Haystack Lake hike in the Uinta Mountains, Utah
Haystack Lake hike in the Uinta Mountains, Utah

Haystack Lake hike

Uinta Mountains
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Looking across Washington Lake to Haystack Mountain on the Haystack Lake hike in the Uinta Mountains, UtahTrail junction hallways down Washington Lake on the Haystack Lake hike in the Uinta Mountains, UtahBridge on the Haystack Lake hike in the Uinta Mountains, UtahWashington Lake on the Haystack Lake hike in the Uinta Mountains, UtahShadow Lake on the Haystack Lake hike in the Uinta Mountains, UtahThe views of the Haystack Lake hike in the Uinta Mountains, Utah

Haystack Lake hike

Distance: 5.2mi
Elevation: 279ft
Time: 2-3h

Difficulty Rating:

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The quiet yet beautiful hike out to Haystack Lake quickly leaves the crowds of the Washington Lake area behind. Passing by three lakes en route, this stunning trail is a true gem for those wanting to enjoy the quiet and pristine aspects of the park.

Haystack Lake hike Map

Getting there

From Kamas take Utah 150 for 25.4mi before turning left towards the Washington Lake Campground and Crystal Lake Trailhead. Follow signs towards the Crystal Lake Trailhead, where you will find a parking lot. There is overflow parking near the Group Site.

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About

When to do

June through September

Backcountry Campsites

Many opportunities in the wilderness of the Uintas

Toilets

Yes, at trailhead

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Poor

Crowd Levels

Low

Route Type

Out and back


Haystack Lake
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Haystack Lake

Do not begin along the trail at the far end of the parking lot. Instead, go to the southwest edge of the parking area. You’ll find a very small trailhead behind the parked cars. There will be a sign pointing towards Washington and Haystack Lakes.

This trail leads down to the east side of Washington Lake, eventually arriving at the man-made damn at to the southeast edge. Cross the creek bellow the damn, then head back up to the lake. Upon arriving at a clearing, it can be difficult to find the trail again, however simply follow the built up retaining wall on the south side of the lake (to your right), and find the trail again further along.

As you continue around Washington Lake, the number of people you pass will severely plummet. You will finally pass the end of Washington Lake. There is a smaller lake attached to the end, known as Tail Lake.

As you continue hiking, the trail will start to gain some elevation as you pass Shadow Lake. The trail will veer to the left as you climb up and over a very small notch. After descending a short ways, you will come to a junction: turn to the right. You will continue to loop to the right and arrive at Haystack Lake.

From the lake, you will be able to see up to Haystack Mountain, but the quiet ambiance of the lake is even more beautiful. Enjoy the lake before returning the way you came.

Find more great hikes in the Uinta Mountains:

Insider Hints

  • Camping at Haystack Lake makes for an incredible, beautiful, and easy one-night backpacking trip.

  • A recreation pass is required to park in the National Forest, which can be purchase throughout the park; however, a National Parks Pass is also accepted. Campsites.

Comments

Min Ho 1 year ago

Fantastic walk with amazing views at the summit. This is one of our favorite hikes. Highly recommended for group hiking. It's a pleasant experience to share.

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Erika Simon 2 years ago

Good gracious! The views were unbelievable. Make sure to bring your camera.

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Levin 2 years ago

You may not believe this, but this is 100% a perfect place for me!

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Mike Elderi 2 years ago

Astounding hike! Totally worth the grind to see the breathtaking lake. The views from the top were majestic and really worth all of your efforts.

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maru kt. 2 years ago

Diverse beauty. This one was a moderate hike but there are plenty of fun side adventures

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Lubov F. 2 years ago

There are countless of amazing views on the way.

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Jamie Rubies 2 years ago

It was significantly challenging, but I adore the scenic routes and views along the way. This hike has it all, from beautiful views to having fun at the end of the hike.

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Shanee P. 2 years ago

Magnificent journey! One of a kind hiking destination. A must-do hike in Lake District. The view was still etched in my mind as we were passing by the Haystacks.

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SJ 2 years ago

The trail to Haystack Lake was so beautiful and it really did leave the crowds behind!

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9 Comments

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