Deer Creek Lakes sits high on Boulder Mountain at 10,000 ft, and several other nearby lakes are accessible as well including Green, Chriss, and Mooseman Lakes. All of these lakes provide for an excellent day hike, quick overnight backpacking trip, and plenty of fishing and sightseeing. The trail to get to Deer Lake is only 2.8 miles one way, and is fairly easy and flat. Over the 3 miles you only gain about 700 ft, making it a gently incline the whole way. Keep in mind that you will be hiking at a high elevation, and that can often slow hikers and dogs down. Take your time – the views from Deer Lakes is amazing and well worth the effort.
The best time of year to hike this trail is Summer and Fall. We hiked here the last weekend of November, and it was pretty cold but no snow had covered the trail yet, and we were able to find our way. I wouldn’t recommend hiking this in Winter because the trail will typically be covered and hard to find, and Spring would not be ideal as it would be really muddy and wet. Dogs are allowed off leash, but beware that horses use this trail as well. Kids will enjoy this trail, and would be a perfect intro to backpacking for them.
From the town of Torrey, UT drive South on HWY 12 for 26.2 miles and keep an eye out for the brown sign on the right (North) for Deer Creek Lakes. It’s just past “Point Lookout”. As you turn off HWY 12 it will now be a 2 minute drive up a dirt road that ends in a loop.
Here’s a driving map.
Distance: 5.2 miles RT
Elevation gain: 700 ft
Time: 2-3 hours, plus more for fishing
Dog friendly? Yes, off leash
Kid friendly? For older kids, yes
Sign off HWY 12.
The trailhead begins at the end of the dirt road. There’s plenty of parking, and it even looked like someone had camped right off to the side with a fire pit set up.
I love how they use fractions for their distance haha!
Starting out, you’ll immediately be hiking below very tall Aspen trees. I bet in Fall this trail would be gorgeous.
Eventually at 1.3 miles you’ll come to a trail split – stay left. The sign has fallen off, but it’s easy to tell where to go. Turning right will put you on the Great Western Trail, which connects over to the Behunin Trail and to Meeks Lake.
Dan and his pup, Mama, lead the way.
This trail basically is meadow, aspens, meadow, aspens.
I preferred hiking in the trees because the wind was extremely fast on this day, probably gusts up to 40 mph or so.
At 2 miles you’ll reach another, this time unsigned, trail split. Stay right to get to Deer Creek Lake. If you wanted to continue to Chriss Lake, you would go left.
Soon you’ll see this green metal post, and the lake it just around the corner.
At the far West end of Deer Creek Lake. There are nice campsites all around the lake, hidden in the trees. Only this spot of the lake wasn’t frozen!
Looking East out to the lake.
Wow, it was cold and windy – you can even see Charlie’s ears flapping up and my hair whipping around. We walked out a little on the lake, but I was a little nervous about cracking it.
Despite the weather, we decided we’d love to come back for an easy backpack trip next summer.
Panorama of Deer Creek Lake!
Next time we hike or camp here, we will take time to hike over to the other lakes for some fishing or hammocking!
PS – need something to listen to on your drive? Check out my first ever interview podcast on Dirt in Your Skirt, Episode 138!
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