Ruth Lake

Ruth Lake

Uinta Mountains
Hiking & Backpacking

          The Ruth Lake Trail is excellent for beginning hikers or children. The short trail contains several interpretive signs to enhance your outdoor knowledge. The trail has little elevation gain and is never steep or difficult.

          Experienced hikers and backpackers can use this route as a starting point for exploring a large number of alpine lakes and meadows. Several route options are provided that allow you to tailor your adventure to suit your needs, time and skill level.

General Information:
Click Here for Goggle Earth KMZ file.Click Here for Topographic Map           The Ruth Lake hike is an adventure the entire family can enjoy. The scenic route visits the beautiful Ruth Lake. The Ruth Lake area offers a great introduction into overnight backpacking and is a very child friendly region.

          The basic round trip hike to Ruth Lake can be completed in less than 1 hour. It would be easy to spend an entire day in the area exploring all of the concealed lakes in the area. A vehicle shuttle is not required, this is an out and back hike. All hikers in your party should carry a minimum of one liter of water. Water is plentiful in this area, but all water taken from lakes and streams should be filtered before drinking.

          The route contains no real obstacles. Novice hikes will have no problems with this route. Experienced and intermediate hikers can easily entertain themselves with several cross-country hikes to secluded lakes in the immediate area. The Ruth Lake Route is rated 1 I using the Yosemite Decimal System. Afternoon thunderstorms are very common in the high Uinta Mountains so go prepared with rain gear. Because of the high precipitation mosquito's are common in the Uinta's. A mosquito repellent that contains DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) is most recommended.

          Navigation for this route is easy. A GPS is useful in identifying waypoints if you intend to travel cross-country to any of the secluded lakes. Good map reading skills and the USGS 7.5' Maps titled "Mirror Lake" and "Hayden Peak" are helpful. All waypoints and maps for this route use the WGS84 datum.

Use Fee:
Visitors who use recreational facilities along State Road 150 (Mirror Lake Highway) are required to pay a use fee. Visitors who do not use recreation facilities, are not subject to fees.

          Ruth Lake, Teal Lake, Hayden Lake, Jewel Lake and Cutthroat Lake are all stocked with fish. Fish found in the Uinta's include arctic grayling, brook trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout, golden trout and rainbow trout. A Utah State Fishing License is required to fish in the Uinta's. It is recommended that fishing be done in the less popular lakes for best results.

Hayden Lake Wild Flowers at Naomi Lake

Trailhead Information:
          From Kamas, Utah follow Highway 150 east for 35 miles to the signed Ruth Lake Trailhead located at mile marker 35.0.

          From Evanston, Wyoming follow Highway 150 south for 43 miles to the signed Ruth Lake Trailhead located at mile marker 35.0.

          The large parking area at Ruth Lake Trailhead is paved and located on both sides of Highway 150. The trailhead contains an information kiosk and a pit toilet. Improved campgrounds are located nearby at Butterfly Lake and Mirror Lake. Any vehicle can access this trailhead.

Ruth Lake & 12,479' Hayden Peak

Route Information:
          From the Ruth Lake Trailhead (N40 44' 02", W110 52' 03") follow the well-maintained trail west for 3/4 mile to Ruth Lake (N40 44' 03", W110 52' 48"). The trail is easy to hike and very scenic as it passes near a meadow. Hayden Peak provides a massive and astonishing backdrop to the east.

Experienced Hiker Options:
The Ruth Lake Trail provides access to several wonderful and secluded lakes. These lakes have no established trail and do not receive the high numbers of visitors as the lake with established trails. Route finding and navigation skills are required to visit the secluded lakes that include Naomi Lake (N40 44' 07", W110 53' 00"), Hayden Lake (N40 43' 59", W110 53' 14"), Cutthroat Lake (N40 44' 09", W110 53' 53"), Teal Lake (N40 44' 33", W110 54' 02"), Jewel Lake (N40 44' 19", W110 53' 21") and Fir Lake (N40 44' 26", W110 53' 09").

          Backpacking to Ruth Lake would be a waste of time because of the short distance and high visitation. But backpacking to several of the secluded lakes would be a simple and rewarding experience.

          Enjoy a short video of Ruth Lake. Video courtesy of Dan Burt.


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