High Uintas Wilderness
Cutthroat Lake, Hayden Fork Drainage
The High Uinta Mountains of northeastern Utah are unique in many ways: first they are the most precipitous range in Utah and secondly they are the only major range of mountains in the lower 48 states to have an east-west orientation. King's Peak, Utahs tallest point of land standing at 13,528 ft, is difficult to distinguish from its sister peaks, all of which tower above 12,000 feet. This is a country dotted with high alpine lakes in large basins surrounded by steep rocky slopes, vast green meadows and tall snow-capped peaks. Four of Utahs major river systems originate in the snow fields of the Uintas and they include the Provo, Weber, Duchesne and the Bear. There are over 1,000 natural lakes and ponds in the headwater regions of these mountains with more than half of them that support populations of game fish.
A Land to be Respected
Headwaters of the Bear River
Any well planned trip into the Uintas can produce a well enjoyed outing, but as with many high altitude locations, it can also prove hazardous or even deadly to those that are unprepared. Those unfamiliar with a given area should take along a topographical map, compass and/or GPS unit to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. As most of the lakes lie in remote basins, it is therefore recommended to make adequate preparations for the duration of your stay with a good deal of attention being paid to the weather conditions that prevail here and which can change from moment to moment. Warm clothing and adequate rain gear should be carried at all times, as severe storms and even snow showers are common in all seasons of the year at these high elevations. Watching the signs of changing weather is critical for your own protection and safety of those in your company, particularly if you are planning on summiting one or more of the many peaks. In recent years, lightning has proven to be the most costly form of weather related death in the Uinta Mountains.
Leave No Trace
Hayden Peak Reflection
As the years progress, it is a known fact that there is a rise in the number of those who enjoy hiking, fishing and camping in the Uinta Mountains. It is therefore important for users who love their surroundings, to adapt fundamental wilderness practices and apply the 'Leave No Trace' concept where ever they may be. Those entering the Uintas high country should minimize their impact and leave these mountains the way they would like to find them when they return. A listing of 'Leave No Trace' guidelines can be obtained at any U.S. Forest Service office or Ranger Station.
Please visit my webpage and click on the link to the High Uintas to learn more about this amazing mountain range and all it has to offer.