Horseback Riders Find Amazing Trails in Utah's Uinta Mountains

Trail horses at YMCA Camp Roger in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Utah.
Trail horses at YMCA Camp Roger in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Utah. Louis Arevalo
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The Uinta Mountains are home to a multitude of amazing trails and areas that are perfect for horseback riders to explore. The rugged high peaks make for a stunning backdrop to a scenic ride into lush forests, through meadows overflowing with wildflowers, and around pristine alpine lakes. Experiencing this mountain range on horseback is an adventure that you will never forget.

What Makes it Great

Abbigail Pickering rides a horse in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Utah.
Abbigail Pickering rides a horse in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Utah. Louis Arevalo

Travel by horseback in the Uinta Mountains will bring you to beautiful and secluded backcountry camps, perfect fly fishing spots, and amazing nature and wildlife viewing locations. Leaving behind the worries of daily life are mandatory when you go for a ride into the Uintas.

What You’ll Remember

Abbigail Pickering, Lottie Dunnell, and Laura Dibb  riding  horses in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Utah.
Abbigail Pickering, Lottie Dunnell, and Laura Dibb riding horses in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Utah. Louis Arevalo

Doing a short section of the west end of the Highline Trail, a path that runs the length of the Uinta Range, with a ride into Naturalist Basin is highly recommended. This easy ride from the Mirror Lake staging area to Jordan Lake and back can be done within a day. There are many options for fishing along the way and the scenery in Naturalist Basin is breathtaking so be sure to bring your camera.

Lofty Lake Loop is a moderate trail ride, but is shorter than a trip to Jordan Lake and offers numerous places to fish and enjoy the surrounding beauty. If you haven’t ridden in the Uinta Mountains this trail is the perfect introduction. The path will take you along lakes, up to high mountain passes, and through meadows overflowing with wildflowers. It’s four miles long and the duration it takes is dependent on how much time you decide to spend soaking it all in.

Shingle Creek Trail is a great ride lower down on the west side of the Uintas, only miles east of Kamas, Utah. The trail is easy to moderate and is 5.5 miles to the scenic shores of Shingle Creek Lake. Most of the trail follows the stream staying near the bottom of the drainage. Earlier in the season you will see waterfalls and seasonal ponds along the way.

Who’s Going to Love It

Lottie Dunnell rides a horse in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Utah.
Lottie Dunnell rides a horse in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Utah. Louis Arevalo

Any horseback rider will appreciate exploring the trails in the spectacular scenery of the Uinta Mountains. This range offers something at nearly all levels. From short and easy day rides to multi-day pack trips, you can choose your own adventure. Local commercial guide outfits can also be hired to help you with your trail riding needs.

Parking, Directions, and Regulations

These trailheads are located within a National Forest Service Fee Area. You may purchase a pass at numerous points along the Mirror Lake Highway.

GPS Coordinates:

Shingle Creek trailhead is located 10 miles east of Kamas, Utah on the Mirror Lake Highway, 150: (40.610073, -111.121307)

Mirror Lake Trail Head is about 30 miles east from Kamas on the Mirror Lake Highway, 150:

(40_42_16.51_N_110_53_17.47_W)

Pass Lake Trailhead is 32 miles from Kamas on Highway 150 or 46 miles south of Evanston:

(40.714078 -110.893035)

When packing feed into the national forest, all horse and pack/stock animal users must remember that any hay, pellets, cubes, mulch, or straw must be certified to be weed-seed free.

Before you go, contact local land managers for maps and regulations concerning permits, campfires, party size, grazing weed-seed-free feed, trail conditions, closures, and more.

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