Situated high in the rugged Uinta Mountains, Crystal Lake is an easy walk for hikers just looking to get out and enjoy the scenery without too much effort. With other popular trails branching off in several directions from the trailhead, Crystal Lake is often overlooked, making it a great spot even on a busy weekend. The trail has some short slopes and loose, uneven surfaces, but is suitable for hikers of all skill levels.
The Crystal Lake Trailhead is located in the Trial Lake area of the Uinta Mountains.
- From Kamas, UT, continue east on Highway 150 for approximately 25 miles to the signed turnoff for Trial Lake.
- The road passes by the Trial Lake and Washington Lake Campgrounds before ending at the Crystal Lake Trailhead.
The road is paved for all but the last quarter mile, but most passenger vehicles can handle it without difficulty.
From the Crystal Lake Trailhead, begin hiking on the signed trail nearest the vault toilet on the west side of the parking area. There are several trails that begin here, so make sure you choose the correct one.
The gently sloping trail winds through the forest for about 200 yards before arriving at the shore of Crystal Lake. From here, turn left and follow the constructed boardwalk trail across the outlet of the lake.
The well-maintained trail soon ends, but it is possible to continue around the lake on a faint trail that follows along the shoreline. Continue hiking around the shore, or return to the trailhead the way you came. Total hiking distance to continue around the lake and back to the trailhead is approximately 1.0 mile.
Rules and Regulations
- Keep dogs under control at all times.
- No littering.
- Pack out trash.
Afternoon thunderstorms are common in the High Uintas. Much of this trail passes through open terrain that may be hazardous if lightning strikes. Seek shelter if a storm approaches.