A quick overnight trip. Endless lakes, wildflowers, birds chirping, dry trail, blue sky… it was the perfect overnighter. Atlas loves these adventures; so do I!
Day 1- Crystal Lake Trailhead to Meadow Lake
I hit the trail at 3 p.m. I just love how long the days are this time of year with the sun not setting until 9 p.m. and the daylight lingering closer to 10 p.m. The first few miles were a gradual uphill climb to Notch Pass. It passed by Wall Lake, Hope Lake and a bunch of other smaller lakes and so Mr Atlas was in heaven. I was in heaven when we got to the pass, wow what a view it is from up there!
The trail from Notch Pass to Meadow Lake was a gradual decline. It passed right by 2 stunning lakes: Lovenia and Ibantik. Wow, if I have the chance to camp at either of these one day I sure will! Very scenic lakes.
We arrived at Meadow Lake and found a good place to camp by about 6:30. There were a million mosquitos everywhere, so I turned on the Radius as soon as I found a good campsite. It took a few minutes to kick in but after it did, Kate 1 : Mosquitos 0. Win! I got camp setup and headed down to the shore of Meadow Lake to eat dinner and watch the sunset. If there were a million mosquitos at the camp, there were a billion by the water’s edge and the Radius held ’em all back. So thrilled with this little device.
It was a really relaxing evening: birds chirping, fish jumping out of the water and a peaceful sunset. I studied the maps for the next day and Atlas swam in the lake and chewed sticks. I had to tie him up the last hour though because I wanted him to dry off while the sun was still out, he didn’t like that one bit and whined most of the hour; poor little guy, better than having him freeze at night though!
We were in the tent by 9 p.m. I brought Atlas’ doggy sleeping bag this trip, although this week I did order him a new, much larger, doggy jacket. I’d like to get his sleep system dialed before our upcoming Wind River trip, i’m hoping I can pair his doggy jacket with his insulated mat and leave the sleeping bag at home. We’ll see. He loved his sleeping bag this trip, he even kept the cover on top of him most of the night this time; it’s a great setup but is just a little bulky for my liking in my backpack.
Day 2- Meadow Lake to Crystal Lake TH via Clyde Lake
Atlas was up at 5:30, so I let him out to run around and do his morning business, which evidently included a full submerge in the lake. Brrrr. Crazy kid. I packed up camp, fed Atlas and I, did my dynamic stretching routine and was on-trail by 7. I made it up to the pass by 9 a.m. and stopped there for a snack and for Atlas to have a quick nap. What a view!
Instead of completing this as an out-and-back, I decided to detour the last half of the hike by heading across to Clyde Lake and looping back to Crystal Lake TH from that direction. I’m so happy I did, the trail was pure bliss! Wildflowers were everywhere, the trail was literally on the shore of a lake for long sections of it and the views were great.
Back to the trailhead at 11 and Atlas jumped straight into the car and fell asleep. He was wiped! I’m glad we’re doing these weekend trips before the Wind River adventure, because it’s giving me a really good idea of what his stamina level is. He’ll be nearly a year old by then, but I don’t think it would be wise for me to plan longer than about 10-12 mile days for our itinerary. It’s also good because he’s getting acclimatized to about 10,500 ft. and that’s exactly the zone we’ll be living in for a couple of weeks in the Winds.
One thing i haven’t quite figured out is what to do about his food for a long-distance hike. For these shorter trips i’ve just been loading up his doggy-pack with his usual kibble and then some extra treats. I think he’s going to need a lot more calories and I also wonder whether there’s a lighter way to do it than kibble- maybe freeze dried food or something? Bright-Eyes, if you’re reading, what does Sadie eat on the trail?
I stopped by Dick’s Burger Shack in Kamas to get the mandatory burger and chocolate shake that concludes every good Uintas adventure. I drove home with a giant smile on my face, what a great weekend trip! I highly recommend this route.