Family Backpacking: Return to Ruth Lake


Ready For More
Jul 23, 2013
It's been a busy fall and I haven't been as active here on the forum lately, but I'm hoping to change that again... I'll start by trying to get caught up on some trip reports now...

Two years ago, our family ventured out on its first backpacking trip together as a family. That was to Ruth Lake in the Uinta Mountains. Wanting to get one last adventure with the family in before school started, we opted for another backpacking trip, and once again, to Ruth Lake. This time, as with the more recent Clyde Lake trip, we had an additional member of our party.

Wednesday - August 10, 2016

Before arriving at the trailhead, we pulled over for a brief visit to the Upper Provo River Falls. The is a very popular spot for people driving the Mirror Lake Highway to get out, stretch their legs, take some pictures, take a potty break, or otherwise just enjoy the sight and sound of the thundering Provo River as it cascades down a series of large rocky steps.

Upper Provo River Falls

Family Photo at Provo River Falls

Provo River Falls

Provo River Falls

Butterfly at Provo River Falls

After a bit of fun at the Falls, we continued on up the road until we arrived at the trailhead for Ruth Lake. We loaded up, and began the short one mile hike up to the lake.

Ready to rock the trail!

The girls and dog hiking the trail

Jess, Everett, and Lennox following behind

Everett enjoying the ride

Jess, Everett, and Lennox with Hayden Peak in the background

Once we reached the lake, it was time to find a campsite. Having enjoyed the one we had the last time, we sought that one out again. Much to our pleasure, it was once again entirely free and available. Unlike last time however, it was clear we wouldn't be the only ones camped out for the night. There was a group already set up on the other side of the lake and shortly after we set up our camp, another family took a site a couple hundred yards down from our site.

Getting all settled into camp

To make the loads lighter on both Jess and I from what we carried on our last trip along the Clyde Lake Loop, I opted to pack another pack with some gear and left it back at the car. Once Jess and the kids were settled into our camp, I returned back to the car to retrieve the other pack so that we could complete our setup.

Fortunately, with smaller kids, we can fit 3 people to a 2-person tent. So as with the last time, we brought up two 2-person tents and kept to the same sleeping accommodations with Jess and the boys in one tent and our three girls in the other tent. For myself, instead of bringing my hammock this time, I brought up my 1-person tent, wanting to test out a new air pad and sleeping bag I was considering for a week long trek along the nearby Highline trail to take place the following week.

Our campsite

Only moments after setting up our camp, what had become a light rain shower quickly developed into a full scale thunderstorm that occupied the sky for the rest of the evening. Fortunately it loosened up just long enough for us to emerge from our tents to cook up some dinner, before resuming with showers and lightning.

A break in the evening storm

A break in the evening storm

Evening storm over Ruth Lake

Wednesday - June 29, 2016

Sometime through the night, the storm moved out and we awoke to clear skies. Allowing the others to sleep in a bit, I ventured on for a walk around the lake. That was cut short however when I came across a moose having some breakfast at the western shore. Having only my phone to take pictures, I could not zoom in much.

Moose eating at the shoreline

When I tried to get just a bit closer, it noticed my presence and retreated up the shore a little way.


Rather than continue around the lake and startle the moose any more, I gave it space and returned back to camp where I packed up one of my packs and took it back down to the car.

Ruth Lake

Ruth Lake

Ruth Lake

I then returned to camp and got breakfast going for the family. After breakfast, we lingered around a bit longer to attempt some fishing, but we all got skunked this time around. Rather than keeping my phone out looking for more photo opportunities, I chose to spend the morning focused on soaking up the time being outdoors with my family. Unfortunately we couldn't stay long as I had to go into work that afternoon so we soon returned back to the trailhead and made our way home.


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