Trip Report: Backpack and scramble Tokewanna in Uintas

Backpack and scramble Tokewanna in Uintas
By L Beth Blattenberger
HIKE 08/21/2020 MOD+

Trip Report, Tokewanna Peak backpack, August 21-23, 2020
Bryce Jones met me (Beth Blattenberger) at the junction of the Mirror Lake Highway and FR 058, aka the North Slope Road, which is close to where he lives in the summer. He is not a club member but seemed interested in future club activities and was good company. We drove our separate vehicles to the bridge over the West Fork Blacks Fork River. The trailhead we wanted (Middle Fork Blacks Fork) was supposed to be close to the south side of the bridge but there was no signage. Using various GPS devices, we figured out that a road leading to the right just past the bridge eventually turns into the trail. The road might be drivable for some very rugged high-clearance vehicles for about 2 miles, but we chose to park our less-rugged vehicles just short of one mile in (elevation about 9000’)
The trail soon led along a meadow that must be a mile long and had views of our destination, Tokewanna Peak, although views were somewhat hazy because of smoke from California fires. The trail continued sometimes in open forest with little understory and along many meadows, following the Middle Fork. In the vicinity of the junction with the Bear River Smiths Fork Trail, we found the scattered ruins of about 9 old log cabins, and are curious about their history. We chose to hike a total of nearly 10 miles in to Lake 10934, where I had read there was good camping. This turned out to be true, and we found a spot in trees with an old fire ring (that we did not use). Bob’s Lake and another lake above Lake 10934 are just past where there are trees. Unfortunately many of the trees in this area are dead, but it was still a lovely area and we had it all to ourselves. We passed many other possible camping spots on our way here, as the trail runs along a stream and the terrain is mostly gentle. Since the area is not well used, the trail becomes fainter the further in you get and we occasionally lost it, but travel was easy along the stream and we always found the trail again soon. There was no trail for the last part of the way to the lake where we camped, but it was not difficult to hike across meadows.
On summit day we had to go only a few miles with about 2200’ of elevation gain, so we could take our time. Our camp afforded views of various routes to the summit. We went up to the NW ridge, with views of Bob’s Lake and other points to the west, and followed that ridge to the summit (13,166’), where there is a mailbox. We spent some time with a map trying to identify the many other peaks we could see. Then we followed the NE ridge off the summit until we got to a place where we were able to drop down into the basin where our camp was located, first passing a higher lake. We were glad to get off the ridge when we did, as clouds were gathering and a few drops of rain fell. We never heard thunder all that day and there was no more rain until nightfall, but since conditions can change rapidly, it felt safer to get down. Travel proved to be no more than class 2 on our route, and we had plenty of time to relax in camp.
The hike out on Sunday was easy, going downhill with lighter packs. There was light rain and some thunder near the end of our hike out, which provided welcome cooling along with happiness that this was not our summit day, and that we had had a successful hike and summit. I recommend this relatively easy peak in an uncrowded location.

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