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Salt Lake City: Ibantik Lake
Wasatch-Cache NF, UT
Rarely does a 3-mile hike an hour from a major city afford real solitude, but the High Uintas’ thicket of lakes disperse hikers, who tend to avoid Ibantik because it requires a 700-foot climb over Notch Mountain. To claim some alone time, hike 1.1 miles north from the Crystal Lake trailhead to Wall Lake, then gradually ascend 1.6 miles, rising above treeline, to 10,600-foot Notch Pass. Panoramas encompass myriad lakes glinting below. Descend 400 feet, passing Lovenia Lake, to pitch your tent in a blocky rock cirque, amid the trees on the south or east side of Ibantik’s blue water. Trailhead 70 miles east of SLC; 40.682977, -110.966486Best season August, for fewer bugs Permit $6 parking pass required Contact (435) 783-4338; fs.usda.gov/uwcnf