Lofty Lake and Others
June 2012 - 72 photos
This was our first hike up in the High Uintas for 2012. With me were my daughter Cheryl, along with Bill, Don, and Jack. We had been anxiously waiting for the snow to melt, so we could do a hike up there. We decided to hike up to Lofty Lake, named for it's lofty location, and it is listed as the highest lake in the Western Uinta's, sitting at 10,780 feet. We had been to Lofty Lake before, but this time we did it by a different trail, starting out from the Ruth Lake Trailhead, rather than from the Pass Lake Trailhead.
The Ruth Lake Trail is very nice and less than a mile to Ruth lake and along the way are pretty meadows, streams, and small lakes or ponds. From Ruth Lake we turned south up through Scout Pass, the way to Lofty Pass. From Ruth Lake to Lofty Lake is about a mile also, but it would be our roughest mile. It probably doesn't sound like much of a climb where we only had to climb 770 feet, but we could tell the air was thinner as we climbed close to 11,000, and that didn't help with the trail to Lofty Pass being very steep.
Seeing Lofty Lake in the small valley below after climbing up over the ridge is breath taking. Don said that wasn't all that was breath-taking, referring to the climb up there, I guess.
Lofty Lake, with Mount Marsell in back
While up in that lofty valley, we decided to walk over to the south side and look down at Kamas Lake, figuring it would be a great view from above and it was. We sat and ate our lunch high above Kamas Lake.
Kamas Lake, with Reid's Peak - Haystack Mountain and Notch Mountain way back
After lunch we went northwest heading for Cutthroat Lake 500 feet below us, down through Cutthroat Pass. It took awhile to scramble down the mountain side as there wasn't much of a trail, and we had to cross boulder strewn areas with no trail at all. We found some guys fishing at Cutthroat, but they said they weren't catching anything.
Next we headed for Jewel Lake, crossing through the forest with no trail. Many of the lakes in this region don't have trails, so it's great to have a map and compass, or GPS. We knew were it was though, from having hiked this area 4 times now.
Jewel Lake, with Lofty Peak in back
From Jewel Lake we climbed back up a little and found the unnamed lake I knew was there, deciding to call it Rocky Lake. It has lot's of big rocks all around it. Then a short distance farther on was Naomi Lake, and just below Naomi was Ruth Lake. We had gone full circle by this time, circling clear around Lofty Peak, coming back to the trail we started on.
There were a lot of people up in this area, and we found people camping at Cutthroat Lake, Jewel Lake, Ruth Lake, and Naomi Lake. This hike took us 5.6 miles, climbing 770 feet. Doesn't sound like much, but we were all quite tired at the finish, and glad we hadn't tried to take in more lakes. In the past we did visit more lakes when in this area.
CLICK for GPS map of our hike
To get to the Ruth Lake Trailhead, take SR 150 from Kamas Utah, or Evanston Wyoming, going towards Mirror Lake. A few miles north of Bald Mountain Pass, at mile marker 35, the trailhead is on the west side of the road. There are a couple of parking lots and a pit toilet. From Kamas, Utah take Highway 150 east for 35 miles, or from Evanston, Wyoming follow Highway 150 south for 43 miles watching for mile marker 35, and the Ruth Lake Trailhead sign.
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We have hiked to Lofty lake from two directions
So other hikes are related to each way we went
Lofty Lake, 2010
Ruth Lake Area, 2011
Beyond Ruth, 2010
More Uinta Hikes
My photos were taken with a small Canon Powershot, SX210, 14 Megapixel Camera which has Image Stabilazation and optical lens from wide angle to 14x zoom. Some of these photos were taken by Bill Joy with his Olympus E620 SLR and lens assortment.
These photos are set to lower resolution and compressed 10:1 for faster loading. You are welcome to look at or download any of the photos. If you use them on any other webpage, please give credit and refer back to me.
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