Difficulty: More Difficult ◼︎◼︎
Length: 13 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet
Dog Friendly: Yes
Trailhead coordinates (copy + paste): 40.8223, -110.8011
Directions: Enter the Uintas via Kamas, on the Mirror Lake Highway. After 46 miles on the Mirror Lake Highway turn right onto Christmas Meadows Road. This road is seasonal and can only be accessed from mid/late May through early/mid November. Check UDOT's traffic website for current status. You will reach the parking lot after 4 miles on this well-maintained dirt road. Follow the trail for 2.5 miles to the fork, where a sign directs you to head left towards the lake. Note: bring $6 of cash or a check. You will need to get a self-serve 1-3 day recreation pass at the trailhead.
A pretty hike from start to finish, this trail really does reward you with a gem. Best done over two days, this trail begins at Christmas Meadows and rolls up and down some small hills for the first few miles, but is mostly flat. Turn left at the fork after 2.5 miles (next time, turn right to camp at Kermsuh Lake). The trail becomes steep, rocky, and shaded from here on out, passing a waterfall and testing your lungs, until you reach the meadow in the first photo below. From here you are home free— just about a mile or so through the meadow and across a stream, and you will reach your destination. At 10,750 feet, Amethyst is beautiful, serene, and has the remote feeling that embodies a backpacking journey. The fishing is great so bring your rod, and don't forget the bug spray.