Return to Amethyst Basin

Udink

Still right here.
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
1,692
Five years after my first backpacking trip to Amethyst Basin, a friend and I repeated the trek. It was over 100 degrees in Salt Lake City when I picked Chris up, but at the Christmas Meadows trailhead in the Uinta Mountains it was only 80 degrees. We began hiking at 6:30 in the evening. My pack felt great on my back--I'd gotten the weight down to 33.5 pounds, which is the lightest I've ever had for a two-night trip. At around 8PM we reached the junction with the Amethyst Basin trail and camped nearby, having hiked just over two and a half miles. We had dinner around a small camp fire and went to bed relatively early.


Ostler Peak and Spread Eagle Peak from Christmas Meadows
0AlKgIAhl2hFhKLW8NPS4EcZmHKws1tuAFpWTRCBU-_kISWAzHsztKwWbwC-Op15bJJ97_f-ZEl9Uos0DQ=s640


Christmas Meadows trailhead
Bgip5pOEvW2cnu_5fD8fkq556jjqI8eWpE_927xkCY0PeUst1PiRp81wkN32MgS7xDhXhU5e4aUJf6tbUg=s640


Beginning of the trail
YsZRbOi8cCIMjzH7xjdyb6EgRM6p-nAIvYjIiVZ0miW8Cw1ntYwjYT8xRN-owUtTD-YqDmAzuDWKOFqj5Q=s640


Sign along the trail
kgzqwIII-r1kr8e9C00VeCnZtgsvis32FkCkIEf9GIxk2dLSbw1Uft4ZuxqRr3SkWbKRaS83J8wFJ2GFsg=s640


Christmas Meadows
ClIRGkeFPpBk0t64X1ck1pKP4DRpkOadnn9SblLf6gYcTWC3yQSmXeIYRtPZSwnqeop0i3IsWkSer8tDpA=s640


Mucky trail
G3wUpTX0mzOmu8MHrfjgbHSbjwpMyyptAS6ECyEDI8sY1ecsoS9Jcw_rLKEQq-InWKSGdZU0WvgPHgQwhg=s640


Chris on the boardwalk
CDC4BpAWK53-2bi-NjcExJczZdJQKHcjcEk7uPHgObkK4j28E_2NvWzroOvdkQVVh34vv2bdhGLO1zpDCg=s640


New wilderness sign, about 1,000 feet beyond the wilderness boundary
FjYlZ4r3R_CwIHD--XLRQDLYG2PCqvG_rx2UU4Z52z0EAq3NeF2zbjHNxhCDspMjmajUO1fxI3VMC1cO_A=s640


Setting up camp
mhm138Hib86Ah0QZoEvjJAkrTvIQT2QlS4L0d53yvpi5ck6NtIbFB3Uhv0nuF-vbzeze-VlNRvh7s329Yg=s640


Colorful clouds through the trees
UxG9S-9oCIIgXkdeD-sPXYMq6NBKELwRDXCwwDLxqwMxmNwjHe8EkRjUk0SLsHU8yvDYp4h_ojMyLFAOgw=s640


Colorful trees around the fire
nwreA_AyaFmBzhNcJt5-Shc7d2k4befpltOVEbQzqzTYSkW30x63phX9leOeatBKR-1pS31JQIQJZonPoA=s640



After breakfast and packing up camp on Saturday morning we hit the trail, which immediately began climbing. For half a mile it was steep and rocky, paralleling Ostler Fork and its many cascades. The trail leveled out and it was a pleasant walk through the forest after that. We passed a guy going the opposite direction wearing a day pack, with a dog on a leash, and two pack goats following obediently behind him, and I realized that I'VE BEEN BACKPACKING ALL WRONG! We reached the beautiful Amethyst Meadow at noon and had to cross Ostler Fork on a couple of flimsy logs. After a quick visit to Lake BR-24 we found a nice spot away from the trail and any lakes to set up camp.


