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Uinta Highline Trail
High Uintas viewed from Anderson Pass.jpg
High Uintas as viewed from the Uinta Highline Trail at Anderson Pass
Length 104 mi (167 km)
Location Uinta Mountains, Utah, USA
Trailheads McKee Draw, U.S. Route 191
Hayden Pass, Utah Route 150
Use backpacking, hiking, horseback riding, trail running
Elevation
Highest point Anderson Pass, 12,700 ft (3,871 m)
Lowest point McKee Draw (eastern terminus), 8,240 ft (2,512 m)
Hiking details
Trail difficulty Moderate to strenuous
Months July to September
Sights Kings Peak (highest peak in Utah), High Uintas Wilderness
Hazards Snowmelt and icy slopes early in the season, severe weather, altitude

The Uinta Highline Trail is a trail in the Uinta Mountains of Utah that traverses the range 104 miles (167 km) from east to west. The trail passes through expansive alpine landscapes dominated by metasedimentary rocks sculptured by past glaciers. The broad glacial basins are dotted by hundreds of lakes.

Hiking

The Uinta Highline can be thru hiked in either direction, but hikers of its entire 104-mile length more often hike east to west. The trail starts at the Highline Trailhead in McKee Draw, just 0.5 miles west of U.S. Highway 191 on Forest Road 062. A vault toilet and parking area are at the trailhead. The first 25 miles of trail pass through forest and subalpine meadows, and there can be limited sources of water, particularly late in the season. After crossing Little Brush Creek at mile 4.3, the next source of water may be over 20 miles away near Leidy Peak. There, Hacking Lake is a short hike off the trail.

From Leidy Peak westward, the trail crosses long stretches of alpine tundra, rocky passes, and subalpine forests. Numerous lakes and streams serve as water sources.

The trail ends at the Highline Trailhead at Hayden Pass on the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway (Utah Route 150). A vault toilet and parking area are located at the trailhead. This is a busy trailhead, particularly on summer weekends, and is within a federal fee area requiring a day pass (may be purchased at a couple locations along the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway) or an annual America the Beautiful Pass.

The Uinta Highline Trail passes two additional trailheads. Both are many miles from paved highways and are reached by gravel roads. The Leidy Peak trailhead is at mile 25. The Chepeta Lake trailhead is at mile 38. Starting at one of these trailheads shortens the westward hike to Hayden Pass to 79 miles or 66 miles, respectively. In the past some users have chosen to shorten the distance traveled due to the unmaintained condition of the far eastern portion of the trail. However, since 2013 the trail from US Highway 191 to Leidy Peak has been improved through the efforts of volunteers from Vernal, Utah.

There is no permit required to hike the Uinta Highline Trail.

The Uinta Highline Trail has a remote, primitive character. In places, the trail lacks tread and is merely a route marked with occasional cairns, posts, or signs. This can be attractive to users who seek solitude and have the necessary navigation skills.

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