Park City Day Trip: High Uinta Mountains

Posted by Quinn Eichner on Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 at 11:42am.

It’s hard to imagine leaving Park City to go hiking or sightseeing. 

There are so many activities, hiking and biking trails to explore in and around Park City.  The Uintas are Utah largest mountain range, and are easily accessible for those who want to do a little exploring just outside the Park City area.  Many locals, including myself, go to the Uinta mountains, arrive, and frequently say “Why don’t I do this more often??” 

The Uinta Mountains are distinctly different than the Wasatch Mountains that surround Park City and Salt Lake City.  First, their appearance is different- the peaks are higher, but more rounded.  There is also abundant water in the Uintas- most of Utah’s water flows out the high Uintas, and there are hundreds of crystal clear mountain lakes in the area.


Hayden Peak, just off Mirror Lake Highway

The Uintas don’t feature any ski areas, and are mostly preserved as a primitive area.  No motorized vehicles are permitted in most of the higher areas of the range.  There are no services in the mountains of any kind- no food or gas. 

The Mirror Lake Highway does travel right over Bald Mountain Pass, at a peak elevation of over 10,700 feet.  The pass is only open during summer months, and the sight-seeing along the road is worth the hour long drive (each way) from Park City.   The Forest Service does charge a small fee to use the Mirror Lake area, and passes are available just inside the National Forest. 

Mirror Lake is one of the larger lakes in the Uintas, and is a popular destination for fishing, camping, hiking and non-motorized boating.   There are several smaller lakes that you can drive right up to along the highway, and dozens of others that are a short hike from numerous parking areas and trailheads.  

 

Cliff Lake and walking path.  

Hiking is at high elevation, so be ready with plenty of water and snacks.   Also prepare to be in cooler weather- a blessing during the summer months, but the colder temperatures can come as surprise, and having extra clothes make the enjoying the scenery easier.  Hiking trails vary from fairly easy, flat walks around the many lakes to longer hikes up the high mountain peaks.  Many also choose to back-pack into the more remote lakes and locations in the mountains.  Fishing is also popular, and the many lakes are stocked with trout.   Fishing licenses are required, and Utah offers a three day license for visitors.   

Real Estate opportunities directly in the mountains are limited, however, there are many cabin communities around the foothills of the Uintas.  Also, the towns of Kamas, Oakley, Francis- and others are located within minutes of the Mirror Lake Highway.   Homes and lots are available in these communities, and real estate prices are a fraction of those in Park City- despite being only fifteen to twenty minutes away. 

Questions?  Contact Quinn Eichner @ 435-640-1854 for more information.  

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