Crystal Lake and Watson Lake Trail

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
5.1 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
128 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The Crystal Lake and Watson Lake Trail is a gorgeous hike in the western Uintas. This trail is moderately challenging with a steady climb up to a series of exceptional alpine lakes. Along this trail, you will not only visit Crystal Lake and Watson Lake but Cliff Lake, Petite Lake, Ponds Lake, and Linear Lake as well.

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Route Description for Crystal Lake and Watson Lake Trail

The Crystal Lake and Watson Lake Trail is a fantastic hike east of Park City, Utah. In the early summer, this trail can be quite buggy. If you are hiking in late June or early July, be sure to layer on the bug spray and bring some extra for the trail. Wearing light clothing with long sleeves and long pants is also a great way to combat the bugs. Mosquitos aside, this trail is stunning. The series of alpine lakes surrounded by lush forest radiates natural beauty. When hiking, be sure to keep your eyes out for wildlife such as eagles and bighorn sheep, who are often seen in the area.

Starting at the Crystal Lake Trailhead, follow Lakes Country Trail 216 west to a divide. At this divide, you can do a short out and back to Ponds Lake via the trail on your right before continuing west. Take the trail on your right to head north up to Cliff Lake at the next divide. Continue north from Cliff Lake past Petite Lake and Linear Lake to arrive at your destination: Watson Lake.

Enjoy a snack or a picnic lunch on the shores of Watson Lake before turning around and retracing your steps back to the Crystal Lake Trailhead where you began.

Getting to the Crystal Lake and Watson Lake Trail Trailhead

From Kamas, Utah, head east along highway 150 for 39.6 km then take a left onto Forest Road 041. Continue along FR 041 to a divide, take a right then park at the Crystal Lake Trailhead parking lot just past the Washington Lake Campground.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Washington Lake Campground

  • When to do

    March to October

  • Pets allowed


  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Crystal Lake and Watson Lake Trail Elevation Graph

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Crystal Lake and Watson Lake Trail Reviews

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