Deer Lake in Yellowstone Canyon gives day hikers a glimpse of High Uintas’ remote terrain

Nate Carlisle | The Salt Lake Tribune Deer Lake, seen here on July 11, 2016, sits on the south slope of the Uinta Mountains in the Ashley National Forest.

A lot of people backpack through the High Uintas Wilderness Area and the Ashley National Forest, but the trail to Deer Lake offers a great day hike there.

Directions • From the town of Duchesne, drive north on State Route 87 and follow it for 23 miles. The road will wind. Turn north again on 2100 West, which may also be labeled Forest Service Road 119. Follow the signs another 19 miles to the Swift Creek Campground. The trailhead is in the campground, at GPS coordinates 40.601308, -110.347714.

Hike • From the trailhead, follow the sign to the Swift Creek Trail. In about a quarter mile, you will come to a fork. Take the right fork toward Swift Creek. You ascend a series of switchbacks. At 1.2 miles, you reach ridge with a view of Yellowstone Canyon to the east. At 3.15 miles, the trail joins Swift Creek. At 3.7 miles, you cross the creek for the first of several times. Continue ascending and, at about 6 miles, the trail reaches Deer Lake.

Hiking time • 6.5 hours<br>Round-trip miles • 12 miles<br>Elevation gain • 2,316 feet<br>Difficulty • Difficult<br>Trailhead restrooms • Yes<br>Dogs allowed • Yes<br>Bikes allowed • No<br>Fees • No