On July 21st of 2006, Don Gneiding and I hiked up the Henry's Fork trail in the High Uintas. This is the trail most people take into King's Peak. The trail runs through lodgepole pines up high above the Henry's Fork river for the first 6 miles. Down below there are many deep lush meadows along the river. At about 8 miles there are a half dozen small lakes and camping areas. From there to King's Peak is another 5 to 9 miles, depending on which way you go. Eventually I plan on hiking to King's Peak, which is for most people a three or more days camping trip. Before trying it with the overnight backpack, I wanted to see how I managed the trail with a lighter pack. According to the map the terrain would rise about 1,000 feet in the first 6 miles, which turned out about right. I figured if I could hike the 10 miles round trip to Elkhorn Crossing with a lighter pack, then maybe at a later time I could do the 8 miles in to the camping area with an overnight pack, since I wouldn't have to hike back out the same day.
Don on the trail, above Henry's Fork river
The hike was a bit longer than expected from looking at the map. I was expecting about 5 miles to Elkhorn Crossing. It turned out to be more than 6 miles. My GPS indicated 6.57 just beyond there when we turned back. It took us about 6 hours to get to that point, and about three back out. We did take a side trip over to Alligator Lake on the way in, stopping for lunch, as well as rest stops and photo stops on the way up.
We saw about 60 people in many different groups coming down. Most had been up there for 3 to 7 days. They all looked pretty tired. We did run into one guy hiking with a teenager, who said he was 60 years old and was on the way back from King's Peak. They left the trail head that morning at 6:00 AM and went all the way to the peak. We met them about 4:00 PM close to the bridge at Elkhorn Crossing as they were coming down. They got back down before we did, making the whole trip in about 12 hours. Don't think I could do that.
It was a beautiful hike, very green and lush. Alligator lake was well worth the side trip. We saw one deer on the road coming in and two more deer and a moose along the trail. The only picture I managed was the one on the road coming in. The forest was pretty thick and the wildlife were able to disappear quicker than I could photograph them. The trip took us about 9 hours and a walking distance of 12.4 miles. I won't lie to you, we were tired when we got back to the car. The drive from Ogden Utah took about 3 hours each way.
There is more than one way into Henry's Fork trail head, but the most used is from Mountain View Wyoming south on 410, going straight on past the turn to Robertson continuing on the dirt road, (See map - blue dashed line). Some people go though Lonetree on 414, and then on to a dirt road from there, (See map - Green dashed line). The road from Mountain View past Robertson is actually a better road.
Six miles in at Henry's Fork Drainage, with Kings Peak in the distance left of center
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Telephoto shot of Kings Peak, from about 6 miles
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More Uinta Hikes
These photos were taken with a Canon EOS 20D, 8.2 Megapixel SLR Camera using a 17-85mm IS wide angle to 5x zoom. Some of these photos were taken with a 100-400mm IS telephoto zoom lens. The original photos have been reduced in size and resolution and compressed to make them load faster. You are welcome to look at or download any of the photos. If you use them on any other webpage, please give credit and refer back to me.
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