NOTE:  Until I can get my act together and get a post and YouTube video online about my 
recent trip, let me post here an email interchange with one of  you  "Uinta Friends,"  but first 
an important notice from the Duchesne Ranger Station:  

The Hades Canyon is closed to backpackers wanting to  head for the Grandaddies--and will be until reconstruction of the road is completed.  For up-to-date  information, call and talk to Lori or Shiella at:  435-738-2482. 

Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2011 00:09:23 -0600

    I spent this last weekend (July 15-18) in the High Uintas. We started at mirror lake and backpacked into the grandaddy basin, then up around the four lakes basin and then on to the naturalist basin. It was beautiful, but still very wet. It was amazing to see all of the waterfalls in the naturalist basin that I doubt have ever been there before. There was still a pretty good amount of snow in the naturalist basin as well as the four lakes basin, but the beautiful thing about it was NO MOSQUITOES!!!  We were the only ones in there and only saw one other person on a day hike the entire time we were in there. The only place we ran into mosquitoes was in the grandaddy basin as the lower elevation has taken care of the snow and the eggs have started to hatch. The fish weren't rising yet though as they had no bugs to eat, but we were able to catch a couple just before getting back to mirror lake on our last day. We covered some 40 miles in our four days and it was a beautiful environment.

 We found a lot of bear scat surrounding Governor Dern Lake and listened to wolves howling most of the night. The trails need a lot of work as there are probably 20-30 trees down across the trail every mile.  The rivers are all running pretty high, but luckily there were plenty of trees fallen over them to cross. There were plenty of blooming wildflowers around and we got a nice thunderstorm and rain shower on our last night.

 I took a lot of pictures but haven't gotten them uploaded yet. As soon as i do I will send a couple of the best ones on to you. It was a beautiful trip and reminded again why I love the Uinta Wilderness. Best of luck on your trips this summer and I will continue to follow your progress as your explore more places along the way. 

Jason Webb

MY REPLY TO JASON….Mon, July 25th:
Thanks, JASON, for your report, and happy you had a great trip.   One reason you didn't see others is that the Forest Service has closed Hades Canyon even to backpackers while they work with heavy equipment to rebuild the road. They thought of letting people go up the "Service Road" at the bottom of the canyon, but from it the old trail hasn't been maintained for decades and would be quite impassable.  At least that was the report they gave me last Wednesday in Duchesne.  I suspect that the Fish & Game guys would say you were hearing coyotes rather then wolves, but whatever, it is always fun to hear them at night.  Interesting about the bear scat (the Fish & Game guys would like to see photos of it--did you take any?).  Along with a few of your photos, would you mind me posting your report on my website?  I would use word for word your report, with photos interspersed.  

You might be surprised hearing from me as I'm supposed to be in high country for another day or two.  I'll get a report up on my website about one of the toughest days so far in the experience of this 76 year old worn out mountain man.

Hope to hear from you soon.  Thanks again.

Your buddy, CORDELL

JASON’S REPLY…. 7/25/11
   I look forward to reading your report. Please feel free to use my update on your website. I didn't take any pics of the bear scat and I haven't uploaded the pictures I took yet, but I will send you some as soon as I do. About the coyotes/wolves. I grew up in the idaho mountains and have heard thousands of coyotes, so if these were coyotes, they were definitely from a different family. :)  We actually have wolves that have been caught on motion cameras around our farm in southern idaho (declo/burley area). They are definitely further spread than what the fish and game would like to believe. It all adds to the mystique of the outdoors. Talk to you soon,



  1. My Brother and I were in the granddaddies three years ago and we heard a wolf howl for a bit during the night. We know a wolf from a coyote and that was a wolf. After we got home my brother called the fish and game, when he told them the story he was put on hold. When they came back on it was someone else. He told my brother that they get reports of wolves from two or three different places and the Granddaddies was one of them. He asks my brother if he was sure it was not a coyote. When my brother told him there was no mistaking the two and he knows the different he was then told off the record that there was a pair of them in the area. One they knew was from Yellowstone I think it was the male can’t remember.
    I will never forget that night we were camped by Granddaddy Lake on the West side and the howl was to the West just above us towards the pass.
    Nope, not no coyote, it was a wolf. We have never heard it since then but we know what we heard.

  2. Just more reason to pack a sidearm on these hikes. Thanks for the updates! Keep on trekking.

  3. I was on the north slope of the Uintas last night - Smith's Fork River - a few miles north of Red Castle Lake - and I heard and my kids heard what a swear was a pack of wolves howling as they moved far off in the distance. I was surprised because I didn't think there were wolves in the Uintas