West Fork of

Blacks Fork Basin

This basin is one of the smaller basins that you'll encounter during your hike, but it's one of the most stunning basins too. You get a little bit of everything in the basin; incredible scenery, treacherous passes, alpine tundra, timber, creeks, and a breathtaking lake. For this reason you might see a few more people in this drainage because it can also be accessed using the West Fork of Blacks Fork Trail that runs north and south through the basin. The trailhead is approximately 10 miles from the lake, which makes this area a popular hike for people not traveling along the Highline Trail. Still, it does require substantial effort to reach the basin from any direction, so don't expect to see crowds of people in the area. 

Dead Horse Lake is likely the main reason to love this basin. The lake itself is a brilliant turquoise color that is only found in a few lakes in the Uinta Mountains. The lake is surrounded by impressive rock formations too, which adds to the ambiance of the area. The lake also has multiple areas to camp and good fishing, making it a great place to stay. It's also a good point to stage so you can mentally prepare for Dead Horse Pass.

Few mountain passes are as memorable as Dead Horse Pass. It won't be the tallest pass you'll experience on the trail, nor will it be the most difficult, but there are sections of this pass that can be truly terrifying. The north side of this pass will start off rocky, but the trail gradually becomes loose and mostly small shale. These spots can be extremely dangerous. The trail narrows to about 8" wide and the trail becomes almost nonexistent. You'll want to make sure that you cross this pass after it has had time to dry out; when wet, the trail can easily give way and it can be very slick. The pass is also frequently covered in snow until early-July, so keep that in mind if you're trying to hike the pass earlier in the year. 

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

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