Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Uintas trips

While there's really no substitute for the Trails Illustrated map of the High Uintas Wilderness (except maybe the quads by the USGS, but I prefer the NatGeo one for a lot of reasons) here's a simplified map that at least shows the roads and trailheads which is useful for high level planning.  It's totally inadequate for detailed level planning or for use in the field, but that's not its purpose, and that's OK.


Since I have come up with the concept of smaller backpacking trips; heading into the area, spending a few days seeing some sights that are within relatively easy reach of a single trailhead, then coming back, driving to a new trailhead and doing it again, I've decided to itinerary-ize some possible trips in the High Uintas.  This will keep me busy for years!  To say nothing of the Wasatch, the Henrys or the La Sals.  To say nothing of states outside of Utah!  None of these have been done by me to my satisfaction, so they are all potentially still on the table.  The ones that I have penciled in for doing this coming summer (in just about four months now!) are in bold.

  • From Bald Mountain campsite: 
    • Bald Mountain summit, then hike to Notch Mountain.  Potentially to loop around back to the campsite; probably a long single day.
  • From Hell Hole TH (my own name; it appears to be unlabeled):
    • Hell Hole basin and Hell Hole Lake.  Climb A-1 and/or Kletting Peaks (did this last year, but didn't get the peaks.)
  • From Christmas Meadows TH:
    • Middle Basin (potential summits include Hayden, North Hayden, Agassiz, Spread Eagle, Ostler.  Potential to cross ridge into Naturalist Basin, although there's no good way back to the car if I do this.)
    • Amethyst Basin (potential summits include Ostler, Lamotte)
  • From East Fork Bear River TH:
    • Allsop Basin
    • Priord Basin (the can be combined into a loop via the pass between Yard Peak and North Yard Peak.  Potential peaks to summit or at least clamber on include Yard Peak, Priord Peak, Cathedral Peak, and Mount Beulah.  Maybe Lamotte from the east.)
  • From Highline TH:
    • Naturalist Basin (potential peaks include Agassiz and Spread Eagle Peaks) (did this last year too, but didn't see everything I wanted to, and made no attempts on any peak or even on the ridge between the two peaks.)
    • Rock Creek Basin (potential peaks abound.  This could also be continued further on, although that starts to defeat the purpose of moving the car from trailhead to trailhead if I go beyond Rock Creek.  That said; I'd like to get up to Dead Horse pass and at least look beyond.
    • Four Lakes Basin
  • From Grandview TH:
    • Grandaddy Basin, including East and West Grandaddy Mtns
  • From Rock Creek TH:
    • Grandaddy Basin
    • Rock Creek Basin
    • Ottoson Basin
    • Squaw Basin
    • Four Lakes Basin
    • Brown Duck Basin (all of these can also be reached from the Highline TH.  Most of these destinations are fairly remote and it's a longish hike to get there from either trailhead.)
  • From East Fork Blacks Fork TH:
    • Wasatch/Tokewanna area - can be looped with some of the other destinations.
    • Lovenia/Red Knob Pass
    • Squaw Pass
    • Red Castle Basin
  • From China Meadows TH:
    • Red Castle Basin
    • Henry's Fork Basin
  • From Henry's Fork TH:
    • Henry's Fork Basin (including King's Peak, and various other high 13ers)
    • Painter Basin
  • From Uintah Canyon TH:
    • Krebs Basin =» Atwood Basin
  • From Hoop Lake TH:
    • The Burro Peaks area
  • From Hacking No. 1 Lake
    • Marsh Peak, Leidy Peak and Untermann Mtns.
Obviously, some of those trip destinations overlap.  If I go into Rock Creek Basin from the Highline Trail coming from directly west, I'll certainly feel less motivated to get to the same destination from the Rock Creek Trailhead far to the south.  If I take East Fork Blacks Fork TH to the Red Castle area, will I go back from China Meadows?  Most likely not.  In fact, most likely I don't have any reason at all to use the China Meadows TH, because every destination I can reach from there, I can do better coming from either East Fork Blacks Fork or Henry's Fork.

That said; I dunno.  I might spend more time in the Uintas than even I imagine right now.  I'd really like to see more of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado than I would going back over and over to the Uintas, but as I've said many times; the Uintas have a lot of convenient features for me, and I do really like them.  They are, in a way, my mountain range.

I've attached some images that I grabbed from Summit Post, for a change of pace, these are of the Grandaddy area.

Agassiz as seen from the Grandaddy Basin

Cliffs of East Grandaddy Mtn

Climbing East Grandaddy

Grandaddy Lake from the Top

Murdoch and Bald Mountain from the Grandaddy area (I saw both from very different angles on the Highline route.)

West Grandaddy

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