Sign pointing to Kermsuh, Ryder, and Amethyst lakes
UBIhwDodWWcGgNSiXipJP8trGUJ5EkCw-Rj7RRpDtLQyfxZ-_f4vaaXtybKDRbn0WS9gqf29vpRgpLICIw=s640


Ostler Fork falls
_ueOZsK0vpb3vmoyfgtbewu3A89OU9D00Ib5HRhEVpsDemUK2im0lW6Mxq5PFATaXRcZXMhy9QkiCDpgQg=s640


Trail climbing to Amethyst Basin
b-JtR4247eYMuCn8UKqDAJRaagml0BenkuTLioX2iw4XoQwHTayhaRGCCSOZ1vh3g8R-PQqX8URbMhulNw=s640


Wild rose alongside the trail
pZR2jZh9f48yWj-rDcN9pgQvkYRsL1pBXQmH2KDxV7yMSWOUHH_J17Pn5n7J-euSHMmCuP8mU3hos-_-bg=s640


Hayden Peak
Yy3mtx2fosuYz530pk8zNZh-glQi0WgsZDtl3rum3zZ-QzjfTmKQYFod4BK6KMpToZgncv887iMDrHjxEQ=s640


Blazed pine tree and steep, rocky trail
odskOarYzF1DCUkQxIRtoi-ybpJFUYabuHZC2GmW4GSJgptzBCADIZWC8181UtFfiLFR03V2eEHeglb8Jw=s640


Many fallen trees that have been cleared
S3vbRCUrZ3hZwu4t7JXPqiw1YdFYuabQzY9261_4QENFCS7zSgXbxCnpjFK0VJ-nxQMyzguDz04y5ZGX9g=s640


Pack goat
prn6-YjYRHK57NO0UrQ7OxlBaXXYzjz9Firt3TlUrok3fGwcghaO1B1hNcpz50i0Nqt_-c0YSv1qPZQCwg=s640


Avalanche path
C4mBQlaZqjd-bIBV9g74bpzOWuH9V3q9m5H_o9EulV-_yqRty7SEeQXcj-ioWdMbgZPzlmsu-ytI9zkNyw=s640


Lush green trail surroundings
6zhYFQkI_kc1FBVBm28STagiKMU-hPlB9MO6GFoTnsNp0WTBStKxZzLgPsbnvUeIu9TDnN7v532kcyPZ9Q=s640


Nice try
xOIQY1ekq-Xtjq_Hum77gSM28b9-XnnC_LQoP1oNm7jqJ_iAWUm_rQx7RDZrB3NgXBHkki--f5t4s3JcBA=s640


Ostler Peak over Amethyst Meadow
PNbDm6tBGNw6_-7iYC3FpHtepGLq_Pgy6v15iX_N6ckFop3L_R-IdS17dWFuwlQWpTTEbnAXAclaF3CGWQ=s640


Improvised creek crossing
yTAh5cQVAZtudArgoa--QUIB76so1u-yJhAr7SciYWvJgaNwDJzOOZaxvX7iaIpimoCUNUqv001kwS9fnw=s640


Reflection in Lake BR-24
cvuYc7gSTYxzXcX8OXz7HA8riBwhDMYHIYcrAZ5j88jjCSqEhxP2wlpdFuj6fZTwcsKQaL15HpI6LP7-yg=s640


Tents in the trees
HpST2O6dR_IWLfR5_3cVyhRdWYW8CYrM0goApcgP_76RTalTthbj3cYpvvF8RGOAiNwrcJdceRTwaI79lg=s640



With our loads lightened, we went on a tour of Amethyst Basin. First we hiked to Amethyst Lake. On the trail we encountered two forest rangers and endured an awkward 10-minute quiz/lecture about Leave No Trace ethics. Like, WTF? Amethyst Lake was just meh. It's a big lake with choppy water and not terribly scenic, and there were quite a few large groups camped there. However, there was barely some cell service! :D Next we hiked to Ostler Lake and bushwhacked around the entire perimeter. There were only a few people around Ostler Lake, including those two rangers we'd seen near Amethyst. They appeared to be moving some rocks around, possibly making a fire pit? Not sure what was going on there.


