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If there is one peak I would consider a must do in the Uinta Mountains, Bald Mountain would be it. This is an excellent family friendly hike to a very dramatic summit that offers perspective on the enormity of the Uinta Mountain Range. The Uinta Mountains have more contiguous area above timberline than any other area in the lower 48!
From its lofty summit, much of the high Uinta Wilderness comes in to view, as well as the lakes dotting the area near the Mirror Lake highway. In the far distance, even Mount Timpanogos and the back of the Wasatch Range are visible. The summit feels like a lofty perch.
The bad? Well, a trip to the summit might quite possibly ignite a passion for hiking in the Uinta's, and consume your weekends..
Like all mountains, this one is not recommended if thunderstorms are building or expected (quite common in the summer). The summit is very exposed. On my first trip up, we ran up after work with dark clouds threatening. By the time we summited, lighting was crashing so close we were waiting to be struck any second! In retrospect, very foolish. Don't make my mistake!
The trailhead is the Highline Trail trailhead/Hayden Pass off the Mirror Lake highway. This is at mile post 29.1, which is 29.1 miles from Kamas Utah on highway 150, or about 48 miles south of Evanston Wyoming on highway 150. The Mirror Lake highway is closed from late fall to about Memorial Day. The trail would likely be very snowy until late June in most years.
The trailhead has a pit toilet and a large parking area.
From the trailhead, follow the marked trail 1 minute to a junction. Go right here, on the signed Bald Mountain trail. It climbs steeply to the west, then eases a bit as some of the first big views become visible. A less steep section crosses to the north side of the mountain and offers incredible views before switch backing steeply up to the summit. The final section follows a bit of a narrow ridge on rock stairs to the incredible summit.
To the south, in the far distance, is Mount Timpanogos and the backside of the Wasatch Range to the west.
To the north and east is the cliff covered slope of Hayden Peak. More east is a shallow pass, Rocky Sea Pass, that allows access to the highest regions of the Uinta High Mountain Wilderness. Just before Rocky Sea Pass, tucked back mostly out of site, is Naturalist Basin.
12T 508118mE 4504249mN
N40° 41' 21" W110° 54' 14"
12T 508073mE 4504290mN
N40° 41' 22" W110° 54' 16"
12T 508186mE 4505347mN
N40° 41' 56" W110° 54' 11"