Red Castle, High Uinta Wilderness
Two weeks ago I got out of Park City and headed to the Uinta Wilderness for a weekend backpack trip. The Uinta mountains, or High Uintas, are the tallest mountains in Utah and top out at 13,500′. This means cold air, plenty of rain and an alpine playground. The meadows are as big as you can imagine and full of wildlife. The peaks are crumbly rock with ridges extending for miles. Once could literally get lost up there.
I’ve made many, many trips into the Uintas throughout my time in Utah and Red Castle remains one of my favorite places there. Its 18+ miles r/t to Lower Red Castle Lake along a relatively flat trail, gaining 1000′ in 9 miles. The trail passes along giant meadows and offers increasingly amazing views. When you get close to Red Castle Peak, you forget about all the miles and mosquitoes! On this trip there were 0 bugs but mid-summer here will cost you about 1 quart of blood. I didn’t have time to explore the upper basins and peaks but those mountains are 1 million years old and not going anywhere:) That was fine with me though since my main goal was to photograph Red Castle Peak.
Mountains are great to climb but not always the best to photograph from up high. Sometimes they look better from below, as is the case with Red Castle. The weather was off and on rain with the dramatic light changing fast. The sky would either be dark grey, blue or white within minutes. This made for a fun and challenging environment for shooting! It was also great to see so many types of light in such a short time.
I’m dreaming of taking an extended backpacking trip through the Uintas some fall and capturing the full landscape. I’ve backpacked in the Uintas at least 20 times but never for more than 2 nights. I want to spend 10+ days out there! It’ll take time and many miles of walking but those two suit me just fine:)