Bourbon Lake sits at an elevation of 9,800 ft and offers a beautiful high alpine lake in the High Uintas Wilderness. This lake gets its name from the color of the lake – the deep amber color reflected against the surrounding cliffs creates an amazing reflection of yellow and golds.
Hiking to Bourbon Lake is great for the whole family, since it is only 1.5 miles to the lake with only 600 ft elevation gain. You can camp across the road from the trail head at Sulphur Campground, then follow this short trail for some beautiful views. Bring a hammock and enjoy the scenery!
From SLC, use this map. The TH is located right across from the Sulphur Campground off the Mirror Lake Highway (on the West side of the road). If you reach the turn off for Christmas Meadows, you went too far.
Distance: 3 miles RT
Elevation gain: 597 ft
Time: 1-2 hours
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? Yes
Fees/Permits? There is no permit, but there is a $6 fee along the Mirror Lake Highway. You can purchase your pass at a ranger station when you enter the Uintas (just pass Kamas, UT), or purchase a pass at one of the several Self-Serve stations located along the highway. You can also use a National Park Pass or annual American Fork Pass to get in free!
The trailhead is located on the West side of the road across from the Sulphur Campground. The parking lot can fit about 10 cars.
This trail is officially called The Whiskey Trail, which leads to Bourbon Lake.
Starting out you don’t have much shade. Work your way up a few switchbacks.
Every once in awhile the trail levels out.
Charlie cools off in Whiskey Creek.
I love how forested this trail feels the higher up you hike.
Everyone asks about mosquitos in the Uintas. Yes, they are bad! Always bring bug spray with you. The only spray I’ll use is Ben’s 100% Deet. You can find it at any outdoor store, Walmart, or even Amazon. I think Ben’s works the best, but just make sure you don’t rub your eyes after putting it on – trust me it stings! I also treat my clothes with Permetherin.
Almost there – a few more switchbacks to go.
Made it to the lake in 45 minutes at a casual hiking pace. It’s so pretty and Charlie had such a good time swimming.
Overall I thought this was a really easy but pretty trail. It would be great for kids, older adults, and dogs.
Check out my video!
Ruth Lake, Uintas
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