Nestled in a cirque at the base of Notch Mountain, Ibantik Lake is one of the Uinta Mountain’s finest destinations. Unlike a lot of Uinta hikes, it’s fairly short and unchallenging, which makes it perfect for a day hike or quick overnighter.
Ibantik is also easy to access and close to the Salt Lake metro area (a little over an hour). The most popular approach Is from Crystal Lake Trailhead, right off of the scenic Mirror Lake Highway.
When we visited in June 2020, we were greeted by a herd of mountain goats!
- Distance: 7.8 miles round trip
- Hike Time: 4 hours
- Elevation Gain: 1,289 feet
- Fee: $6 for a 3-day pass, $12 for a 7-day pass · Buy Online
- Dogs: Yes
- Difficulty: Moderate
Hiking to Ibantik Lake
From Crystal Lake Trailhead, follow the Notch Mountain Trail. Within a few minutes, the trail goes between two lakes. The left one is Ponds Lake and the right one is Lily Lake.
Soon, the trail begins a gradual climb and reaches Wall Lake at the 1-mile mark. This is a popular cliff jumping spot.
About a half mile after reaching Wall Lake, the trail begins a steep ascent toward The Notch, a high-elevation pass at 10,600 feet. This is the highest point of the hike.
From this point, continue down the switchbacks past Lovenia Lake (to the right) and between a few ponds to Ibantik Lake, the final destination.
From Salt Lake City, take I-80 eastbound.
2.2 miles after reaching Kimball Junction, take exit 146 for U.S. Route 40 east toward Heber City.
Continue for 3.2 miles, then take exit 4 onto U.S. Route 89 toward Kamas.
Continue for 11.4 miles, then turn left after 7-Eleven in Kamas onto Utah 32.
Continue for 0.2 miles, then turn right onto Utah 150.
Continue for 25.4 miles, then turn left onto Forest Road 041.
Continue for 1.3 miles to Crystal Lake Trailhead.
- Utah’s Incredible Backcountry Trails by David Day
Want to hike Utah’s best trails? Check out our other Utah Hiking Guides.