Overview

Duck Lake offers hikers a moderate day hike or an easy overnight backpacking trip featuring a handful of mountain lakes and outstanding Uinta scenery. This area can be quite busy on summer weekends; however with so many lakes to explore in the vicinity you might still have a good chance of finding solitude. This trail is suitable for most healthy adults and children.

Trailhead

The hike to Duck Lake begins at the Crystal Lake trailhead (40.681798, -110.963266), just off of the Mirror Lake Highway, near Trial Lake. To reach the trailhead from Kamas, UT:

  1. Drive east on Highway 150 for approximately 25.0 miles to the signed turnoff for Trial Lake.
  2. 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.

The Route

Begin hiking on the prominent trail at the northwest end of the parking area with signage for Long Lake. The trail starts out wide and flat as it traverses the east side of Crystal Lake. Soon the trail narrows and begins to climb. From here to the summit of Watson Pass the trail picks up more than 300 feet.

From Watson Pass, the trail descends as it heads east toward Long Lake. About a half mile beyond Watson Pass, a signed junction is encountered. Take the trail on the left, signed for Weir and Duck Lakes. Continue hiking as the trail meanders down hill, winding in and out of picturesque meadows.

There are a two other junctions along the way, one branching off to Marjorie Lake and another just before Weir Lake. Keep right at both junctions, following the signs toward Weir and Duck Lakes. After about 2.0 miles, the trail arrives at Weir Lake (40.675236, -111.003513). Continue hiking past Weir Lake. The trail passes one more small lake called Pot Reservoir before the final descent over a rocky hillside to Duck Lake, approximately 3.0 miles from the trailhead (40.675793, -111.016573).

There are plenty of campsites near Duck Lake. For the best solitude and supply of firewood, it is recommended to camp well away from the lake. The sites closer to the lake are overused, and it can be difficult to find dead wood for a fire.

Fishing is typically good at Duck Lake and there is plenty of open shoreline to make casting easy. If the fishing isn't hot, there are a handful of other lakes in the area to try out.

Return the way you came. Total hiking distance is approximately 6.0 miles round trip with roughly 900 feet of elevation gain.

Rules and Regulations

  • Do not camp within 200 feet of water sources or trails.
  • Keep dogs under control at all times.
  • No littering.
  • Pack out trash.

Special Considerations

Afternoon thunderstorms are common in the High Uintahs. Much of this trail passes through open terrain that may be hazardous if lightning strikes. Seek shelter if a storm approaches.

Credits

This trail guide is provided by Backcountry Post.