The Uinta Mountains have so many natural lakes and the Lofty Lake Loop is a beautiful way to see many of them! Be prepared for the Uinta Mountains with insect repellent, sunscreen, rain protection, and walkie-talkies if you group might split. Click here for a complete packing list.
Begin at the Pass Lake Trailhead that is in the lot across the road from Pass Lake.
There are trails in two corners and you can go either direction. This time we went counter-clockwise, so I’ll describe the loop this way. Head along the path and it will gradually gain elevation.
At the top of the rise you come to some big rock slabs. From beneath you can see the columbine growing and from above you see views.
Here is the view looking back. I believe that is Pass Lake you can see.
The trail heads down to beautiful Picturesque Lake. The wildflowers added to live up to the name.
We saw a deer and the wildflowers are starting to bloom!
Just beyond Picturesque Lake is Scout Lake.
We walked over to get a better view of Scout Lake with Hayden Peak in the distance.
The BSA’s Camp Steiner is located on the opposite side of the lake. Everything is helpfully well-signed.
The trail heads up to more views.
As you look up the hill you will traverse, we saw patches of snow.
Some of them had the pink algae called Chlamydomonas nivalis, which creates “watermelon snow”.
This photo above shows several lakes from above. I believe these are Hayden, Naomi, Ruth and some smaller unnamed ones. Hayden is the larger one to the left and Naomi and part of Ruth are to the right. Ruth Lake is a beautiful family-friendly hike (and Naomi can be easily added)! Hayden Peak is over to the far left.
After you come up over the hill, you look down on Lofty Lake. The trail goes down next to it.
Follow the trail around until you can see Cutthroat Lake.
Cutthroat Lake is very scenic!
The trail heads to the left of this picture, but we took a tiny detour town to get a better view. It’s hard to tell from a distance, but when I zoomed in I could easily see the little lakes beyond it.
It began raining on us as we hikes, which is common in the Uintas. We put on rain jackets and poncho, but then it stopped a few minutes later.
Kamas Lake is the next lake you come to.
On the opposite side you see the end of Kamas Lake and then some smaller ponds.
The next ponds you come to are unnamed.
The trail then follows a boardwalk because the ground is marshy. There are views of Bald Mountain and Reids Peak.
It’s very pretty with the meandering stream.
Follow the signs to return to the parking lot.
Distance – 4.5 mile loop
Approximate hiking time – 2-4 hours
Elevation gain – 948 feet
Difficulty – Moderate
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks
Bathrooms – At Trailhead
Seasons to hike – June-October
Permits needed – $6 for a 3-day pass or a National Parks Pass
Pets allowed – Yes