The Uinta Mountains are one of the few mountain ranges in North America that run east to west rather than north to south. Within the Uinta Mountains are about 2000 lakes, and some 900-1000 are full of trout. Along with the San Juans in Colorado, the Uintas have more contiguous area above timberline than any other area in the Continental United States. This is a beautiful area with many lakes, meadows, wildflowers, and some rugged peaks. Solitude is usually easy to come by once you leave the popular fishing holes behind.
Reids Peak is the premier peak in the Western Uinta Mountains. The summit isn't visited that often considering that the peak is near one of the most popular vacation spots in the state (Mirror Lake). It is a rugged and impressive peak, and is surrounded by many fishing lakes. Reids Peak is the "satellite" peak to Bald Mountain. Even though it is slightly lower than Bald Mountain, it is much more challenging to climb.
NE face of Reids Peak
The main access route to the peak is from the Bald Mountain Trailhead. This signed trailhead is located off Highway 150 29 miles east and north of Kamas or 49 miles south of Evanston. There is a sign that marks the trailhead.
Another access is from the Pass Lake Trailhead, which is located off Highway 150 32 miles north, and east of Kamas or 46 miles south of Evanston. There is a sign that marks the trailhead.
Bald Moutain (right) and Reids Peak (left)
All routes are for experienced scramblers. I have used two route to climb the peak, and both routes make the final climb from the Southeast Ridge. Other routes are available if you look for them.
The Southwest Ridge can be approached from the west and Notch Mountain Trail
This is the easiest route to the summit of Reids Peak. The trail follows the Notch Mountain Trail to where the trail curves around Bald Mountain. The pass between Bald Mountain can be accessed by cross-country routes anywhere from the curve to Notch Lake. The final portion of the route along the SE ridge is a fun scramble with several small cliff obstacles.
The Southeast Ridge can also be approached from the east and via Pass Lake
. This is the shortest route to Reids Peak, but it is slightly more difficult and rugged than the Notch Mountain Trail route. From Pass Lake, the route heads SW (no trail) to the base of the Bald/Reids Pass, at which point the route scrambles up the very steep slope to the pass. The route to the summit from the pass is the same as the route described above.
Reids Peak Routes
More details about the area can be found in the book Western Uinta Backcountry Guide, including many routes to the summit, and hiking trails to the many lakes, and fishing information. Just send me a PM if you want to purchase the book.
SP members can have the book for 1/2 price, and there is no shipping cost.
There is a $3 access fee for parking anywhere along Highway 150.
When To Climb
July through September is the normal hiking season. Highway 150 is not plowed in winter, so this would be a multi day trip unless you have access to a snowmobile.
Reids Peak and Bald Mountain from the east on a summers day
There are many campgrounds along Highway 150, but expect them to be crowded on summer weekends, especially during holidays. There are many excellent backcountry campsites around the lakes surrounding the peak.
Reids Peak from Notch Lake
Contact the ranger station in Kamas for current road and trail conditions. Their phone number is 801-783-4338.
WEATHER FORECAST FOR WESTERN UINTA MOUNTAINS
Here are some average highs and lows from the 12,139 foot elevation (3700 meters) in the Uintas (about the same altitude as the summit):