Difficulty: More Difficult ◼︎◼︎
Length: 13 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,600 feet
Dog Friendly: Yes
Trailhead coordinates (copy + paste): 40.8223, -110.8011
Directions: Enter the Uintas via Kamas, on the Mirror Lake Highway. 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. After 46 miles on the Mirror Lake Highway turn right onto Christmas Meadows Road. You will reach the parking lot after four miles on this well-maintained dirt road. Follow the trail for 2.5 miles to the fork, where a sign directs you to head right (the trail on the left heads to Amethyst Lake, one for another day). You will reach the second fork after another 2 miles, where you will turn right again 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 beautiful spot for a weekend escape, Kermsuh Lake is a moderately difficult hike (mainly due to the heavy backpack and long distance) that is ideal for a one-night stay. The first mile through Christmas Meadows is flat, except for a few mild ups and downs, and has beautiful views of wide open meadows. The trail is fairly well-shaded after this, as it enters the trees and winds through the forest, constantly wavering between dusty and rocky. There are a handful of stream crossings, where large rocks are arranged nicely to let you pass without soaking your shoes. The fifth mile of the hike is the steepest, but the sound of the brook and sight of a waterfall along the way will make you forget your struggles. After this, the trail flattens out again as it approaches the 10,300-foot mountain-encased lake. Remember to bring bug spray and a fishing rod, and don't forget to check out the uninhibited starry sky once night arrives.