Tuesday, August 11, 2015

1990 Backpacking Utah's High Uintas Wilderness

The Uinta Mountains were named for the Uintaat Indians, a branch of the Ute Tribe. They are part of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest established in 1906. "Wasatch" is an Indian word meaning "high mountain pass." Among the first white men in the area were Jim Bridger and Kit Carson.

The High Uintas Wilderness comprises 456,705 acres and is partially in the Ashley National Forest and partly in Wasatch-Cache National Forest. The mountains are unusual, being the most prominent east-west range in the contiguous United States. Elevations range from 8000 feet to the 13,528 foot tall King's Peak. There are over 500 lakes, 250 of which support fish, and over 400 miles of streams. No fewer than 18 trailheads allow access to the wilderness, most from the north and south slopes. We were in the Ashley NF section of the wilderness.

In the photo below, I'm on the trail into High Uintas Wilderness up Lake Fork Trail out of the trailhead at Moon Lake Campground where we camped the night before.

Looking back at Moon Lake from the Lake Fork Trail.

One evening while camped about 200 feet off of Lake Fork River Trail, just as light was fading, two deer, browsing the ground for their supper, approached within feet of our tents. We sat outside and noticed their approach but we remained silent. Finally aware of us, rather than bolt off, they simply made a semi-circle around our camp, browsing all the while, and then calmly continued browsing away from our camp, resuming the straight, direct line of travel they had approached on. Wow! Not something we see back home!

Wild flowers along the trail and magnificent scenery in the background display this gorgeous location.

High Uinta Trails by Mel Davis: Wasatch Publishers, Inc., Salt Lake City, UT; 132 pages.

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