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Hiking Guide: Ibantik Lake

Ibantik Lake at sunset

Overview

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!

Ibantik Lake in the morning
Ibantik Lake in the morning. June 2020

Quick Facts

  • 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.

Wall Lake. June 2015

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.

Notch Mountain and Ibantik Lake. June 2015
Notch Mountain and Ibantik Lake. June 2015

Map

Ibantik Lake route map

Location

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.

Get Directions

Resources

Guidebooks

Photos

A beautiful sunset at Lake Ibantik
A beautiful sunset at Lake Ibantik
Notch Mountain reflections on Ibantik lake at twilight
Notch Mountain reflections on Ibantik lake at twilight
Jason fishes the lake at sunset
Jason fishes the lake at sunset
A nearby pond
A nearby pond
A pond next to Notch Mountain Trail. June 2015
A pond next to Notch Mountain Trail. June 2015
A typical Uinta Mountain scene near Wall Lake. June 2015
A typical Uinta Mountain scene near Wall Lake. June 2015

Want to hike Utah’s best trails? Check out our other Utah Hiking Guides.

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