Pittsburgh Lake. A Fun Day Hike!
I am from Utah originally. I have lived in a few different states though and have been all over the U.S. and even all over the world. I’m a bit of a travel junkie you could say. The only continents I have not been to are Antarctica and Australia. One thing I always make a point of doing on my travels is hiking. If you were to say that I like hiking that would be more than an understatement. In fact, you could call me an addict and you wouldn’t be far off. If I was given the chance to hike and explore the planet for the rest of my life, I accept in a nano-second. No one would have to twist my arm, haha.
On the weekends I am always looking for a new hike or place to explore. If you are new to Utah, you will soon see that there is so much to explore that you will likely never get to see it all. Endless exploration awaits!
Now this is a fantastic hike that not too many people know about. In fact, if you go you may by the only one on the trail. Every once and awhile you will run into someone, but it’s more rare than common. So, if you are looking for a hike without the crowds, then this will be your kind of hike.
Part of trail to the lake is a bit challenging to be sure. Just so you know what your up against let me say this. The hike has a lot of incline. The 1.5 miles feels like 3 or more miles because the steepness of this hike, but if you just take your time you should be fine. You don’t have to have the body of a Greek god to make it to the top. If you are in relatively good shape you will be just fine and I assure you that you will love this beautiful hike. So, make sure to bring a camera to take pictures of the sites, especially the incredible view from the top.
Not Just Any Vehicle Will Do
Regarding Pittsburgh Lake, the first disclaimer I have to say is that you will need a 4X4 vehicle with a lift. You will have to drive though a river in a few different places and you actually may not be able to pass if it is too early in the spring. The river can be high in the spring with the snow run off, but If you have a good 4X4 you will enjoy this drive. It is personally one of my favorite drives to take.
I made it to the trail head in a Jeep, Truck, and SUV. I actually made it up to the trail head once in a Cadillac SRX crossover SUV. It was all wheel drive and not super high off the ground and I made it just fine. But I got lucky with the level of the rivers. I made the drive July 3rd so most of the run off was gone and the river was not too crazy.
What To Bring
Bring at least 1 litter of water per person. Bring some snacks and a backpack to carry it on your back. You will want your hands free for the steep areas of the hike. Make sure you have some good shoes with grip for the steep parts as well. There is a lot of loose rock on the trail including sharp rocks too. So, I would recommend shoes with thick soles.
From I-15 You will get off at Highland/Alpine or highway 92. The exit number is 284. You will head East off the freeway. (turn left if you are head south off the exit and right if you are headed north off the exit). You will stay on this road for awhile, about 8 miles to the mouth of the canyon. From the mouth of the Canyon you will drive around 5 miles until you come to Road 144 on the left. Turn left onto 144 and head north 2.5 miles until you come to a Reservoir called Tibble Fork.
Towards the end of the lake you can go strait and the road immediately turns into a dirt road. Once you hit the dirt road you will travel around 5.5 miles on a really rough road. You will hit a junction that heads to Pittsburgh lake to the left and the fork to the right heads to Midway.
After you take a left at the fork towards Pittsburgh Lake the road begins to get really rough. You could get to the fork in a car but from here you will need a 4X4. From the fork you will travel about 1 mile and the trail head will be on the right side tough two river crossings. Once you get to the trial head you are only 1.5 miles from you final destination and you will be able to relax at this beautiful lake and check out the surrounding sites.
It’s a beautiful world, so get out there and see it!
Something A Little Extra
Though hiking is great, just a few hours isn’t enough time to explore everything. That’s why you need a base camp. A place where you can stay overnight and then get back to the trails the next day. What you need is a home away from home. So, check out these fantastic off road campers! https://www.rvsofamerica.com/inventory/?swoof=1&product_cat=in-stock
And here are some awesome off road videos: https://www.youtube.com/@ROAOffRoad