Amethyst Lake

High Uintas Wilderness Area, Utah

Elevation Gain1,799ft
Trailhead Elevation8,997ft
Elevation Min/Max8997/10764ft
Elevation Start/End8997/8997ft

Amethyst Lake

Amethyst Lake is a hiking trail in Summit County, Utah. It is within High Uintas Wilderness Area. It is 3.4 miles long and begins at 8,997 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 6.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,799 feet. This trail connects with the following: Stillwater.

Amethyst Lake Professional Reviews and Guides

"Set in the top of a glacial cirque, this is one of the prettiest alpine lakes in the High Uintas. A few small pines dot its shores, and the massive cliffs and talus slopes add grandeur to the emerald-green waters. This large lake (42.5 acres) attracts moderate crowds because of its scenery and frequently fast fishing.

The hike in is only 6.0 miles each way, but it seems longer. Two thousand feet of elevation is a lot to gain in such a short distance."

"Easily accessible from Salt Lake City, the hike to Amethyst Lake and Basin is probably the most popular hike into the rugged, north-slope drainages of the High Uintas. The Uinta Mountains are bisected by a long, winding spine of Precambrian rock that runs for about a hundred miles in an east-west direction across northern Utah.

The north and south facing slopes of this ridge are punctuated by a dozen or so glacier-carved valleys which end abruptly against the quartzite cliffs of the central spine. It is in the back of one of these glaciated valleys, the Stillwater Drainage, that Amethyst Basin and Amethyst Lake, are located. There are several other alpine lakes within the Stillwater Drainage, but Amethyst Lake is the largest."

"The fast and fit hiker can complete this beautiful, popular trail in one day, and many do just that. For full enjoyment and more solitude during the evening and early morning, however, a more leisurely overnight trip is suggested. For a more tranquil hike, try to come on a weekday or earlier or later in the season.

Best hiked from mid-late September, this very popular area is often overrun with vehicles and people during the height of the summer season. But even with the crowds, this gorgeous hike is a gem to remember."

Amethyst Lake Reviews

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I went on this trip with my adult son. We chose a shorter hike due to the length of our trip (3 days, 2 nights). Based on the trail guide we expected a steep trail the last few miles and we weren't disappointed. We camped at lake BR-24 which is about a mile west of Amethyst Lake and 1/2 mile east of Ostler Lake. The last three miles in to our camp site were a real climb. In fact it took nearly 5 hours to go the 5.3 miles to camp. Coming out it took only 2 and 1/2 hours. The fishing was spectacular. We each caught and released 40 fish over the two days we actually fished. The larger fish were in Ostler Lake. Fishing there was slower, but not too slow. Fishing at Amethyst Lake was very fast for 10-12 inch Brook trout. We also saw several moose and deer on this trip which really rounded out the experience. Bottom line, this was a great trip, but you have to work for the experience. For those in great shape, the hike in would be easier, but you'd still exercise your lungs. The scenery was beautiful and very typical of High Uinta scenery.

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Trail Information

High Uintas Wilderness Area
Nearby City
High Uintas Wilderness Area
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Evanston–Mountain View Ranger District
Local Contacts
USGS Christmas Meadows, Hayden Peak
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018