Mirror Lake Highway
8.1 miles out and back
777 feet total gain
Mirror Lake recreation fee
Lots of water all the way
Mostly well traveled dirt path
Picture Rock:40.70721N, 110.96372W
Ibantik Lake:40.71464N, 110.95090W
This is an awesome day hike or overnight trip in the Uintas. It is easily accessed in any kind of vehicle. You will pass awesome views and lots of lakes. You will park at the Crystal Lake Trailhead. There is a large parking area with overflow. We had to use the overflow which added about a mile round trip. I thought that we were in for an annoying packed hike. I was wrong. We saw 8 people actually hiking and only 2 others at the lake. There is a vault toilet at the parking lot so use it if you hate using nature.
This hike is pretty easy as far as elevation gain goes. But you never drop below 10,000 feet so breath can still be hard to come by. The first section of trail has a lot of pretty wildflowers.
You will soon pass by Wall Lake. This is the largest you will see and is a popular place to camp. The trail passes the shores of this lake and then up and above it.
After this lake you will climb what is called “the notch.” This is a small pass the breaks notch mountain into two. This is where most of you elevation is gained each way. We took a small detour to a large rock outcrop to see how many lakes we could see. I called it picture rock. Climbing it turned out to be a great decision. See how many lakes you can count!
You get amazing views of Mount Watson.
This spot was so beautiful even the dog seemed to be having a religious experience.
Scrambling off of picture rock.
As you get to the top of the notch you can see Lovenia Lake below you.
You also get gorgeous views of distant peaks.
The trail down the notch is pretty, and mostly easy to follow.
Very soon you will swithback your way right to the shore of Ibantik Lake.
This is a beautiful, deep lake. There were some really good campsites if you want to stay overnight. I wished we were doing that but it was not to be. Take at least an hour at the lake to explore. In the spring there is a waterfall on the south east side of the lake. There are giant rocks to climb around on as well.
We didn’t swim but it was nice to cool off our hot feet from the hike in.
Overall the scenery is amazing and has one huge mountain rise right out of the southwest shore.
There are several loop options so if you have a car shuttle. We just did this as an out and back. You have to climb the notch again but it really isn’t that bad.
This is a very scenic hike to a very scenic lake. I think its one of the best I have been to in the Uintas. Its very deep and very cold and refreshing. As mentioned earlier there are great spots to spend a night. This one should be on the list of anyone exploring the Uintas. Other trails accessed from the same trail head are: