Current conditions, warnings and historical records Request these additional visitor guides selected below. Hiking later in the season is often bug-free. The trail follows the grassy, treeless ridge at an elevation of 11,500 feet for almost two miles before dropping down to the East Fork Smiths Fork drainage, and Red Castle Peak occupies a prominent place on the skyline for almost the entire distance. Whether you’re heading out for a picnic or a full-blown expedition, a quality cooler makes all the difference. A tough climb up to Indian Pass on the Continental Divide provided some pretty spectacular views. We offer a compact version of Go-Utah for mobile users, allowing you to access just the information you need on the road. WATER PURIFIER: We used the MSR Trail Shot as our main purification method on this trip. With the ability to visit three different lakes along the trail, you could easily spend three days here, though most complete the trip in two. Sign up to get our curated emails with the best content from CleverHiker and around the backpacking world. Down jackets are lightweight, packable, and highly efficient at trapping body heat. The grade is gentle and the trail is easy to follow. From this vantage point you can see that the Red Castle Peak is actually the end of a short spur that extends northward from Wilson Peak on the Uinta Crest. It certainly doesn’t hurt if they have a flattering fit too. Upper Red Castle Lake is a small, rocky lake, about 200 yards in diameter. Of course, you can still use the full version of Go-Utah on your mobile device just as you can on your desktop. If you prefer boots, make sure they’re lightweight and break them in really well before your trip. Bear to the right here, as indicated by the sign. Trekking poles can add a lot of stability and comfort to your hike. Most people complete this backpacking trip in 2-3 days. Social media is great, but our bi-weekly newsletter is a much better way to stay in the know. The Red Castle Lakes are a hidden gem to anyone outside of Utah, and a must for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in Utah’s Uinta Mountain Range. In this post we’ll cover: As always, difficulty ratings depend on the route you choose, experience, physical fitness, pack weight, and weather conditions. Castle Lake and the surrounding area contain a wide variety of animals and plants including trout, bears, deer, otters, frogs, and osprey. Red Castle can be reached via the China Meadows Trailhead (see map below). If you’re on a tight budget or new to backpacking, check out our Best Budget Tents of the year. Anyone who is interested in visiting Red Castle Lake can print the free topographic map and street map using the link above. But in, general, the following apply: Campfires are prohibited near most lakes in this area, so please be respectful of this. SLEEPING PAD: We used the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite and NEMO Tensor Insulated sleeping pads on this trip. The remaining three miles to Lower Red Castle Lake is a beautiful walk through scattered forest and meadow land, with lots of water and good camping spots. Continue to Mobile Site Both trails are within a quarter mile of the same length. Completing a thru-hike will be one of the most profoundly rewarding achievements of your life. Because getting good trail sleep is crucial, we’ve researched, field tested, and narrowed this list down to the 10 Best Backpacking & Camping Pillows of 2020. Basecamp at the Red Castle Lakes, which is one of the most picturesque scenes in all of the Uinta Mountains. You probably want to have one day to hike in, one day to hike out, and another day or two to rest in between. Hiking to Red Castle Lakes is such a beautiful and unique adventure. Act Blue - Bail Funds It is fed entirely from the melting snows on the higher slopes of Red Castle Basin and it is not very deep; hence its size varies a great deal from year to year. That’s just what you do. Ascend the ridge seen in the photo and then gain Wilson’s summit ridge. Water is plentiful along the trail to Red Castle Lakes and accessible from small streams and lakes. Doing so will make for a more safe and enjoyable adventure. After supper you will probably want to spend an hour beside the lake watching the reflections while the last rays of sunset transform the Castle into a glowing ember of red. Show more. If you’re still sipping from that banged up old bottle you've had for a decade, it might be time for an upgrade. In fact, the only reason I’m able to give any “clever” hiking advice is because of all the laughably bad mistakes I’ve made over the years. