Monday, January 7, 2013

Uinta Mountains, Utah - Snowshoe and Yurt

I spent the past weekend in the Uinta Mountains of northeast Utah enjoying clear skies and sunshine above the dreary valley inversion that has plagued Salt Lake City for the past several days.  Jim invited me to join a group of people that had reserved a Bear River Outdoor Recreation Alliance yurt on the north slope of the Uintas, about 30 miles from Evanston, WY.

Lily Lake Yurt

New friend Julie, Jim, and I headed to the trail head near Bear River Lodge Saturday morning and began the 3 mile snowshoe to the yurt.  We were joined later in the day by new friend Roger.  The first couple miles of the trail were closed to snowmobiles and the snow was so packed from other  snowshoers and cross country skiers that it was almost unnecessary to use snowshoes.  The last mile of the trail toward Lily Lake was open to snowmobiles and was very packed as well.

Jim and Julie on Sage Draw Trail

Julie on Sage Draw Trail

 Sage Draw Trail on the way to Lily Lake

Snowshoeing with Jake

It took less than two hours to reach the yurt.  The Lily Lake Yurt was well stocked with firewood and propane and the structure itself was clean and very well maintained.  The Lily Lake Yurt is one of five yurts in the Lily Lake Yurt System maintained by the Bear River Outdoor Recreation Alliance.  There was a wood stove to keep the yurt warm, a table and basic cooking equipment, and six bunk beds with sleeping pads.

Wood stove inside the yurt

Sleeping bunks

After Roger joined us, we spent time walking around Lily Lake and enjoying some good food and torturous card games.  Later that night we took advantage of the clear, dark skies for some fantastic star gazing.  It was a great weekend getaway with awesome new friends.

Roger was very excited to be at the yurt

View from Lily Lake

Jim loved converting snow to water