Camping Near Washington Lake in the High Uintas, utah

One of my favorite things to do in summer is to take a weekend trip to the Uintas. I dragged my friend John out of the office and we headed over to the Uintas. The drive from Salt Lake City to the gate of the Uintas is pretty easygoing and only takes about an hour or so. Then, it’s beautiful forest roads, and elevation climbs as your car races along. Driving past beautiful turnouts of the rivers, and climbing steadily above 10,000 feet. It’s just beautiful!

I knew roughly where I wanted to camp, but I’ve never gone into the Uintas with the intention of staying at a proper campsite. They do have those, but I find them to be noisier and a little more crowded than I like. I prefer to disperse camp along the side of the road or down a long backroad. That was the case with my spot this time! We found a beautiful campsite tucked down a long driveway where it was just us for thousands of feet. It was so secluded and so beautiful!

We had our pick of a few campsites, so we picked one for our tents and another one for our food setup. If you can’t tell by now, this is just going to be a campsite blog. Yeah, I like doing these. These blogs are where you get to see my camp setup, my food setup, and most importantly, a beautiful picture of an awesome steak. Let’s roll some photos!

Our kitchen was nestled among trees – it offered some great coverage from any potential rain!
John tends to his boiling water. Steaks are on the grill!

So, I didn’t take any photos of our tent setup. Oops.

Let me paint you a picture instead. About 300 meters in front of my car, a small path leads down to a shady, flat, dirt expanse. Tall trees surround the encampment, with the lowest branches sitting around ten feet in height. From this encampment, walking towards the north yields a wide open field, with beautiful views of the Uinta Mountains in the distance, featuring Reids Peak and Bald Mountain. It was quite the view. Above us, stars shone bright, and the Milky Way was visible to the naked eye. Yeah, we’ve got some start photos incoming, but don’t peek ahead!!

This dinner was quite the spectacle. John picked up some steaks for us the day prior, and we grilled them the first night we were there. Unfortunately, I kinda toasted them a little too much and cooked them more thoroughly than I wanted. Rats.

Boiling water for tea and veggies!
The good thing about overcooked steaks: you can’t quite tell in photos!!

After dinner was over, we cleaned up and retreated back to our campsite where we had a lovely fire and an even better chat. While we were talking, I snapped some photos of the Milky Way, and these might be the best start photos I’ve ever taken! If you recall my star photos from my Jordan Lake backpacking trip, they’re very similar in comparison, but there’s something about these ones that make them a little more special to me. Both are stunning, and it’s hard to choose favorites!

The Milky Way shines bright in the night. It was visible to the bare eye!
Our campfire shone on the trees, emitting a red-orange glow. It was gorgeous!
A different perspective of the night sky. I love this shot!

I’m by no means an expert astrophotographer, and honestly, I’m more of an amateur when it comes to this style of photography. I don’t really know the best settings to take these photos, and most of the time, I just wing it! I’ll remind myself of the settings right before I take a trip to refresh myself, but it’s not something I’ve ever really wanted to pursue. However, every time I get photos like these, it always makes me want to get better and practice more and more. The nights are just so darn cold sometimes! I feel like I make an internal promise to myself every year to try and get out for more star photos. Maybe this year, I’ll actually try to do this!

John and I did several hikes in the Uintas, including Ruth Lake. You can also head over to my page on the High Uintas for all the hikes I’ve done in the area!

Happy camping and happy hiking!

Parting shot:

One more shot of camp.

Next blog: It’s getting near the time for debuting the King’s Peak trip – or, we could always take a quick break from summer and focus on winter. What do you prefer?


8 thoughts on “Camping Near Washington Lake in the High Uintas, utah

  1. Amazing star photos! And my vote is for Kings Peak next, for the purely selfish reason that I’m planning to climb it this summer and I’ve had trouble finding actual good trip reports for it. Finally stumbled across one good one, but it would be nice to have a more recent and thorough one too m

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Diana! This blog is a big one, I’m making sure to pack in all the necessary info! It’s a super fun backpacking trip and I’m excited to share my story about it! I’ll be nice and thorough, don’t you worry!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Holy moly! Those are some STUNNING photos of the Milky Way! While I’m by no means a camper, I appreciate how the experience can open you to the beauty of nature. One of these days, I’ll have to try to camp again and check out the stars for myself!

    Liked by 1 person

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