Cutthroat and Teal Lakes


I like to go outside.
May 31, 2015
October 9-10, 2015

This was my last mountain trip for the year. My friends and I decided on the Uintas, due to time constraints and because we love the Uintas. We also knew that once we got up there, we'd be racing the sunset, so we picked a hike that would give us solitude but wouldn't be too far. I looked over the maps and found Teal Lake, and after plotting a route on CalTopo and checking the satellite imagery, I decided we could handle it. We would hike the trail up to Ruth Lake, head off trail from there and go to Cutthroat Lake. Then, we'd follow the marshes from Cutthroat to Teal.

So we got together in Salt Lake and headed up in the late afternoon. We got our recreation permit at the gas station in Kamas, which I didn't know you could do. Kinda nice since you can pay with a card! We got up to the Ruth Lake trailhead, and we were surprised to see 5 or 6 cars there. We talked to a guy in the parking lot who was waiting on his buddy in the bathroom. They were planning to hike the highline trail to just below Rocky Sea Pass, and by the way he was talking, it sounded like he was hoping to make it there that night. Audacious.

We started off and made great time to Ruth Lake.

Gavin in the shadows. Plenty of light left.

Nice meadow on the way up. I was really liking those long shadows.

Ruth Lake with a nice reflection

There was only one group camping up at Ruth Lake, and we didn't see anyone else until we were back at Ruth the next morning. We deliberated a bit trying to decide where to leave the trail for Cutthroat. We headed off-trail about 3/4 of the way around the lake, and we tried to stay close to the steep slope of the mountains on our left as we made our way over to Cutthroat.

We went through a few meadows, lots of rocks, and a huge spot of deadfall on our way (I remember in @Nick's report of going through this area, he hypothesized it was from an avalanche, and I could definitely see that). I'd imagine most of the ground we crossed over is pretty dang wet at almost any other time of the year. Nice and dry for us, though.

Leaving the trail


More meadows. Bad pictures because my camera isn't fancy and the light wasn't good.

I liked the reflection in this one.

We made it to Cutthroat right as the sun was going down, so we ditched the idea of camping at Teal Lake. We got our tents set up and gathered some firewood. We had dinner and sat around the fire for a few hours, amazed at how still it was outside. Every other time I've been to the Uintas, it's been pretty windy. The wind barely blew at all while we were there this time. I slept great.

In the morning, I got up and took some pictures of our campsite and the lake as the sun came up.



After eating breakfast, we hiked the last bit over to Teal Lake. We followed the marshy areas to the big slope that leads down to the lake. I really underestimated how steep the last portion of that walk was going to be!

On the way to Teal

Teal Lake

We walked all the way around the lake. The water sure was still that morning. Beautiful.

A nice pond right next to the lake.

Teal Lake, looking ENE

We went back up the hill to our campsite, packed up, and headed out. We followed a slightly different path back, scrambling over big rocks to get a good view of the area.

Nice rocks just east of Cutthroat Lake.

Crossing the deadfall field. We were fortunate enough not to fall and impale ourselves on the broken branches.

Gavin taking the hard way up to the boulders.

Mike being cautious and keeping his camera safe.

Really big split rock.

Gavin doing his dips workout.

I liked how this tree fell and split on that rock. Interesting to see.

After we had scrambled up those boulders and gone up a bit farther, we had a nice view. This is looking North.

Looking SE

That's me.

We headed downhill back to Ruth Lake. There were quite a few people up around there for the day.


We moved pretty quickly down from there to the trailhead. Then, we headed out, saying goodbye to the Uintas until next year.

Cutthroat and Teal Lakes are an awesome destination if you're pressed for time and down for a short bushwhack. I'd definitely go there again.

Featured image for home page:


Aug 9, 2007
They were planning to hike the highline trail to just below Rocky Sea Pass, and by the way he was talking, it sounded like he was hoping to make it there that night. Audacious.

And from the Ruth Lake trailhead no less? Ha!

Nice trip report. Great time of year to be up there in those more popular areas.


Hike Hard, Tread Lightly
May 15, 2013
Awesome pics. Seems like a great time of year to be there!


I like to go outside.
May 31, 2015
And from the Ruth Lake trailhead no less? Ha!

I was confused about that. I figured they were stopped at Ruth Lake TH to use the bathroom, and then they'd head to the highline TH... At least I hope that they would do that.

Action Jackson!

That's what my elementary school gym teacher called me. Made me feel so cool.


Mar 16, 2015
I was confused about that. I figured they were stopped at Ruth Lake TH to use the bathroom, and then they'd head to the highline TH... At least I hope that they would do that.
It seems odd, but maybe it's not that big a deal. It's not even a mile on the road from Ruth Lake TH to Highline TH. They could probably walk it in 15 minutes or so.

It just doesn't make a lot of sense that they'd be at Ruth Lake unless they'd come in from somewhere else in the western Uintas backcountry already.

On the other hand; getting your recreation permit, and paying with your check card instead of trying to make change at a self-pay box, at a gas station is Kamas? That's great to know! I suppose you can probably do the same in Evanston?


I like to go outside.
May 31, 2015
@JoshuaDyal I guess 15 minutes isn't huge, but if I could save 15 minutes by driving for 3 minutes, I'd go for the drive!

