Best time to visit Utah

Red Castle

Observe gorgeous Red Castle Peak and surrounding lakes in the light of the setting sun


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The Uinta Mountains is a beautiful range that contains several 13,000-foot peaks, the largest wilderness area in Utah, and lots of beautiful trails for a high-alpine adventure. Thousands of lakes, as well as many streams and meadows, dot its scenic landscape. The Red Castle Lakes area is often called the most picturesque site in the Uintas, and it is no surprise it's so popular among backpackers.

With its stunning alpine meadows and an ideal camping area, the Red Castle area is indeed a heaven for hikers. Its red castle-like peaks towering above the lake basin are especially gorgeous during sunset with glowing light coming from behind. If you take the 32-km (20-mi) Red Castle Lake trail, you can hike along three lakes. The trip can be completed in two or three days depending on your pace. The trail features 438 m (1,437 ft) of elevation gain, reaching a maximum height of 3,300 m (10,824 ft). The trail is nicely graded and in most parts isn't too steep, so the hike should be rather pleasant. Dogs are allowed, buy only on a leash.

Backpacking to Red Castle is a great wildlife adventure. Hikers can spot owls, moose, and even mule deer. Fascinating geology and beautiful lakes offer lots of photo opportunities, so make sure to bring along a camera.

The snow along the Red Castle trail usually melts by late June. Summer is a prime time for beautiful wildflower bloom on Alpine meadows. Thus, the trail usually gets busy on summer weekends. The hiking season lasts well into October depending on the snowfall and temperature drop.

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