One of my favorite places in Utah to spend hot summer days is two hours outside of Salt Lake City in the Uintah National Forest. Here we are able to escape the heat, get out of the smog, and commune with nature. Every year the crowds seem to get larger, but there are still plenty of places to escape and find ultimate seclusion. Well, we needed a family camping outing and what better way to get that than in the Uintahs on a family backpacking trip. Here we would find some respite from electronic devices, chores, and the mundane home life. We headed out on a family adventure.

We packed everything up Friday and headed up after I got home from the office. We drove up and started our journey a bit late, but that wasn’t going to keep us down. We started from the Crystal Lake Trailhead up by Washington Lake and Trial Lake along the Mirror Lake Scenic Highway. We hiked just past Crystal Lake and found a secluded camp area between the lake and trail to set up camp before dark.

Our campsite for a family of six included one Big Agnes 3 person tent, 3 ENO Hammocks, and 6 Osprey Packs.

Our campsite for a family of six included one Big Agnes 3 person tent, 3 ENO Hammocks, and 6 Osprey Packs.

We had a great spot just off the lake and near a small creek. It was a perfect little campsite for our family. Mom & two of the girls slept in the tent while the other three of us slept in the hammocks. We had a great clearing in the trees right above us that allowed for excellent stargazing opportunities. It was a lovely night, though the temps did drop down a little bit.

As I woke in the morning I walked down to the lake and enjoyed some amazing sunrise views. 

As I woke in the morning I walked down to the lake and enjoyed some amazing sunrise views.

After a backpacking breakfast, relaxing morning, walk around the meadow by the lake, and prepping for the day we took off to hike in to Long Lake. It was about 1.25 miles from our campsite in to Long Lake along a fairly mellow trail. There was one switchback climb up to the high point, but that was the extent of the difficulty. We arrived at Long Lake just before noon and found a great spot around the east side to set up a hammock, fish, make lunch, and hang out for a while. It was a perfect spot to spend some family time in the mountains.

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Hiking towards Long Lake with Mt Watson in the background.

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We found the perfect hammock spot to relax in with great views of Long Lake and the surrounding mountains.

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It wouldn’t have been a high alpine lake adventure without jumping in and taking a swim in Long Lake.

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Almost got Leslie to jump in, but after getting in to mid-thigh she opted against it and bailed on the idea.

We spent a few hours out at the lake. Unfortunately there were no fishing biting so we came up empty handed in that department, but we had a lot of fun out there. It is great to be able to come out and explore these beautiful places.

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A gorgeous area to hike and enjoy time as a family

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Hiking out through the meadow

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The view of Mt Watson over Crystal Lake is one worth taking in. Every moment out on the trail brings great views and excellent memories.

After hiking out and loading everything up in the car we headed home. Along the drive we had to stop and grab a few minutes at the Provo River. It was only going to be 10 minutes, but that 10 minutes turned into an hour as all of the kiddos wanted to get out and fish as well. It then turned into a full fledged fishing outing. My four-year-old ended up catching her first fish and she was super excited!

A family fishing outing on the Provo was a lot of fun as my children worked to learn to flyfish.

A family fishing outing on the Provo was a lot of fun as my children worked to learn to flyfish.

This was a great weekend spent up in the mountains. We had a lot of fun as a family and created some great memories that will last a long time.