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October. Location: The trail to Red Castle Lake begins at China Meadows.From there you take the East Fork Smith Fork Trail (Trail #110) all the way to Red Castle Lake. Take the East Fork Smith’s Fork Trail to camp at Lower Red Castle Lake (mile 10), or, weather permitting, continue 1.8 more miles to above-treeline Red Castle Lake. MAP &  COMPASS: Although the trails here are well-marked, you always want to hike with a good map and GPS system, such as Gaia GPS. I have chosen here to describe the Bald Mountain route to the Red Castle Lakes, primarily because it is the most scenic of the two. Whether you’re fly fishing, spinning or baitcasting your chances of getting a bite here are good. Click on any state to see what's available. Follow the signs past the Stateline Campground and past the China Meadows Campground to the China Meadows trailhead. Stay on designated trails and do not cut switchbacks. The following lakes prohibit campfires: Black bears are not a problem in this area so there are no food storage requirements. You'll be turned on to new videos, trip reports, gear reviews, inspiring outdoor stories and much more. We've built over 30 instructional backpacking videos in two series - Essential Trail Skills & Lightweight Backpacking Foundations. We're Dave & Annie, the outdoor adventurers behind CleverHiker. Overnight parking at the trailhead is $3.00 per vehicle, per day and is self-issued. The sights are fantastic: Red Castle towers to the south, the impressive ridge and summit of Mount Powell to the east, and the southwest view showcases the rugged area that houses the two remaining lakes. Its red castle-like peaks towering above the lake basin are especially gorgeous during sunset with glowing light coming from behind. See our full. TENT: We used the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL3  tent on this trip for its lightweight livability. Lower Red Castle Lake via East Fork Smiths Fork is a 19.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Altamont, Utah that features a lake and is rated as moderate. Not all camping chairs are created equal, so we compared the most popular and top-rated chairs on the market and made this list to help you find the perfect portable chair for your needs. The scenery is excellent, but there are no good camping spots at Red Castle or Upper Red Castle Lake, so leave your camp at the lower lake. NOAA weather radar, satellite and synoptic charts. Both are light, comfortable, warm, and make our list of the best backpacking sleeping pads. We explain the key differences of each water treatment method and share our personal favorites in our list of the Best Water Filters of 2020. Red Castle Lake from Mapcarta, the free map. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. - John Muir. Fishermen will find a variety of fish including cutthroat trout and others here. Not many people do this, however, because the two trailheads are 50 miles apart. The trail begins at the China Meadows Trailhead. 1 Pair long john bottoms and a long john top for nighttime use (optional). It's lightweight, affordable, and makes our best water purifiers list. From Lower Red Castle Lake, continue hiking up the canyon on the well-worn trail. With all the technical data to sift through and seemingly endless choices on the market, it can be a real challenge to figure out what to buy. Upper Red Castle Lake is a small, rocky lake, about 200 yards in diameter. COOKING SYSTEM: We used the BRS Stove, Snow Peak Mini Solo Cookset, and Snow Peak Folding Spoons on this hike, all of which make our top picks gear list and best lightweight stove list. We carried the MSR Trail Shot on our most recent trip and were happy with its performance. Looking for some deep trail sleep? Your backcountry meal plan should balance weight, nutritional value, caloric density, and convenience. Thanks guy . So pick up one of the Best Backpacking Stoves of 2020 and make that moment happen. If you’ve spent any time in the woods, you’ve probably made some epic backcountry blunders. Wash yourself and dishes away from water sources and only use biodegradable soap when necessary. To request your selected free visitor guides, please fill out the form below and click "Submit". To get to the trailhead, take Wyoming State Highway 410 South out of Mountain View for about 8 miles. Lower Red Castle Lake and Red Castle Lake are beautiful and fairly easy to access via well traveled trails. The East Fork Smiths Fork Trail is very well maintained and has a total elevation gain (to Lower Red Castle Lake) of only about 1,280 feet. There is an option to continue even farther to Upper Red Castle Lake, but that will require a very challenging traverse over boulder fields and loose scree along the west slope of Red Castle Lake. The Red Castle Lake fishing map contains information about some of the best fishing spots this lake has to offer as well as the nearby cottages, campgrounds, and bait and tackle shops. There are a few cairns and signs from other hikers, but for the most part the route to Upper Red Castle Lake is completely off trail, and we really only recommend it to confident experts. I certainly have. At Red Lake Ice Cabins, we strive to provide superior Ice Fishing Cabins, great customer service, and an overall experience