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Gilbert Creek and Vicinity

The stretch of trail between the Kidney Lakes and Painter Basin is a very heavily wooded section of trail. Along the way you'll pass a few meadows, but for the most part you are in heavy timber and it's difficult to see much of the mountains or other scenery from the trail. Be warned, the trail can be difficult to follow in this area. Make sure to watch for cairns to keep from getting turned around and lost. The worst spot is around 0.8 miles from the Kidney Lakes. The trail will appear to drop off a shelf and into the Uinta River drainage, when in actuality it makes a 90 degree turn to your right. You will realize you are not on trail about 50 yards into the mistake, but finding the trail can still be difficult. Again, watch for cairns in this section, and backtrack to the last known trail location (often a cairn) if you think you've lost the trail. It doesn't take long to get turned around and lost. 


One of the highlights in this stretch is the Uinta River. It is one of the larger rivers you'll encounter on the trail, and it is a welcome sight after descending into the river corridor. The river is absolutely loaded with small trout and can be a great place for a pit stop. Once you cross the river you'll be limited on water until you reach Painters Basin, so make sure to stock up on water at the crossing. 

From the river, you'll cross a ridge that separates you from Painters Basin. Again, the trail is difficult to find in places and is heavily wooded. To be honest, this portion of trail is one of the less memorable sections, but it brings you into one of the greatest basins in the Uinta mountains, so it's worth the walk!

Camping Potential - 3
Water Availability - 3
Difficulty - 2
Scenery - 3
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