and spent our usual hour+ relaxing after the hike. Another burst of rain rolled through and soaked things a bit but we were able to just jump into the truck and wait it out.

Teak was toast after the 18 miles round trip. This was her first backpacking trip.


Jan 19, 2012
I just love the photos of your dogs all tired! They look like they're in love with the ground!

Great TR and awesome photos!
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