|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
This is an awesome backpacking trip in the Uintas. Sometimes you have to brave the crowds to go see beautiful places like this. My original plan was to do a 4 day 20 mile loop starting at the Highline Trailhead going to Naturalist Basin, Four Lakes Basin, the north end of Granddaddy Basin, and back to Highline, but that didn't pan out. Fortunately a buddy was able to do 3 days, so we decided to do just Naturalist Basin from the Highline Trail. It turned out perfect because we were able to do the grand tour of the basin, whereas if we'd done that 4 day loop we wouldn't have been able to. We hiked the 6.5 miles in the first day and camped at Jordan Lake. It was a bit busy, but it had the most campsites below treeline. The next day we did the grand tour going up to Shaler first, then to LeConte and on over to Blue Lake, then down to the Morat Lakes and on down and back over to Jordan. We saw and fished 10 lakes, saw some beautiful country and scenery, and had most of it to ourselves. Blue Lake was also quite busy, but the rest we had to ourselves. I'm glad we went that way instead of up to the Morats and Blue Lake first because the trail up to those is steep and looked like a bear to hike up. Much better going down. The alpine terrain above tree line is beautiful with the soft grass and low vegetation, all the views all around are awesome, and the brook trout are vibrant, colorful fighters. We caught around 20 brooks and cutts on spinners and flies. LeConte Lake was my favorite due to the beauty of the lake and surrounding alpine terrain and the fish we caught out of it. All together it was about 17.5 miles, 6.5 in and out, and 4.5 on the grand tour. Had beautiful weather, saw 2 deer, got a checkmark on my list of places to go, and can't wait to go backpacking again.