Family Backpacking to Clyde/Booker Lake | High Uinta Range, UT

I’ve never regretted taking our kids into the backcountry. We’ve taken small steps in that direction, biting off only what we are comfortable with. But after a few summers of backpacking with the kids, the only thing I’ve regretted was not doing it sooner!

I’d like to call the Uintas, “the land of lakes.” It should also be called, “the land of family adventure” because there is a ton of exploring to be done that is easy to access, generally easy to navigate, and truly beautiful.

Kids and dog backpacking in high uintas

After last summer’s first successful trip backpacking with our kids to Willow Heights in the Wasatch Range, we were stoked to go again. And so were the kids. We’d planned out a rough outline of our trip:

Starting from the Crystal Lake Trailhead, we’d hike past Cliff Lake to Clyde Lake and from there figure out where we wanted to plant ourselves for the weekend. Though this was a super small hike by comparison to the norms, we also had young kids carrying their own packs (albeit lightweight) and two of the kids were ages 4 and under. Total we had 3 families, 7 kids, 3 sets of parents and one courageous grandma. 🙂

The hike in began with rain! A good 15 minute downpour. Not enough to stop us from going but certainly in the back of my mind I was doubting where this day might take us.Hiking to Wall Lake in rain, Uinta Range Dog hiking with family


But by the time we reached Cliff Lake, the rain had stopped. We pulled out the orange slices, of the sugary variety, and my husband headed down the trail.

He figured out a new hiking strategy: aid stations for the kids where they find a sugar treat waiting for them on some rock or log.

Trail bait of kid aid stations for hiking

The trail is pretty gentle, with a short but steep climb near Wall Lake. The trail becomes less obvious just past Wall Lake and we found ourselves off trail for a short section before finding it again. This is obvious from the loop-de-loops on our map at the end of this post. 🙂 Hiking into Clyde Lake, just past Wall Lake, Uintas Hiking into Booker Lake, uintas

At roughly 2 miles we reached the southern end of Clyde Lake. And it seemed we weren’t the only families out adventuring. In fact, one overnight group had an infant. Go them!

Descending to Clyde Lake, Uinta backpacking Hosts of wild flowers in the Uintas, Utah

We spent the next hour or so hiking around and scouting out a site. We settled on one just south of Booker Lake. Let us just say there is no lack of awesome camp sites in the Uintas.

A piece of our camp near Booker LakeBooker Lake, High Uintas, Utah Meal time when backpacking Camp life in the backcountry with MSR

The evenings were mild, and I loved our first official trip in the backcountry with the kids’ new quilts by Enlightened Equipment. If you are looking for a sleeping bag or quilt, check them out.

Camping/tents with kids in backcountry

The next day we headed out on a day hike. We’d originally planned on summitting Mount Watson, but after a quick run up it the night before, the dads decided loose rock and steep scree fields weren’t something they were begging to do with 7 kids.

So we headed out in search of Hidden Lake and found a ton of wildflowers in the process.

Dog looking over Booker Lake, Uintas Hiking in High Uintas

That evening we collected firewood, and enjoyed our marshmallows and wine in the heated glow of the flames. It was beautiful up there: quiet at night, magnificent stars and even the mosquitoes were so much better than our trip last year.

Due to a rainy weather forecast on Sunday, we hit the trail home bright and early! These kids did awesome! And next year we feel inspired to go further and longer into the backcountry. Baby steps, right?!

Backpacking past Clyde Lake, Uintas 6_yr_old backpacking in the UInta Range Decending the trail back to Wall Lake, Uintas Three siblings backpacking in the high Uintas, Lasting friendships on the trail

Here is a GPS map of our trip and basic stats:

gps map of Booker Lake trip

8 comments on “Family Backpacking to Clyde/Booker Lake | High Uinta Range, UT
  1. We were up at Clyde Lake this weekend as well. Six kids and three dads. We lost the trail in the same spot! This was the first backpacking trip for most of them and the loss of momentum concerned me. It took a pep talk to get some excitement going again. Great weekend though.

  2. Very Cool! Multiple family wilderness outing IS a challenging task, at least from my experience, but it looks like you guys had a blast. We have two kids 8 & 10, love outdoors and love Jesus too! Glad to have come across the site. Three young children… That’s alot of food to pack. Here is a video from our last backpacking trip. Happy trails~

  3. Pingback: Through my lens, 2014 [The Best of the Best Adventures] - the kid project

  4. Great blog with great trip reports! I just stumbled upon it while preparing a post on my own blog. I took my daughter along on a backpacking trip on the Clyde Lake Loop or “Seventeen Lakes Loop” this past week.

    I’m wondering if what you have as Booker Lake is actually one of the Three Divide Lakes. Looking at the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map I had on me, it seems to indicate Booker Lake to be the lake more northeast by a few hundred yards of where you all camped here. However, the USGS & Google Maps have it all confusing because they show the lake you camped at here to indeed be Booker Lake as you have referred to it and the lake I’m thinking to be Booker Lake as John Lake? If that’s really the case, then where is the 3rd of the Three Divide Lakes? It makes sense to me that that group of three little lakes strung so close together in a row there would be the Three Divide Lakes with Booker Lake being the one just northeast of Three. Or, is Booker Lake also one of Three Divide Lakes? If so, I have it all wrong on my blog post and video.

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