Uintas recommendations needed

Yvonne

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I've never been into the Uintas and would love to do a backpacking trip this July.
Even after browsing all the great trip reports I have no clue which trail would be a perfect introductory trip for a solo hiker.
Are there any less crowded areas? Longer and more demanding hikes are absolutely okay for me.
My first thought was Kermsuh Lake or eventually Priord Lake.
Any thought about it?
 

Yvonne

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How long of a trip do you want to make?

it can be a few days, everything between 2- 5 days will be okay.
Eventually there are any trails that I can combine to a nice long loop.

I ordered the Uinta hiking guide today but until it arrives I would love to have a little of input to consider.
I guess the hardest thing is to pick the right trail for a first trip into the area.
 

Yvonne

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again I have a few questions. Hope you don't mind.

Do I need a GPS for the trails? I usually use paper maps and feel more comfortable with maps instead of a GPS.
My plan so far is hitting the trail in the first week of July. Considering the fact that it's again not a good snow year, is it too early for a hike in higher elevations?
Are there any loop hikes or are all trips out and back hikes?
 

Aldaron

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Personally, I like the east end of the range. It has a lot of meadows and elk and less people. I would suggest hikes like these:

McCoy Park
Highline Trail

That having been said, the Highline Trail is liable to be still snowed in during early summer, McCoy Park is liable to still have swollen creeks in early summer, and they're both liable to have mosquito hordes in early summer.

For an early summer hike (possibly even earlier than July), I like to go to Amethyst Basin. If you go in mid-June, you can thread the needle between the crowds and the snow and get to see a really pretty basin with some great moose-filled meadows on the way.

There are several good loop hikes that you could probably do with 4-5 days. Unfortunately, I haven't spent that much consecutive time up in Uintas, so I don't have any good suggestions for that. If you get the Trails Illustrated map for the Uintas, though, it's pretty easy to figure out some loops.

As for a GPS, no, you don't need one. The trails are well traveled and intersections are often signed and few and far between.

Hope that helps some. Maybe someone else can help out with some loop suggestions.
 

Yvonne

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I bump this up a little bit.

I sat over my topo map this weekend and decided where I want to go on my trip.
My plan is to hit the trail some day beginning of July for 5 nights and I decided to do Amethyst Lake, Kermsuh, McPheters and Ryder lake as an introductory trip.
How would you start? Which lake first?
I will probably start mid week into the weekend, so if anyone is interested in joining me on that weekend I would be more than happy. Otherwise it will be a completely solo trip....
 

Nick

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The Stillwater Trifecta! There's two ways to look at doing that. Start with the most modest scenery and work your way up OR plan it out to avoid the heaviest weekend traffic.

If it's all weekdays or you don't mind it being a little bit busier, definitely go in this order: 1. West Basin (Kermsuh), 2. Middle Basin (Ryder), 3. Amethyst Basin.

I'm not sure Amethyst is actually prettier than Middle Basin, they're both really great, but so long as you're up that way, Middle Basin second makes sense.

If you're trying to avoid people, plan it out so that you avoid Amethyst on the weekend and possibly even Middle Basin. Both get pretty busy.
 

Yvonne

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The Stillwater Trifecta!

lol, finally!! I guess almost everyone starts like this :)

There's two ways to look at doing that. Start with the most modest scenery and work your way up OR plan it out to avoid the heaviest weekend traffic.

thanks Nick, that makes sense.
Always good to have someone here to help out to plan my first timer.

If it's all weekdays or you don't mind it being a little bit busier, definitely go in this order: 1. West Basin (Kermsuh), 2. Middle Basin (Ryder), 3. Amethyst Basin.

I'm not sure Amethyst is actually prettier than Middle Basin, they're both really great, but so long as you're up that way, Middle Basin second makes sense.

If you're trying to avoid people, plan it out so that you avoid Amethyst on the weekend and possibly even Middle Basin. Both get pretty busy.


if no one is interested to join I will do it as an all weekday trip to avoid the crowds.
Somehow that scares me off a bit but I'm still looking forward to this trip and am getting really excited about it.
And I really like your order of getting to the different basins.
 

Nick

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My first ever trip to the Uintas was to Amethyst Basin. We camped at Toomset and hiked up to Ostler and down into the meadows below, but never actually made it up to Amethyst on that trip. I was hooked though!

If you end up solo, that is a fine place for it. The trails are for the most part very straight forward, easy to follow and light on the human-eating predators. :)
 

Yvonne

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My first ever trip to the Uintas was to Amethyst Basin. We camped at Toomset and hiked up to Ostler and down into the meadows below, but never actually made it up to Amethyst on that trip. I was hooked though!

If you end up solo, that is a fine place for it. The trails are for the most part very straight forward and easy to follow and light on the human-eating predators. :)

don't say that with the predators. I seem to scare away all bigger wildlife, always. I rarely see any wildlife on my solo trips. Okay, Salt Creek Canyon two years back was the exception.
But am somehow the preferred dish of all the bugs you can imagine .

Anyway, I'm pretty sure after that trip I'm completely hooked. Are 5 nights enough or too short? I'm pretty sure you can spent a lot more time up there but for a first timer it looks okay to me.
 

Hurakan

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For your first trip there are tons of nice hikes. I usually do Long Pond or Island Lake for a base camp to checkout any new gear or break people in. From there you can hit up other lakes really easy and if you have any problems your not too far away from your car. Some people have troubles with the Altitude or gear probs so its a quick and easy hike thats still fun.

