Tucked in the eastern reaches of Utah’s remote Uinta Mountains, Gilbert Peak serves up expansive panoramas and quiet solitude amid an idyllic high alpine setting. Start this two-day trek by heading southwest on the Henry’s Fork Trail from the end of Forest Service Road 077. Day 1 consists of a gently-graded, 7-mile trek through ridge-lined meadows en route to Dollar Lake. Set up camp here to prepare for the peak ascent and return hike tomorrow. The trout-filled lake has long been a draw to anglers, so you may have to hike to Dollar’s southern shore to beat the crowds.
Traffic clears up on the less-traveled route to Gilbert Peak. The steep, 3-mile jaunt toward the mountain’s broad, bare summit gains 2,620 feet, beginning with a demanding 0.9-mile push up the ridge just east of Dollar Lake. After breaking tree line and gaining the ridgeline, savor spectacular views of Upper Henry’s Fork Basin, Kings Peak (Utah’s highest: 13,528 feet) and Gunsight Pass before continuing upward. In typical Uinta fashion, grassy slopes yield to boulder-strewn hillsides before culminating at the peak. From the top of Gilbert (13,409 feet), notch expansive panoramas of the surrounding Uinta Mountains and, on a clear day, Wyoming’s Wind River Range to the north.
To bag another 13,000-foot peak, follow the ridgeline southwest of Gilbert Peak toward Gunisght Peak (13,263 feet). Otherwise, return to the trailhead via the route you hiked in on. Leave yourself plenty of time to get up an down from Dollar Lake: afternoon thunderstorms, sometimes bringing hail, are common during summer.
-Mapped by Charlie Hart