Camping In The High Uintas
A Photo Story
©1997 Glen W. Probst
To hear the story, click on the "Listen" button.
(This page requires RealPlayer to play audio. Click on the "Download RealPlayer" button at the bottom of this page to get it.)
One of nature's most beautiful areas is located in the Uinta Mountains of northeastern Utah. This range of mountains is the only one that runs east and west in the continental United States. The range is about 150 miles long and 50 miles wide. It contains hundreds of alpine lakes that were formed by glaciers as the ice melted many years ago. The many high-altitude lakes are clear, cold, and teeming with trout. There is also much wildlife, such as black bears, cougars, coyotes, foxes, deer, elk, moose, and mountain sheep. There are many rocky peaks that rise above 11,000 feet elevation.
The highest peak in the Uintas is Kings Peak at an elevation of 13,528 feet above sea level. Kings Peak is also the highest point in the state of Utah. Since most of the Uinta mountains has been declared a "wilderness area," the only way a person can enter them is by foot or horseback. Some parts of the Uintas are so remote that few, if any, people have ever been there.
I have camped dozens of times in the Uintas. Probably my most memorable camping trip was one I took as a Scoutmaster with a group of Scouts. We entered on the south slope in the state of Utah and hiked with backpacks north over the divide and down the north slope into the state of Wyoming. The trek was about 60 miles and lasted eight days. We camped at beautiful lakes with names such as Swasey, Spider, Five Point, Tungsten, and Red Castle. We caught trout in each lake we fished. The fish were delicious cooked over the campfire for breakfast.
Climbing to the top of Kings Peak on the fourth day out was the highlight of the trip. We had camped five miles from the base of the huge mountain the night before climbing it. Climbing it took all day. The weather was beautiful at the base, but by the time we got to the 12,000 foot elevation level it was raining, foggy, and quite cold. The last fifteen hundred feet to the top were difficult. Once on top we could see for hundreds of miles in every direction. As we descended the peak, we could feel it getting warmer. We were all happy to finally be back at the lower elevation.
The following day we hiked up over the divide and down onto the North Slope of the Uintas. Here we camped two nights at a beautiful lake named Red Castle. Near the lake are large ledges and cliffs that rise straight up for many hundreds of feet. After a day of resting at Red Castle, we made our final trek out to the trail head towards Wyoming about fourteen miles away. It took all day and all of our energy to walk that long distance on our last day. By the time we reached our pickup point we were all exhausted but happy because of a successful trip.
|Here are some links that will give you more information on the High Uintas.|
| ELC Brochure & Application | Student Corner | Teacher Corner | Related Links | Upcoming Events | What's New |