(Uintas) Lake Fork Fun

regehr

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Mar 28, 2012
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A buddy and I headed up the Lake Fork Trail this past Friday morning. The Moon Lake Campground was in bad shape and was closed due to flooding -- I think from the big rains on Labor Day this year. In one spot where the trail is passing above the lake, some sort of big rockslide or mudslide had obliterated a short section of the trail. Also, the bridge where Brown Duck Creek enters Moon Lake is gone (well, not gone, but it's no longer in a location where it is helpful).

Lake Fork is LONG, but super pretty, it was a pleasure spending a day alongside the Lake Fork River in its dramatic inner gorge. We had thought that with a 9:30am start we might be strong enough to reach the upper basin on Friday, but we weren't -- we stopped at a pretty campsite a few miles short of that goal. There's very little camping on the first 5 miles of the Lake Fork Trail but after that it's possible to find camping, though the trail spends a long time in some burned zones that aren't too nice.

On Sat we nosed around the upper part of the Lake Fork drainage, this area is really great, just gorgeous with a pile of 4000m peaks visible. We had thought about going up to Red Knob pass but an early return to camp proved more tempting. Today we walked out. When we got back to the Lake Fork Trailhead parking, there were no vehicles there other than mine. We saw two people in total on this trip: a lady on the highline trail and then also one person on the Lake Fork Trail on Saturday morning. A nice bonus: there didn't seem to be any cows in this basin.

I hadn't walked more than the first couple miles of this trail before, and overall haven't spent much time at all on the south side of the Uintas, but this was a nice introduction and I hope to go back.
 
Also there were a few mosquitoes out, in mid-September! Not sure I can remember that ever happening before. They weren't a bother but it was a bit surprising.
That is a trail and area I have eyed going to, but the initial miles by the river turned me away. But if you say it is impressive, then it is worth adding to the list to go with someone who can put down fast miles so we can breeze the less exciting spots :)

Mosquitos must be just at the lower altitudes. It might be because the snow melted off so late? The mosquito cycle started late, so is ending later.

We were up by Notch and Reid, and had a good coating of frost Saturday morning and only some flies to deal with. We saw 4 boys at about 10pm at night wander through- they were lost. Otherwise, we did not see a soul until we were almost back to the trailhead.

Going along MLH on the way out, we went north and traffic was really light for a Saturday. The Mirror Lake and other parking areas were not even half full.
There was very little color, even in the high country. Probably more color in the maples at Parley's summit than there was anywhere else. But I give it just a week or so and the huckleberries will be much more purple and then the aspens will go.
 
Yeah you definitely need to put away the miles here, but there’s basically zero steep spots, just a long gentle grade with a few pointless ups and downs. I didn’t get a lot of pics from the initial part but here are a few. Super sorry about the upside down, the software behind this site seems to ignore the phone data saying which way to rotate. It’s just a vanilla-ass iPhone, that’s all I have!


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Pretty sure my phone is exaggerating a little but this gives an idea. I am moving slowly and carefully today for sure, am not in my 40s anymore.


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Mosquitos must be just at the lower altitudes. It might be because the snow melted off so late? The mosquito cycle started late, so is ending later.

We were up by Notch and Reid, and had a good coating of frost Saturday morning and only some flies to deal with. We saw 4 boys at about 10pm at night wander through- they were lost. Otherwise, we did not see a soul until we were almost back to the trailhead.

Going along MLH on the way out, we went north and traffic was really light for a Saturday. The Mirror Lake and other parking areas were not even half full.
There was very little color, even in the high country. Probably more color in the maples at Parley's summit than there was anywhere else. But I give it just a week or so and the huckleberries will be much more purple and then the aspens will go.

The bugs were in the 10,000'-11,000' range, nothing going down lower. No idea what's going on, but it was definitely plenty wet at all elevations due to the big winter + big Labor Day storm.

Hope the 4 boys found they way out!
 
Yeah you definitely need to put away the miles here, but there’s basically zero steep spots, just a long gentle grade with a few pointless ups and downs. I didn’t get a lot of pics from the initial part but here are a few. Super sorry about the upside down, the software behind this site seems to ignore the phone data saying which way to rotate. It’s just a vanilla-ass iPhone, that’s all I have!


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Lol.... You took the first few pics upside down???
 
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