Backpacking to Amethyst Lake in the High Uinta Wilderness is a backpackers dream - a high alpine lake, lots of hiking and fishing, great campsites, not too many people, and cooler temperatures. Although the hike in is somewhat tough (especially if you are carrying a 30-40 lb pack), the reward and view is well worth the hard effort.
Red Castle Lakes is sure to be on everyone's Uintas "to-do" list, especially if you are a backpacker. Not only does the Red Castle area offer four high alpine lakes to chose from, pristine meadows, and great backcountry camping, it also offers a stark contrast of red peaks and a ridgeline to clear blue water that make for great photography. The only thing you won't find at Red Castle Lakes? Solitude.
The Yellow Pine Trail is one of the first trailheads you will pass after entering the Mirror Lake Highway, coming from Kamas, UT. The trail leads to three lakes - lower & upper Yellow Pine Lakes, as well as Castle Lake. You can also day hike to Duke & Castle Peak, both over 10,000 ft. This is a great early-season backpacking route when the higher Uintas is covered in snow. The trail is mostly well shaded and offers plenty of water along the way for your pup to drink from or to filter from. It is slightly steep and rocky in sections, so this trail took longer to reach the lakes than anticipated. The best time to hike here is late June though October, or when the first snow flies.
Teal Lake sits at an elevation of 10,400 ft, and is accessed via the popular Ruth Lake Trailhead. You will follow this trail for the first mile, and then after that there is no trail. You should be comfortable with a little route finding, and hiking off trail. The nice thing is that Teal Lake is a mere 2.2 miles, so you really only have to hike off trail for 1.2 miles. You'll pass a few unnamed ponds, Jewel & Naomi Lakes, then reach Teal Lake. There are several nice campsites at Teal Lake, and fishing is plentiful.
Gilbert Lake is located in the High Uintas Wilderness on the East end of the range, with Gilbert Peak (13,442 ft) being one of Utah's "13ers" (a peak above 13,000 ft). It is the 3rd highest peak in the state, and the second highest county high point, and can be access by several drainages, with Henry's Fork being the most popular, however we accessed it from Gilbert Lake. The trail to Gilbert Lake follows the West Beaver Creek trail for 9.2 miles before reaching the basin which has four lakes total, great campsites, lots of wildlife, and of course, fairly "easy" access to the peak.
Backpacking to Round, Sand, and Fish Lakes are part of the upper Weber River drainage on the Western end of the Uinta Mountains. The trail steeply follows the Dry Fork stream and canyon, as it makes it way to the three lakes. Camping and fishing are plentiful here. Round Lake is actually home to three species of fish (somewhat unheard of in the Uintas, as there are typically only two species in the lakes). There are Grayling, Brook, and Cutthroat Trout. Further ahead is Fish Lake, which can vary in depth by 19 feet, depending on the snow year and dam levels. Plenty of day hiking options are available too, as most day hikers try to reach the ridge for better views. This route is kid and dog friendly!
Allsop Lake sits on the Northern slope of the High Uintas Wilderness at an elevation of 10,600 ft. It's 9 miles to the lake, so it makes for a perfect 1 or 2-night backpacking trip. The trail is fairly mellow, only gaining 1,600 ft and has one switchback. Allsop Lake is full of brook and tiger trout, and there are a few day hiking options from the lake as well including Cathedral Peak, Allsop Peak, and Yard Peak. This trail is dog friendly, however be aware that free-range livestock graze along the entire route. Plenty of tent and hammock sites line the lake for a perfect campsite. Keep in mind that the Uintas have regular afternoon thunderstorms, so be prepared for any kind of weather.
Dead Horse Lake is in the High Uintas Wilderness, and offers an 11 mile hike through large, open meadows, stunning vistas, and of course, leads you to a turquoise lake. This lake offers a great spot for fishing and day hiking. People hiking the Uinta Highline Trail also pass right by Dead Horse Lake. It's a dog friendly trail, though you'll want to give the sheep herds passing by in the meadows plenty of space. Bring your hammock or tent - there are several nice campsites around the lake and plenty of trees for shade. Be sure to check fire restrictions before heading out.
Eccentric Benchmark (12,276 ft) is the highest point for both Uintah & Daggett Counties in Utah, making it a popular summit for peak baggers. It's a high, rounded mountain in the Far East Uintas. What it lacks in views from the summit, makes up along the cross country trek with views as far as King's Peak to the West, and the Flaming Gorge to the Northeast.
The Shingle Creek Trail in the High Uintas is a popular trail for an "early season" trail for hikers and backpackers to follow when the higher elevations haven't thawed out from winter. I have driven past this trail so many times, yet had never done it - until now! I decided to head up for one night with two friends and our destination was South Erickson Lake. East Shingle Creek Lake is more popular, but a little lower in elevation, and seemed to have more mosquitos so we wanted to keep going.