Whiskey Island Lake is located in Summit County, Utah. The lake is part of the Uinta Wasatch Cache national forest, and lies within the Bear river drainage of the Uinta Mountains. From Mirror Lake Highway take Forest Road 110. There is no visible sign for the turn off. There is a sign saying low clearance vehicles not recommended. The exit is between Ruth Lake and Whitney Reservoir on the same side of the road. You can take a high clearance vehicle 3/4 of the way in, then you will need to hike the rest of the way. My ball joints were broken on my truck at the time so I hiked in from Mirror Lake Highway.
Hiking from the main highway the hike is a little over 2 miles to the lake. You can drive the first 3 legs or 1.6 miles with a high clearance vehicle.
Leg 1 – 24 flights of stairs
From Mirror Lake Highway FR 110 starts out around 9,524 feet and forks around 9767 feet, about 243 feet in elevation gain. An average flight of stairs is about 10 feet in elevation gain. For reference this rocky road is about 24 flights of stairs. Of the three dirt roads this one had the most road hazards. At the top of the first leg you will come to a fork in the road. You should see a sign pointing left for FR 636. Take the left fork which is FR 636 to begin leg 2. A lot of people continue on FR 110 then get lost trying to find the lake. The hike in from FR 110 is a lot longer and harder.
Leg 2 – 14 flights of stairs
This is the easiest leg of the hike. You will travel on FR 636 for a half a mile (.46 mile) with 141 feet elevation gain from 9,767 ft to 9,908 feet. Of the four legs this road was the smoothest. Once you come to the fork take your first right on to FR 711. You should be able to see a sign for the road.
Leg 3 – 17 flights of stairs
Forest Road 711 is 0.4 miles long, 175 feet in elevation gain from 9,907 to 10,082 feet. Once you near the end of the road it kind of just disappears. If you’re in a vehicle there should be a multiple places to pull off and park. From here you will need to try and establish a land mark for leg 4. There were several animal trails that were heading the wrong direction to the southwest. Don’t follow those trails instead look towards the mountain and walk just north east of it’s base. When I was last here there in 2018 there was a big meadow in this area.
Leg 4 – 31 flights of stairs
This is by far the steepest leg of the hike and the longest at .54 miles. Most of the elevation increase will come in the first 2 tenths of a mile in the hike. You should see a giant hill that you will need to climb. It seems like it is straight up but it actually isn’t to bad if you take it slow. The elevation goes from 10083 feet to 10400 feet. Try to stay about 40 feet below the boulder field.
Whiskey Island Lake contains a population of naturally reproducing Arctic Grayling. It is also stocked regularly by the the DWR.
2017 – Stocked with 999 Arctic Grayling
2015 – Stocked with 1508 Arctic Grayling
2014 – Stocked with 1472 Arctic Grayling
2013 – Stocked with 1495 Arctic Grayling