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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Bald Mountain Trail - North Slope, UT

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance One Way 6.22 miles
Trailhead Elevation 10,407 feet
Elevation Gain 1,167 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,206 feet
Avg Time One Way 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 10.24
Interest Peak
Backpack Yes
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
10  2015-07-11 Woodsnative
8  2015-07-08
East Fork Smiths Fork Trail
7  2015-07-07 Woodsnative
Author Woodsnative
author avatar Guides 5
Routes 29
Photos 603
Trips 791 map ( 3,003 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Pocatello, ID
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Aug, Jun, Sep
Seasons   Summer
Sun  4:50am - 7:57pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

Take the High Road to the Castle
by Woodsnative

Likely In-Season!
There are several Bald Mountain Trails in the Uintas, so this can be designated as "North Slope," to distinguish it from its more popular cousin near Mirror Lake. That one is trail #082 and begins just off highway 150. This one begins in a remote location and is a connecting trail between other trails, en route to Red Castle Lake.

The route described here is a beautiful alternate route to Red Castle Lake. If you favor a shorter route with less foot and horse traffic, and don't mind a fair amount of elevation gain in exchange for great high-elevation scenery, then this is the route for you.

STARTING OUT: There are two starting points for this route. The first is to park at the ford and wade the river. However, the most convenient is to park at the East Fork Blacks Fork Trailhead, cross the bridge, and then hike north for a mile to the ford. There are signs posted at each point, and where the two trails meet.

THE BIG HILL: You are now on the Bear River-Smith Fork Trail #091. The signage points simply to Smiths Fork. A series of long switch backs will bring you up to the top of the ridge and shortly after that, to the beginning of the Bald Mountain Trail #111.

BALD MOUNTAIN: Once on top of the ridge, you will find the beginning of Bald Mountain Trail. Follow the sign marked Bald Mt. Trail southward and upward. No mention is made of Red Castle. This section of trail is still heavily forested, though most of the trees are dead. After about a mile the trail climbs above tree line and keeps on climbing. It does not go directly to the summit of Bald Mountain but skirts around the domed peak, staying just above the edge of a cliff. At the base of the cliff is beautiful Bald Lake. The next 1.5 miles of trail cross over a very large grassy meadow atop the ridge. The views of the ridges and peaks on both sides are spectacular and Red Castle itself comes into view. The highest point in the trail here is about 11,500 feet.

EAST FORK SMITHS FORK: Upon descending the ridge you enter the pine forests in the next valley. After several miles the Bald Mountain trail ends in a junction with the East Fork Smiths Fork Trail. Nearby is a bridge and the beginning of the East Red Castle Trail. From here to Red Castle Lake the trail is often marked by the footprints of horses and mule trains. There are also sections where streams and marshes flood the trail with water. Continue southward to Lower Red Castle Lake and begin to look for a camping site.

CAMPING: Sites on the lake shores are prohibited in the Wilderness area and dispersed camping is required. One popular area is just below Red Castle in the tall trees, but firewood is harder to come by there due to frequent use. Outside of the trees the winds can be strong and frequent.

The scenery and the fishing are both major draws for coming to this area. Making the extra effort to climb to Upper Red Castle Lake can provide amazing results in both departments!

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2015-07-15 Woodsnative

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$
    Mirror Lake Scenic Byway ( per vehicle ) more info

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    From North: Take Wyoming State Highway 410 south out of Mountain View through Robertson to Meeks Cabin Reservoir. Roads are signed; follow the East Fork Black's Fork Road to a point about 1 mile below the Guard Station.
    Source: UWCNF

    From South: From Kamas, follow Highway 150 east for 49 miles and turn east on forest road 058. Follow road 058 for 18.5 miles, watching out for the slight jog in the road at the Lyman Lake junction (around 16.2 miles). Turn south on forest road 065 and drive 5.5 miles toward the East Fork Blacks Fork Ranger Station, to reach the East Fork Blacks Fork Trailhead.
    page created by Woodsnative on Jul 15 2015 5:54 pm
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