Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest welcomes visitors to explore its impressive mountain ranges that cover over 2 million acres. The vast area stretches through small parts of southeastern Idaho, but most of the forest blankets the north and northeastern section of Utah and tapers off in southwestern Wyoming. Throughout the entire forest, outdoor lovers have access to more than 500 hiking and mountain biking trails and 106 campgrounds, in addition to excellent fishing in lakes, streams, and rivers.
Enjoy viewing the wildlife on the Willow Lake Trail as you'll likely spot deer, ducks, and prairie dogs on your hike. The initial part of this trek is rather steep but levels off after a quarter of a mile, and it features a peaceful lake and beautiful meadows filled with aspens. No dogs are allowed on the trail as the area is a protected watershed, and swimming is also prohibited. Additionally, this trail has year-round access; however, it does go through potential avalanche terrain. Check conditions before attempting this hike in the fall, winter, or early spring.
Length: 2.4 miles
The Rattlesnake Gulch Trail is a popular out-and-back hike that features amazing views of the Salt Lake Valley from the overlook near the end of the trail. This trail starts off fairly steep but levels off after the first mile. There's plenty of shade on the incline, but it's full sun exposure the rest of the way. Make sure to take sun precautions before heading out. Rattlesnake Gulch is dog-friendly and permits mountain biking if you prefer pedals to boots.
Length: 3.3 miles
The Donut Falls Trail is an easy out and back hike that's located in Big Cottonwood Canyon. This scenic trek rewards you with fantastic views of a unique waterfall that fills a small pool inside a cave before cascading down the rocks. The last part of the trail does get wet and rocky on the scramble to the falls. Be prepared for a change in the terrain and potentially dangerous conditions if you want to see the falls up close.
Length: 1.5 miles
On the Horsetail Falls Trail, you'll experience a fairly significant elevation gain and rocky forest terrain as you head to the heavily flowing waterfall at the end. The trail is horse- and dog-friendly, and there are some great spots to rock climb along the way. This can be quite strenuous, with multiple areas that require scrambling, and it goes through avalanche territory. Be alert, and check current conditions if you're hiking this trail during snowy months.
Length: 4.6 miles
Soak away the strain of your hike in any one of the hot spring pools you'll find along the Fifth Water Hot Springs Trail in Diamond Fork Canyon. Here, you can experience the soothing water after trekking through the forest and crossing the second footbridge you come to, which is about a mile after the first one. You'll find the hot springs one mile past the footbridge. Expect plenty of other hikers, and keep your footwear on as you travel from pool to pool. The terrain is rocky, and there may also be broken glass among the rocks. Rattlesnakes are also common in the area, so stay alert and consider not taking your pets on this hike.
Length: 4.5 miles
The Waterfall Canyon Trail is another fantastic hike that leads you to magnificent waterfall views. The first part of the hike is less rocky and easier to traverse but it takes a rocky turn on the second half. Expect steep terrain and mountain bikers.
Length: 2.4 miles
The lush wilderness and beauty of the converging mountain ranges in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest offer adventure after adventure as you spot some of the local wildlife on any number of pristine hiking trails, and fish for rainbow or cutthroat trout on Big Cottonwood River. Streams are plentiful in the area and many are perfect for fly fishermen.
Check out the Wind Cave and Silver Lake Loop Trail for an afternoon of birdwatching, or venture out into the Wellsville Wilderness in Cache Valley to catch glimpses of some soaring bald eagles.
Geocaching is also available in the forest. Caches are only allowed in certain designated areas, so check with local rangers before placing any of your own.
Once the sun sets, you'll find that the forest is perfect for stargazing. Some of the top stargazing spots include Kings Peak and Ruth Lake.
Address: 857 West South Jordan Parkway, South Jordan, UT 84095
Fee: Entry fee $0
In the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, you'll enjoy endless fishing, mountain biking, and rock climbing adventures while soaking in the beauty of the forest. World-class hiking trails take you to aspen-studded meadows, relaxing hot springs, and majestic waterfalls as you explore the burgeoning wilderness. No matter where you go or how you spend your time here, an RV is a fantastic way to experience exciting outdoor activities in each mountain range while making lifelong memories.