Ruth Lake is a fun little hike high in the Uinta Mountains that is the perfect place for people who are new to backpacking. With only a short, 0.8-mile jaunt to the lake, it is a great place to get used to hiking with a full pack for an overnight camping trip away from the car. The elevation gain is minimal, but you still get to see the open meadows and views we all come to expect in the Uinta Mountains. There are primitive camping sites up on the left (eastern) side of the lake as you approach. Make sure you walk around to the far side of the lake to get the views of Hayden Peak above.
Bring your dogs, fishing rods, or even the canoe. The wildflowers are amazing in summer, and the lily pads in the lake compliment the views of the surrounding mountains. There are several interpretive signs along the way, which is great for the kids. The Lofty Lakes Trail can be accessed from the southeastern end, and just like most places in the Uintas, there are many sister lakes and bodies of water in all directions.
Weather can change quickly in the Uintas, and afternoon storms can develop on an otherwise clear day. Bring your bug repellent as well. Overall, however, this is a mellow trail that is not far from the road, so it is a great choice for all ages and experience levels.