September 2, 2017
Daily Distance: 4.04 miles
Cumulative Distance: 111 miles
It was a peaceful final morning on the trail. Andrew was packed up in record speed.
Much of the trail was forested, but there were still a few views.
We came to the High Uintas Wilderness boundary. We had been in officially designated wilderness since North Pole Pass.
We came to a final rocky overlook and I stopped to take a picture.
Soon we reached the parking lot and our hike on the Uinta Highline Trail was complete.
Overall, the Uinta Highline Trail is a wonderful trail. We didn't see another hiker for the first 40 miles of trail. The scenery was spectacular. In half the distance, it includes nearly as many passes as the John Muir Trail. Summiting Kings Peak isn't as high, but is more challenging than Mt. Whitney as a little scrambling is necessary. I did anticipate seeing a little more wildlife but we were excited to see elk and deer.
It was great to share the experience with my brother. This was the first time he hiked greater than 100 miles in a continuous hike. We were able to do more miles than our previous adventures as this time we had a trail to follow. We didn't have much difficulty with navigation on the Highline Trail. Occasionally we would have to check the GPS track on my phone while on the eastern section of the trail, but usually it was easy to relocate.
There is so much to be thankful for! I'm very thankful for the opportunity to complete this wild and scenic hike. Thankful for the preservation of wilderness. Thankful for those like the Backcountry Horseman of America who dedicate their time maintaining the trail. Thankful for being able to spend time with my brother. I am thankful for safety. Thankful for health. Thankful for the hospitality of friends. Thankful for the challenge. The challenge of this hike is a personal decision, but it makes me think of the many people around the world who face much greater challenges and don't have a choice.
Walking through the many beautiful basins on the Uinta Highline Trail and looking up to the mountains high above, helped me appreciate just how small I am. It makes me think about Psalm 8 that says, "What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?" after describing how excellent God is because of His creation. I was reminded of how God cares for His creation including humanity. Each of us has a purpose, however great or small. Let us strive to show our love for each other, for the wonders nature, and if you have faith or are searching, to the One who loves and provides for us all!