Ruth Lake-Cutthroat Lake/Pass Variation

Page Type
Utah, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hike with cross-country sections and minor scrambl
Time Required:
Most of a day
Class 2

Route Quality: 2 Votes

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Ruth Lake-Cutthroat Lake/Pass Variation
Created On: Mar 8, 2005
Last Edited On: Sep 18, 2005


To reach the Ruth Lake Trailhead, drive Highway 150 35 miles north, and east of Kamas or 43 miles south of Evanston. There is a sign that marks the trailhead (west side of the Highway).

Route Description

This route is slightly more difficult than the Lofty Lake Loop Route, but it is still fairly easy.

The well-used Ruth Lake Trail heads west from the trailhead (10,120 feet) for one mile to Ruth Lake (10,350 feet). The trail is an easy hike and there are only a few short uphill sections. The entire trail is very beautiful and there are views of spectacular and rugged Hayden Peak to the east. Ruth Lake itself is on a very scenic setting. From Ruth Lake, follow the hiker-made trails west to Hayden Lake. From Hayden Lake, head north and then west along the base of the mountain from Hayden Lake. From Cutthroat Lake (10,400 feet), "Cutthroat Pass" to the south is visible. This is your objective. Scramble up to the pass (10,700 feet). There is some boulder-hopping and this is the toughest part of the climb, but it still isn't bad by Uintas standards. There are good views from here of Cutthroat Lake located below and north of the pass. There are also good views of the High Uintas Wilderness to the northeast. The trail continues heading east up a ridge from the pass and then turns south to reach Lofty Lake. Lofty Lake is a scenic mountain-top alpine lake sitting at timberline and at 10,810 feet elevation. Both Scout and Lofty Peaks are short boulder-hops from the lake. Both climbs are very worthwhile. There are excellent views of the surrounding lakes, basins, and the High Uintas Wilderness from the summits. From the Lofty Lake, you can either head NE to the summit of Lofty Peak or south to the summit of Scout Peak. There is no trail, but the routes are obvious and easy. Since the lake is near the summit of the mountain, both peaks are only about 300 feet above the lake. The total distance is about 6.75 miles round trip.

Essential Gear

A good pair of boots is needed.

Ruth Lake-Cutthroat Lake/Pass Variation

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