uintas, kings peak from swift creek th


Sep 12, 2014
Early september my brother and i did Kings Peak. Not knowing to do any thing else, we went from the south, at the swift creek trail head. We went out the Swift Creek trail, which crosses Bluebell Pass and reconnects with the Yellowstone Creek trail. From that junction we continued up to the Highline trail, and followed it to Anderson Pass and Kings Peak, and then came all the way back along the Yellowstone Creek trail. Like the opposite of a lolly loop, with the stick coming off from the far end of the hike. A loop with a day hike. I think it ended up being like 40 miles in about 50 hours.

The Swift Creek trail ascends pretty quickly about 1000' before very slowly losing just a little elevation to run along Swift Creek.

There was quite a lot of beaver sign along Swift Creek. Made the trail hard to follow in one place.



And i saw a greater variety of fungi on this hike than i think i have any where until i did the hike at Rainier. They were big too, as long as my foot.


This one was the size of a giant loaf of bread.

Tenuous Swift Creek crossing, we both managed to not get wet.

More mushrooms on the other side.

Pond full of lily pads. Near here the trail forks, one goes on to Timothy Lakes Basin, the other to Bluebell Pass. There were a few people on the trail up to this point, but after we turned toward the pass, i don't remember seeing any one till we got to the Highline the next day.


It rained very suddenly and some what seriously at this lake. We set up a tent as fast as i believe i ever have, and waited it out for may be half an hour. After that it let up a little, we packed back up and kept hiking with out issue.

I like this one best.

More big ones.


The view as we ascended Bluebell Pass. I think we counted at one point we could see seven lakes or ponds from the trail there. The trail passed right by the small ones closest in the foreground.

At the top of the pass.

Looking onward.

Crazy Dr Seuss trees.

At the bottom of the pass. The trail between Timothy Lakes and the Highline here appears to see a lot less use than some areas of the Uintas. There were places where the trail dissipated until we were just following cairns.

Like through this meadow. That took a bit of work.

Spencer sitting as we search for trail.

Shortly beyond here we made a trail side camp for the night.

The next morning we met up with the Yellowstone Creek trail and headed up it toward the Highline. Along the way we crossed this much smaller creek flowing to Yellowstone.

Some miles later we made it above Yellowstone Creek's tree line. Kings Peak is on the left, South Kings Peak appearing higher near center.

Both peaks again. In the high country now. You can see one of the cairns. Anderson Pass low on the left.

Here is the big cairn along the Highline.


Ascending to the pass.


Looking out over the basin from near the pass, Yellowstone Creek in all those trees, Garfield Basin is the lakes beyond.

At Anderson Pass, just beyond the group of twenty some people sitting there. The ridge up to the Peak.

Looking over the pass.

A view from the top. Nice place.

We got some one to take our picture back down at the pass again before we dropped back to the basin.

Looking back again.


We returned to the Highline-Yellowstone Creek junction where we'd stashed our packs.

Sun going down the other direction the other direction. We were at the top about mid after noon. We went back down the Yellowstone Creek trail as far as we could that evening before camping again for the night.

The next day was foggy, good that it was on the way out. Also good that we did our loop the way we did. Yellowstone Creek was much less scenic than Swift.


Here's the moose we came up on. It ran away.

And we made it back. Great time.

Featured image for home page:
Last edited:


Jul 5, 2014
Geez, 48 miles in 50 hours! You guys are hiking beasts. Nice job. That beaver dam is pretty impressive too.


Sep 12, 2014
who knows. may be it was closer to 40 if i think about it more. quick trip though.


Feb 12, 2014
it's always cool to see a different route...nice trip report!


Aug 9, 2007
Dude. I can't believe you packed that all in so quick. I did similar loop but without King's once. We went up Swift Creek and camped up there one night, then over Bluebell and spent a night at Milk Lake, then another night half way down that godawful Yellowstone Creek trail. Okay, it's not that bad, but probably the most boring and loooooooong stretch of trails I've ever done in the Uintas. Swift Creek on the other hand was awesome. Really tough hike overall, adding in King's that way and doing it in 50 hours makes you mui macho in my book.

