Backpacking in fishing the high uintas

nickalletto

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Anyone here been backpacking up in the high uintas? I'm planning a 3-4 day backpacking/fishing trip for July 4 weekend possibly Timothy lakes. Thoughts? Things to consider? Other destination suggestions? This will be my first time in the uintas. Will the snow be melted at that time?


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Nick

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Lots of folks around here have spent time backpacking up there. I've been into the Swift Creek drainage but didn't go up to Timothy. It's a tough hike to get up there, plan on some swift unbridged river crossings. You should be good on snow by then this year. I've heard good things about the fishing. What else are you curious about?
 

Jackalope

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I mostly day hike in to lakes. Yesterday I Hiked in to one of my favorite lakes, and caught 25 in the 2 1/2 hrs I was there. All brook trout between 12"-16". There was no snow where I was, but everything was wet, and pretty swampy. I'm sure by the time you go things will be pretty dried out.
 

nickalletto

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Anyone been to Timothy Lakes specifically? Or farmers lake which is right next to it? What's the hike and camping like? I know it's pretty high in elevation, could I be successful finding trees string up a hammock or should I bring a tent?


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nickalletto

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It looks like the trailhead starts at Swift Creek Campground. Does anyone know if it's free to park there?


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Nick

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We cut off at White Miller and camped at an off-trail hike. We looked down on Farmers and it looks typical, plenty of places to hang a hammock. The Timothy Lakes are above tree line though, I think.

There's a trailhead with parking there nearby the campground. Check out my trip report and Trail Guide on the area. We did a loop up Swift Creek then down the Yellowstone. Tough hike, especially coming up Swift Creek and then the looooooong boring walk along the Yellowstone. Lots of great stuff up high though.
 

Nick

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One more thing. My brother did it early in the season one year and said the Swift Creek river crossing was almost impossible. Waist deep and extremely swift. Be prepared for that heading up early in the season.
 

nickalletto

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Do you think that the dry winter will have any effect on the Swift creek crossings?


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Nick

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It was a dry winter but one hell of a wet spring. The wettest in recorded history in the U.S. That slowed the melt and added plenty to the runoff. I bet it'll be running strong while the runoff is going on. Not trying to dissuade you, just be prepared or go somewhere else if you don't want to risk it.
 

nickalletto

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Thanks for the heads up. At this point I'm still thinking of taking a chance on the Timothy lakes hike… I'm also considering investing in some hiking poles


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Nick

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That's an unusual spot for a first-timer to the Uintas. I'm curious, what is drawing you there? I've hiked quite a few trails in the Uintas, and that is one I'd probably be happy never doing again. It's nice and all, but there are so many places where you can get a lot more bang for your buck.
 

nickalletto

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I'd be interested to hear your suggestions. I am not interested in crowds, and I love fishing. assuming the 4th of July will be busy, I was looking for something that would fit those criteria, and figured that a rigorous hike would be a good enough dissuasion to the crowds.

Also, although I have never gone backpacking, I grew up in Colorado and have summited 9 14ers so far, so I am familiar with hiking at altitude


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nickalletto

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What kind of bugs are the fish eating these days up in the uintas? Dry flies? Streamers? Wooly buggers?


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Nick

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Small black flies are always reliable. Have plenty of renegades. They're good fished both wet or dry. Wooly buggers are often good, but don't go too big. Brownish/blackish maribou jigs can be excellent as well.
 

nickalletto

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I recently purchased a topo map and have been looking at different trails and backpacking routs. I came across anchor lake and wondered if anyone has any good info. Nick, I noticed you posted about a trip you took there back in early July 2005. Sounded like great fishing, but lots of snow still. It also sounded like there really wasn't much of a trail. Has that changed at all in recent years?


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Nick

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I can't imagine it's changed much. You can get into Anchor the way I did via Rhoads and Olsen, or you can just hike up the Middle Fork Weber and then cut off and hike straight up to it. I think there's a cairn and a faint path where the route splits off the Middle Fork Trail.

The fishing at Anchor wasn't spectacular. Mostly tiny brookies. Could be way different now though, and when it's not 90% covered in ice. W-59 had some really nice fish in it though.
 
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Nickalletto, did you. Make the trip? How did it go and did you happen to do a trip report?
So i was looking to do the same thing, go up swift creek, camp up near Timothy Lake or abouts, then hit Mount Emmons one day... But reading this thread I am having second thoughts.
Nick, you said this is a bear of a hike and there are other with more bang for your buck. Which ones? And With good fishing, seclusion, and good peak to get to the top of?

Also, what's your go-to map?
 
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