Utah’s Uinta Mountains are one of the most popular ranges in the state for hiking. But the Uintas are a very large, and sometimes remote, place. Countless trails, lakes, and summits are scattered through a vast area in northeastern Utah, which makes choosing just one hike a daunting and intimidating task. But a new book titled, “Hiking Utah’s High Uintas” simplifies the process by breaking down the best hikes in the region into one easy-to-read guide.
“Hiking Utah’s High Uintas” is in its second edition, which has been revised by former Salt Lake Tribune Outdoors Editor, Brett Prettyman. The original guide was written by Jeffery and Brad Probst, but in this latest version, Prettyman has added updated trail changes, all new photos, wildlife info, and a new route to Kings Peak. Since Prettyman is also the Intermountain Communications Director for Trout Unlimited, it makes sense that he’s included some angling information as well.
The book features 100 hikes on both the north and south slopes of the Uinta Mountains, and it is divided as such. Each route features a short intro, start point, distance out-and-back, destination elevation, approximate hiking time, difficulty, usage, nearest town, drainage, maps, and trail contact information. Detailed driving directions get you to the trailhead. As for the hike description itself, it is easy to read and route-find when used with the corresponding map.
What sets this hiking guide apart from most, is that it goes beyond just telling you how to get from point A to point B. Prettyman includes a lot more useful information, like where the good fishing holes can be found, recommended camping spots, and spring locations (if there are any) where you can purify drinking water. The book also includes Leave No Trace guidelines, and a section about fishing for successful angling. Plus wildlife info lets you know what critters to look for when exploring these immense mountains.
I’ve hiked many of the routes in this book (before ever reading it of course) so I can’t speak to how well it guides a person hiking a new route for the first time. But reading the routes that I have done in the past, like Amethyst Lake, I can say that it is accurate to my memory. Amethyst is a great example of how the book offers fishing tips along with the hiking information, such as what kind of fish swim in the lake, what spots are the best to throw a lure, which size flies to use, and what time to fish. It’s touches like these that elevate “Hiking Utah’s High Uintas” into more than just a standard hiking guide.
So if you’re new to Utah and aren’t sure where to hike, or an experienced Uintas explorer with a fly rod strapped to your pack looking for a trail you may not have thought of, then “Hiking Utah’s High Uintas” is the perfect guide.