You can do Grand Daddy Lakes. Not epic but its fun and you can wander up there hitting up the lakes for a week easy. Parking can be an issue for the 4th of July, so get there early.

If your solo do you have a SPOT device incase you get in trouble or are delayed? I dont use a GPS either, my Phone does that very well with my Backcountry Navigator Pro app (Andriod) and a real map. Uintas is pretty easy, just keep in mind that the weather can get nasty really quick and its very easy to get lost up there as everything looks the same. I use my phone alot play music, audio books, etc and either a battery backup or small solar panel helps alot too keep you going.

For Bugs, you can use clothes with built in bug dope that works well. Head net is nice too. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0043EVILY/?tag=backcountrypo-20 For Example.

You prob will have fire restrictions so keep an eye out for wildfires in the area before you go as they seem to be getting worse every year.

As for predators two legged or four I carry bear spray for bears and a 40 cal for everything else.


Have fun up there = )
 

Yvonne

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For your first trip there are tons of nice hikes. I usually do Long Pond or Island Lake for a base camp to checkout any new gear or break people in. From there you can hit up other lakes really easy and if you have any problems your not too far away from your car. Some people have troubles with the Altitude or gear probs so its a quick and easy hike thats still fun.

You can do Grand Daddy Lakes. Not epic but its fun and you can wander up there hitting up the lakes for a week easy. Parking can be an issue for the 4th of July, so get there early.

If your solo do you have a SPOT device incase you get in trouble or are delayed? I dont use a GPS either, my Phone does that very well with my Backcountry Navigator Pro app (Andriod) and a real map. Uintas is pretty easy, just keep in mind that the weather can get nasty really quick and its very easy to get lost up there as everything looks the same. I use my phone alot play music, audio books, etc and either a battery backup or small solar panel helps alot too keep you going.

For Bugs, you can use clothes with built in bug dope that works well. Head net is nice too. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0043EVILY/?tag=backcountrypo-20 For Example.

You prob will have fire restrictions so keep an eye out for wildfires in the area before you go as they seem to be getting worse every year.

As for predators two legged or four I carry bear spray for bears and a 40 cal for everything else.


Have fun up there = )



thanks for your input, I really appreciate it. And with getting closer to my trip, I'm getting more and more excited.
I will definitely avoid the 4th of July rush and will head to the area a few days after it and do a solo mid week trip.
 

pixie1339

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I wish I could go with you, but I can't get that much time off. I hope you have a fun trip, though! Make sure you're prepared for the mosquitos. They're pretty vicious in July. You'll want DEET, and lots of it. I tried the natural repellant we used in Salt Creek, and it was pretty much useless at Lake Blanche over the weekend. I'd also recommend long pants and a long sleeve shirt. Make sure to bring your head net with you. Also, I know that you tend to sleep cold, so make sure you bring layers and a warm sleeping bag. It gets pretty chilly up there at night. It would be wise to bring rain gear as well.
 

Mike

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Start at China meadows, hike over Smiths Fork pass then head east to Anderson Pass. You can take a side trip up Kings Peak there if you like. Then head to Gunsight Pass down through Henry's fork. You need to catch the trail that heads west back over to China Meadows trailhead or you will end up at Henry's Fork trailhead hitching a ride to your car. You can do the whole thing in reverse also.

This is trip takes 4 or 5 days depending on you pace but it takes you to the best high elevation scenery in the Uintahs
 

Yvonne

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I'm back from my first Uintas trip and it was so awesome.
Unfortunately I had to change my originally plans a lot of times due to a severe family emergency back in Germany and for quite a while I didn't know if I had to fly to my family immediately.
But at least a little relief and I could go.
It was a shorter trip than originally planned but still absolutely awesome.

I guess I'm completely hooked and need to go back and do another multi-day trip.
I started late the first day and just did an overnighter at Scudder Lake to get used to the area.
Unfortunately my Nikon D 7000 stopped working that night and I had awkward error messages and f stops between f 0 and f 90 :mad:
I immediately stopped using the camera and removed everything like batteries, memory cards. Anyone had something like this before?
It seems that my Tokina lens is the problem and it looks like there there is a lot of condensation in it. :thumbsdown:
Need help. What should I do?

So I took all my shots the next few days with my point and shoot camera.
I stayed at Amethyst Lake and Middle Basin maybe a quarter of a mile away from Ryder. A rain storm caught me before I got to Ryder and it seriously rained hard for 18 hours straight. At least I could read an entire book during that time. :)

And I caught my first fish ever!! Without anything. :)
Someone really needs to teach me how to fly fish, I really wished I had all the gear. The lakes were so awesome, Ryder had lot of fish, but McPheters was much better.

I'm definitely glad I finally did my first trip up there and I'm pretty sure a lot more trips will follow.
I couldn't reach my goal of 45+ hiking miles in 4 days due to the rain, but I still got a lot of miles and luckily my knee had only minor issues. It seems mountainous terrain works better for me at the moment than sandy desert trails.





one of the small ponds in the Middle Basin near camp


my 10 seconds of fame - the fish was so slick and was gone after that shot

 

Aldaron

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Jun 16, 2012
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Nice! Getting hooked on the Uintas is a good thing!

I need to learn how to fish, too. The way I learned to fish for bluegill and catfish back in Tennessee just doesn't work well on the trout out here.
 
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