If you’re not familiar with the Unita Highline Trail (UHT), it’s a footpath that follows the ridgeline of the High Uinta Mountain range in northeastern Utah. Learn more about why I chose this trail.
From what I’ve gathered about the UHT, it’s remote and mostly above the treeline. Much of the trail is visible, but cairns and signs are used to mark the path when necessary. Unlike the well-blazed Appalachian Trail, it’s easy to get lost if you’re not paying attention.
I’ll be taking two maps with me on my hike of the Uinta Highline Trail in Utah. I typically use a paper map for campsite planning and elevation preparation. I use GPS maps for navigation. The paper map is great for seeing where you’re going. But nothing beats a GPS map on your smart device to show you exactly where you are on—or better yet, off—the trail.
I’m only doing the westernmost 62 miles of the trail from Chepeta Lake to Hayden Pass. This is the High Unitas and means I can get by with only one map—Trails Illustrated #711. This covers the high elevation portion of the trail that I’ll be doing. If you’re doing the whole 102-trail, you’ll also need to buy Trails Illustrated #704: Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.
This is the map that keeps me alive. It’s still good to have a map and compass when you’re in the backcountry, especially one as isolated as the High Unitas, because you never know when your smart device might fail. But the GPS map on my phone is what I pull out when I want to make sure I’m on the right trail and/or headed in the right direction. It even works in airplane mode to save battery power.
As I’ve said before, I am an unapologetic audiobook listener. I probably go through close to 100 books and lecture series per year. I like to listen to books when I hike. People feelcompelled to rant about how I’m missing this or that experience by walking with headphones on and dividing my mind, but I don’t care. For that reason, I carry more than enough back-up battery power to keep my smartphone, Fitbit, and headlamp charged.
After my hike, I’ll post a review with my impressions from these two resources.