Naturalist Basin TR
Headed to Naturalist Basin in the Uintas Saturday, September 1. This was my first trip there so I wasn't certain what to expect. I drove up from Ogden and left the TH about 7:30AM. With it being Labor Day Weekend I expected the area to be crowded but there weren't very many cars at the TH. Heading into the Basin I passed one couple and otherwise had the trail to myself. At Jordan Lake I talked to the single pair of campers there, then headed up toward Shaler Lake. I had no trouble finding what I assume is Shaler Lake then gradually wandered left at the base of the ridge enjoying the day and the alpine scenery. Faxon Lake was quite low as were several potholes along the trail, I suppose due to the dry summer. When I arrived above Blue Lake I thought about trying to hike to the col above the lake but decided against it since I was hiking alone. By the time I arrived at the base of Blue Lake I was enjoying having the Basin to myself with only the 2 backpackers at Jordan Lake. That ended soon enough. On the way down to Morat Lakes I talked to a couple of backpackers heading up toward Blue Lake. Just below them was a camp with one person. From this point out I ran into loads of people plus 3 pack strings (2 horse and one goat-yes goats!). My solitary day ended quickly after Blue Lake.
Notes on the hike. The trail into Jordan is signed and easy to follow. From Jordan around to the other higher lakes the trail is intermittent but after looking at the map it isn't hard to navigate. For me the way (I am not going to say trail) from Blue Lake to the Jordan Lake Trail was not obvious for most of the way and several places were quite steep and eroded and required careful negotiation. Eventually the trail connects to the trail heading to Jordan Lake. The route back to the parking lot is easy from there. It was a great hike that I hope to take again someday.
By the way, I may have misidentified some of the lakes. If so, please feel free to correct my ID. I suspect many of you have been to Naturalist Basin.
09-03-2007 08:14 AM
I did that hike last year, and had a riot, we pushed on into 4 lakes basin, and back, great area. loved it
Thanks for the pics, I've been up there a few times, always as a day hike. If you can time it just as the last snows are melting there are a lot of really nice waterfalls. Three or so north of Jordan, one I call staircase falls, the creek splits into 7 or 8 small streams and falls down a giant staircase (that one might run year round). There are two falling into Jordan Lake, one really good one coming out of Morat Lakes and some along the trail between Blue and Jordan. I've been after they dry up in the summer and the place just isn't the same for me.
Lovely photos. Looks like a great hike.