Mount Watson: 11,521'
1,700 feet elevation change
6 miles round trip.
We started this hike from the Teapot Lake pull-off. Which
made the hike twice as far as it needed to be. I wanted to
do some distance walking to get ready for Kings Peak at the
end of August. I was up until 5:00 AM the previous night playing
samba with a bunch of Brazilians and when I woke up I was
so spaced out that I forgot to make a map... so I got my wish.
Teapot Lake seemed familiar to me so we started there. We
just hiked cross-country through the trees, which wasn't that
much harder than following a trail. There was no real bushwhacking,
just a beautiful hike through a pristine alpine forest. We
passed Star Lake, turned west, passed Wall Lake, then to Watson
Lake, went up the southeast ridge to the summit, and then
hung out until sunset. Then we had to walk all the way back.
This was the hardest part, because it was dark, and hard to
get a bearing on where we were. The route we took was at least
10 miles round trip.
During the whole hike, angry storm clouds swirled above us,
I've never had any epic experiences with storms yet, so I
challenged the clouds to prevent us from reaching the peak
(If I would have started feeling static electricity, I would
have turned back). But, instead the sky opened up for us and
took out their anger on the hikers by Hayden Peak.
We were going to camp by Amethyst Lake by Ostler Peak, but
at the last minute we decided to do a shorter route. I'm sure
it would have been miserable hiking with a backpack in the
rain, so I'm glad we went to Mount Watson.
The correct way there, (or the easiest way) is to go up highway
150 to the Trial Lake/Washington Lake/Crystal Lake turnoff
going north from 150. Follow the signs to Crystal Lake. Park,
then follow the Country Lakes Trail west, until you get to
a trail that turns north or right to Cliff Lake . From this
trail, you just got to improvise a route up to the massive
peak to the northwest. You can go up the south ridge or the
north ridge by Clyde Lake.
From the summit of Mount Watson looking north.
Kletting and A-1 Peaks are visible on the far left.
The "Notch" is visible near the end of the lakes.
Clyde Lake is visible in the bottom right.
Two of the Triple Divide lakes are visible, and one of the Twin Lakes
Moffit Peak is visible in the distance in the middle left of the image.
Looking northeast over Teapot Lake with Reids Peak and Bald
Looking north over Diamond Lake with Notch
Mountain in the Background.
Looking east over Star Lake toward Bald Mountain.
With a special appearance by Squeeks Smithmunson.
From just west of Wall Lake looking east, past the "Wall"
toward Reids Peak.
From west of Watson Lake looking up to the top of Mount Watson.
Looking south to some unknown peak.
It looks like it would give you a killer view without too much work.
A brightly colored moth.
From the summit of Mount Watson looking east over the Trial Lake Area. Notch Mountain, Reids Peak,
Bald Mountain, Murdock Peak,
with the main cluster of the Uinta Mountains in the back.
Looking south over Long Peak
to Island Peak.
In the distant background lies the Wasatch Mountains.
Left to right: Mill Canyon Peak, Box Elder Peak, Lone
Peak, A.F. Twin Peaks,
eastern alpine ridge, Superior Peak,
Sunrise and Twin Peaks.