Backpack Four Lakes Basin

Rate this Adventure Utah Highline Trailhead High Uintas Wilderness

Added by James Troxell

Stunning backcountry solitude with expansive views all around and a plethora of lakes abundant with backcountry fishing. High mountain valleys, lakes, mountain passes and pristine camping and it's easy to get to the trailhead from anywhere around Salt Lake City.

Four Lakes Basin is one of the many basins of the High Uintas Wilderness. This mountain range encompases 500,000 square acres in Northeastern Utah, and has the longest continuous stretch of terrain above treeline in the continental states.

Four Lakes Basin will start you on one of the more popular trailheads in the Uintas but will get you away from all the people in the end. Start on the Highline Trailhead just miles south of the Bear River ranger station. You can pick up a cheap backcountry permit there. The trail will gain and lose elevation more than you'd like, but the beauty of the terrain more than makes up for it. About 8 miles in, break right off the trail at a sign that says Four Lakes Basin. You can also head left here and bag Rocky Sea Pass and camp in its shadow. It has one of the most vast views in the entire range.

Once into Four Lakes Basin just enjoy the beauty and pick a lake to camp by. There is excellent camping and stream water everywhere in this valley. If you want some more amazing views, head north to Cyclone Pass for some more jaw-dropping scenery. There isn't much of a trail but it takes you just shy of 11,000 feet elevation, and isn't too bad of a trek up. From Four Lakes you can hit many other areas of the Uintas, or just hang out there and fish, swim, relax and enjoy.

Getting there: From Salt Lake City, Utah, take Highway 80 east for 30 miles to Highway 40. Go south on Highway 40 for a mile to the Kamas exit. Go southeast on Highway 189 for 12 miles, then turn east on Highway 150 until you get to the trailhead.

If coming from Ogden, go through Weber Canyon and take I-80 East towards Evanston. In Evanston turn on Highway 150 South and enjoy the scenery as you head to the trailhead. Evanston has good liquor stores if you happen to be a Utahn and need some good stuff!

Trailhead GPS: 40.723499, -110.864449

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag and pad
  • Warm clothes and rain gear
  • Map/GPS
  • Food and some kind of water purification system
  • Backcountry stove and gear
  • Backpacking boots
  • Camera
  • Fishing gear
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



16 Miles

Elev. Gain:

250 Feet


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

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Added by James Troxell

I climb, I backpack, I ride.

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