Washington Lake Campground, Utah

On July 2, 2017 we arrived at Washington Lake Campground in the Uinta Mountains of Utah. This was our second stop on our summer adventure and we were here from the 2nd of July to the 9th of July. As the map indicates, we travelled nearly due south from Idaho down to Utah and then east up into the Uinta Mountains. Washington Lake is at an elevation of 10,000 feet and is one of hundreds of lakes in this area.

We have camped in these mountains many times over the past 30 years, but this is our first time in a trailer. The Washington Lake Campground is much more developed than our previous stop and we’ve always thought it would be good for trailer camping. Each site is paved, has a table, fire pit, and a dutch oven cooking table. The campground has a host and well maintained pit toilets. The sites are also much closer together than they were at Pole Bridge Campground in Idaho. However, our site was easy to get the trailer into and the neighbors never bothered us.

One feature this campground lacks is water. There are no water faucets in this campground and while there are faucets a short drive away, at Lost Creek Campground, it was inconvenient. Fortunately, we carry several six gallon water jugs that we filled several times and brought back to the trailer. Without these we would have had to move the trailer after four or five days.

The lakes in the Uinta Mountains are typically small and sometimes you stop and wonder whether what you’re looking at is a lake or a pond. However, Washington Lake is a rather large reservoir that has plenty of room for the many visitors that enjoy it. Fishing is moderately good, children and adventurous adults find the water warm enough to play in, and kayaking or non motorized boating is entertaining. The scenery is breathtaking!

Nearby lakes include Crystal Lake, Ponds Lake, Lily Lake, Trail Lake, Wall Lake, and Hope Lake. Trial Lake can be reached by vehicle and has a very nice campground associated with it. It was closed the week we were there due to snow delayed cleanup, but we managed to get our bicycles around the gate and enjoyed riding in a deserted campground. The other lakes can be reached by trail. My wife and I with three sons, two daughter-in-laws, and two grandchildren hiked from the Crystal Lake trailhead to The Notch. The hike included beautiful scenery, nice weather and a reminder that summer comes late at nearly 11,000 feet, snow. The younger crew couldn’t pass up building a snowman in July, and here it is.

On the way to The Notch, the crest of the pass, we stopped and played at a very small high meadow lake called Hope Lake.


The children had fun playing in the water and catching waterdogs and tiger salamanders. We’re going back next year to have the children collect a few salamanders for our backyard pond. Utah law allows the collection of up to 50 specimens and the children will love seeing them in and around the pond.

From The Notch the view was amazing. We could look back and see several lakes. The hike back was a little warm, but overall it was a great day.

On Saturday of our stay, my son and I went to get water for both of our trailers. On the way back we noticed people parking a very long distance from the trailhead due to the Saturday crowds and a lack of close parking. We stopped, gathered a small crowd into the back of the truck and took them up to the trailhead. Each trip for water resulted in another small group getting a ride to the trail. Who knew our adventure would include starting a shuttle service.

On July 9th we said our goodbyes to family and headed to our next stop. However, we didn’t actually know where our next stop was. We drove down the mountain to Heber City, Utah and ran some errands. We couldn’t find a dump station and we knew we wanted to head east, so we headed to Starvation State Park to use their dump station. After arriving at the state park we asked if they had any sites available, and after receiving a positive response we decided to stay a couple of nights.

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