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Salt Lake City, UT: Amethyst Lake

Pack light and be prepared to climb on this 11.8-mile out-and-back serving up stunning alpine scenery and prime fishing at the secluded Amethyst Lake.

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From the overflow parking lot at the end of Christmas Meadows Road, head south through a pine-dotted valley on the Stillwater Fork Trail. The hike’s first 2.3 miles follow the easy-flowing Stillwater Fork, popular among fly-fisherman. At the sign pointing toward Amethyst Lake and Uinta High Wilderness, turn left to begin the climb toward Amethyst Meadows. After a steep and rocky 0.5-mile churn, you’ll gain the ridgeline and continue south to gain the remaining 1,300 feet of vertical over 3 mildly-grade miles. As you near the lake, Amethyst Meadows open up to huge panoramas of Lamotte Peak to the east and the alpine cirque forming bordering the lake to the south.

Camping is available along the lake’s spectacular western shore and in the meadows further north. The lake is bustling with cutthroat trout, and fishing is best in the early morning and evening, as few hikers stay overnight. For more information on fishing in the lake, visit the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest Web site. 

-Mapped by Charlie Hart

To Trailhead

From I-80 E, take exit 5 and turn right at WY 150 S. Follow for 22.5 miles. Continue onto UT 150 S and follow for 8.8 miles. Turn left at Christmas Meadows Road. Parking is at end of road in 4.3 miles.

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