LOFTY LAKE and More
August 2010 - 72 photos
On Thursday the 26th of August, 2010, Judy, Don, Bill, and myself, went hiking again in the Western Uinta Mountains. This was our 6th hike in the Uintas this summer. Most of these hikes were adjacent to each other, most with a mountain range as separation. I placed this story next to the Ruth Lake hikes as these lakes were just over the mountains south of Ruth Lake.
We started this hike at 9:20 AM, from the Pass Lake Trailhead along SR 150 north of Mirror Lake. This trailhead has three different trails starting out, with a number of lakes available to hikers. We hiked up the Scout Lake trail, passing Picturesque Lake on the way to Scout Lake, then climbed over a high ridge between Scout Peak and Lofty Peak to reach Lofty Lake. Lofty Lake is one of the highest lakes in the Uinta Mountains and sits in a small bowl shaped valley surrounded by three peaks. Scout Peak, Lofty Peak, and Mount Marsell. Although it was a steep climb to get up there, I think seeing that small lake was well worth it. The others all agreed. We ate our lunch there and then headed on down from the other side of the valley to see Kamas Lake, which was about half way down from our lofty height. On the way we could see to the north, down into the valley where we had hiked in July from Ruth Lake to 5 other lakes. From high above we could see Cut-throat Lake and Jewel Lake below us, two that we visited on the previous hike.
Our main goal was climbing to Lofty Lake, one of the highest lakes in the Uintas, at 10,780 feet.
We continued on south down to Kamas Lake, finding the trail quite steep, slipping and sliding our way down. and it was another nice lake to visit. From Kamas lake one gets a fantastic look at the two peaks, Bald Mountan and Reid's Peak. Below Kamas Lake we came to a fork in the trail, one going back to the Trail Head, the other over to Cuberant Lake. Hiking over to Cuberant Lake was going to be a bit more of a walk. We were all quite tired by this time, and some were not sure they wanted to go that far. After a discussion, Don decided to stay at the trail fork and the rest would go on. I calculated that it would take us about 2 hours, and Don was fine with that. Only trouble was, it turned out to be more than expected, with some very steep climbs both up and down. Took us 2 hours just to reach Cuberant Lake. This was the largest of the lakes we visited, but we weren't sure it was worth that much work when we were already tired. We did find a rather nice lake just below Cuberant Lake, but the map didn't name it. There were at least four more lakes in that area, but we were too tired to check them out. Later I discovered that there are 6 lakes, called the Cuberant Lakes. Maybe some day we will go back and hike to the Cuberant Lakes. Didn't take us as long going back, as most of it was downhill.
Kamas Lake from above. The mountains are Scout Peak, Bald Mountain, and Reid's Peak. (Murdock Mountain in background)
Don was about to give up on us by the time we reached him. We started down with him from the trail junction about 5 PM, and the trail dropped down into the beginning of the Weber Canyon. There were some large meadows there, and we found the trail was mostly up hill back to the car. Didn't expect that, but should have, seeing that the trail was in a canyon.
This was probably a harder hike than we expected. I think a hike around the loop of Picturesque Lake, Scout Lake, Lofty Lake, and Kamas Lake would be enough for most people. We got back to the car around 6 PM, spending 8˝ hours on the trail.
We walked 7˝ miles, climbing close to a thousand feet. Climbing up and down many times. Making it harder was the hot day and high altitude. We reached 10,913 feet and dropped as low as 9,962.
Looking across Cuberant Lake from the south. It's much bigger than it looks here, extending far to the left.
CLICK for GPS map of our trek
The trailhead for this hike is called the Pass Lake Trailhead, located just a little north of Pass Lake. Trails from this parking lot branch in several directions. The northern branch can be hiked as a loop (about 4 miles), passing Picturesque, Scout, Lofty, and Kamas lakes. The southernmost trail parallels the Weber River. The center trail goes to Cuberant Lake, about 3 miles. To get to this Trailhead, take SR 150 from Kamas Utah, or Evanston Wyoming, going towards Mirror Lake. A few miles north of Bald Mountain Pass, just past Pass Lake, at mile marker 32, the trailhead is on the left side of the road at a parking lot set back in behind the trees along SR 150. There is a pit toilet at the trailhead. From Kamas, Utah take Highway 150 north for 32.2 miles, or from Evanston, Wyoming follow Highway 150 south for 44.8 miles watching for mile marker 32, and the Pass Lake Trailhead sign.
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We also hiked to Lofty Lake in 2012 and Cuberant Lake in 2011
Lofty Lake, 2012
Curberant Lake, 2011
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. Also Judy took some of the photos with her Canon Digital Reble Xti SLR, and assortment of lenses.
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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