Kayaking the Uintas


Aug 9, 2007
I'm way behind on trip reports right now but I figured I'd toss this one up since it's just point and shoot pics and not many of them. More Winds backpacking TR's to come though!

After years of talk, I finally picked up a kayak and got out on the water this weekend. Because of the bad weather forecast, we didn't get in quite the trip I'd hoped for, but it was still an awesome intro to kayaking for me.

We figured we didn't have much time between storms on Saturday so we just went up to the Uintas and figured we would paddle one of the larger lakes in the Trial Lake area just enough so that I could get a feel for it and try out the boat I had rented. I thought the crowds would be light with the bad weather forecast and school starting back up but I was totally mistaken. It was a zoo up there! After driving around for a while looking at our less than ideal options, we decided to hoof our kayaks a few hundred yards down the trail to Washington Lake. The weather was starting to get pretty bad but I was determined to get this thing in the water!

It was a little tipsy for me at first as my body learned what to expect, but the Pungo 120 I had rented turned out to be very stable. We paddled along the shore for a bit in case I dumped it but luckily that never happened. I think I'll save the deliberate swamping exercise for some warmer water and clearer weather.


Reid's Peak and Bald Mountain in the distance. Despite the long walk carrying the kayaks to the lake, Washington was actually really nice to paddle in.

Me and @Ndheiner taking a little snack break in a small bay on the other side of the lake.

It rained a lot while we were out there but we just kept paddling.

And it hailed too!

As we were winding down, we linked yaks in the middle of the lake and sat and drank some beer and talked. It was raining pretty good but it was tolerable. All of the sudden thunder cracked right on top of us. We saw a flash and looked over to see a huge cloud of smoke or maybe steam rising from a tree that lightning had just struck just a few hundred yards away from us near the shore. That was enough to motivate us to paddle fast to the shore and get out of the middle of the lake.

Waiting out the storm before paddling back to the trail.

My rental Pungo 120. I liked it a lot but I think I want to try out a more sea-worthy sea kayak. Who knows though, I might end up with the longer Pungo 140. It was really nice having such a huge cockpit opening.

The rain just kept coming and we were soaked so we decided to skip setting up camp and head for Nate's cabin outside of Park City. We were heading up the dirt roads to his place just as the sunset starting going crazy. This is the view towards Park City near his place.

The wildlife up there was awesome too. We saw tons of deer and some moose just between leaving the highway and his house. No pics though. The cabin turned out to be a nice choice to camp in that night as the rain came back a few times. Not a bag night but still a lot of fun! And as for kayaking, I absolutely loved it. I am SO stoked to get out on some real float trips now.

Featured image for home page:


Desert Rat-Weekend Warrior
Jun 7, 2012
screw that bum knee. You can still get out there.

Looks like an awesome time.


May 3, 2013
Welcome to the wonderful world of self-propelled water travel. Prepare to become an addict.


Oct 1, 2012
Cool intro to kayaking! Stan and I kayaked in the rain just off Homer, Alaska. Rain doesn't hamper the fun in a kayak-unless there's lightning!


Aug 9, 2007
Did a bit more kayaking in the Uintas this past weekend. This time at Smith & Morehouse reservoir. I tried out a touring yak this time around - a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 145. Overall I liked the rec kayak much more. The sea kayak was comfy and all but harder to get in and out of with a bum knee and it didn't really seem to track any better or be any faster than the Pungo 120. Tons more storage space though. I'm thinking I'm going to pull the trigger on a Pungo 140 after trying them both. More storage like the Tsunami but laid back with those all-important cup holders. :)


Now this is just unacceptable!

@neiloro paddling through the graveyard.

I passed my camera off to @neiloro so I actually have pictures of me for once!


Jun 16, 2012
I swear I've rented that same kayak before, and the rudder pedals were adjustable. That would be terrible uncomfortable not being able to rest your feet on the pedals.


Aug 9, 2007
How did they adjust? The other one I had you just slid an adjustment bar up and down. I even tried to take this back to REI and get something else (they were out of everything) and they basically told me my legs were too long too.


Jun 16, 2012
I don't know that this one is the same, but I can't imagine rudder pedals that don't adjust...you've seen my legs...nothing would fit me!

Usually the rudder pedals are on a rail. You can slide the rail out of the boat and then squeeze a tab behind the pedal that will slide it along that rail. Once you get the pedal where you want it, you just slide the rail back into its slot inside the boat.

The first time I rented a touring kayak I didn't know about the adjustable pedals, and I couldn't come anywhere near reaching them with my tiny legs. After fighting with it for a long time, I finally accidentally pulled the rail out of the boat and saw how it worked. After that, life was better.


Broadcaster, formerly "ashergrey"
May 5, 2012
I used that same 'yak on the Green in April. We should get a BCP logo on there or something.
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