JUNE 2008




The Haystack Lake trail is a pleasant one-mile hike leading south from Washington Lake. If you're seeking solitude, this may not be the best hike to do in the summer. Washington Lake has a large campground and so Haystack Lake is probably a fairly popular location. I visited the area in mid-June hoping to do a hike at a higher elevation, but being discouraged by the high snow and frozen lakes I ended up settling on the Haystack Lake area because it was at a lower elevation than the other trails in the area. I still ended up walking most of the way on a three to four foot snow pack and most of the lakes were still mostly frozen, but it was surprisingly enjoyable.

The first lake you will come to after Washington Lake is Tail Lake. It is a nice little lake connected onto Washington Lake at its inlet. Follow the inlet to Tail Lake and it will lead you to Shadow Lake, a very pretty lake. From here you can continue to follow the trail to Haystack Lake and Beth Lake, or else continue along the side of Haystack Mountain to Rock Lake and Azure Lake. I recommend doing the latter. Rock Lake is a stunning lake surrounded on most of its shore by small boulders. Azure Lake is just past Rock Lake. The hike from Azure down to Haystack was fairly steep. I actually got a little off course and ended up at Beth Lake (not the prettyiest lake) before finding my way to Haystack Lake.

Haystack Lake is a beautiful Uinta Lake with Haystack Mountain in the background and pine trees surrounding the edges. It looks like it would make a great place to camp, unless it gets too crowded in the summer. From Haystack it is not too far to a couple other lakes; Blue, Buckeye, and Hourglass. Because I was trudging along on deep half-melted snow, I didn't have time to make it past Haystack and Beth. Its a beautiful area and so I am sure it would be a pleasant area to explore. However, maps of the area show ATV trails going all throughout the area past Haystack. This is partly what discouraged me from ever visiting this area before. I'm not sure how crowded these trails are in the summer, so it might not be a problem. I was lucky enough to hike this area before the snow was gone and so had the entire area to myself. I saw a man and his dog at Washington Lake when I began and saw nobody else the rest of the afternoon.