The Uinta-Wasatch-Cache covers more than 2 million acres in northern and north-central Utah, with a sliver of 326 acres in the Uinta County of southwestern Wyoming. The forest has nine preserved regions — Desert Peak, High Uintas, Lone Peak, Mount Naomi, Mount Nemo, Mount Olympus, Mount Timpanogos, Twin Peaks, and the Wellsville Mountains Wilderness Areas. Otherwise, much of the forest is open to regulated grazing land for sheep and cattle and extremely selective logging. The forest, particularly the wilderness areas, is a favorite vacationing spot for people from local cities. Over a million people live and work within easy distance of the forest, yet it maintains a pristine quality that is unusual for primitive locations near densely populated areas.
The Kabell Lake Trail is an in-and-out pathway that elevates 1,500 feet over a long distance. Most of the hike is a gradual climb through open pine forests that is briefly interrupted with mountain meadows. The incline increases at two locations but never reaches a 5% grade. The lake is shallow and full of hungry fish.
Length: 10.7 miles
The Hesse Lake Trail is an in-and-out pathway that travels due south from March Lake Campground. The trail is well-maintained with a gradual climb that elevates you 1,500 feet over its entire length. The views from the lake at the end of the hike make the walk worthwhile.
Length: 16 miles
The Lily Lake Trail gradually elevates from the trailhead to the lake. It is an in-and-out trail with a few sections that are rocky but easy to negotiate. The lake, full of lily pads with a mountain hovering in the background, is a beautiful sight.
Length: 3 miles
The Tokewanna Peak Trail is an in-and-out pathway that elevates 4,500 feet to get to amazing views from the peak of a mountain. The trail begins in a river valley, which it follows to its source. The climb is gradual along this part of the path. The last two miles elevate 2,000 feet. This portion of the trail is more of a scramble along a rocky way with erratic boulders that must be climbed.
Length: 20.9 miles
The Scow Lake Trail demands a high level of trail-finding skills. It was the victim of a fire in 2002, and, due to the high elevations, the trees have not yet grown to shade-producing height. The trail is an in-and-out pathway that elevates 1,400 feet over 3 miles. Interruptions to the climb include a marshy valley and a section where old cabins used by miners still stand.
Length: 6.5 miles
Anglers find excellent sport in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Lakes in the higher elevations are seldom visited, and the fish are hungry, often jumping from the water to grab a fly. Streams and rivers offer a mixture of fish species, including several trout species, bass, muskie, bluegill, crappie, and others.
While geocaching is welcomed in the forest's lower reaches, expect to be denied permission to plant a prize in the higher elevations. Most of these places are within the borders of wilderness areas where geocaching is not allowed. Check out the nearest headquarters of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest for information on where geocaching is restricted inside the forest.
Stargazing in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest is an engaging activity that draws thousands from nearby cities where light pollution blocks the view of the skies. Visitors bring their kids here for their first looks at a clear night sky, pointing out constellations and the bright road called the Milky Way.
Address: 857 West South Jordan Parkway, South Jordan, UT 84095
Fee: Entry fee $0
RV campers find nearly a hundred organized campgrounds supported by the USFS with thousands of campsites within the forest. While most of the campsites are primitive, there are a few with electrical and water hookups. Dispersed camping, or boondocking, is allowed at designated sites alongside established roads. Local visitors often have a favorite spot from which they hike, fish, or hunt the area, and then they return to their RVs to spend a comfortable night before rising in the morning to do it again. Several scenic drives run through areas of the forest where RVs are welcome. Staying in an RV in this forest is a treat that you will want to repeat many times in the future.