Planning a Uinta Highline Trail Trip

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Blake Merrell

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So, the plan is to do the Highline Trail from Leidy Peak to Haden Pass.

Here is a link to the proposed route and campsites: http://caltopo.com/m/654A

We are planning on doing this in 7 days. What are your suggestions for camp spots, etc?
 

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Parma

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I haven't done this (yet), but Deadman Lake to Fox Lake looks like a long haul!
Drawing a straight line on the map is about 12.5 miles.
 

DrNed

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So, the plan is to do the Highline Trail from Leidy Peak to Haden Pass.

Here is a link to the proposed route and campsites: http://caltopo.com/m/654A

We are planning on doing this in 7 days. What are your suggestions for camp spots, etc?
Looks like a great trip! Isn't that in the neighborhood of 78 miles? I only have experience in the 2nd half of that route, (which I believe youd did last year as well?) and I really loved Ledge Lake & the Glady's Lake area. So if it were me I might push over Dead Horse Pass to Ledge Lake on day 5 and pull short and camp near Gladys on day 6. That would give you a long day 5, short 6 and long 7. Helen Lake is about 13 miles from the trail head so camping at Glady's would give you 11-12 miles day 7. I'm looking forward to hearing how this goes for you - it's on my to do list.
 

Blake Merrell

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I haven't done this (yet), but Deadman Lake to Fox Lake looks like a long haul!
Drawing a straight line on the map is about 12.5 miles.
Ugh... yeah. that is almost 16 Map Miles.... I am hoping we make it further than Deadman lake on that first day. Now that you point it out, It would be nice to get past Chepeta lake on day one.
 

Blake Merrell

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Looks like a great trip! Isn't that in the neighborhood of 78 miles? I only have experience in the 2nd half of that route, (which I believe youd did last year as well?) and I really loved Ledge Lake & the Glady's Lake area. So if it were me I might push over Dead Horse Pass to Ledge Lake on day 5 and pull short and camp near Gladys on day 6. That would give you a long day 5, short 6 and long 7. Helen Lake is about 13 miles from the trail head so camping at Glady's would give you 11-12 miles day 7. I'm looking forward to hearing how this goes for you - it's on my to do list.
YES! We both did that section last year :wavespin: I LOVED it so much. I can't hardly wait to revisit that section again on this trip. (you wanna come with?)

My map tells me that I will be hiking 80.4 miles. I bet it will be at least that long. Your suggestions to push though Dead Horse is intriging though. I loved camping at Dead horse lake last year, but I also really enjoyed Ledge Lake, and I want to see Gladys this time (on our trip we stayed low and didn't get to see those upper lakes :()
 

Nick

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Ugh... yeah. that is almost 16 Map Miles.... I am hoping we make it further than Deadman lake on that first day. Now that you point it out, It would be nice to get past Chepeta lake on day one.
Are you spending a night at elevation to acclimate first? If not, be careful with your first day. Some people seem to be more sensitive to it than others, but if I just go to elevation and hike my butt off, I sometimes get sick. I was feeling it hard about the time we made it to Deadman Lake and then we kept going to Dollar near Whiterocks. I am confident if I'd spent a night up high first or had an easier first day, all would have been well, but instead it messed me up so bad that I had to bail on the trip at Chepeta.
 

Nick

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Oh, point being, without proper acclimatization, I'd rather go 16 miles the second day than any more than 8 or 10 the first, and even then that depends on how strenuous it is.
 

Artemus

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I have walked the route. You may want to improve your chances by setting up camps at the base of the big ups/pass crossings so the next morning when the afternoon bloomers are at bay you can scoot over before the fireworks begin. We took 8 days and it was 80+ miles. I personally would take a little longer next time since there is so much to see and the middle parts are so hard to get to.
 

Blake Merrell

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Blake Merrell

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I have walked the route. You may want to improve your chances by setting up camps at the base of the big ups/pass crossings so the next morning when the afternoon bloomers are at bay you can scoot over before the fireworks begin. We took 8 days and it was 80+ miles. I personally would take a little longer next time since there is so much to see and the middle parts are so hard to get to.
You make some great points! Where did you camp when you did the hike?
 

Blake Merrell

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Are you spending a night at elevation to acclimate first? If not, be careful with your first day. Some people seem to be more sensitive to it than others, but if I just go to elevation and hike my butt off, I sometimes get sick. I was feeling it hard about the time we made it to Deadman Lake and then we kept going to Dollar near Whiterocks. I am confident if I'd spent a night up high first or had an easier first day, all would have been well, but instead it messed me up so bad that I had to bail on the trip at Chepeta.
Ugh. That sounds awful. I haven't had problems in the past, but... doesn't mean it will strike me in the future. Maybe I will dial that first day back a bit...
 

