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Austen Diamond

Mirror Lake Scenic Byway

Less than two hours from the Salt Lake City metro area, Mirror Lake Highway stretches 42 miles along state Route 150 and is one of the most popular mountain driving routes in the state. It begins in Kamas, Utah and ascends high into the Uinta Mountains cresting at 10,715 feet at Bald Mountain Pass, and then descends past Hayden Peak, Kletting Peak and Holiday Park Peak before meeting with the Wyoming border. This scenic byway has many overlooks, picnic areas, waterfalls, lakes, trails and campgrounds. This mountain range is one of the few in North America that runs east to west rather than north to south.

Highlights Along This Scenic Drive


Mirror Lake

The route's namesake is known for its near-perfection reflection. 

Bald Mountain Pass
At an elevation of 10,715 feet (3,266 meters), it is Utah's highest paved road and is a great overlook of the High Uintas. 
Provo River Falls

A popular stop along the scenic byway with an overlook, some facilities, and a chance to swim and wade in the lower pools of the falls.

Bear River Ranger Station
A histroic tie hack cabin that has been restored.
Fall Foliage
One of the best drives in the state for leaf-peeping. 

Things To Do

 
Whether you're interested in a beautiful drive or taking advantage of the recreational opportunities that abound along the Mirror Lake Highway, you'll find it's worth the excursion. This is one of Utah's most dazzling roads with unreal scenery and plenty of options for bite-sized and big adventures alike. There are numerous viewpoints, picnic areas, lakes and campgrounds so you'll have your choice of exploration options. The Mirror Lake Scenic Byway is perfect for anyone looking to get away from the city and dive deep into nature. Thick forests, glacially carved valleys, mountain lakes, and towering alpine summits are all part of the journey.
  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Mountain Biking
  • Backpacking
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Paddleboarding
  • Camping
  • Birding and Wildlife Viewing
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • ATVing
  • Snowmobiling

Photo: Matt Morgan

Photo: Austen Diamond

Things To Know

  • It's free to drive the byway, but if you stop to use any of the recreation areas you are required to pay the park fee.
  • Mirror Lake Highway is a seasonal road and is closed to automobiles during the winter due to heavy snow accumulation. Typically, the road is open to regular traffic mid-May to mid-fall. Check UDOT for the latest information on seasonal road closures. 
  • There are several vault toilet facilities available for public use at the campgrounds along the highway. 
  • Cell phone signals are spotty or non-existent in the Uinta mountains so don't plan to be able to use your mobile phone for communications or internet access.
  • Mirror Lake Highway is part of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and is managed by the United States Forest Service. For questions regarding this scenic byway, please call the Kamas Ranger Station Office: 435-783-4338.

Fees

The Mirror Lake Highway falls within the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest Fee Area. It's free to drive the byway, but if you stop to use any of the recreation areas you are required to pay the park fee. 

1-3 Day Pass: $6.00
7-Day Pass: $12.00
Annual Pass: $45.00

How to pay the Mirror Lake Highway use fee:

  • Pay in-person on-site at the Bear River Ranger Station (open seasonally), Evanston office, or Kamas office.
  • Pay in-person on-site at one of the self-service fee tubes located in various areas along the highway (cash and checks accepted). Annual passes are not available at self-service fee tubes. 
  • Pre-purchase a pass in person at these locations in Kamas:
    • Samak Smokehouse – 1937 UT-150, Kamas,UT
    • Mirror Lake Service Chevron Gas Station – 2 N Main St, Kamas, UT
    • High Mountain Restaurant – 40 N Main St, Kamas, UT
    • Kamas Food Town – 145 W 200 S, Kamas, UT
  • Purchase a pass online by visiting yourpassnow.com
    • Once you have paid your fee, be sure to display your pass on the dashboard of your vehicle. 
    • Fees collected are used to enhance recreation opportunities and visitor services in the Mirror Lake Highway Recreation Corridor. 
    • America the Beautiful Interagency Recreation Passes are honored. Campground fees are seperate.

Top Mirror Lake Scenic Byway Hikes

  • Mirror Lake Loop
    Easy (1.5 miles/2.4 kilometers)
    Loop trail with an elevation gain of just 39 feet (11.9 meters) that features Mirror Lake.

  • Mirror Lake Trail
    Easy (4.0 miles/6.4 kilometers)
    Out-and-back trail with an elevation gain of 383 feet (116.7 meters) that features Mirror Lake.

  • Crystal and Watson Lake Trail
    Moderate (3.2 miles/5.15 kilometers)
    Out-and-back trail with an elevation gain of 419 feet (127.7 meters) that features lake views.

  • Duck Lake Trail
    Moderate (7.7 miles/12.4 kilometers)
    Out-and-back trail with an elevation gain of 902 feet (275 meters) with lake views.

  • Bald Mountain Trail
    Moderate (2.7 miles/4.35 kilometers)
    Out-and-back trail with an elevation gain of 1,174 feet (357.8 meters) leading to a peak at 11,943 (3,640.2 meters) with spectacular views of Mirror Lake.

Lodging

There’s so much to see and do in the region that many visitors opt to stay a night or two at one of the many campgrounds along the way. Though many travelers drive the length of the Mirror Lake Highway on a day-trip, it’s much more enjoyable to take your time and enjoy the splendor of the area by staying a night or two at one of the many campgrounds along the way. 

Individual and group sites are released on a 6-month rolling basis and are available through the end of September.

Camping

There are more than a dozen campgrounds in the area. Single sites have a maximum occupancy of eight people and one vehicle. Double sites have a maximum occupancy of 16 people and two vehicles. Unless otherwise noted, campsites are standard non-electric and there are no electrical, water or sewer hockups. Drinking water is provided at some sites, but the US Forest Service recommends bringing your own. Trash collection is provided and firewood is available for purchase from the camp host. Pets are allowed at campgrounds. Sites are $25 - $46 per night. There are bears in the Uinta Mountains so campers must be bear aware by properly storing food, garbage and other attractants. Learn more about bear awareness here

Reservation can be made online at recreation.gov.

Top Campground Sites

Hotels and Nearby Basecamps


Kamas is the nearest town to the sourthern end of Mirror Lake Highway while Evanston, Wyoming is the closest town on the northern end. Kamas is a 20-minute drive from Park City and Heber City.

 

Located 18 miles east of Park City, the small town of Kamas is considered the gateway to the Uintas. Those heading into the remote wilderness of the Uinta Mountains often stop in Kamas first for supplies and such. There are no hotels or other vacation lodging available in Kamas. 

 

Oakley is 16 miles east of Park City, and is popular amoung outdoor enthusiasts who are in the area to go snowmobiling, dog sledding, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing and horseback riding. There is limited lodging available in Oakley. 

 

For travelers in search of vacation lodging, both Heber City and Park City are less than 17 miles from the entrance to Mirror Lake Highway and make great basecamp options. There are numerous hotels, shops and other attractions in these areas. Stay at the St. Regis Deer Valley for a luxury retreat or stay at the Homestead Resort in Midway for more of a ranch experience. 

Weather

 
Summer temperatures range from 65-75 degrees F during the day to 40-50 degrees F at night. Winter temperatures range from well below freezing to as high as 42 degrees F during the day. Extreme winter weather hazards includin travel prohibitive snowfall and minute-to-minute changes are probable from November through February, which is why the Mirror Lake Highway is closed to automobile traffic during the winter months.

Discover Mirror Lake Scenic Byway

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