Trail to Amethyst Lake
jbTasEIs4y8KW6MgudiEGrZXGwUdCJM1bUPKQ6S2sKDhhEOrhCNvNol-xFkJ02t9Ah7nyHk332J18hIokg=s640


Inflow to Amethyst Lake
bEuKc3YYhY-7KBjAWHejHjm0n4-plvlHvqH0-hav7uXQO_6wOa4h93HHY97ZsSNkqVHUpZzf1KM9OVRrXA=s640


Amethyst Lake
hnEYPbf7SkzYIjurkg8WIrY4mE3N8aXb0qf2ZygKc_eMgeD1-pwDSNSs3AHlIhcD_xQedWmiZ6lJSCH5Kg=s640


Amethyst Lake
4Fzufx3YmdUr5Lehj4f9AZMLZV7fbJaCynYksrnD8WfLzrMdo8TZMb2Anlimgj66U1ouQJRnPxkwWhDV-g=s640


View out of Amethyst Basin
7KvE7joEA5bnoONHaXxJr9gMwkx2F2ImUPLS9iKVnfQxhsi_udAmcQ87KfvH9GaKIgBUQPhkythWi9AvTg=s640


Patterns in the quartzite
ZEfNvqjBkJTH1YjgNbJPsIisihMu2XLr4rs329eWxXSqroAiIF9eEEydUvbqtMmCXztBoardhYTo6Phurg=s640


Ostler Fork below Amethyst Lake
cB65hhue4AK6vn5QdxkCeyolbwUVeK9eSTrL2xb8X8_1njIUxNRi7OL5bCBHOkCdGszounNllnMbZnv0eQ=s640


Ostler Lake
IQDtME9U3JA3KSN67bU1l1IJR2ZaMkrwqW6CMQAQzsM-HbVekUhygDWfqV5To3gSIfziinn9geFl-BdnlA=s640


Ostler Lake
0oWX_ZatL3yikDZENVTSE-NpgkKKqv2xng5knL8UlZxa1wCMfeXobvcWm7az2G4Ni9Xr01DXq5jP46BV4w=s640


Ostler Lake reflection
Gv6h-X3f4DOWL6wk-3pCltyYS85P0Pwod9L9P4l-NngD2XT7ZYlBr2DW2UXQL1iH7t9EgCFrmo7pBUuqhQ=s640



Chris and I returned to camp and started a camp fire just in time for it to begin to hail. At first it was sparse, but the hail grew in intensity until it was nearly marble-sized and covering the ground. We took shelter under some trees for what seemed like half an hour or so. The hail gave way to rain, and I was beginning to worry that we'd end up sheltering in our tents all evening. I was slightly embarrassed when I realized that the storm had subsided about five minutes earlier and that the water dropping on my head was coming from the trees I was standing beneath. Chris was barely able to get the fire going again after using his last fire starter and then some toilet paper and hand sanitizer to get the wet wood burning. We were able to dry out a little before eating dinner and going for a sunset walk around Lake BR-24. Two guys on horseback had set up camp between us and the trail and we had to walk past their horses along the way, and luckily the horses were pretty calm. We retired to our tents before 11PM and I slept pretty well considering the dampness.