that will keep you coming back for years to come. Whether you’re springing to action in an emergency situation or just need an easy way to open packaging, you’ll feel confident knowing you’re equipped with a reliable blade whenever you need it. We also have the following visitor guides in Utah. That said, the connecting trails can be very hard to follow and non-existent at times. https://www.cleverhiker.com/blog/red-castle-lakes-uintas-backpacking-guide At its highest point the trail passes within 0.3 miles of the top of Bald Mountain. Daytime highs are typically in the high 70s, while night temperatures during summer range between 30-40 degrees. Has custom wheels, 2-30lb propane tanks, 5-fishing holes, dinette, folding bunk, stereo, stove/oven, TV hookups, hole lights, and camo décor with pine interior. Get the restful trail sleep you’ve earned with one of the Best Sleeping Pads of 2020. Both sleeping bags are lightweight, warm, and make our list of the best backpacking sleeping bags. The additional 900 feet of elevation gain is compensated for by the fine views that can be had from Bald Mountain Ridge. Red Castle Lake is 537 feet higher than Lower Red Castle which places it well above timberline. Red Castle Lake is the largest natural lake in the Uinta Mountains. © CleverHiker.com 2020 - Privacy Policy - Terms of Use, We stand in solidarity against systemic racism, discrimination, and violence. So get in the mix! Wind river part three. A lightweight down coat should be at the center of any good backpacking list. We all use them, but many of us don’t really put much thought into it. The map also shows hotspots where our fishing junkies have caught lunkers and posted photos and stories. BACKPACK: We used Hyperlite Mountain Gear's Southwest 2400 backpacks on this trek. Select a campsite 200 feet from trails or streams. More Lower Red Castle To Upper Red Castle Lake is a 23.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Altonah, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. Campaign Zero A backpacking tent will be among the heaviest items you carry on wilderness adventures, so it’s a good place to cut down on weight. There is an option to connect Henry Forks Lake Loop to Red Castle Lakes to make for a longer backpacking trip. Red Castle is located in the the High Uintas Wilderness, and it’s one of my favorite places to go backpacking in Utah! It takes about 6-10 hours each way, depending on how much you are carrying, and how fast you hike. Go straight on to Uinta County Road 283 (unpaved, gravel) and continue to Forest Service Road 072. Some books say that, but I believe Grandaddy Lake is bigger (it depends on who's measurements you use, but on the map it appears so). If you're planning to hit the trail this year, you’ll probably want one of these badboys on your back. Because of the contrast, this rugged peak is probably the most picturesque summit in the entire range. Whether you’re fly fishing or otherwise your chances of getting a bite here are good. The CleverHiker Top Picks page is reserved for our personal favorite backpacking gear. Red Castle Lake, UT Red Castle Lake is a Lake in Summit County, Utah.It has an elevation of 3,444 meters, or 11,299 feet. July to September offer the best temperatures in the High Uinta Wilderness. Natural history. The highway makes a sharp right turn to the west. It is fed entirely from the melting snows on the higher slopes of Red Castle Basin and it is not very deep; hence its size varies a great deal from year to year. The Pacific Northwest is an adventure junkie’s paradise. Continue to Red Castle and Upper Red Castle Lakes on the same trail while gaining 600 additional feet of elevation. All Rights Reserved and. Video sponsored by Backcountry.com. Consequently, there are no trees whatsoever around the higher lake. From China Meadows, it’s a 10 mile hike to the lower lake. Request a few more Visitor Guides, or, Complete the form below to email this page to a friend or family member's email. In this guide, we break down all of the best features from articulated knees to zip-off legs. Check out our best water filters list for more excellent options. NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund 1 Fleece jacket - Extra warmth under your down jacket that will be warmer when damp and better to hike in. We prefer lightweight backpacking because it’s more comfortable and it allows us to cover more ground with less effort. SHOES OR BOOTS: We wore Saucony Peregrine 8 trail runners (men's and women's) on this trail and they were excellent. If you want to make a detour to the summit it is an easy off-trail walk, with only 250 feet of elevation gain. We researched and tested dozens of headlamps to put together this list of this year’s 10 Best Headlamps. Read more... Then you'll love our biweekly newsletter. If you take the 32-km (20-mi) Red Castle Lake trail, you can hike along three lakes. Squaw Pass, for instance, is 3.5 miles west along the Highline Trail, and from there it is possible to walk back along the Little East Fork Trail to Cache Trailhead where the hike began. It gets its name from the red castle-like peaks that stand like a fortress above the basin. Multiday: Red Castle Lake & Wilson Peak, High Uintas Wilderness. Our trip to the Unita Range was last minute to say the least. We’re proudly donating 100% of our revenue from today to the following organizations to address social justice and policy change. