Leidy Peak Trailhead to Deadman Lake
The Leidy Peak trailhead is a very popular place to begin hiking the Highline Trail. The trailhead sits at 10,925 feet in elevation, and can be accessed from several directions by well maintained roads. The biggest benefit of starting on this side of the trail is that you can hike with the sun at your back each morning, rather than dealing with sun rays shining right in your face. This is particularly beneficial for the portions of the trail that are above timberline. Another benefit is that rides are much easier to coordinate from Salt Lake City than areas near Leidy Peak. Salt Lake City is approximately 5 hours from the trail head, so hikers can have precise drop off times when starting at Leidy Peak trailhead and more flexibility in their pickup times if they end at Hayden Pass trailhead. This section is a good test-run of the trail because the Chepeta Lake section of the trail can be accessed by vehicle. This gives hikers a chance to bail off the trail if illness or gear issues occur, or stage a restocking opportunity for forgotten supplies as you get into into the main leg of the journey.
The eastern half of the trail is more gradual than the the western side of the trail. It is very open and allows hikers to immediately see vistas of the surrounding area. The trail from the Leidy Peak to Deadman Lake doesn't have quick elevation gains and is classic Uinta Mountains alpine tundra. It is fairly exposed though and has few trees, so plan to move through this area during periods of clear skies so you don't get caught in a thunderstorm.
The first lake you'll come to is Lake Wilde. It sits in the bottom of the first pass of the trail, Gabbro Pass. Though not obvious, you'll want to stay to the north of this lake (uphill side) and follow the trail on this side hill to the pass. The Highline Trail map shows the trail going straight up the pass from the lake, but it's a lot steeper and requires losing 100+ feet of elevation that will immediately be regained once reaching the lake.
Once over the pass, you'll being your descent toward Dead Man Lake. This lake is a great location to stop and rest. The water is clear and the lake provides good fishing for brook trout. The lake also has good tree cover if you are waiting out a storm or camping for the night.
Camping Potential - 4
Water Availability - 3
Difficulty - 3
Scenery - 4