Backpacking Uintas with Toddler

jj

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Jul 6, 2017
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I am looking for info/recommendations for places to go backpacking with my wife and 3 year old in Northern Utah. We hope to go sometime in the next few weekends. This will be the first time backpacking with the three year old. The main things we are looking for:
  • 1-1.5 Miles from a trailhead (may be able to push it to 2 miles)
  • easy to find campsite, not too busy (we will be going on a Friday to Saturday, and likely won't start hiking until after 3pm, I don't want to have to hike around a lot looking for a suitable place to camp)
  • water for throwing rocks/sticks into
  • a fire would be nice (3 year old loves toasting marshmallows)
I have been considering Ruth Lake, Star Lake or Wall Lake. What do you think of those lakes? Any other areas to consider? Thanks in advance and sorry my formatting isn't that great.
 

Nick

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Ruth Lake is a little easier walking, particularly once you get there and start exploring and heading out to wherever you decide to camp. It would be a good choice.
 

jj

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Jul 6, 2017
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Hey, thanks for the quick response. Any idea how difficult finding a decent spot would be around 6pm on a Friday night in July?
 

Nick

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Very difficult. I've never been there at a busy time, but I've driven past the trailhead and it gets packed. That's the case for most anything short like that up along the Mirror Lake Highway.
 

Jackson

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I think most everywhere that's close to a trailhead and worth visiting will get pretty busy on a Friday afternoon. That's just how it goes.

That said, I've had decent luck setting out toward Cliff Lake from the Crystal Lake trailhead before, but the lot gets full pretty early since the trailheads there lead to so many lakes. Cliff Lake is pretty close, probably right around a mile, and the times I've been by it, there have been open sites.
 

WasatchWill

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I've taken my family with toddlers and all both to Ruth Lake (twice) and up around Clyde Lake above Wall Lake for some overnight campouts, but they've always been mid-week. I have taken scouts up to Clyde Lake on a Friday August evening last year and will attest to how incredibly congested the Crystal Lake Trailhead can get. It provides access to several different popular trails and destinations (Notch and Ibantik, Clyde/Wall Lakes, Island Lake, etc). That said, even on a Friday night with scouts where we had to park a good quarter mile down the overflow parking area for Crystal Lake, (which ended up adding an extra mile to get to the trailhead proper), Many of the campsites up around Cliff and Clyde Lakes and all in between were still available. Despite the crowds and congestion at the trailheads, there are so many campsites around those popular lakes, and even more that can be found a little further out from them in any accessible direction, that I'm sure you'd still find some available. Honestly, especially if doing Wall Lake/Clyde Lake area, and maybe Ruth Lake area as well, on a Friday evening, the challenge probably won't be in finding an available campsite. It will be finding an available parking space at the trailhead. Another good option to think about that's short and flat and allows you to return to your car real quick if needed is Fehr Lake trail off the highway between Mirror Lake and Bald Mountain.
 

andyjaggy

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Dec 2, 2013
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You probably won't have much luck getting a campsite around Ruth Lake, but there are oodles of spots you could throw down a tent a little bit before the lake, or a little bit past the lake.
 

Nanda

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Jun 30, 2013
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I think hayden lake will fall within 2 mile requirement, you do have hike over a small pass though. Quite a few sites on its shores and decent fish.
 

DrNed

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I think hayden lake will fall within 2 mile requirement, you do have hike over a small pass though. Quite a few sites on its shores and decent fish.
That's what I was going to say. Once you get to the far side of Ruth there's a small ridge, go up and over that and Hayden Lake
will be directly west of you. Go to the south end and there's a great camp spot in a stand of trees.
 

Wanderlust073

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I walked down there on Monday. There was spots, but don't expect any sort of solitude. There was some people firing shots too.


What is that sticking up out of your backpack? Or is that some sort of backpack/baby carrying combo with a sunshade?
 

slc_dan

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Jun 7, 2012
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What is that sticking up out of your backpack? Or is that some sort of backpack/baby carrying combo with a sunshade?

Yeah, it's a Osprey Poco AG PLUS. It has been a huge help in getting me and mine outside. If I lost it, or it was ruined, Id buy another one right away. Use it most days even just walking my dog, or getting groceries. I even loaded it up and took her backpacking once. That was.... Heavy.



[url=https://flic.kr/p/TBDeEX]
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