Hail on my tent
NppdhhMSRVkzWDnKY-zWLivcoX0x1A4JvLTfxhyKXrr0Sh3TRPrLRx7BR_Kagzr4u78-jxKVeFpJcbzQXA=s640


The hell is this?
FrRLOIKa5_7latTCNG9U6TrZH1dnzRVIfjs-I3W09lbIzUAlc2stBALqjsJIzh3mksUTy4pm4ZzToPGJ3w=s640


Drying a chair over the fire
LkGoYofe5PMeYScEwRjmDvrcs_myevrL1N3WzV2ndKTFs-mDEivtP185f-4vixslbZ1DzlqhrkT1-G35Qw=s640


Lake BR-24 and Ostler Peak
AwW_HglrafGbhctPzyA22J2TshK6fbpK1udGrND454qk9vcbQfcwjXeDoCjjUs53xkbABmZwQpYhJKH8UQ=s640


Lake BR-24 reflection
nSVMml-FPFBJehT5_wXmQN3Mfs90ZnKjjstqG-OOs3hramG1U-ihskQVSFsECjqnziDZKCRHigoMIy7yXw=s640


Lake BR-24 reflection
q3oW-dS9SNm3SNBfdmhgAFcZsXtOOAY-9QGCfjUm22YH14jP-GwhkZ7-IHh1brGm1FmN8U87qG69Zn9JEw=s640


Fire at night
MEdTintTrxGa5ewHSZY1ia8r_GJCG5iZgtvddIrHmwdOzHrRvb_F3u__Q2KPm8RjIzOwq9d9-0wOZ5dEpw=s640



We were awake early on Sunday and were quick to eat breakfast and pack our gear away. By 8:30 we were on the trail descending out of Amethyst Basin, hoping to stay ahead of the crowds still camped in the basin. Three hours later we arrived at the trailhead, having hiked a little over 16 miles total for the weekend. I don't often like repeating hikes--and I'm sure there are equally beautiful locations in the Uintas that would have been new to me--but sometimes a familiar and comfortable trip hits the spot, especially when one hasn't been backpacking for two years!


Camp on Sunday morning
l1RKKJmIB38hO1uyLHL9I1Qu0ujDvwxa3msB7VUfw1Zx_sLtu9VtLvxWn1rthDbEwr-BJXtoJyenM1Krlw=s640


Horse neighbors
BRv5gjmJu_wZ2lPCdCej2yNkP2b7jKAxul1heY3t_2rNBygtTuFccwDorZ1r3dHaPL22oewBys9GnnqP7A=s640


Stream crossing
YU3yuOTvF-i43PR65a-S_ryLS0godC2pRsWG3YqdyZeryUWRZVCkmS_1vlgZ9VM8uBu4ESO1_ee9XGHYoA=s640


Ostler Peak over Amethyst Meadow
2X8tC5Q_8eOZ9kIsa_rKuGEXh8JT7NYLp53OmC6vX3b65LsEkLPQst1wMweUcLm3Cj4xHR1eIa_rlzBcNA=s640


Curve in the trail
PMPzgONIUiUBf96rN1fuC_OFL21yEagK84zlFhsMrHsCuMVUn5GNwwLU9vlADiDKthu__zYU_b6YGyT7kA=s640


Very pale Indian Paintbrush
wAyJAMz-bcjutkTpsbtia074GmvUj9WO7cVU5wtGoaOQSHu_nKfftdWGtlOBsQ5J5m0Ryvq6W91ICa5OlA=s640


False Hellebore (Veratrum californicum)
Y8tlx12NN7JC4sHK2bMsH3p0pMFQx2cHJ7kgEqZVzgqU2S_ScXMELcUzeBt0ktsAasRz15JGQKIeOD21pA=s640


Blue sky reflected in marshy trail
ELEifwABjz2_9jipXY4voTRlWI4x7Gbmo0F6Ls5rOqJfMFl4glgNwfoiIh1XQvxVawGLCOkxdXJFDkvbbw=s640


1929 aspen carving
GP8oG30iXoVYLvVoI-teOgw5zTgafeNpGA-jca643cbfJ_LKdGEEnD-Z_ZEJbMsUHkUUha0xS-9lOajhYA=s640



Photo Gallery: Return to Amethyst Basin
GPS Track and Photo Waypoints:
[ Google Earth KMZ ] [ Gmap4 Satellite ] [ Gmap4 Topo ]
 
That's a beautiful basin, worthy of a repeat trip!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
That particular horse is a mule! They're almost always very level-headed.

