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Painter BAsin

Painter Basin is likely one of our favorite spots of all the places along the Highline Trail. The basin in a long, high elevation valley that has lots of willows and that is surrounded on all sides by gorgeous mountain views. To the west you'll see Kings Peak, the tallest mountain in Utah. It's one reason that some people call this area the "Valley of the Kings".

 

One unique fact about that basin is that it is the location of the first release of white-tailed ptarmigan in the Uinta Mountains in 1976. The birds were brought here from Colorado, and since their release they have spread to many parts of the Uinta range. The basin still has a robust population of ptarmigan, and they are often seen in the willow-covered foothills of the basin. 

The trail through Painter Basin is easy to follow and doesn't present much difficulty. Much of the basin is open. If you are searching for camping spots with tree cover then you will want to stay on the east side of the basin, or east of the intersection with trail 043 and 044. Camping in the middle of the valley can also be quite pleasant, but it can get really windy at times. 

 

As you enter the basin you will also see the next obstacle in your path - Anderson Pass. It doesn't look too daunting, but it is a serious pass and the highest point on the trail. Make sure to enjoy some time in Painter Basin before attempting the pass.

Camping Potential - 4
Water Availability - 3
Difficulty - 2
Scenery - 5