Hiking to Crystal Lake in the High Uintas Wilderness, Utah

The Beta

This isn’t so much of a hike as it is a scenic destination in the Uinta Mountains. Follow a level trail a quarter of a mile to this sprawling lake, and enjoy fishing, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, and splashing in a lake! There is a trail that navigates around the lake, which is about a mile total, and rises and falls gently. Views are plentiful, and this trail is generally used to find a little solitude at an otherwise relatively popular lake. Arrive early in the morning or late in the evening for the best fishing opportunities and minimal crowds.

Crystal Lake in the High Uintas. Pretty!

The hike

This hike, should you choose to do it, circles the lake and clocks in at a mile evenly. It’s a pretty walk around the lake, great for all skill levels. Bring your paddle board, canoe, or kayak in from the parking lot and see the lake from a different angle! You’ll arrive at the Crystal lake trailhead, and proceed to the trail on the left, clearly marked as “Crystal Lake”. Proceed down this short trail until you hit the lake, and choose to walk left or right!

A couple of anglers out on a canoe.

Need to Know

This trailhead fills up very fast on the weekends, especially on Friday and Saturday. Sundays are a little quieter than those two days, but arriving early is the best option to secure a spot. Otherwise, you’ll have to park nearly a mile away on the main road, and the walk is uphill – not a fun choice! If there’s no spots when you arrive at midday, no matter; come back in the evening between 4 and 6pm for some better opportunities. Spots may have freed up, thanks to returning backpackers and day hikers that use this same parking lot to access the Lakes Country region of the Uintas.

The coastline of Crystal Lake is one of the best around!

Justin’s Suggestion

Use this as a way to end your day if you plan on just doing Crystal Lake. If you are attempting some of the other lake trails that are accessed from this trailhead, try to arrive early in the day. I arrived at 6:40 on a Sunday and there was plenty of space! When I arrived back at my car at around noon, there were nearly no spots. But, this was better than both Friday and Saturday, when I checked this lot both times to find it completely full. Always remember bug spray and sunscreen in the Uintas!

This water is so clear. Make sure you see this lake if you can!

Take A Hike!

This is a good one to relax at, have a picnic, and enjoy one of the best lakes in the Uintas. If you’re looking for more of a challenging hike to some lakes, check out my blog on Clegg Lake and Notch Lake at the Bald Mountain trailhead. This is a fun hike that is less trafficked and features two lakes, and a third one if you please! You can find the rest of my High Uintas hikes and blogs right here.

Take care, have a good hike, and enjoy the lake!

Parting shot:

On to bigger and better lakes. The views here are quite spectacular!

Next blog: More Uintas? Might as well!

6 thoughts on “Hiking to Crystal Lake in the High Uintas Wilderness, Utah

    1. Yes, there was a canoe out there! People can and do kayak and paddle board on this lake. It isn’t as popular since it’s smaller, but you’ll be able to find a little bit of solitude if that’s what you’re looking for!

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