I suppose you can probably do the same in Evanston?
I wouldn't be surprised if there's a place or two where you can. I've never headed in from that direction. The only one I'm aware of in Kamas is the Chevron on the NE corner at Center and Main. But maybe other stations do as well.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Austin Fishing/Backpacking advice for the Uintas (Ruth,Cutthroat,Teal) Trip Planning 9
NorthwestWanderer North Cascades - Cutthroat/Granite/snowy lakes passes Backpacking 3
ram West Ridge of Cutthroat Peak Backpacking 0
Perry Teal Lake Lollipop Over Night Trip Backpacking 21
Parma Sawtooth Loop: Redfish, Hell Roaring, Imogene, Edna, and Cramer Lakes Backpacking 13
NorthwestWanderer North Cascades NP : Dee Dee Lakes & the Mcallister Ledge Backpacking 0
Mountain Wanderer Cedar Lakes Loop in Montana's Cabinet Mountains Wilderness Backpacking 4
SteveR Headwall Lakes, Alberta Hiking & Camping 6
andyjaggy Deep Creek Lakes and Windriver Peak Trip Planning 6
norwegianxplorer Rae Lakes Loop, SEKI, June 2020 Backpacking 6
Matt Van Natta HELP: Wind River Range, Baker Lake to Green River Lakes Trip Planning 6
Dreamer Wind River Dreaming | Summer 2019 July 17 - July 29 | Green River Lakes - Elkhart Park Backpacking 13
Curt Lost Twin Lakes, Cloud Peak Wilderness, Wyoming Backpacking 16
McKee80 TR: Bear Lakes Basin Pine Creek TH 09-05/11-19 Backpacking 14
Pianomover Overnighter to Caribou lakes in the Trinity Alps. Backpacking 0
balzaccom Dinkey Lakes Trip Reports 2
fossana Bear Lakes > Royce Lakes overnighter (High Sierra) Backpacking 12
balzaccom Chain Lakes Backpacking 1
misSOULa Montana's Bitterroot Mountains: Big Creek Lakes and Ranger Point Backpacking 2
bdunn02 Stough Creek Basin via Twin Lakes Backpacking 7
Parma Idaho's White Cloud Mountains - Boulder Chain Lakes - Chamberlain Basin Backpacking 8
NorthwestWanderer Overnighter in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness : Ingalls Pass and Lake Ingalls Backpacking 9
Born to Hike Windriver 36 mile loop: Skull Lake, Washakie Pass, South Fork Lakes, Lizard Head Trail, The Cirque, Big Sandy Lake Backpacking 6
NorthwestWanderer Lyman Lakes, Glacier Peak Wilderness, WA Backpacking 12
NorthwestWanderer Yellow Aster Butte & Tomyhoi Lakes Basin, WA Hiking & Camping 11
MTNgoat OHV tails close to lakes Trip Planning 1
T Day Hike to Tatoosh Lakes and beyond Hiking & Camping 1
stevecochranephotography Blue Lakes Trail... Southwest Colorado in the Mount Sneffels Wilderness Hiking & Camping 9
Shirt357 Twin Crater Lakes - 0707-0708 Backpacking 5
L Red Castle Lakes / Wilson Peak OR Rock Creek Basin Trip Planning 4
Wanderlust073 South Colony Lakes overnight Backpacking 9
NorthwestWanderer Ancient Lakes & Dusty Lake, WA 4/28 - 4/30 Backpacking 2
DrNed Upper Henry's Fork Lakes Trip Planning 1
Jimmy BANFF: Fish/Devon Lakes/Pipestone Highline Backpacking 5
AbinadiWitness Part 1: Telluride Via Ferrata and Mount Sneffels SW Ridge from Blue Lakes- Colorado Trip # 1 - 2017 Backpacking 0
RyanP Cook Lakes to Wall Lake to Indian Basin to Titcomb Basin Trip Planning 4
TrektheWorld Rawah Wilderness Camp Lakes to West Branch Loop Backpacking 3
scatman Mallard Lake and DeLacy Lakes, Yellowstone National Park - June 30,2017 Backpacking 6
S White Cloud route, Big Boulder Lakes to Boulder Chain Lakes Trip Planning 3
Luke High elevation uinta campgrounds/lakes General Discussion 9
K TR: 4/14 - 4/16 Nice Little Valley south of Mammoth Lakes,CA Backpacking 2
Perry Chain Lakes / Lake Atwood Trail to Painters Basin... What's It Like? Trip Planning 0
Kelin Best Route to Alpine Lakes? Trip Planning 4
Tim Valentine High Sierra Lakes Tour Backpacking 11
TrektheWorld Spectacle Lakes - Rocky Mountain National Park Hiking & Camping 2
Ugly Morat Lakes over Labor Day Backpacking 8
scatman Trout Creek to Cygnet Lakes - Yellowstone National Park - July 6, 2016 Hiking & Camping 8
balzaccom Emigrant Wilderness: Emigrant and Huckleberry lakes Backpacking 0
andyjaggy Baptiste Lake to Bonneville Lakes Trip Planning 3
Joey The Sawtooths in October: A 5 Day Alice, Toxaway, Vernon, Imogene Lakes Loop Backpacking 19

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.