“This lake is beautiful and makes a great base camp for exploring Amethyst Basin.”
— Christian Paul
Lake · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This is one of the classic backpacking destinations in the High Uintas Wilderness, and makes a great out and back hike.
Need to Know
This trail does a lot of elevation gain, so be prepared for the burn!
This trail does its first three miles like a roller coaster, with short ups and downs, until you reach Ostler Fork. Then it heads up a very large climb which takes you past a small falls and up a ridgeline with a few views.
You'll then find yourself slowly climbing through a forest that will eventually put you up in a meadow. You'll keep gaining elevation. Stay on the trail as there are some boggy areas above the creek that can throw you off trail.
Once you crest out in the meadow below Ostler Peak, you'll want to head southwest across a log on the creek. Then it becomes off trail hiking until you reach Ostler Lake. There is a trail around the lake that is mainly a game trail with some hiker traffic. The best camp spots are near the meadow on the south end directly below Ostler Peak.
If you are camping at Ostler Lake, this is a great base camp for exploring Amethyst Basin. Or if you are just out for the day, once you are done taking in the sights at the lake, simply hike back to the trailhead the way you came.
Flora & Fauna
Moose, deer, pika, squirrel, chipmunk, mountain goats, wildflowers, and tiger trout.
History & Background
This basin, as well as the adjacent areas, was used for the tie hackers.