High Uinta Backpacking – the Guide to Wilderness

The High Uinta wilderness in Utah is one of my favorite places to visit. If you enjoy the outdoors, then the High Uinta wilderness will not disappoint as it has tons of options for things to do and places to go. It’s a heaven for fishing, hiking, backpacking and camping. Here’s my High Uinta backpacking guide.

high uinta backpacking lake

Where is High Uinta?

The High Uinta wilderness covers a lot of area in the North-Eastern area of Utah. It is about an hour drive east if you are coming from Salt Lake City. You will drive up through Park City and then Kamas taking the Mirror Lake byway into the Uinta Wilderness.Also, it can also be accessed from Colorado and Wyoming.

Best Time to go High Uinta Backpacking

Since the majority of the wilderness is located at such High elevation the byway does close for the winter, making access limited unless you have a snowmobile. Depending on the years snow conditions, the byway is usually closed from November through May or June. If you are planning to do back packing or hiking, I would recommend going sometime after the middle of July in order to avoid a lot of the snow the hangs around due to elevation.

high uinta backpacking view

What’s best about High Uinta Backpacking?

My favorite reasons for visiting is the backpacking, views, and back country fishing since there are thousands of lakes (literally thousands) with over half of them holding fish. There are also a lot of trails for horseback riding, ATV’s and even dirt bikes throughout the wilderness. There are also lots of lakes for kayaking, paddle boarding, and canoeing for those that enjoy getting out on the water.

If you are not someone who enjoys backpacking, there are a lot of areas where dispersed camping is allowed as well as many campgrounds offering some amenities and even places to park/hookup a trailer, but book in advance because they fill up quick.

As mentioned, High Uinta is for a paradise for outdoor lovers. If you are not too keen for camping, hiking, and the great outdoors,  then this is not the place for you. It does offer some incredible views even by car, but the nearest hotel is roughly a 30-40 minute drive.

high uinta backpacking camping

High Uinta Backpacking Fees

Since the Uinta wilderness is national forest, there are some access fees required. However, they are relatively cheap and certainly worth it! The fees are as follows as of November 2017:

3 day pass: $6.00

7 day pass: $12.00

Annual pass: $45.00


Read also: Utah and Arizona – Life Elevated


Utah and Arizona lindsie hiking

High Uinta Backpacking Gears

As you can see, it’s really cheap to visit High Uinta. I usually make several day trips there each year and try to camp up there a couple of times every year as well. It is wilderness, so you should make sure you are prepared with whatever materials you need for the activities you plan to do as well as gas, food, and water since there are no convenience stores in the wilderness.

The weather in the Uinta’s can change very quickly due to the elevation, I would certainly recommend bringing at least a jacket because you never know when a storm will roll in.

Have fun backpacking in High Uinta!

high uinta backpacking seith

About Seth

I am a 24 year old college student that loves being outdoors and trying new things. I enjoy fly fishing, hiking, camping, backpacking, snowboarding and photography. I am married to an amazing girl and puts up with all of my adventures.

I enjoy traveling because I love seeing new places and cultures. My trips are a mix of local and not so local when I have the opportunity (which I hope to have more of). I have been to two different countries and at least nine states with some of the being repeated visits such as the Hawaiian Islands. My wife and I are currently planning trips to Saint George Utah, Orlando Florida, North Carolina, and Hawaii that are all planned within the next year.

You can find me on Instagram @the_crazy_life and Facebook. I can also be reached via email at tclimage@gmail.com