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Provo River Falls and Mirror Lake Highway
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Overview
Location

Near Kamas, Utah

Sights

Provo River Falls, Mirror Lake Highway, Uintah Mountains

Distance

44.5 Miles from Kamas to the end of the Scenic Byway

Parking Lot Elevation

6682

Summit Elevation

10668

Elevation Gain/Loss

3986

Time Required

1+ hours

Pets

Allowed on leash

Fees

6$ 3 day pass required if you use any of the facilities on the Mirror Lake Highway

Water Info

Lots of fresh water if you have a purifier. Otherwise pack in your water.

Best Season

Spring- Fall

Hours

Open year round

Sun Exposure

Lots of shadee

Trail Condition

Great visible trail

Restrooms

Many out houses

Visitor Center

None

Camping

Lots of camping areas

Food

Kamas is the nearest place for food. Bring snacks as needed

Equipment

Bag for food and water, swim suit, towel, hat, sunglasses

The Trail: 

You can enter Mirror Lake Highway Scenic Byway from either Kamas, Utah or Evanston, Wyoming. The scenic Byway itself is 45 miles of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see. This is a wonderful scenic drive and there are many areas to camp, hike, backpack, ride ATV’s, watch wildlife, swim, snowmobile, and fish. The road is the highest paved road in Utah. It takes you to nearly 11,000 feet. There are several 10-12,000 foot peaks to be seen on the road. These are really very scenic mountains. The beginning part of the road (starting in Kamas) is just really beautiful with lush forest.

There are several areas in spring where small creeks meet the Provo River and the River itself is always pretty.

You will see a sign for Slate Gorge where you can pull over and see a 20 foot waterfall far below you in a narrow gorge.

My favorite destination here (along with most visitors if the crowd is any indication) is the Provo River Falls. It is very well signed on the road and there is a nice parking area and an outhouse at the falls. This is actually a set of several different very beautiful falls. Notice the huge difference in water from Spring to Fall.

Here is Fall:

DSC_0074 5 DSC_0170 DSC_0168 2

Here is Spring:

My favorite part of coming here is actually walking through and swimming in the falls and river. It is a natural waterpark! Start just below the parking lot and start hiking/swimming up the different falls. Make sure and wear good shoes and watch you step. We have taken small kids through and it is fine just be sure to keep a good eye and help everyone through safely as the rock can be very slick and the water swift. This is high mountain snow water so it is very cold and should be planned on accordingly. As someone who rarely gets cold I found the water in August to be quite refreshing. Once you reach the last of the falls simply follow the easy trail back to the parking lot. The round trip take around and hour. Do NOT attempt to get in the water during run off. This is more of a late summer to early fall activity due to fast and high water. As you can see in some photos it can get very busy in the summer. You can see the drastic water difference between spring and fall in the videos at the bottom of the page.

3 DSC_0122 DSC_0099  DSC_0017 

After Provo Falls you will climb to the highest portions of the road. The views are spectacular. There will be snow into July nearly every year.

Make sure to stop at the Hayden Peak Overlook.

Bald Mountain is also visible above you from the overlook.

Next up you will see the signs for Mirror Lake. This is the largest lake in the range and the one for which the highway is named. It gets very busy with hikers, fishing, and picnickers. The lake is pretty and gives nice views of Bald Mountain.

After Mirror Lake you will get great views of Hayden Peak, Mount Agassiz.

Finally you will reach the Ranger Station near the Evanston side where the views are also great and you can either turn around and head back or make a big loop using I-84.




Personal Thoughts:

As a person who loves scenic drives and a little adventure this is definitely a place that I enjoyed a lot and plan on returning to several more times. There are activities available that can be enjoyed by anyone. Its beautiful, fun, and a great place to escape the summer heat.

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Ratings (out of 10)
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User Rating
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Difficulty
2.0
3.5
Technicality
2.0
2.7
Enjoyment
8.5
9.5
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek.  If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

9.0
Trek Planner Rating
5.2
User Rating
4 ratings
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About The Author
Josh1990
I love adventure! I live in Cache Valley, Utah. Do you have questions on any of my Treks? Email me @ joshua.oyler@gmail.com

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