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Day 3 The hike back to Cache Trailhead from Lower Red Castle Lake is just the reverse of Day 1. For a full list of wilderness regulations in this area, visit this website. Once it crosses the river the trail almost immediately starts upward, gaining a little over a thousand feet in the next two miles. Many people are making the switch from plastic to glass water bottles for the health of the environment and their bodies. Once at the Upper Red Castle Lake, you will have a good view of your route up, seen here. Hike a locals’ range to a view that includes most of Utah’s Thirteeners on a 30-mile out-and-back. SLEEPING BAG: We used the Feathered Friends Egret UL 20 and the Western Mountaineering UltraLite sleeping bags on this hike for night time temperatures right around freezing. Utah's 13ers are generally overshadowed by their 14er neighbors to the east, but do not be fooled, Utah's 13ers require a tremendous amount of effort to summit. "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Water bottles. We rate most backpacking trips in this area as moderate due to rocky, sometimes muddy trails and the high elevation. As a result the castle-shaped peak is not only a different color than the other surrounding peaks, but it has eroded into an entirely different form. It’s a breathtakingly diverse playground of craggy granite peaks, high alpine lakes, meadows socked with wildflowers, rugged windswept coastline, and more shades of green than your eyeballs can handle. Use a combination of permethrin on your clothing and bring a small bottle of DEET for exposed skin to provide full protection. Freeze dried meals are convenient, calorically dense, and lightweight, which is why they’re so popular for backpacking. This was one of my favorite shots from the hike. See our full review here: https://www.cleverhiker.com/blog/outdoor-research-helium-rain-jacket-amp-pants-review, Need a gift for the outdoorsy person in your life? This area is one of the most popular backcountry destinations in the Uintas due to … Choosing the right footwear will be one of the most important gear decisions you'll make. On the northwestern corner of Red Castle Lake you will find a well cairned trail leading up the talus slope toward Upper Red Castle Lake. At CleverHiker, we believe that backpacking adventures provide some of life’s most rewarding experiences. You’ll spend months communing with nature, build jaw-dropping endurance, and develop lasting friendships along the way. We’ve been boiling and sautéing up a storm in our outdoor kitchen to bring you this list of the best camping stoves on the market. Afternoon thunderstorms are fairly typical and lightening is always a serious threat above treeline. A steamy cup of java on a crisp, quiet morning is just about the perfect start to any day in the wilderness. To avoid the crowds, we recommend visiting this area mid-week, if possible. Your email and your recipient's email will NOT be shared with anyone. Yes, even the airports and even packing. We offer cabins with great amenities, so that the entire family can enjoy ice fishing! The most interesting way to see the Red Castle Lakes is to hike in on the Bald Mountain Trail and hike out on the East Fork Smiths Fork Trail to China Meadows. The formation seems oddly out of place, because although the Uinta Crest is composed almost entirely of gray colored Precambrian quartzite the Red Castle is composed primarily of sandstone and shale based material. Not only will they keep you dry when the skies open up, but they’ll also cut the wind and hold in valuable body heat to keep you safe and warm in the backcountry. Our goal is to help make your adventures as rewarding and enjoyable as possible, and to inspire you to plan your next excursion. The Red Castle is a stunning formation of crumbling red rock that rises around several small lakes, high in the Uinta Mountains. So give a gift that gets someone outdoors this year. CleverHiker.