Ibantik Lake - Notch Lake

DrNed

The mountains are calling and I must go
.
Joined
Mar 31, 2013
Messages
1,017
Being a 40 something guy that can't play sports the way I use to and looking for a sport that I could do with my four kids, I got interested in backpacking after a friend gave me a subscription to Backpacker Magazine.

Back in January I began planning a trip that I hoped would "hook" my kids so that we could have many more backpacking adventures in the years to come.

We decided on a five day, four night trip to the Unitas as our first epic adventure.

Being new to backpacking I have yet to invest in a really good camera, so these images are all taken with my iPhone 4s.

We arrived at the Crystal Lake trail head on Monday July 1, excited and ready to begin our adventure.
Addison & Cosette @ Trailhead.JPG



Our first stop was at Wall Lake where we got our first view of the Notch.
The Notch.JPG



Here at Wall Lake we encountered our first patch of snow.
Addison & Mark Snow.JPG


After climbing several switchbacks and helping one of the kids deal with some altitude symptoms we finally made it to the Notch and started descending on the other side.

More snow after descending on the north side of the Notch.
Snow Below Notch.JPG


It's after descending below the Notch that I got my first "payday" with this spectacular view of Lovenia and the surrounding area.
Overlooking Lovenia.JPG



Addison & Roman resting on a rock next to the trail.
Addison & Roman On Rock.JPG



Finally, we arrived at Ibantik. It did not disappoint.
Ibantik.JPG

After scouting around Ibantik we decided to camp on the SE. There are some sites with great views of the lake and mountains on the NW side, but there is little to no shade at these sites.

We spent two days here at Ibantik and did just about everything there was to do: fish, swim, hike, relax and play with the goats.

On the SE there is a small meadow where we camped. South east of that meadow there is a waterfall
Waterfall.jpg



Following this stream to it's source leads one into another small meadow with some nice wild flowers.
Flowers.JPG



I then climbed up the rocks to get a new perspective on Ibantik and the surrounding area.
Ibantik From The Rocks.JPG


After spending two nights at Ibantik we packed up and continued down the trail around the mountain and over bald mountain pass.

I must admit this climb was tougher than I expected. After completing this climb we passed on Bench Lake.
Bench Lake.JPG

Being July 3, I expected lots of people to be hiking and camping back here. Therefore, our plan was to get to Notch Lake and then turn east and go off trail and find Reid's Lake. So we got out our compasses and maps and set a bearing for Reid's Lake.

Well, we found it, but it was barely a pond, so we convinced ourselves that we hadn't found it yet. So we continued exploring the woods at the foot of Reid's Peak.
Addison & Bronwyn Hiking Off Trail.JPG
Meadow by Reid\'s Peak.JPG


Finally arriving at two unnamed ponds at the base of Reid's Peak.
Pond At Reid\'s Peak.JPG

Once we arrived here we knew we had missed the lake and set another bearing for Reid's Lake, eventually finding the "lake" we found originally. It ended up being mostly marsh. So we took a vote and decided to go back to Notch Lake.
Notch Sign.JPG


By the time we got to a camp spot we had had our packs on for 6 hours, the 2+ hours going up and down hills, climbing over rocks and dead fall. Needless to say, we were exhausted. We ate and went right to bed. Fortunately, someone made a nice little table for my stove.

Stove.JPG


We spent Thursday the 4th exploring the surrounding lakes (Dean & Clegg) and several meadows. I don't know what these flowers are but they were in almost every meadow.
Flowers & Log.JPG



Sunny tromping through the flowers.
Sunny & Flowers.JPG



Notch Lake
Notch 1.JPG


Notch Lake
Notch 2.JPG


Notch Lake
Notch 3.JPG


Reid's Peak from Notch Lake
Reid\'s Peak From Notch.JPG



We spent two nights at Notch Lake and I was surprised at how few people there were for a holiday weekend. There were three guys camping together when we arrived Wednesday night, but they were gone by Thursday morning. Other than them we had all the mountains to ourselves all week.

On Friday morning we packed up and hiked down to Clegg Lake and then turned west to go cross country, hoping to end up at Hope Lake, catch the trail back to the Crystal Lake trail head.

We ended up at Star Lake and decided to continue cross country, hitting the trail to Crystal Lake further south. That didn't work very well either. We finally hit the trail just above Trial Lake, so we hiked there, took off our packs and sent someone to get the truck and bring it back.
At The Truck.jpg

We had an amazing trip and can't wait to get back.

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Artemus

I walk
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Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
4,424
Docter,

Well done! And great route finding with compass. So many people get lost around there due to lack of confidence or research or whatever but it didn't even faze you. Welcome to our Uinta's!

So, two questions..
- how does high altitude backpacking compare to the sports you are used to and miss?
- the important one.. How did your "kids" like it? They look like pretty strong young-ns and they looked like they were having fun....
 

DrNed

The mountains are calling and I must go
.
Joined
Mar 31, 2013
Messages
1,017
Docter,

Well done! And great route finding with compass. So many people get lost around there due to lack of confidence or research or whatever but it didn't even faze you. Welcome to our Uinta's!

So, two questions..
- how does high altitude backpacking compare to the sports you are used to and miss?
- the important one.. How did your "kids" like it? They look like pretty strong young-ns and they looked like they were having fun....

No, the compass work didn't faze me, mostly because the two times we went off trail we had Reid's Peak & Notch mountain to prevent us from getting really lost.

As for sports, my best was distance running, which made for a nice transition to backpacking. There are multiple "wins" that happen that are just as satisfying as any win in a game.

The consensus among my kids is a thumbs up!
 

Yvonne

I lava it!!!
Joined
Jan 19, 2012
Messages
3,989
great trip report if an Uinta first time trip. Just finished my first trip too.
Ibantik Lake is still on my bucket list and after I'm hooked to the area I'm pretty sure a trip to this particular area will follow soon.
 

Dave

Broadcaster, formerly "ashergrey"
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Joined
May 5, 2012
Messages
1,724
Being new to backpacking I have yet to invest in a really good camera, so these images are all taken with my iPhone 4s.

The best camera is the one you have with you. Cell phone cameras are lightweight, that's a big plus.

I don't know what these flowers are but they were in almost every meadow.

Indian Paintbrush.

Looks like a great trip, and a good intro for the kids to the fun.
 

DrNed

The mountains are calling and I must go
.
Joined
Mar 31, 2013
Messages
1,017
The best camera is the one you have with you. Cell phone cameras are lightweight, that's a big plus.



Indian Paintbrush.

Looks like a great trip, and a good intro for the kids to the fun.

Thanks for the flower tip!
 

DrNed

The mountains are calling and I must go
.
Joined
Mar 31, 2013
Messages
1,017
Great trip and report! :) Good lookin' Brittany there, too.

I looked on your facebook and saw that apparently you would know a good Brittany :) Sunny is a great dog
who carried his own food and insisted on being in the front of the line while hiking.

Sadly, Sunny isn't my dog, but I will pass on the compliment to the appropriate party.
 

TannerT

Hike Hard, Tread Lightly
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
589
Awesome. I would like to do that this next week. Maybe I'll just have to do that. Thanks for the inspiration!

Salud!
 
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