Long Lake |

Western Uintas

Hiking Long Lake - Western Uintas Hiking Long Lake
Western Uintas

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments

Overview

RATING: Easy / Moderate Hike
MAPS: Mirror Lake, UT; Erickson Basin, UT;

Tue

35 | 11

Wed

34 | 18

Thu

37 | 17

Fri

39 | 22

Sat

47 | 23

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SEASON: Summer, Fall
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
WATER: Several Filterable Lakes

Tue

35 | 11

Wed

34 | 18

Thu

37 | 17

Fri

39 | 22

Sat

47 | 23

View Full Weather Details

The hike to Long Lake along the Smith and Morehouse trail is a casual outing with only one short section of elevation gain before reaching the lake. For a more adventurous outing, those with good navigation skills can make the trip into a semi-loop, route finding to Weir Lake and Marjorie Lake from Long Lake. This will take you by an interesting and seldom seen waterfall and series of pools which for me was the highlight of the hike. Walking the short distance from Long Lake to Long Pond is also a worthwhile side trip as well; this pond is less visited than the main lake and a good fishing or camping destination.

This hike goes through typical Mirror Lake Highway scenery, with lush meadows, small ponds, and lots of lakes. The area appears to have been hit pretty hard with beetle kill, so expect to see a lot of dead trees on the hike. Cattle were being grazed at Long Lake in August 2016, not a site typically seen in the Uintas.

Many popular day hikes and overnights start from the Crystal Lake trailhead, and the trailhead can be crowded even mid-week. There was no parking available early in the morning on an August weekend in 2016. The good news is that there are many great destinations that can be reached from the trailhead, so crowds spread out and you can always hike to the next lake close by if your destination is too crowded for your taste.

Getting There

Note: The Mirror Lake highway that is used to access this hike is closed in the winter. The gate is typically open from Memorial Day until late October, but if planning this hike on the shoulder season, call the forest service to see if it is open. ((801) 466-6411)

The trailhead is the Crystal Lake Trailhead off the Mirror Lake highway. This is at milepost 25.5, which is 25.5 from Kamas Utah on highway 150 or about 52 miles south of Evanston Wyoming on Highway 150. The trail will likely be very snowy until late June in most years.

At milepost 25.5, turn left onto the paved road signed from Trial Lake and Crystal Lake Trailhead. Stay left a short distance from the highway, but take the second right 0.7 miles from the highway. Follow this 0.5 miles to its end at the Crystal Lake Trailhead.

The trailhead has a pit toilet and a large parking. There are also several campground in the area.

Route

To Long Lake (2 miles)
From the trailhead, walk along the Smith and Morehouse trail, keeping your eye out for Crystal Lake off to the left. This lake is very eye-catching and, because it is both very close to the trailhead, but a bit hidden, you may even be lucky enough to have it to yourself if you decide to stop there. After about a quarter miles you will come to a signed junction for the trail leading off to the right to Cliff Lake. Continue straight instead. You will soon encounter the small section of concentrated elevation gain, going up about 200 feet in a short distance.

After 1.7 miles from the trailhead, there is a junction that leads to Weir Lake and Marjorie Lake to the left. Continue straight on the trail marked for Smith and Morehouse and Island Lake. You will soon encounter Long Lake, with a wide meadow and ample logs to sit on while enjoying the view. Mt. Watson can be seen to the northeast and an unnamed summit on the ridge to Long Peak to the north.

To Long Pond (0.4 miles)
The walk to Long Pond will take hardly any time at all from Long Lake. Walk southwest along the trail on the south side of Long Lake, quickly encountering a bridge over the outlet of the lake. Instead of crossing the bridge, signed for Island Lake, continue along the rocky use trail to Long Pond, which you will encounter in just a few minutes.

To Weir Lake and Lake Marjorie (1.2 miles)
Head southwest from Long Pond, looking for use trails or just making your way through treefall and bush. I headed south from Long Pond, descending about 80 feet, then headed southwest until I encountered the stream connecting the pond to Weir Lake. Near the base of the low ridge at the intersection with the stream is a rock face with a small cascade. Scramble to the top to see a seldom visited series of pools.

From here you will likely be able to see Weir Lake. Continue cross country, following the stream and staying on the southwest side of the lake. At the north side of the lake is a signed trail junction for Duck Lake and the route to Marjorie Lake. Weir Lake might be a chance for some solitude and some fishing.

To continue the route, head to the dam at the south end of the lake. The trail climbs up a ridge at the end of the lake. Follow cairns at the top or, if you lose the trail, head cross country southeast until Marjorie comes into view. If you lost the trail, find it again on the south side of the lake and then head just up from the meadow back to the trail junction with Smith and Morehouse Trail. Turn right at this junction and follow the trail back to the trailhead (1.7 miles).


Maps

Route / 6.62 miles / Elevation Range 9,940 - 10,328 ft.
Printable Maps:
Trailhead

12T 503119mE 4503429mN

N40° 40' 54" W110° 57' 47"

Left - Long Lake

12T 502823mE 4503591mN

N40° 40' 60" W110° 57' 60"

Loop Junction

12T 501198mE 4503631mN

N40° 41' 01" W110° 59' 09"

Long Lake

12T 500785mE 4503580mN

N40° 40' 59" W110° 59' 27"

Left To Long Pond

12T 500327mE 4503273mN

N40° 40' 49" W110° 59' 46"

Long Pond

12T 500112mE 4503122mN

N40° 40' 44" W110° 59' 55"

Waterfall

12T 499929mE 4502907mN

N40° 40' 37" W111° 00' 03"

Trail

12T 500151mE 4502351mN

N40° 40' 19" W110° 59' 54"

Junction - Left

12T 500518mE 4502322mN

N40° 40' 18" W110° 59' 38"

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