And LOL on drying the chair over the fire. Great report and super photos.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
TrailScot The Return of the King General Discussion 0
TrailScot Lake Powell and the 'return' of Glen Canyon General Discussion 24
Jackson A Successful Return to the Bechler Backpacking 18
K Retired From Work Today ... Time to Return to the Wilds! General Discussion 20
LarryBoy IGBC Prepares for Grizzly Return to Bitterroots General Discussion 17
OldBill A return to the Winds: Sept 12-28, 2019 Backpacking 8
mattvogt7 A Rainy Return Backpacking 8
Nick New REI return policy? Gear 30
Jackson Return to the San Rafael River Gorge Backpacking 17
AbinadiWitness Return to THE FORMATION, etc. - The Second Time Was, Indeed, the Charm - 18-20 May 2017 Hiking & Camping 5
Parma Bighorn Crags, Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Backpacking 14
WasatchWill Family Backpacking: Return to Ruth Lake Backpacking 0
Ugly A Return to La Verkin Creek and Kolob Backpacking 4
John Goering Return to Goose Lake/Grasshopper Glacier area of the Beartooth Mountains Hiking & Camping 7
WasatchWill Return to Middle Basin, Hayden Pk, & Bald Mtn Backpacking 13
Scott Chandler A Return to Desert: Little Wild Horse Hiking & Camping 7
Nick Return to Fiftymile On The Water 10
ram Return to Mumbai Canyon Canyoneering 4
IntrepidXJ Return to The Island Hiking & Camping 0
Chuck the Mauler A return to Lost Lake Winter Sports 5
IntrepidXJ Return to the Unexpected Hiking & Camping 8
IntrepidXJ Return to Zion Hiking & Camping 5
jdgibney Possible Early April Return Trip Planning 7
powderglut Return To Coyote Gulch Backpacking 7
IntrepidXJ Return to Coyote Buttes South Hiking & Camping 4
IntrepidXJ Return to Big Dominguez Canyon Hiking & Camping 0
IntrepidXJ Return to the Great Gallery Hiking & Camping 6
wabenho Amethyst - Sept. 11-13, 2017 Backpacking 3
Devin Ashby Ostler Peak - Amethyst Basin - High Uinta Wilderness Backpacking 0
Uncle_Dim Amethyst Basin July 1-3 Trip Planning 0
Nico Uintas - Toomset/Ostler/Amethyst Lakes Backpacking 8
Jackson First Uintas Trip - Amethyst Basin Backpacking 5
ogg Amethyst- Middle- West Basins. Trip Planning 7
E Shamrock Lake vs Amethyst Lake Trip Planning 4
Parma Think I can get 50 miles out of West, Middle, and Amethyst? General Discussion 5
JoshuaDyal Uintas: Amethyst to Middle Basin off-trail pass? Trip Planning 16
Yvonne Amethyst Basin and Middle Basin, July 2013 Backpacking 17
Nick Amethyst Basin Trip Planning 0
DrNed Uintas Amethyst & Middle Basins Backpacking 9
Nanda Invite Amethyst basin(or similar areas) couple nights in uintas Meet Up (Members Only) 3
MtnMatt Amethyst Basin Backpacking 8
Artemus Amethyst Pass route across the Uintas Divide Backpacking 8
Dave Amethyst lightning strike General Discussion 8
Udink Amethyst Basin Backpacking 9
DAA Amethyst Basin 6/22 - 6/24/12 Backpacking 5
pixie1339 Invite Amethyst Basin Backpack July 7th & 8th Meet Up (Members Only) 12
Nick Uintas: Amethyst Basin Backpacking 5
Tarp Boy Looking for Shuttle service for Uintas Granddaddy basin trip Trip Planning 0
S Titcomb Basin week itinerary options? Trip Planning 11
DrNed Naturalist Basin: Blue Lake to Shaler Lake? Trip Planning 12

Similar threads

Back
Top