I wanted to share some of our favorite camping spots from our first summer in Utah! Our camping trips have included traveling to American Fork Canyon and the Uinta Mountains in Utah. American Fork Canyon is near Lehi, UT, about an hour south of the city in the Wasatch Mountain Range. The Uinta Mountain Range is about an hour and a half east from Salt Lake City (could be longer depending on where you hike), so it’s a great distance away for a one or two night camping trip! It’s far enough outside the city, so it isn’t as crowded as the Wasatch Mountain Range. It’s also higher elevation in the Uinta’s, so it’s a great way to escape the city heat in the summer! There is no cell service in either of these spots, so it’s a perfect way to be off the grid 🙂
SILVER GLANCE LAKE
Our first backpacking trip was with my husband Matt and my friend Kristin in American Fork Canyon in the middle of June. The trail head parking lot is located up at Silver Lake Reservoir, a beautiful place to swim!! I’ll share the details of our trip to the reservoir in a later post. However, the road to the trail head is a narrow, curvy, dirt road so be cautious! It was a beautiful, steady hike to the first lake, Silver Lake, and it was perfect for our first time with 30lb packs on our back! The last mile to Silver Glance Lake was less traveled and a lot steeper. But it’s definitely worth it for the quiet and views at the top 🙂 We spent one night there, and Matt was able to try out his new fly fishing rod at the top lake. You could say Matt is obsessed with his new hobby out in Utah!
The first time we went to the Uinta’s was in late June with a group of people from our college town of La Crosse, WI. Surprisingly, there are so many people from the Midwest that have moved to Utah and we have been connecting with as many people as possible! We started with an easier hike called Wall Lake, it’s low elevation and only 2 miles round trip. It’s pretty heavily trafficked, dog friendly, and you can swim and cliff jump at the lake! Warning, the water is super cold in the beginning of summer and there are lots of bugs! Some of our group only stayed for the day, so it was perfect for them to hike in and out before sunset. We set up camp at the top of the cliff on the far side of the lake so no one was around us. We spent the day playing spike ball, cliff jumping, playing games, and having a bonfire! It was a blast, and we can’t wait to go back next summer!
In the middle of August I took a girls only backpacking trip with my friends Kristin and Lauren back to the Uintas! It was so much fun to have some girl time before Kristin moved back to the Midwest. We left on a Sunday and came back Monday, and we saw barely any people the whole route! This lake is closer to 7 miles round trip and has more elevation, so it was a good challenge. The trail head parking lot is the same is wall lake, but its farther past that lake and over Notch Peak. The views on this hike are incredible, and we passed about 6 lakes on our way to Ibantik (and you can swim in all of them). We camped a little before Ibantik because we saw the prettiest view overlooking 3 lakes and a big flat surface for our tent. The weather was much warmer overnight in August, I would recommend doing this hike later in the summer! And no bugs 🙂 The trail was very well marked, and we even saw some firefighters checking on a controlled forest fire farther back in the mountain.
Special thanks to Kristin who showed us the ropes on backpacking and how to pack for a trip! We are also so thankful for our wedding guests who helped us purchase our camping and hiking gear on our registry! It is definitely getting put to good use 🙂
Some of the gear we started off with and would recommend to anyone living in Utah or out west includes (we found most items on Amazon or REI Garage Sales for cheaper):
Backpacking: 50-70L backpack, tent, insulated sleeping bag, sleeping pad, camp stove with propane, durable bowls/sporks, water filter, lighter, down jacket/hiking pants, 3L water bladder, Nalgene water bottle, bear spray.
Hiking: supportive hiking boots, trail shoes (for shorter day hikes), day backpack, water bladder
Next on our hiking and camping bucket lists are the National Parks in Utah! We hope to visit Zion, Bryce Canyon, Moab, and Canyonlands in the fall and winter season, and I’ll be sure to post our highlights from those road trips!