Naturalist Basin

Another backpacking trip to the Uinta Mountains of Utah is in the books! We’ve had a good week of thunderstorms and rain in Utah and after the dry and hot June, I needed to soak up some moisture. Where to go for rain in Utah in the summer? Uintas. One item to be sure to bring? Raincoat. Key item forgot at home? Raincoat.

I arrived at the trailhead just as the rain stopped and the skies cleared. I’d be good for a while as long as more rain didn’t move in. The rain had cleared out the mosquitoes so the walking was easy on the Highline trail. The trail then heads uphill at the turn off for Naturalist Basin and continues past Morat Lakes and up to Blue Lake. It gets quite steep for short sections, especially with a full pack.

Once at camp, the tent went up immediately! Dark clouds were approaching and I needed a dry shelter. My tent handles rain and wind just fine and within minutes of setting it up, the rain came. And the wind. And the lightning. It was a little too close for my liking and I sat in my tent as it raged outside, dropping 1/4″ of rain and sleet. I must have been tired because I fell asleep and woke up to stars at 10pm! So much for sunset pics and dinner in the evening light. I had to go find water in the dark then cook in the dark. The bacon wrapped filet mignon was a nice compliment to my ramen noodles and Moose Drool:)

The morning brought clear skies and cool temps. It was around 40 degrees with dew covering everything. In my sleep deprived packing, I also forgot oatmeal for breakfast so I had a granola bar. Yum. I did have tea so the morning wasn’t a complete bust. I grabbed my tea and headed for a few wildflower patches I’d seen the previous day. I spent my morning wandering around and taking photos of flowers while practicing my ND filter technique. I’m relatively new at the ND thing so I feel I was lucky in getting at least 1 decent flower image.

Morning came and went and another nap was in order. Then a quick walk to the ridge at 12,000 feet for a look around. Mt. Agassiz dominates the view in the area with Hayden Peak not too far away. There are multiple lakes in the surrounding basins with meandering streams connecting them which makes for fantastic views in all directions! A short hike down and I was back at camp in time for another nap. The mosquitoes had found me by this point and I wanted to keep my blood. Around 4pm it was time to pack up and head home. I wanted to save the hike for good evening light and the entire walk out I saw 0 people:) Not bad for a trailhead with 40 cars! Enjoy, EE.


6 thoughts on “Naturalist Basin

    • Ha ha, glad to hear this! You should pick up your camera and photograph stuff in your yard or fridge or anything! It’s a good sterss realease if anything:) The Uinta’s and many other places in Utah are endlessly amazing so its just a matter of getting out of work for me!! Thank you again, EE


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