This weekend my wife and I wanted to celebrate our countries independence in a great way. So we left the kiddos with grandma and took off from the family party to hit a hard loop in the Uintahs. We headed out Friday afternoon to start from Mirror Lake. We started a little late so we weren’t on the trail until around 8pm. We cranked out as much as we could into the dark and then finally decided around 10:30pm that we needed to set up camp and get some rest. We packed light, but did bring a tent due to the unexpected weather of the Uintah Mountains.
Along the way that night we did see a couple deer and a moose at disk down in a meadow. Other than that there wasn’t a lot of wildlife unfortunately. Hiking along the section of the Highline Trail certainly increased the interest in both Leslie and I to complete the Uintah Highline Trail from one side to the other.
The morning of July 5th we broke camp early after a rainy night and thankfully had descent morning weather to push on with. We hit the trail early, refilled our water, ate some breakfast on the go and pushed on to get the remaining 24 miles done. By 9 am we had broken off of the Highline Trail after admiring the gnarly climb up and over Rocky Sea Pass. We then pushed down past Four Lakes Basin to the river the came out of Rainbow Lake.
At Rainbow Lake we dropped our packs for a few minutes and I fished Fish Creek for 20 minutes or so. I pulled out a few small trout and had some fun. After spending a short time there we packed back up and headed out down to Brinton Meadows.
There we hung out packs from a tree and headed out lightly to run down to Granddaddy Lake and back. The run was gorgeous with crossing a creek a few times, getting up to a vast vista and seeing two separate lakes on some great single track. Grandaddy is a cool lake, but I really loved Betsy Lake. There we were tempted to jump in and swim to the island, but the temps were just a little cool to justify it. The mosquitoes were really picking up at this point to the point of annoyance.
Once returning to Brinton Meadows we loaded back up and headed north. The climb up past Palisade and Pine Island was gorgeous. It is amazing terrain and views. We then descended down toward Gov Dern Lake along some great single track. The mosquitoes really picked up in the early afternoon so we decided to rest for an hour. We pulled out the tent and set it up in the meadow there and rested and napped for about an hour. After this respite I fished the creek for a minute and pulled out a few trout and got Les to get one as well.
Leaving the meadow we pushed up a climb past Pinto and then took the aggressive descent down into East Fork canyon. At this point it started to feel like we had been out for a long time. The time on feet was starting to take notice. We got down to the bridge that crosses the Duchesne River. There I again caught some more trout out of the creek. This river was gorgeous! I would love to get back in here again.
The climb up the last 4-5 miles was gorgeous hiking along the Duchesne. It was great to get close to the end, but it seemed to take its time on every turn and climb. We both kept wondering when we would get out. We finally exited the canyon and up to Mirror Lake after pushing hard. We reached the parking lot just before 9pm Saturday night.
It was great to be out on an activity that equally matched my talents with my wife’s. If we ran this she would have left me in the dust, but put a pack on our backs and power hike through and we are pretty equal. I love getting out on adventures with her. These times are far and few between, but thankfully we had a grandma that was willing to take the little ones and let us get out. I love my wife and it is great to be able to enjoy God’s great creations together.
Our route consisted of starting at Mirror Lake and then heading north towards the Highline trail. Once on the Highline Trail we followed it until the turnoff to Rocky Sea Pass. At that point we turned to the south past Four Lakes Basin towards Rainbow Lake. We pushed on past the connector trail down to Brinton Meadows. At the fork there we dropped our packs and ran down to Grandaddy Lake and then back. We then headed northwest past Palisade Lake and to Governor Dern Lake. There we veered west to the canyon of the East Fork of the Duchesne down southwest to the confluence with the Duchesne. At the confluence we crossed the bridge and turned back north along the Duchesne back to Mirror Lake. A total of 30 miles over a span of about 26 hours which included sleeping time.
Please share with me what adventures you have done with a significant other? How are you able to get out together and explore?