Eccentric Benchmark is a high mountain in the far east Uinta Mountains visited mostly by county highpointers. It's massive rounded summit is the highest point in Uinta and Daggett Counties. This short hike passes 3 man made lakes in a very scenic setting. Unfortunately the scenery near the summit isn't too exciting but the views extend out a long way. Bring bug repellent for the lower portion of the hike.
From the parking area at Chepeta Lake, hike the trail on the east side of the lake toward Moccasin and Papoose Lakes. This trail is easy going and it quickly reaches the Moccasin Lake dam. Follow the trail across the dam and continue along until it splits. Go right toward Papoose Lake. When it reaches Papoose Lake, cross its dam and start the cross country route. (Between the lakes). This first 200 foot climb is the hardest part of the trip. Walk up through trees, then meadows until you are forced to do a bit of boulder hopping. At the top of the rocks, you're back in easy meadows the rest of the way. Walk in a northeast direction staying on easy terrain avoiding any talus. As you approach the final climb, you think you are almost there. It is the first of three false summits. The summit of Eccentric is so broad and far back, you just can't see the top. This final area is a mix of rock fields and narrow meadows in-between. The meadows are easier but some rock hopping is required to get between them all. Near the summit, you'll have to look in the far distance to notice the stone shelter. At the shelter is a brass benchmark and a summit register. The distance above treeline is considerable so don't go up if there are threatening thunderstorms nearby, it's not possible to make a quick decent.
Distance: 3 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,700 feet
Summit Elevation: 12,276 feet
Kid Difficulty Rating: Hard
Access Rating: Level 2
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There are a couple ways out of Roosevelt to get there, here is what I did. From the stoplight in Roosevelt where US 40 makes a 90 degree turn, go east on US 40 for 5 miles. There turn left (north) on 5750 East (at the school). Follow this road for 25 miles passing through the town of Whiterocks. You'll be near the National Forest dirt road when the main paved road somewhat narrows and the lines disappear. The left turn has a sign for Chepeta Lake. This is a long dirt road. It's it good condition and it climbs high and far into the Uintas. Just follow the main dirt road. There are few big road splits and all are well marked. Primitive camping is all along the way with the best sites near the end of the road. Be sure to park at the end of the road where you can see the Chepeta Lake Dam, there is a Chepeta trailhead just before but it isn't what you want.
Uintah & Daggett County Highpoints
At the trailhead near Chepeta Lake
Climbing the hard part between the lakes
The long hike in meadows up the mountain
Looking down to Papoose Lake
Open terrain west of the summit
Not the summit but the first of 3 false summits
The final walk to the top with the stone shelter in the far distance
On the top on a cool July day with one asleep
The summit of Eccentric Benchmark
Going down with Papoose Lake below
View west from the summit