Looking for ideas on backpacking the west Uintas


Aug 8, 2012
I've been to Kings peak, Red Castle and Granddaddy areas but, I'm new to the Mirror lake area. I want to start getting my 5 and 8 year old out on the trail for a short 1 to 2 mile hike and an overnighter. I'm thinking Shepard lake area east of hwy 150 or West near Haystack lake or even out to the Duck lake area on the Smith Morehouse trail.

I'm looking for a place to escape the worst of the crowds, for great fishing, but not too far that the kids give up. I had to pack my 5 year old part the way out of Granddaddy lake on a day hike. They are great hikers but once we get beyond 2 mile mark its not fun any more.

I'm leaning towards going west of hwy 150 because I read that east of the hwy is full of ATVs. I'm also open to other areas as long as they are the same elevation.


Feb 24, 2012
asking to find a place that is 2 miles away from a trailhead that meets all those criteria is impossible. if it's two miles from a TH, there will be at least something of a crowd, and the fishing might not be awesome. (most of those lakes are planted very heavily though, so there is usually decent fishing somewhere nearby).

crystal lakes trailhead accesses alot of nice places - i grew up going to cliff lake, long lake, clyde lake and those areas. you'll probably not have it to yourself though. nice family destination though.

not sure what you mean about east having ATVs, and west not. unless that's a typo... east has way less. there are areas west of the highway that have some atv roads, but the lakes roadless area is west of hwy 150, and has lots of areas where ATVs can't get to.


Desperately Seeking Sandstone
Jan 21, 2012
Cliff Lake, that Dan Ransom mentioned would be perfect. One mile each way and nice campsites. Notch Lake on the Notch Mountain trail is only a mile and a half each way, and had plenty of camping. As mentioned before, you won't be alone going anywhere so near to a trailhead, though.


Aug 8, 2012
Thanks for the replies! I think we will try Cliff lake area, if the area looks too crowded I've got a few back up spots. There is a review about the Murdock basin east of the hwy, it mentioned how its a nice area if you don't mind waking up to ATVs running up and down the roads.


Adventure Guru
Jan 20, 2012
Look at the East Shingle Creek Lake area. If you have higher clearance to get to the trailhead, it's a great spot. Star Lake is another spot that's overlooked and has some great campsites.
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