Lofty Lakes Loop

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Easy
Duration
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.
2-2.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
6.9 km
Elevation
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.
268 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.8
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
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Directions to Trailhead
Lofty Lakes Loop hike in the Uinta Mountains, Utah

A classic loop hike in the High Uintas, the Lofty Lakes Loops passes by several alpine lakes and yields fantastic views of Mount Marsell. The walk isn’t too challenging, and it yields fantastic views.

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Route Description for Lofty Lakes Loop

You can complete this loop in either direction, both clockwise and counter - clockwise offer very similar experiences. This trail guide will describe going counter-clockwise. From the trailhead, head out to the right following signs for Scout and Lofty Lakes.

From the onset, the trail will begin to climb earnestly before passing a small tarn. You’ll reach Scout Lake in around 0.5 mi. Here the trail will plateau as you pass around the lake’s west side. Like most of the lakes in the area, Scout Lake is popular with anglers. There are many campsites on Scout’s southern and eastern flanks as well.

The trail will continue climbing north. The trail will start to veer to the west, and you will reach a trail junction where you’ll head left to continue towards Lofty Lake. You’ll gain a small pass, and then you will descend down to Lofty Lake. This is probably the most scenic view of the hike. You will be able to see down to Lofty Lake with Mount Marsell in the background.

After going around Lofty Lake, you will continue heading northwest before switchbacking down, heading south - directly underneath Mount Marsell. You will pass by Kamas Lake on your way down. The trail here is quite steep and rocky, so take care!

You will pass by two small ponds on your way down before the trail starts to veer to the left (east) again. Soon you will pass by a clearing with views of Reids Peak with Notch Mountain in the distance. The loop will finally close as you arrive back to the parking lot.

Find more great hikes in the Uinta Mountains:

Insider Hints for Lofty Lakes Loop

  • If you end up completing the hike in the dead heat of summer, bring a towel to enjoy a dip in one of the stunning lakes.
  • A recreation pass is required to park in the National Forest, which can be purchased throughout the park; however, a National Parks Pass is also accepted.

Getting to the Lofty Lakes Loop Trailhead

From Kamas, drive along Utah 150 for 32.0 mi. Turn left, following signs to Pass Lake Trailhead. After Pass Lake there will be a little Hiker icon on a sign. Turn in and find parking at the Trailhead/Butterfly Campground.

Route Information

  • When to do

    Late Spring through Fall

  • Backcountry Campsites

    Dispersed camping in National Forest

  • Toilets

    Yes, at trailhead

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Circuit

Lofty Lakes Loop Elevation Graph

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