Nick

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You're way high that whole first day, a lot of it above 11k, so it would be a prime time for it to strike. If you can camp out at Leidy Peak and then start in the morning, you'd probably be better off and then you could get straight to cranking out lots of miles.
 

LarryBoy

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Echoing the thoughts about altitude sickness. Spend a few nights prior to your trip sleeping high, even if you have to work down low during the day. Altitude sickness can ruin a trip.

Thoughts -

  • Your second day will be really easy. Take advantage of it by camping as close as possible to Anderson Pass. There's water everywhere so no need to worry about a dry camp. Especially if you're doing Kings as a side trip, you want to be up, over, and down the other side of Anderson by about 10:30AM, depending on how the afternoon thunderstorm pattern is playing out
  • North Star Lake is VERY barren and no place to spend the night if the weather is sketchy. It's entirely above treeline. Once you get over Tungsten Pass, there are trees to your south/southwest. Go south about .25-.5 miles and you'll find suitable tree cover to camp.
  • Brinkley Lake is also a good place to camp if you want to set up a shorter final day
In general, your strategy seems to be excellent - short days and camp at the base of the high passes to avoid weather. And enjoy! It's the adventure of a lifetime.
 

Artemus

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You make some great points! Where did you camp when you did the hike?
I'll try and remember our spots. They were strategic and worked out great. Course we had the longest lasting high pressure system in place i have ever seen. We saw virga 10 miles away once and that was it for precip. Can I add my camp waypoints somehow to your map?

And you know there is at least one full Highline TR here somewhere, or was?
 
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Blake Merrell

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I'll try and remember our spots. They were strategic and worked out great. Course we had the longest high pressure system in place i have ever seen. We saw virgo 10 miles away once and that was it for precip. Can I add my camp waypoints somehow to your map?

And you know there is at least one full Highline TR here somewhere, or was?

Hey Art,

I am totally cool with you adding your camp waypoints to my map. To edit my map go to this link: http://caltopo.com/m/654A
the password to edit it is: bcp

Thanks!! :)
 

JoshuaDyal

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You might want to watch this, too.


From his experience (I've never been out that far east in the Uintas, so take this for what it's worth; it's not first hand) you might well spend more time route-finding than you think that first day or two, to say nothing about potential altitude sickness or other challenges. I'd be inclined to think that your route is too optimistic at the beginning, and you may want to dial it back a bit and either spread it out more, or better yet see if you can't squeeze one more day into the schedule and spread those first two days into three. I think some of your later days are more relaxed; if you can't fit one more day into the schedule, you might want to do less up front, and do just a little more later on.
 

Nick

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I thought the route from Leidy to Chepeta was easy in regard to navigation and route finding. Granted, the trails aren't all that defined through some of it, but if you stick pretty close to your plotted route, you'll be good to go. You can pretty much always see miles ahead and behind so just going from point-to-point is really easy. We went around the south side of Leidy but I'd probably go with the north if I was doing it again.
 

Blake Merrell

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You might want to watch this, too.
...
From his experience (I've never been out that far east in the Uintas, so take this for what it's worth; it's not first hand) you might well spend more time route-finding than you think that first day or two, to say nothing about potential altitude sickness or other challenges. I'd be inclined to think that your route is too optimistic at the beginning, and you may want to dial it back a bit and either spread it out more, or better yet see if you can't squeeze one more day into the schedule and spread those first two days into three. I think some of your later days are more relaxed; if you can't fit one more day into the schedule, you might want to do less up front, and do just a little more later on.
I saw this in some of the other Uinta Highline TR's. Guess I better watch some of it lol :) Thanks for pointing out the route complications that Tim had ( from the video) I didn't think much about that....

Yeah... 15 miles that first day might be a bit much. Hopefully we make it, but if not that will be ok too. having done the last 30 miles of this trail, we could probably gain back any time we lose then. hopefully.
 

Blake Merrell

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I thought the route from Leidy to Chepeta was easy in regard to navigation and route finding. Granted, the trails aren't all that defined through some of it, but if you stick pretty close to your plotted route, you'll be good to go. You can pretty much always see miles ahead and behind so just going from point-to-point is really easy. We went around the south side of Leidy but I'd probably go with the north if I was doing it again.
Thanks Nick. that is good to know. I figured that if we stay close to the GPS route, we should be ok.
 

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