Monday, June 24, 2013

Fire Lake, Uinta Mountains- June 2013

I have wanted to visit Fire Lake for quite some time now. What a better weekend to do so than for the Summer Solstice. I packed it up Friday morning and headed out to the Uintas. The drive in was pleasant and the weather just perfect. I arrived at the Crystal Lake trail head, put on the boots, and headed in. The was sort of a repeat hike for the first leg as I stayed at Long Lake last weekend. I made a push to get to Long Lake, then headed for Island Lake. Just past Long Lake the trail heads off into the woods, and descends into a basin overlooking Duck Lake. I then climbed a set of moderate switch backs that wrap through the forest with shade and flora to enjoy. The last switchback had Aspens growing in it, not something I see to often in the Uintas. Couple of short switchbacks and I found myself standing at Island Lake. The plan was to camp @ Fire Lake, so I made my stay short.

I kind of had to figure out how to get to Fire Lake, there is not a well marked trail. I just looked at the map and kind of drew a line and hiked for it. After passing a few ponds, I found myself standing on the north end of Fire Lake. This is a really glaciated basin, with excellent views. After taking a stroll around the lake, I settled on a spot that had epic views. I fished for a bit, but just could not land one. So I figured it best if I set up shop. As I was finishing my tent, my friend Jason showed up. As we were finishing unpacking, a line of clouds off to the east crept in over the heart of the Uintas. The view from camp was like having a porch to watch the sunset. The clouds were amazing! The moon climbed out of the clouds on fire, and it was breath taking to say the least. Darkness fell, and after a few shots, it was time to turn in. The overnight temps were upper 30's, so I was glad to have my down bag with me. Morning brought out the coffee and breakfast, as the sun climbed out of some slight overcast which kept the temps chilly. The clouds moved out and we decided to hike to Island Lake. It was very windy, and nearly impossible to fish with a fly rod. So I just took a stroll around the lake to check the place out. There were a ton of campers at Island, so we knew our choice at Fire was a good one.

After just getting pounded by the wind, we headed back up to Fire to fish and relax. Evening came and dinner was on the agenda. I fished some more, got a few bites, but skunked again on the fly rod. The moon came up and the night set in. After enjoying the sound of silence, I was off to bed. I was up early because I had 5 miles up and down to get to the car. The hike out was mild, sunny, and beautiful. This was a great trip, and it was nice to be in the mountains again. Enjoy the slideshow below.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Long Lake, Uintas- June 2013

I finally made it out to the Uintas for the first time this year. I was on sort of a scouting mission to see how the snow melt was progressing, and to scope out some areas for trips I have coming up this season. I had originally planned on an over nighter here in the Wasatch, but I just could not resist the appeal of getting out in the Uintas again, and being in the place I love. I hit the Lakes Country trail and decided I had not been to Long Lake, so why not an over nighter there. The walk in was pleasant, and very little snow left, just some piles in the shady areas in the trees. The trail overall was pretty much dry, and was easy going. I made the pass in 30 minutes, and took a break to soak in the view of Mt Watson. Then I was off, and arrived at the junction to head to Long Lake. This was a much shorter hike than I anticipated, so I arrived at Long Lake, and did a loop around it to check for sites and location for some photography. After settling on a great place, I built shop and got some firewood gathered.

I fished for a bit, then grabbed the camera and hit the sunset. This was incredible, as the colors really shined. As it got dark, I made a bite to eat, and then set up the camera for a night shot. I jammed some tunes by the fire as I monitored my camera as it did its job. After some incredible star gazing, and some really nice quite time by the fire, I turned in. Morning woke me as I heard fish jumping. I got up, made coffee, and then headed lake side to get in a few hours of fishing. After a few near misses, I got one on, and it was small, and as I went to land it, it wiggled off, and so that was that. Still fun to be out practicing roll casting, and just being in the mountains without a care in the world. After a while I decided my stay was finished, and I packed it up to head out. The hike out was beautiful, and the weather was perfect. It was nice to be out in the Uintas once more, and now that my favorite playground is open season, you bet there are more adventures to come. Enjoy the pics, and remember to respect the wilderness when you visit. Cheers!
djnebula's Long Lake Uintas June 2013 album on Photobucket