Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
Mirror Lake Area, near Kamas, Utah
Activity: Backpacking, Hiking
Date: August 6-8, 2019
9 miles, elevation change 1,110’, 6 hours of hiking, rated Moderate
This was my second alpine backpacking adventure back to back in the Salt Lake City region, out past Park City and beyond passed the small town of Kamas, Utah. This hike was different in the terrain, as well as the look and feel compared to the days I spent just before at Red Pine Lake. Both are top rated backpacking/hiking locations and certainly did not disappoint.
The hike moves past little ponds, lakes, and marshy areas rich with wildflowers. The elevation change steepens as you move up to the “Notch” allowing wonderful views in both directions. I was greeted by the most beautiful mountain goats up on the cliffs above. Heading down the other side I found more examples of splendid wildflowers, and I thought to myself, if you had unlimited funds and a team of landscapers you still could not recreate what God has done.
I arrived at Ibantik Lake and set up my camp that would be my home for the next couple nights. It was a great spot with the major feature being the rock ‘Notch Mountain’ Cliff at the base of the lake, towering over a 1000’ above Ibantik Lake which sits at about 10,000 feet.
The next day I explored the other side of the lake where it was much greener, had plenty of primitive backpacking camp sites, forest, meadows, babbling brook, a mountain peak with a little snow, and a wonderful little waterfall that was so perfect it looked like a water feature at a resort. But this of course, is nature’s resort.
Later that day a rain shower moved through and for 15 minutes I stayed in my tent. When I emerged there was a whole family of mountain goats right near me on a little rocky ridge. So Cool! Then a couple hours later it rained even harder for 3 hours! Ugh! That was more than my 15 year old tent could manage I suppose, as it was leaking from the ceiling, and water was pooling up from the bottom. Here I was huddled on my inflatable sleeping bad trying to keep my sleeping bag dry while I had dripping coming down from above. I was pondering a cold, wet uncomfortable night if everything is damp, as even in the summer the nights dipped down into the high 30’s. Luckily about an hour or so before sunset the clouds parted and the sun-shined. I took everything apart and laid it out in the sun and the breeze to dry out my gear, so it was all good.
This was a wonderful hike. Ibantik Lake Trail is a special place. I highly recommend it.