- The Swift Creek Trail
- Milk Lake in the late evening.
- The meadows northwest of Milk Lake. South Kings Peak is visible in the distance.
- The Yellowstone Creek Trail.
- Upper Swift Creek basin
- Bluebell Pass as seen from upper Swift Creek.
- Farmers Lake as seen from the top of Bluebell Pass.
- Looking west into the Yellowstone drainage from near the top of Bluebell Pass.
- The meadows west of Milk Lake.
- The trail junction near Milk Lake
- Milk Lake
- The old dam on the west end of Milk Lake.
If solitude is what you seek look no further than Milk Lake. Located deep in the High Uintas Wilderness this little gem is far off the beaten path for most backcountry travelers. The hike to Milk Lake requires multiple days to complete and is only suitable for adults in excellent physical condition with above average backcountry navigation skills. This hike is not recommended for children.
The best trailhead for accessing Milk Lake is the Swift Creek Trailhead (40.601291,-110.347587) located near the confluence of Yellowstone Creek and Swift Creek, approximately 30 miles north of Duchesne, Utah. Access is on a combination of paved and gravel roads and should be passable to most passenger vehicles under normal conditions.
- From Duchesne, take SR 87 north for approximately 15.6 miles to the signed turnoff to Moon Lake at 21000 West.
- Follow 21000 West towards Moon Lake for approximately 8 miles before turning right onto a dirt road.
- This short road crosses the Lake Fork River and connects to the Yellowstone Road on the other side. Turn left onto the Yellowstone Road and continue approximately 11.2 miles to the Swift Creek Campground and Trailhead.
There are pit toilets and a campground at the trailhead. There is also primitive camping in the vicinity.
- Most of this hike is within the boundaries of the High Uintas Wilderness.
- No motor vehicles or bicycles.
- Campsites must be at least 200 feet from water sources, trails, and other occupied campsites.
- Group size must not exceed 14 people and 15 head of stock.
- Pack out what you pack in.
- Only human waste can be buried. Bury it in a 6” deep cat hole.
- Campfires are allowed in most areas but are restricted within ¼ mile of many lakes, including all lakes in the upper Swift Creek drainage. Seasonal restrictions may also be in place. Before heading out, check with the US Forest Service for the most up to date rules and regulations.
- Avoid crossing high, exposed areas, such as Bluebell Pass, if weather is threatening. Afternoon thunderstorms are an almost daily occurrence in the summertime and can roll in with little notice. Plan to travel early in the day and allow extra time to wait out storms as necessary. Lightning is the number one weather-related killer in the state of Utah and should be taken seriously.
- This hike requires multiple days to complete and is only suitable for adults in excellent physical condition with above average backcountry navigation skills. This hike is not recommended for children.
This trail guide is provided by Backcountry Post.