To report accurately I made a quick trip up the MIrror Lake Scenic Byway–Utah Highway 150 on Saturday, May 19th, to be able to report to all my High Uinta Friends. Below are a set of photographs, some of them partnered up with similar shots taken on June 28, 2011. You should all recall that 2011 was a heavy snow year and the Mirror Lake Highway didn’t open until June 28th, but with a lot of snow. That made backpacking access very difficult until late July. As you can see it is much different this year. Actually the Highway was open about a week ago.
We first stop at Provo River Falls, seeing it on the left last year, and then on the right today. Obviously we are in for a very dry year,
Up the highway we stopped to observe Teapot Lake with ice breaking up. Notch Pass is seen in the distance.
Next we come to Lilly Lake the above portion on the north side of the highway. There were a few fisherman.
The high point on the highway is Bald Mt. Pass. On the left in 2011 there were 4 foot drifts still. Today, 40 days earlier, almost nothing.
Over the pass we pulled out to view Moosehorne Lake below with slushy ice still, with Hayden Peak on the left, and Mount Agassiz on the right.
We are looking east towards Mt. Agassiz, the Naturalist and Four Lakes Basins, and Cyclone Pass.
As we head north towards Hayden and Agassiz peaks we can’t help but notice little snow.
In fact the difference is stark! Backpacking will be possible easily by mid-June in some areas.
From Mirror Lake, that still had slushy ice on it, we climb towards Hayden Pass and stop to get a shot of Butterfly Lake that looks about the same as it did last year on July 8th.
We went as far as the Highline Trailhead, the most famous and most used in the Uintas. It looked about the same as on July 8th last year. No access yet to the parking lot, but I suspect it will be clear of snow by early June.
I hope this report has been of interest to you. I now have to go to work and do PART 3 of the series I have been doing to help us all get ready for the backpacking season. It will deal with GEAR. I’ll do my darndest to get it done before I report in for my surgery on May 24th–and thus have my backpack ready for my first backpack.
If you are alert you will notice that the High Uintas Project is very alive as during my recovery I will post some interesting historical reports related to the High Uintas that you might not have heard of, and I suspect that I’ll beat the prognosticators in even getting some of my 4 trip schedule done before the snow flies–likely the trip scheduled first: HOT ON THE TRAIL OF THE TIE HACKERS ON THE MIDDLE FORK OF BLACKS FORK and BOB’S LAKE
We all need to have GOALS and boy have I got them. Make out a list of your’s and work on them.