The Lofty Lakes Loop in the Uintas is a beautiful 4 mile loop that takes you past several high alpine lakes, a few cool overlooks, and is a relatively easy hike for most people.
To make this route even better, add on a side trek to Cuberant Lake! It is one of the most popular trails along the Mirror Lake Highway, however don’t let that stop you from hiking this loop at least once. This is one of the prettiest day hikes in the area! You can hike this loop in either direction, but counter-clockwise is a bit easier since the elevation gain is done near the beginning of the hike and it’s more gradual this way.
Use this map if coming from SLC.
Use this map if coming from Provo.
The road is paved the entire Mirror Lake Highway. There is a sign on the right side of the road, but the TH is on the left side of the road where’ll you want to park. There is one restroom there. The Mirror Lake Highway is only open during summer months.
Distance: 7.6 miles Loop. If you skip Cuberant Lake it would be 4 mile RT loop
Elevation gain: 1,461 ft (including Cuberant Lake)
Time: 4-6 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes, 10+
Fees/Permits? There is no permit, but there is a $6 fee (good for 3 days) for accessing the Mirror Lake Highway and trails. You can purchase the pass at the ranger station in Kamas, UT, or any of the self-serve stations along the highway. If you have an annual National Park Pass or annual American Fork Canyon Pass you can use either to park free.
The parking lot can get packed – you may need to park along the Mirror Lake Highway if it’s full.
There are two THs – one in the NW corner of the parking lot and one in the southern area. We hiked this route in a counter-clockwise direction, so we started from the NW corner TH. If you want to hike this in a clockwise direction start from the TH in the southern end.
Charlie loves to jump up on boulders and pose! The trail is slightly rocky, but very gradual.
The first lake you will pass on the right is Picturesque Lake. It’s pretty small but Charlie was happy to take a quick swim!
The next lake you will pass by on your right is Scout Lake, where the boyscout Camp Steiner is.
At a really pretty overlook at the small pass. Hard to believe I was just on Hayden Peak a week ago! Hayden Peak is the tallest peak in this photo just above and to the right of Charlie.
As you make your way over the small pass, you get a beautiful view of Lofty Lake.
Playing in the water at Lofty Lake! Wildflowers were still in full bloom!
Past Lofty Lake you will start to descend down a few switchbacks, and will have another awesome view, this time of Cutthroat Lake.
Stay left at a faint trail split, and you should be hiking directly south.
The trail gets steep for about 100 feet. Reids Peak is in perfect view!
Kamas Lake! This one would be a perfect, quick, overnight backpacking trip.
Just past Kamas Lake, you will see a trail split to the right for Cuberant Lake. If you want a shorter day hike, skip this lake. However, if you have time it’s a really pretty trail! Cuberant Lake is 1.5 miles past this trail split.
The trail gets steep in two sections.
Hike down a few small switchbacks, and past the small pond.
Unnamed pond with a few nice campsites for backpacking. Cuberant Lake is only another 5 minutes.
Chillin’ at Cuberant Lake. This would make for another quick, overnight for backpacking. You could do a day hike up to Mt. Marsell too!
Head back the same way until you reach the trail split, and this time head south. The trail will pass by a large meadow, and eventually come to another unnammed trail split. Stay left.
When you get close to the main parking lot you will finally see a trail sign. Stay left again to complete the Lofty Lake Loop.
Right before you get to the parking lot you will see the trail sign for if you were to hike this loop the opposite way.
This year the Uintas melted out much earlier in the year, so we decide to do the Lofty Lake Loop again but this time hit Lofty Peak.
Once we reached the saddle, we just followed the ridge north through the boulder field.
Charlie beats us to the summit marked by the weather station.
On Lofty Peak 11,158 ft
We completed the normal loop to get back to the car. Such a great day in the Uintas!
If you time it just right, you can hike this winter! The gate typically closes in October but winter got a late start in 2021 and the road was still open and free of snow near Thanksgiving. So crazy! I took advantage of that and went for a winter hike. We only made it to the saddle, but the views were amazing with all the snow!
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