On July 17, 2023, we began a two-week stay in one of our favorite places on earth, Utah’s Uinta Mountains. The picture to the right illustrates the view looking east from the top of Bald Mountain at 11,949 feet. The view includes several of the more than 1,000 natural lakes in the Uintas. This area also has more than 400 miles of streams. Many of the lakes and streams support fish and other wildlife.
Our first three nights were spent at Washington Lake Campground. This campground is located along UT-150. The campground is at an elevation of 10,000 feet. We occupied campsite 22, right across the campground road from the lake. The site is quite close to the neighboring sites, but this was the only site available on short notice. Its availability was likely due to a cancellation we happened to find before others.
We were joined by a daughter and her beautiful little girl. We all fished, kayaked, walked the camp, and enjoyed each other’s company. It was fun sharing our love for this area with our child and grandchild. My wife’s grandfather and grandmother introduced us to the Uinta Mountains. Glad we could pass the love along.
For the following 11 nights, we stayed at Moosehorn Lake, just over the mountain pass and 6 miles from Washington Lake. We anticipated staying here for five nights and then moving on, probably to Island Park, Idaho, but we decided to stay and relax. The campground has a seven-day stay limit, but the host was happy to renew our site, site 32, for six more days.
We were eager to stay to rest and relax but were also inspired by the amazing beauty and views from our particular site. While relaxing outside our trailer, we had this fantastic view of the trees, lake, and Bald Mountain.
All sites at Moosehorn are first-come, first-served. After walking the campground multiple times per day each and every day we were there, it is clear that many sites are available from Sunday evening to Wednesday, but the place gets pretty busy from Thursday through the weekend.
While at Moosehorn Lake, we had several visitors. One of our sons stayed overnight and hiked to the top of Bald Mountain with us. You can see our trailer in the photo taken from the summit. He was much faster than us and waited at the top and bottom on our return. Bald Mountain was much easier to climb when we were younger and more fit! Our daughter, son-in-law, and their boys joined us for two separate days. We enjoyed fishing, kayaking, talking, and of course, food.
On the days we were alone, we enjoyed fishing, kayaking, and a trip to Evanston, Wyoming, where we enjoyed great Mexican food at Jalisco Mexican Grill. We hiked around Moosehorn and snapped this picture from the far side. You can see from the photo why we stayed additional days; our site was stunning.
The first few days we were at Moosehorn, we caught a dozen fish per day and enjoyed the fishing immensely. During the last week or so, the fishing was much slower. We don’t know what changed, but the fishing was simply slow.
On one of our days, we took our kayaks back to Washington Lake, kayaked the entire shoreline, and enjoyed dipping into every cove and working our way through the trees partially submerged by our wet winter. To the southwest of Washington Lake is a small lake named Tail Lake. You can see from the included map that this is generally connected to Washington Lake by a small, impassible stream. However, due to the above-normal precipitation this winter, the lakes were connected; our outing included a circumnavigation of Tail Lake as well. The around-the-lake trip to us a leisurely three hours or so.
One of my favorite things about staying in the Uinta Mountains is enjoying high-altitude mountain thunderstorms. However, it rained very little during our stay, and all thunderstorms were enjoyed from a distance. Several nights were very clear, and the almost full moon illuminated the mountains. Illustrated here is Bald Mountain illuminated by the moon. In the dark sky, the Big Dipper is easily seen.
While we enjoy the solitude of the Unita Mountains, spending 14 consecutive days disconnected from family, friends, and work is difficult. For this trip, we borrowed a Starlink setup and found it amazing. High in the mountains, where we get absolutely zero cell coverage, we had 120 MB down and 20 MB up during our entire stay. The WiFi coverage was stellar in our RV and the whole campsite. This was sufficient for emails, video calls, streaming movies, and accessing maps and other resources. It is a unique new tool that will forever change the remote work world. The entire device and accessories fit in a single backpack carrying case; it was straightforward to set up and was pretty inconspicuous when placed on the RV roof.
Our time in the beautiful Uinta Mountains was relaxing, rejuvenating, and inspiring. We look forward to our next opportunity to visit this part of Utah.