Last weekend, three friends and I scrambled to the top of Utah's tallest peak. That peak, Kings Peak, is located deep in the remote Uinta range, in the northeastern corner of Utah. The hike was a 28-mile out-and-back route with 4,000ft vertical gain. It was a fairly moderate trail that allowed us to move fast. We camped two nights on the trail. The weather was extremely cold, dipping to 0F a night.
The trip was exciting for me because I got to backpack in a new mountain range. The ecology, animals, and terrain were all new for me.
The Uinta Range, a sub-range of the Rocky Mountains, is an unusual formation for many reasons. It's the highest range in the contiguous US that runs west-east. And the Uintas feature that iconic, smooth red-rock Utah is known for, unlike the granite peaks that dot most of North America's tallest mountains. It's formed from the uplift of sedimentary rock. It's what you'd get if you lifted the Grand Canyon to 13,000 ft, then glaciated it.