Monday, September 24, 2012

Uinta Mountains, Utah - Amethyst Basin - Backpacking

This past weekend I headed up to the Uinta Mountains in northeastern Utah for a quick overnight bakpacking trip with Katy, John, Keith, and Melissa (and Stoli and Tonic!).  We decided to hike in Amethyst Basin because it's just a two hour drive from Salt Lake City to the trailhead at Christmas Meadows and we only had the two day weekend.  I did the hike to Amethyst Lake several years ago and enjoyed it very much so I was excited to spend a little more time hiking in the area and spending the night camping in the cool autumn air.

At the trailhead with John, Katy, Melissa, and Keith

We arrived at the trailhead early Saturday morning after a beautiful drive along the Mirror Lake Highway.  The aspen trees were brilliant gold and contrasted against the green pine trees and random patches of red and orange foliage.

Starting the hike to Amethyst Lake with John

Brilliant aspen foliage

As we made our way into Amethyst Basin we passed several waterfalls and walked through alpine meadows.  The scenery, foliage, and cool air were definite reminders that autumn has arrived in Utah.

Waterfall along the way to Amethyst Lake

Keith, Melissa, Stoli, and Tonic

 Keith, Melissa, Stoli, and Tonic in Amethyst Basin

After hiking for several miles we reached our destination and camping spot for the night - Ostler Lake.  This hike seemed a lot longer and a lot more difficult than I remember, probably because of the heavy backpack.  We found a great camping spot not too far from Ostler Lake and spent the evening enjoying good food, drinks, a nice campfire, and even a little fishing (not me, of course!).  The fish weren't biting, but Katy and John still had a great time.

Keith crossing a small stream

Ostler Lake

 Uinta Beer in the Uinta Mountains

John scaring all the fish away

Ostler Lake

Katy catching all the fish

On Sunday morning we cleaned up camp, packed up, and headed up to Amethyst Lake.  It was only about a mile away from where we camped and the scenery was spectacular.  We spent some time at the lake before heading back down the trail to finish the trip.


Along the trail to Amethyst Lake

John and Katy

 Amethyst Lake

Amethyst Lake

Along the trail to Amethyst Lake

John at Amethyst Lake

 Ostler Peak