Last Minute Over Nighter to Packard Lake


Formerly Cuberant
Aug 8, 2016
I've been dealing with a troublesome knee on and off since about March of this year. Recently it got really bad to the point that I couldn't even do my daily walks around town. Pretty discouraging to say the least. I decided I better see an orthopedist to see what was up. After an x-ray and an exam the conclusion was either a torn meniscus or arthritis. In either case the initial treatment would be the same: a steroid injection. The injection was not nearly as bad as I had feared and he sent me on my way to see if there was any improvement which could happen in a matter of days or up to two or three weeks. The first few days we discouraging with no apparent relief when all of a sudden right about one week things started to lookup. Shortly after I started my daily walks working my way up to my normal 4-5 miles. To my surprise things were looking up.

Fast forward to Saturday morning. I was itching to get on a trail and thought I might try a quick over nighter of modest mileage. I decided on Packard Lake in the High Uintas Wilderness. I had been there before on a late season, snow packed trail just a month or two after the Murdock Fire in 2018. This would provide about ten miles round trip on a trail I knew fairly well. So I threw things together and headed out.

I arrived at the Hayden Pass trail head at about 3:30pm. The parking lot was pretty packed but I managed to find a spot, registered and was on my way.

Approaching the Scudder Lake area I started to enter the fire zone. I was so pleasantly surprised to find the area was beginning to come back. As badly as the trees had been burned I had feared the ground had been sterilized by the heat but I was wrong. Signs of life were appearing...



Leaving the burn area I arrived at the Packard Lake Trail junction and started the drop down to the first of the three lakes along the trail, Wilder Lake...


I continued past the next lake, Wyman Lake, and arrived at Packard Lake. I scouted along the south east shore for a camp site. There are quite a few nice sites here. I grabbed one with a view to the east and made camp...


Next up, get some water for dinner and the night and have a look around. Had to visit one of my favorite sights overlooking the Duchesne River dainage.


I hadn't realized that just near from where I had taken pictures in 2018 there was a beautiful water fall cascading over the cliffs on its way to the Duchesne River. I heard the water right away and figured that late in the year the lake was low enough to not have any outflow so I missed this back then...


A view "over the falls"...


After filtering some water at the falls I noticed the overcast day was starting to clear up a bit and things were looking up for some photos. Mt Agassiz over Packard Lake...


I had been hoping to be able to catch a nice sunset but the conditions were not favorable. I was able to get nice sunburst from the sun's reflection in Packard Lake though...


Not too many wild flowers out yet but the low angle of the sun revealed a few beauties in the area...



My family was planning a Ring Central Video Father's Day conference call so I needed to get out to internet access to make the event. As soon as the photo ops were done I hit the sack. I had the robins singing me to sleep and they would wake me first thing in the morning.

Morning light...


I packed up and was on the trail by 6:15am. The skies we looking less gray than were on Saturday so I was hoping for some nice pics in the early light. I managed to get a few nice shots.

Marshy area along the trail just a short way from Packard Lake. The burn made it up to this point...


Mt Agassiz over Wyman Lake...


Wyman Lake...


Bald Mountain over Wilder Lake...


Bald Mountain and Reid's Peak over Scudder Lake. View is definitely different with the burned out trees...


Made it out in time to get home for the Fathers Day meeting. It was quick but much needed trail time. Looking forward to the next trip.


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glad your knee was doing better! that's a good looking waterfall you got there.
glad your knee was doing better! that's a good looking waterfall you got there.
Thanks! I was looking for a way down to get a good shot from below but all cliffs in the area.
Really good pics and overnighter! that view down the Duchesne looks really nice without smoke.
Looks like a great trip! We're trying to get out for a short trip this coming weekend. How were the temps at night?
Looks like a great trip! We're trying to get out for a short trip this coming weekend. How were the temps at night?
I would say it was in the 40's. It was really very pleasant.
Sorry about your knee! I hope it feeling better.

Thanks for sharing! Everything looked so peaceful, and of course, love those flower shots!!
Sorry about your knee! I hope it feeling better.

Thanks for sharing! Everything looked so peaceful, and of course, love those flower shots!!
Thanks! The knee did well on this trip but has become a bit more angry of late . Hoping treatment I got at the dr today will be more long lasting.
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