Naturalist Basin Trail

High Uintas Wilderness Area, Utah

Elevation Gain983ft
Trailhead Elevation10,477ft
Elevation Min/Max10248/10925ft
Elevation Start/End10477/10477ft

Naturalist Basin Trail

Naturalist Basin Trail is a hiking trail in Duchesne County, Utah. It is within High Uintas Wilderness Area. It is 2.5 miles long and begins at 10,477 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 5.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 983 feet. This trail connects with the following: Blue Lake Trail and Highline Trail.

Naturalist Basin Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"With its veritable explosion of lakes, Naturalist Basin is a popular area with those who love the Uintas, yet it is far less frequented the farther along the trail you get and into Naturalist Basin itself. The choices of a multitude of beautiful lakes at which to relax, eat lunch, fish, explore, or camp along the way stop many people before they complete the entire loop.

For those seeking more solitude, doing the whole loop can yield wilderness immersion with fewer people to encounter. Engelmann spruce, grassy meadows, and rocky ridgelines all make this a classic mountain hike. Those wanting to do this trip as an overnight should set up camp near the end of the lollipop loop that explores the basin's lakes so they can do the 4.5-mile loop as a day hike."

"Naturalist Basin is one of the most visited locations in the High Uintas Wilderness. If you’re looking for solitude, this may not be the best choice; however, the natural beauty of its lakes, waterfalls, and meadows—combined with its easy access—make Naturalist Basin a premier hiking destination.

After descending 200 feet in the first 0.75 mile, a trail joins from Mirror Lake to the south. Continue on the Highline Trail to the southeast for 1.5 miles, passing through pine forests to arrive at Scudder Lake. The next 0.75 mile of the trail levels as it turns east. At the 3-mile mark, you reach a fork. The south (right) trail leads to Wilder and Wyman Lakes. Continue straight ahead (left at the fork) on the Highline Trail."

"A rolling trail through a basin of woods, meadows, and scenic lakes, almost entirely above 10,000 feet in elevation. While the complete loop with spur trails to nearby lakes can cover more than 20 miles, it can easily be adapted to a shorter 12-mile hike. But the gentle, flowing nature of the trail makes you want to go on to the next lake or meadow.

The beauty of the Uinta Mountains is as likely to be found in its complex network of basins and drainages as in its quartzite peaks. Here, unlike the canyons of the Wasatch, you're never quite sure of where the water comes from or the direction in which it flows."

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Trail Information

High Uintas Wilderness Area
Nearby City
High Uintas Wilderness Area
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Heber-Kamas Ranger District
Local Contacts
USGS Hayden Peak
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Sep 2018