Meadow, Ibantik, and over the Notch!

Blake Merrell

Life Elevated - Rising Higher
Feb 25, 2013

Back to the Uinta Mountains!

Jay is one of my best friends, and we try to go on a few trips a year together. Our trips are some of the very best. This one was no exception.

Jay invited his friend Arsene to join us on this trip He is from Rwanda Africa! Arsene is studying in the US to become a Neurosurgeon. This was his first backpacking trip. He had been camping before, but had a miserable experience. This was his redemption run. In the end he said he had a good time. I hope it is true!

Ibantik Lake was the destination for this trip, but after hearing some fishing reports from some other backpackers, we opted to camp at Meadow Lake instead. We were happy with the last minute change. We were informed later by some other hikers that Ibantik lake was super crowded with lots of groups, including a large scout group. Once we learned that, we were grateful for the solitude we found at Meadow Lake. We only saw one other camp, and they were located on the opposite end of the lake from us.

We started our trip by staging a bike at Trail lake TH. Since we didn't bring two cars, the bike would be my shuttle vehicle. Once the bike was chained to a tree, we took off to Bald Mountain Pass where we would start our journey.

Starting a backpacking trip from a mountain pass like this proved to make for some really nice backpacking. Most of our trip was actually down hill! that doesn't happen very often! It was a nice treat, for sure. As we made our way to Meadow lake, we very much enjoyed visiting the lakes along the way. We stopped briefly at Notch lake. It was here were we met some other fishermen who told us about the better fishing at Meadow Lake. Them telling us this ultimately helped us change our minds about where we would be camping that night.

After Notch lake we enjoyed the hiking and the views as we came across the north side of Notch Mountain. Looking down into the weber river area was beautiful. It was also pretty neat to view the wide open forest as we gazed over to Mt Marsell where I had camped just a few weeks prior.

After just a few hours of hiking, we made it to Meadow lake. It was still light when we arrived (hurray!) Jay was even able to get his fishing line in the water and catch us a fish for dinner!

Meadow lake was beautiful. We were happy to be camping at this lake.

Day 2:
Jay is always up early. by the time I got out of my hammock (around 8am) he had already hiked all the way around the lake and caught about 4 fish! Wish I could get myself out of my sleeping bag in the morning too...maybe one day.

Once I was out and about, I took to fishing the lake as well. I have been enjoying using my new Wetfly Tenkara fly rod. What I love about that rod is that it has a lightweight carbon fiber telescoping rod and no mechanical parts for me to break. All I need is the rod, fishing line, and a fly and I catch fish! I find it really enjoyable to use and I love the simplicity.

My second cast of the morning caught me a nice pan size fish. That is a great way to start out fishing. It kept me motivated for the rest of the morning. I only caught one other fish that morning, but I had fun.

Around 11PM we had camp packed up and were on our way. The second half of our backpacking trip would take us by Ibantik Lake, Lake Lovina, over The Notch, and then around Twin Lakes, Clyde Lake, Watson Lake, Linear, Petite, and Cliff, Lily Crystal, and finally Washington Lake where our shuttle bicycle was stashed. That is a LOT of lakes!

once we were back at the TH, I filled up a water bottle and began the 5 mile bike ride up to my car parked at the Bald Mtn TH. The ride took me a little over 45 minutes. I am not going to lie, after backpacking 6+ miles that day, a 5 miles ride that gains 1100' in elevation (from 9600' to 10700') was really hard! But.... I made it! I only averaged about 5 mph, but I made it!

Before we knew it, we were headed back down the mountain in the comfort of an air conditioned car, and eating at the Uinta Grill in Kamas! I was so tired I even accidently ordered a double bacon cheeseburger! Couldn't even eat it all.

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I ❤️ GYE
May 31, 2015
Beautiful pictures! That looks like an awesome trip. I think my legs would've broken off riding 5 miles uphill after getting done backpacking.

Blake Merrell

Life Elevated - Rising Higher
Feb 25, 2013
Beautiful pictures! That looks like an awesome trip. I think my legs would've broken off riding 5 miles uphill after getting done backpacking.
Thanks. It was a beautiful area.

yeah... that bike ride to the car was pretty brutal.


Oct 21, 2014
Great TR. I was at Ibantik earlier this year and it was packed with people. i'll bet that there was 35+ people on the west side of the lake

Blake Merrell

Life Elevated - Rising Higher
Feb 25, 2013
Great TR. I was at Ibantik earlier this year and it was packed with people. i'll bet that there was 35+ people on the west side of the lake
I didn't realize that this was that popular of a lake before this trip. so glad I made the decision to camp at another lake, and then visit ibantik on the way out. We felt like we had the lake to ourselves when we showed up later that morning.


Ready For More
Jul 23, 2013
Biking back up to the pass? That's some dedication. I think I would have just run/jogged back up with some shorts and trail runners. Fantastic photos!
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