Anyway, cool TR. I dig the Dr. Suess trees. :)


Sep 12, 2014
thanks @Nick . i read your report some time in the last couple months or so, and was glad that some one else had the same opinion as me about Yellowstone Creek. it was very uninteresting after coming up Swift Creek. i'd do Swift again.
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Ehouston24 Uintas Loop (Red Castle/Kings Peak) Trip Planning 14
Dave Kings Peak, Uintas (August 2-3, 2010) Backpacking 14
WasatchWill The High Uintas 4-4-4: Four Basins, Four Passes, Four Days Backpacking 18
C High Uintas Wilderness - Last minute plans Trip Planning 4
Mountain Wanderer High Uintas Wilderness - Granddaddy Basin Backpacking 4
scatman Bourbon Lake, Uintas - July 11, 2020 Hiking & Camping 4
ridings82 Uintas Backpacking Loop Trip Reports 10
Eric O Uintas Conditions 2020 Trip Planning 69
B Uintas question Hiking & Camping 3
Tarp Boy Uintas in late June? Trip Planning 10
Born to Hike Mountain Solitude: Reconnaissance Lake, High Uintas, early Sept 2019 Backpacking 9
DrNed Plan B to High Uintas Backpacking Trip Planning 20
J Uintas Conditions 2019 Trip Planning 209
DrNed Recommendation for 35-45 Mile Route in the Uintas Trip Planning 7
Yvonne A weekend in the Uintas Hiking & Camping 10
WasatchWill 5 Guys on a Trail: A Tour of the Southwestern Uintas Backpacking 12
wabenho Rainbow Lake, Uintas - September 2018 Backpacking 6
DesertRatShorty Solitude in the Uintas -- Gilbert Lake Loop Backpacking 14
jdfut66 Uintas - Priord Lake to Deadhorse Lake Loop Backpacking 4
Born to Hike Clements Lake and East Basin in the High Uintas, mid-July 2018 Backpacking 6
TrektheWorld Need help with Uintas trip - camping Trip Planning 8
Perry Missing hiker in Uintas - Ray Humpherys General Discussion 104
Mike K Uintas Three Nighter Backpacking 13
LarryBoy In Which I Forget Sunscreen (Uintas 2015) Backpacking 11
Brian Handsaker Uintas Backpacking (or Montana) Trip Planning 9
Dave Uintas Conditions 2018 General Discussion 210
Uncle_Dim October in the Uintas Trip Planning 2
Perry Late Season Uintas Day Hike Ideas. Bear River to WFBF and Back? Trip Planning 13
r3biker Backpacking trip to Clyde lake in Uintas Backpacking 8
WasatchWill An Intro to the Uintas Hiking & Camping 2
TClark Uintas - Erickson Basin Aug. 3-5 2017 Backpacking 4
Nick 3 Children Struck by Lightning in Uintas General Discussion 0
mathew Uintas this weekend Trip Planning 0
westy High Uintas - West Basin Backpacking 0
George_Washington_Hayduke High Uintas: Allen Lake and Thunderstorms Backpacking 0
westy High Uintas - Henry's, Painter, Yellowstone, Smith's Backpacking 5
westy High Uintas - Middle Basin Backpacking 5
jj Backpacking Uintas with Toddler Trip Planning 14
B Best Time of Year for Backpacking the Uintas in Utah Trip Planning 15
Perry Can You Guess Where The Uintas Are? General Discussion 5
N Which High Uintas overnight hike? Trip Planning 2
Dave Uintas Conditions 2017 General Discussion 128
S Uintas 2 Night trip Trip Planning 9
J ISO Tiger Trout in the Uintas Backpacking 8
Yvonne Cross-Country skiing North Fork Trail, Uintas Winter Sports 10
Brett King's Castle Loop - 5 day backpacking loop in the Uintas Backpacking 20
Yvonne X-Country skiing in the Uintas Trip Planning 13
Perry One More Uintas Day Hike? Trip Planning 9
BryanG Early Season Backpacking Trip into the Uintas Trip Planning 2
swmalone Hiking options in the Uintas this weekend Trip Planning 2

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.