Hike of the week: Highline Trail to Packard Lake - Uinta Mountains

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Description: At the parking lot, check out the map on the bulletin board to become familiar with the area. The trail drops at the beginning, and at 1.25 miles you come to a sign letting you know that you are entering the High Uinta Wilderness. The trail levels near the sign and follows a large meadow. Leaving the meadow, the trail gently climbs and you come to the junction for Scudder Lake. Go right and follow the trail down to visit the lake, then head back to the Highline Trail. Continuing along the gentle trail, you come to the next large meadow. Across the meadow, you can see Hayden Peak. The trail begins to climb, crests, then drops to the trail junction for Packard Lake at 2.75 miles. Go right, taking the Wilder Lake Trail for the three lakes. The trail drops, and you arrive at the lowest point on the hike, Wilder Lake. The trail climbs away from the lake then drops into a long narrow meadow. At the meadow, the trail smooths out for Wyman Lake, then continues south for Packard Lake. As you near Packard Lake, a surprising view beckons through the trees. Leave the trail and stand near the cliff walls of the huge East Fork drainage. After taking in the view, head back to the trail for Packard Lake and do some relaxing in the wild Uintas.

Directions: Take the The Mirror Lake Highway, SR 150. From the summit, continue driving north, past Mirror Lake and The Butterfly Campground. Just past the campground, watch for the Highline Trail post on the right side of the highway.

Photo, text and graphic by Steve Baker (baker@sltrib.com)

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