Frothing river winds past solitary mesas and ancestral Puebloan buildings carving out dramatic rock formations in Canyonlands National Park before blustering on down around picturesque bluffs towards Moab.
A gentle trail along a stream (crossing it several times), past old cabins and through coniferous forests to Norice Lake and on to Priord Lake.
Along Highway 150 about 52 miles northeast of Kamas
10.6 miles oneway
Intermediate Some river crossings
3 to 5 hours
June to October
USGS Map: Christmas Meadows and Red Knob
The trail runs along a stream where you will find old cabins tucked in the trees. Going on south about four miles you come to a trail junction. The Left Fork goes to Allsop Lake and the Right Fork goes on to Norice and Priord Lakes. This trail rises gently at stream grade all the way and is not difficult hiking except for the river crossings, which can be tough. The trail crosses the stream several times and often you must search for a suitable log to cross upon. Early in the summer, some parts of the trail may be under the edge of the river. The trail stays in the trees so you will not see the broad vistas until you get to the higher elevations. At the head of the basin are two lakes, Norice and Priord. The trail will lead you right to Norice Lake but peters out on the way to Priord. To find Priord Lake, follow the small streams which feed into Norice on its western side -- they flow down from Priord. ..The trailhead has a small parking area.
Roughly 52 miles northeast out of Kamas on Highway 150 (two miles north of the Bear River Ranger Station) turn east onto the North Slope Road (marked with a large sign reading "Bear River R.S. 2, Mill Creek G.S. 7, Blacks Fork River 20, and E Fk Boy Scout Camp 6"). Two miles on this good gravel road take a right turn at a major road junction (marked by a sign pointing the way to the East Fork Bear River). Follow this road for four miles, at which point there will be a signed road junction. The right fork leads down to the Boy Scout Camp -- the left fork goes 1/4 mile to the East Fork Bear trailhead.
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