Far eastern Uintas

JoshuaDyal

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
186
I have been sketching out potential routes in Caltopo for an extended Uinta Highline Trail; mostly just as an academic exercise, but curious about it nonetheless, and would possibly consider hiking part, at least, of it in one of the coming summers. Much of the route is the standard Highline Trail, with it's "true" far eastern terminus at Hwy-191 north of Vernal, and then stitching a route together from the Mirror Lake Hwy western terminus the streets of Kamas coming out of Hoyt Canyon was pretty easy, requires relatively little road-walking or x/c bushwhacking. But there are a number of challenges with the portion of the hike that would cover the eastern extension of the Uintas, about which I'd like some advice, if advice can be found. Namely,
  • Is there anywhere where there's much in the way of advice, trip reports, route reports, etc.? There's a very small bit of info to be found on summitpost.org, mostly with regards to the area west of the Green River, and the Diamond Mountain area... although even then, it's pretty scanty.
  • Because the ideal time between the more desert eastern section and the much more alpine western section is probably a good month or two apart, the chances of doing either section in an ideal scenario are remote; unless I split it as two separate hikes taken two separate times. I think mid-May would be best for the east, and then take the better part of two months off to hit the mountain section in mid-July. But I probably won't have that luxury, so I'll be splitting it on either side of the June/July crossover. Because of this, understanding water availability is really crucial, and understanding how reliable springs, tanks, and other marked water sources are. As well as where private land ownership would present potential problems. Is there a good source for that information? Little Snake Field Office of the BLM maybe?
  • The route for the east that I've come up with is stitched together with a fair bit of dirt road, jeep tracks, some few trails, and some bushwhacking where necessary to get from one road or trail to another without going too far out of the way. My suspicion is that much of this would therefore be relatively poor hiking, in many ways. Because of this, I've come up with two potential routes: 1) the more complete route that truly covers the entire range from Cross Mountain to Hoyt Mountain, and has many miles of walking along the Douglas Mountain Boulevard (once I get to it) up to the Zenobia Peak fire tower, and then down the Zenobia Creek canyon to the Green River and up Pot Creek canyon to get back on the Diamond Mountain plateau. I was worried that lack of water would make this unreasonable, that the Zenobia and Pot Creek canyons as access-ways from the higher elevations to the Green River and back up again would be too difficult to be worth doing, and that all of that road-walking would make this an excursion best done as a Jeep drive up to near Zenobia instead. Because of this, I came up with an alternate route 2) that starts at Gates of Lodore camp-ground and crosses Diamond Mountain from there. You can see on Google Earth that there's actually a fairly sharp line where the subalpine forested section of the mountains turn into the desert section.
I'm really leaning towards, if this ever becomes a reality in the first place, starting at the Lodore ranger station instead of getting dropped off at Cross Mountain and having to do the entire desert dirt roads and bushwhacking section of the easternmost desert foothills, worrying about private property lines and whatnot the whole time. But even then, there's precious little information about the area there between Lodore and 191. I can't even find a decent map that shows me the official boundaries of the various WSAs that make up much of the Diamond Mountain plateau.

Anyone have any first hand experience with this part of the Uintas?

For the heckuvit, here's my caltopo route plans that I played around with.

Click here to view on CalTopo
Click here to view on CalTopo
 
Last edited:

andyjaggy

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Joined
Dec 2, 2013
Messages
937
The most East I have been in the Uintas is Tamarack Lake/Spirit Lake area. It was a nice area with very few people.
 

Bob

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Mar 3, 2013
Messages
3,028
Not sure I would call it a Uintas hike......50% is in other mountain ranges and roads.... :confused:
 

JoshuaDyal

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
186
None of it is in other mountain ranges. The Uintas go east all the way to Cross Mountain.

There is a fair bit of road-walking out east, though. If you can call those kinds of rinky-dink forest service tracks roads.
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
3,028
I always hate road walking tho ....... and looks like Douglass Mountains out there..........
Anyway could be a decent trip.... I'd check that far east out tho on GEarth, could be a lot of sage etc....
 
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