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Swim-worthy waterfall. Ranging from minimalist to fully featured, we bring you our trail-tested Best Daypacks of 2020. Multitools turn a whole box of big, clunky gadgets into a small, portable device so you're prepared for any task. STARTING TRAILHEAD: China Meadows TrailheadENDING TRAILHEAD: China Meadows Trailhead, Day 1 - Hike to Lower Red Castle, Camp (day hike up to Red Castle)Day 2 - Return to China Meadows Trailhead, Day 1 - Hike to Lower Red Castle, Camp (day hike up to Red Castle)Day 2 - Hike back down E. Fork Smiths Fork to Junction with the Highline “A” North Slope (also called the Henrys Fork Junction). Finally, a mile after the trail reaches East Fork Smiths Fork, you will come to Lower Red Castle Lake. Also, here's our list of the best backpacking shoos and boots. Copyright © 1997 - 2020 The Go Travel Sites. There are several good camping spots near the trail on the west side of the lake, and the views of Red Castle Peak are fabulous. At one point or another I’ve fallen victim to every one of the blunders listed below (and then some!). We use the Ultralight .7 Kit and add extras, like painkillers and personal medications. A trusty pair of rain pants should be in every outdoor adventurer's gear arsenal. Upper Red Castle Lake is a small, rocky lake, about 200 yards in diameter. Red Castle Lakes is a very scenic area accessed from the China Meadows trailhead, located about twenty miles outside the town of Mountain View, Wyoming. New backpacking videos, trip reports, gear reviews, inspiring stories and more. Prior to any trip into the backcountry, check the National Weather Service for the local forecast. That said, you should always protect your food against rodents and small critters, which actually tend to cause many more problems than bears. The extensive Highline Trail is only 0.2 mile south of this low point on the ridge; hence there are many possibilities for extended backpacking trips from Upper Red Castle Lake. Now, go around the lake on its west side, there is not much of a trail from here on. Lower Red Castle Lake and Red Castle Lake are beautiful and fairly easy to access via well traveled trails. It can be done either as an out-and-back (red path), or you can combine it with the Highline Trail for a nice loop (purple path). Hikers planning a trip to the scenic Red Castle Lakes on the north slope of the High Uintas generally have two different trails to choose from: the East Fork Smiths Fork Trail or the Bald Mountain Trail. Keep up with our latest tutorials and gear reviews on YouTube. Though many sources look pure, Giardia and Campylobacter are present in this area so we recommend using a lightweight water filter (here's a list of our faves). Click here to view them all! FIRST AID KIT: Always bring a small personalized first aid kit. So when you're in the market for a new shelter, pick up one of the Best Backpacking Tents of 2020. From there, it heads south for about 8 miles, winding through lodgepole pine forests and skirting vast alpine meadows, slowly gaining elevation all the while. Red Castle Lake is displayed on the Mount Powell USGS quad topo map. Follow CleverHiker on Facebook to catch our latest updates & shares. Some content provided by www.utahtrails.com. We rounded up a bunch of the best coolers and put them to the test. You can send yourself an email as well. The right camping mattress can be a real game changer. Here's my list of the Best Backpacks of 2020. The Copper Spur is a top pick on our best lightweight backpacking tents list. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn." We just use whatever vessel is laying around. The lake is so close it almost seems as though you could hit it from the trail with a rock, but because it is 450 feet lower it is seldom visited. Tasty food, cold drinks, and the great outdoors - the perfect trifecta! A solid daypack should be a staple of every outdoor enthusiast's gear collection. HAND SANITIZER: Always apply after using a bathroom and before eating. This is also a summer grazing area for sheep ranchers, and you will probably see signs of sheep if not the sheep themselves. Camping is all about relaxing and sleeping under the stars. Lightweight backpacking video guides and reviews of the best ultralight tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, stoves, and more. Packing a top-notch tent is one of the best ways to increase comfort, safety, and enjoyment on backcountry trips. In addition, we always hike with a lightweight compass. The view from the top of this pass is stunning, but we would only recommend this route for experienced backpackers. Nobody likes waking up with numb hips. Red Castle Lake weather forecast updated daily. Red Castle Lake is a lake in Utah and has an elevation of 11,299 feet. It can be a little overwhelming to find the perfect pair of hiking pants. For those reasons (along with pure coziness), they’ve become our most beloved pieces of clothing for hiking and everyday wear. After reaching the top of the ridge it temporarily levels out and meets the Bald Mountain trail junction. HEADLAMP: A small headlamp like the Petzl Actik is an affordable, bright, and lightweight option. We are dealing, so stop on in! There are a few possible camps higher at Red Castle Lake, but this area is completely above treeline, fully exposed, and can get extremely windy. The landscape here is unbelievably photogenic, so don't forget your camera. 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