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Utah Travel Headlines

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Camping in the Uinta Mountains

In case you haven't noticed, it's hot in Utah's deserts and valleys. These are the “dog days of summer” and daytime temperatures often push into the high 90s or low 100s F.

That's perfect if you want to play in the water. This is an ideal time to visit Lake Powell, Sand Hollow, Flaming Gorge or many other Utah lakes and reservoirs.

Happily, there are also other options. The High Uinta Mountains offer a very pleasant oasis, with lush forests, cascading streams, green meadows and small lakes teaming with trout. They stand in stark contract to our low elevation deserts.

I spent the Pioneer Day holiday in the mountains and had a great time. We camped at Stillwater Campground along Hwy 150 – the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway. We explored the byway, scouting out some of the small lakes. We also spent some time at Mirror Lake itself. (Mirror is one of the prettiest lakes in the mountains. It's a great place to camp, picnic, canoe, fish and relax.)

Daytime temperatures topped out at about 75 F. Not bad. Nights were pleasantly cool. We sleep in tents and were glad for warm sleeping bags.

The Uintas are a great destination for a wide variety of activities. I enjoy backpacking there, to any of a thousand lakes in the wilderness area where they are not accessible via motor vehicle. An extensive trail network leads to many lakes. I like finding the ones not located on trails – where I use GPS and bushwhack to remote spots.

Many people pack into the mountains using horses or llamas or even pack goats.

I'm a serious fisherman and these mountains are one of my favorite spots to cast a fly. Many lakes and streams offer excellent action for cutthroat, brookies or rainbows. Fish are usually pan-sized – not huge but plenty of them.

That, to me, is a slice of paradise.

-- Dave Webb

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