High Uintas Wilderness
Located in northeastern Utah, the High Uintas Wilderness comprises the wild core of the massive Uinta Mountains. Characterized by the highest peaks in Utah, countless lakes, and a unique alpine ecosystem, it is among the nation's most outstanding wilderness areas. The High Uintas Wilderness is administered jointly by the Ashley and Wasatch-Cache National Forests. The Ashley National Forest manages over 276,000 (60%) of the 456,705 acres included in the wilderness and is designated the lead forest in the cooperative management of the area.
The Uinta Mountains were carved by glaciers from an immense uplift of Precambrian rock. Some of this rock is exposed as colorful quartzite and shales. The main crest of the Uinta Mountains runs west to east for more than 60 miles, rising over 6,000 feet above the Wyoming and Uinta Basins to the north and south. Massive secondary ridges extend north and south from the crest of the range, framing glacial basins and canyons far below. This rugged expanse of peaks and flat-top mountains is the largest alpine area in the Intermountain West and is the setting for Kings Peak, the highest peak in Utah. Hundreds of picturesque lakes, streams, and meadows are nestled within beautiful basins. Cold, clear rivers plunge from the basins into deep canyons that form the headwaters of Utah's major rivers.
The Uinta Mountains rise from 7,500 to 13,528 feet at the summit of Kings Peak, offering diverse habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna. Above treeline, tundra plant communities thrive in the harsh climate of the highest altitudes. Thick forests of Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, and lodgepole pine blanket the land below treeline. These forests are interrupted by park-like meadows and lush wetlands. In the lower elevations, aspen groves and countless mixed species offer contrast to the scene. The Uinta Mountains are home to: elk, mule deer, moose, mountain goats, coyotes, black bears, bighorn sheep, ptarmigan, river otter, several species of raptor, pine marten, and cougar, to name a few.
The High Uintas Wilderness may be accessed from 16 developed trailheads surrounding the wilderness near the gateway communities of Duchesne, Roosevelt, and Kamas, UT and Evanston and Mountain View, WY. An extensive network of trails (545 miles) leads visitors deep into the wilderness, through thick forests, past rushing streams and placid lakes, to sweeping alpine vistas below majestic peaks. The opportunities for exploration are endless.
With our area covering 3 major river drainages and well over 100 stocked and fishable lake, you can surely find a spot that is just perfect for that back country getaway you have always dreamed of. If you just aren’t sure contact us and we can suggest a few of our favorite spots.
To protect natural resources and the wilderness experience, the following are PROHIBITED within the High Uintas Wilderness:
Groups exceeding 14 persons and 15 head of stock. Groups exceeding this size must divide into separate parties and remain at least one mile apart.
Camping with 200 feet of any occupied campsite, designated trail, or water source.
Failing to properly dispose of all garbage (pack it out) and leaving human waste in an exposed or unsanitary manner.
Building a campfire or using a wood stove within 1/4 mile of a location closed to these activities (see trailhead bulletin).
Restraining a saddle or pack animal for longer than one hour within 200 feet of a water source or tying an animal directly to a tree for more than one hour. Animals must be moved sooner if damage to the tree, soil, or vegetation is occurring.
Shortcutting a switchback in a trail.
Damaging any natural feature. This includes, but is not limited to: falling or damaging trees, trenching, and vandalism.
Constructing any structure or improvement. This includes, but is not limited to: hitchrails, furniture, shelters, and rafts.
Violations are punishable by a maximum fee of $5,000 and/or six months imprisonment (Title 16 USC 551). Other restrictions may apply. For more information, contact the Ashley or Wasatch-Cache National Forests.
Please help us protect the High Uintas Wilderness... RESPECT RESTRICTIONS!