One-way shuttle hike from Bald Mountain Trailhead to Crystal Lake Trailhead on the Notch Mountain Trail in the Uintas. We took a small youth group with about 6 kids and 5 adults. The trail begins near the summit of the Mirror Lake Highway at about 10,600 feet, so the hike begins going downhill. The trail descends gradually for several miles, passing several beautiful alpine lakes along the way. After circling the north end of Notch Mountain, the trail begins its ascent toward The Notch, passing Ibantik and Lovenia Lakes along the way. We spent two nights on the eastern shore of Lovenia Lake. There are great campsites all around the lake, but the ones on the east side were the most secluded and had the best places to pitch a tent. We spent Day 2 of the trip relaxing by the lake and enjoying the mountain scenery.On Day 3 we hiked back around the lake and continued the ascent to The Notch. The Notch featured beautiful views of the surrounding high country in every direction. We then descended the south side of The Notch, passing Wall Lake and several smaller lakes on our way to the Crystal Lake Trailhead where we had left our shuttle car.
This is a great hike with easy access from the highway. We had several first-time backpackers on the trip and everyone was able to do the hike. Ibantik Lake would be a great out-and-back from Crystal Lake, but it's even better if you can do the one-way hike with a shuttle like we did.NOTE: The GPS stats for elevation are incorrect. The total elevation gain was approximately 1,000 feet.