The quaint mountain town of Kamas, Utah is undeniably the gateway to Utah's remarkable Uinta Mountain Range, though Samak may have sneakily staked a share of the claim (Note: Samak is Kamas spelled backward), if only because of the Samak Smoke House, a must-stop roadside Country Store featuring real house-smoked jerky and trout in a USDA-inspected facility, critical dry goods and provisions for the trip into the upper elevations, and local sundries. You can also snag fishing licenses and other important passes and rental opportunities. Just up the street the Notch Pub livens things up with great burgers, live music and a full drink menu.
Kamas itself is a quiet high country town with a population of around 2,000 people and a ranch mentality carried over from the earlier settlements. Today the town defines itself by vast tracts of open space, access to recreation and family friendliness.
Linger in Kamas, Utah for a flick or local dining, including Mirror Lake Diner, Gateway Grille, Hi-Mountain, Summit Inn Pizza, El Jalisciense, and get to know some of the friendly locals in the community.
You will find a variety of local businesses to outfit your adventure or offer advice on great campsites or adventures in the vast Uinta Mountains and High Uintas Wilderness.
From there, until you venture off the road, it's all scenic driving all the time on the 56-mile Mirror Lake Highway Scenic Byway. Between beautifully developed campgrounds and endless, rugged backcountry, you'll find the perfect stop to park your RV or pitch your tent for a blissfully cool night with a view just flat out away from it all.
Where to begin? More than 450,000 acres of pristine wilderness are buttressed by two national forests, including the spectacular Wasatch National Forest that lines the byway. Fish from your choice of hundreds of lakes and streams like the namesake Mirror Lake. Campsites begin at $14 a night for a single party. Sites like Soapstone Basin, Mirror Lake, Moosehorn at the foot of Bald Mountain or along the Upper Provo River are quite popular, so reservations are recommended. From basecamp, take short strolls around cool lakes, jump on a horse or ATV, and if you've packed a little time and some wayfinding skills, climb Utah's loftiest peaks. King's Peak is Utah's highest and mightiest, offering multiple approaches and thousands of feet of prominence for you to set your hiking boots to.
Thanks to spectacular natural splendor, you won't be alone in this high mountain sanctuary: on the mighty Uinta Mountain range you may see elk, moose or perhaps a bighorn sheep. Peaceful cross-country skiing or snowmobiling in the winter shows this remote and wild place in a whole new light.
You may know Park City for its winter attractions: premier downhill skiing at three world-class resorts and cutting-edge independent films at the Sundance Film Festival. Park City is also a summer mountain sanctuary combining luxurious hotels and lodges for a relaxing escape or extensive adventure on more than 400 miles of trails. Park City is the world's only International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) Certified Gold Level ride center. In Park City, you'll find shopping, dining and adventure for all budgets no matter the season. Also check out the national acts at the Deer Valley Music Festival and a range of activities at the Olympic Legacy Park, site of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
Jordanelle State Park is located in a picturesque mountain setting near Heber City. The park offers an array of recreation opportunities off the Wasatch Back. Camping, boating, swimming, fishing, and hiking are some of the activities to do at this very popular park. The Perimeter Trail circles the Jordanelle shore and is suitable for hiking, biking or horseback riding. Access from the park or from the Ross Creek day use trailhead. The park offers two recreation areas, Hailstone and Rock Cliff, and a nature center including rentals and developing camping with modern amenities at Hailstone.
Heber Valley astonishes with its alpine splendor and access to endless outdoor recreation only 20 miles away. Exclusive resorts, authentic dining and world-class golf round out the valley's extensive list of incredible accommodations and vast trail network, which means your Heber Valley sanctuary can be built on luxury (European-style hotels like Zermatt Resort and Spa and Blue Boar Inn Bed and Breakfast), off the road (Wasatch Mountain State Park), or a combination of both. Ride the historic Heber Valley Railroad or time your visit to see Swiss Days and the Soldier Hollow Classic Sheepdog Championship during the Labor Day weekend.
For more detailed information on area attractions, accommodations and dining, visit Park City Chamber of Commerce/Visitors Bureau www.visitparkcity.com and Heber Valley Office of Tourism www.gohebervalley.com
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