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West Fork Blacks Fork -- Dead Horse Lake

Basics
Location:
Along Highway 150 about 52 miles northeast of Kamas
Length:
8.5 miles oneway
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Time:
3 to 5 hours
Elevation Change:
600 feet
Season:
June to October

Description

A sometimes tricky and difficult trail to follow through forest and meadows leading to Dead Horse Lake and on to Red Knob Pass where the trail gets steep and rocky. From here there are four drainages to choose from and follow.

Books

Details

Location:
Along Highway 150 about 52 miles northeast of Kamas
Length:
8.5 miles oneway
First river crossing is 8.5 miles, the second is 11 miles.
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Time:
3 to 5 hours
Elevation Change:
600
Season:
June to October
Useful Map(s):
USGS Map: Elizabeth Mountain, Red Knob and Explorer Peak
Additional Details:
From the parking area, cross the river on a log just up stream, or at the sheep bridge just down stream, and follow the dirt track on foot approximately 3 1/2 miles; you will have to cross the stream again. This area is called the Scalers Cabin where the buck and pole fence is located. At this point, you are within 1/2 mile of the High Uintas Wilderness Boundary. Just past the wilderness boundary, approximately 1/4 mile, you will have to cross the stream again. From this point on the trail (though hard to follow through the meadows) stay on the east side of the river. There are a few river crossings, but the logs are adequate. . .About 1/4 mile below Dead Horse Lake the trail intersects with the East Fork Blacks Fork trail going to Red Knob Pass. By following this trail east for 2.5 miles you come to Red Knob Pass. The trail up to the pass is steep and rocky. As you reach the top, you will see four drainages: The main fork of the West Fork Blacks Fork from which you just came; A small eastern fork of the West Fork Blacks Fork; The Lake Fork; and the East Fork Blacks Fork, in that order as you follow the trail. It is possible to descend into any of these, so bring your topographical map and make sure you have the right drainage before starting down...Above Dead Horse Lake, a steep rocky trail leads up the ridge to Dead Horse Pass. This trail is a tough climb. It is difficult to maintain and not recommended for inexperienced high country travelers...From Dead Horse Pass a trail leads south and down into Rock Creek drainage..Both Pass''s (Red Knob & Deadhorse) are often covered with snow late into summer, especially Dead Horse Pass. Ask for current conditions at the Ranger Stations..This area comprises the headwaters of the West Fork Blacks Fork River. The canyon bottom opens up into lush green meadows and offers a variety of scenes and meadows, conifer forests and high rocky peaks. Dead Horse Lake is quite a bit larger, but both have fair fishing late in the season. There are good camping spots in the Dead Horse Lake area.

Map + Directions

Basic Directions
Roughly 52 miles northeast out of Kamas on Highway 150 (2 miles north of the Bear River Ranger Station) turn east onto the North Slope Road (Follow sign directing to the Blacks Fork River). Travel about 16 miles along this road over Elizabeth Pass and down the other side, until you come to its junction with Lyman Lake Campground road. Take a right turn and proceed to the next junction. Take another right turn, there is a sign directing you to the West Fork Blacks Fork. Follow this sign and drive 4 miles to a major river crossing. Park here.

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