Tom’s Experience thru hiking the Uinta Highline Trail:
Today was the third day of our adventure; read about day 1 or day 2. Today we woke up a little cold and there was still hail on the ground from the previous day, but most of our stuff seemed dried out; other than our shoes, which were frozen.
We got another early start and really tried to go quickly today since we knew we would be making it to the car in the evening. Red Knob wasn’t very difficult to climb but going down was very steep. This was another pass I was very happy we hit from the east side heading west.
The valley between Red Knob and Dead Horse pass is also very pretty, we even saw a herd of maybe 10 deer. There were plenty of streams and the ground was still covered in hail, even though the sun was starting to shine.
We made it to Dead Horse Pass–that is one tough pass. It is very steep, and half way up we saw the remains of the dead horse bolted into the rock. It over looks dead horse lake but you hike up some steep cliffs on loose rocks making tight switchbacks.
The trail was covered in hail and I was a little nervous with my pack on that I might slip and get hurt. Thankfully, we made it to the top and back down into the valley without any problems. From there, it was a very long trek to the final pass, Rocky Sea. It started raining and hailing on us, but again we just put on our rain gear and trudged along. We decided to leave the Highline Trail and take a detour towards Jack and Jill Lakes. It looked slightly longer on the map but we were hoping we wouldn’t loose as much elevation going this way. We never actually saw the turn off for the Highline Trail and just ended up on the trail towards Jack and Jill. I was glad we had decided to go that way, otherwise we would have been about a mile off course. We passed maybe a dozen little lakes and finally made it to Rocky Sea Pass. Rocky Sea was also very steep but not nearly as difficult as Dead Horse. I think Dead Horse was probably the most difficult part of the trail for me. From Rocky Sea Pass it was a fairly standard hike back to the car. It was all through the trees and rained pretty hard on us.
We passed numerous people as we neared the trailhead. When we finally reached the car we had been hiking that day for 12 hours. It was a tough three-day trip but we were excited to have finished it and ready to get home.
Trail Info: We started this adventure at the Whiterocks Trailhead and ended at the Uinta Highline Trailhead near Mirror Lake moving east to west. It took us about 4 hours to get from our parked car at the Uinta Highline Trailhead to the Whiterocks Trailhead so transportation from one side to the other can be rather difficult if you are doing the hike straight through. The trail passes numerous lakes and streams so water is pretty easy to get to as long as you have a way to purify it. The trail rarely drops below 10,000 feet so the altitude may be an issue for some. I think our adventure was about 68 miles from trailhead to trailhead. No permits are needed for hiking or camping in the back country but we did need to purchase a parking pass for the car we left parked at the Highline Trailhead. Dogs are allowed in the High Uinta Wilderness.
Whiterocks Trailhead = 40.724051,-110.052771
Highline Trailhead = 40.722854,-110.863853
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