Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Teal Lake, Uinta Mountains- October 2015

Our weather held out for one more adventure in the Uintas this year. Me and my good friend Chris headed into the Uintas on Saturday morning. We arrived at the trail head a little after 8 AM and packed it up and headed in. The temps were crisp and the skies were clear. When we arrived at Ruth Lake, we set off for an off trail adventure to Teal Lake. I have a normal route in there, but this was going to be fun to see the parts of this basin I have not explored. We soon were at Naomi Lake and we pressed on after a couple of pictures. We saw Fir Lake, but did not go down to it as we wanted to get to camp at Teal Lake because daylight is short this time of the year. We passed Jewel Lake, and then moved through the woods route finding all the way to Teal Lake. We found a great camp spot and set up shop. We tried our hand at fishing but the wind was just too strong to cast, and both of us decided to get our fire wood and water situation sorted until the winds calmed down.
The winds subsided in the afternoon, so we moved out to the lake to fish. I got a nice Cutthroat to start things off with. Chris nailed a nice brookie and cutty as well. Chris got a huge hit and I wandered over to take a look. Wow! This was one of the largest fish I have seen on this side of the Uintas. It was a massive Tiger, and even the dogs were happy about this big guy Chris landed. I was not having any luck, so I tried a fly in my box that has never caught anything. First cast it got hit and what I landed was the biggest fish for me backpacking this season! It was a hog of a Tiger Trout and was a joy to get this guy on the line. After some mug shots with our fish and some more fun, dusk was setting in and we wanted to get camp situated before night fell. We had a nice fire and a fish dinner that would have cost nearly twenty dollars in a restaurant. I got one star trail in the meadow behind our camp and the Milky Way was pointing to the west as it has moved into its fall position. It was cool, but not unbearable cold like previous October trips at night. I soon was in my sleeping bag asleep resting up from an awesome day.

Morning came and I actually slept in. Coffee was made and breakfast had. We decided to loop out via Cutthroat Lake and Jewel Lake to try our hand at some more fishing. I did not have the same luck as the prior day, but Chris seemed to be getting them at Cutthroat Lake. We hiked out at a good pace, past Ruth Lake and on down to the car. This has been a great season out there! Full of adventures and new places and same old haunts. I am lucky to have been out there to experience this year and what the backpacking season had to offer in the Uintas. I will have a few more days hiking in the mountains before the winter party begins. Enjoy the slide show below. More adventures to come!

Willow Heights, Big Cottonwood Canyon- October 2015

I made a mid-week evening hike up to Willow Heights to catch the last of the fall colors. The aspens were still glowing with color as most of the range has moved past peak fall colors. The hike in was great, but warmer than I was expecting. At the lake, I enjoyed solitude and was able to just sit down for a bit and read a book while I was waiting for the light to be better in quality. Some very high and thin clouds came in making a wonderful time playing with the camera. Eventually I headed down in the evening and a nice hike out to the car it was. Enjoy the pics, more to come!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Bald Mountain Trail Lakes, Uinta Mountains- September 2015

Another nice weekend was on tap, and I was off once again for another solo adventure. I headed in from Bald Mountain Pass and made my way quickly down to Clegg Lake. After a few snaps, I moved on past Dean Lake, and tried my luck and finally finding Reid Lake. After traversing two meadows, I finally found it! What a beautiful place. But limited camping, and this late in the season there was no running water. So I decided on a spot between Dean and Notch that I had seen the last time I was out there. I got shop set up and gathered my fire wood and filled up my water, and then the sun started to set. I settled in for some dinner and a nice fire for the night. The weather was perfect, and the temps a lot warmer than the previous weekend. After shooting some shots and enjoying the evening, I turned in for some really nice sleep.

Morning came and with it some warmer temps than the day previous. I got up and made coffee, then ate breakfast. I decided to head over to Bench Lake as I had never been over there before. It was a nice walk in the woods and not long after I started I found myself standing at the lake. It is pretty back in there, and still very wild. This would be a great place to camp if you want solitude. I tried my hand at fishing, there were rises on the lake, but alas nothing even touched my flies. After climbing up to an overlook to shoot a shot of the lake, I decided to head up to Dean to try my hand at some Grayling action. I spent hours throwing everything at them, only to have one bite. I decided to try the hopper as a last resort, and first cast had a fat grayling on the line. Every time my hopper hit the surface, it got nailed to the point that after about 15 fish landed, my hopper looked like it went through the shredder. After some amazing fishing evening was setting in, and I went back to camp. I walked down to Notch Lake for some evening fishing, and landed several brookies which were feisty and fun to catch. The sun set and I made my way up to camp for another fantastic evening with tunes, some beverages, and a great fire. Midnight crept in and I turned in.

Dawn brought with it a slight breeze, but nothing out of control. I had a nice morning in camp with coffee and some breakfast. I broke camp and packed it up. I cleaned up this camp pretty good as there were wrappers everywhere and tinfoil and tin can lids left in the fire pit. I hauled it all out with me as to leave this area nice for the next folks who camp there. Afternoon was upon me and I decided to head for the car. The hike out was just beautiful, and with all the ground cover turning colors for fall, it got me thinking this might be my last time out in the Uintas this year. Arriving at the car, the trail head was pretty busy with all the peak baggers heading up Bald Mountain. It has been a great summer in the high terrain. This party is going to move to some fall colors then old man winter will hopefully show up to change this party from dirt dances to snow dances. Enjoy the pics and slideshow, more adventures to come!