The Mirror Lake Scenic Byway is the highway through the High Uinta Mountains between Kamas, Utah and the Wyoming Border. It is UT-150 and heads west and then curves north. The namesake Mirror Lake is one of the highlights!
This is a National Forest, so you will need to pay the $6 day use (can be paid in most parking lots) or have a National Parks Pass.
Driving from Kamas in mid-September, there are already leaves starting to change.
The Uinta Mountains have very poor cell coverage. I’ve gotten spotty service near Bald Mountain Pass, but that’s it. If you want to stay in contact with your group, you may want to bring walkie-talkies.
There are many types of wildlife in the Uintas, including mountain goats, moose, birds, squirrels, and fish. Last time I drove the Mirror Scenic Byway I saw this family of three moose right near the road. Also keep your eyes open for cattle, since there is an open range closer to Kamas.
Upper Provo Falls (also called Provo River Falls)
The first stop is the Upper Prover River Falls. This is definitely worth a stop.
You can see it from the parking lot, but you can see it much better walking down the path to the viewing area. If you head farther down the falls, there are some amazing views of the lower tiers!
If you go up higher then the main falls, there are also additional tiers.
For more information of the Provo River Falls, click here.
There is a cluster of lakes next: Lost Lake, Lilly Lake, Washington Lake and Trial Lake. Some you can park near and even more you can hike to, including Wall Lake and Crystal Lake. I need to return to the Uintas a lot more often to get photos of it all.
Bald Mountain Overlook
The next stop is the Bald Mountain Overlook (Utah 150 Scenic Overlook). This is a quick stop with breathtaking views. You can look down on the lakes you just passed.
Here is a closer view of Trial and Washington Lakes.
Hayden Peak Viewpoint
As you continue around Bald Mountain, you come to Hayden Peak Viewpoint (#165) which overlooks Mirror Lake. You can see iconic Hayden Peak just left of center.
The next stop is a major highlight of the High Uintas. Mirror Lake is beautiful and lives up to it’s name!
The trail around the lake is 1.5 miles and very peaceful.
It’s a great place for kayaking and fishing! Mirror Lake has rainbow trout, brook trout and tiger trout.
Bonnie Lake is only about a mile easy hike from Mirror Lake, so 2-3 roundtrip, depending on your route.
There are a couple other ponds and lakes you pass on the way.
Around the corner from Mirror Lake is Pass Lake. This one has parking less than 100 feet from the water.
While we were there we saw some Canada Jays.
Beyond Pass Lake is the Boy Scout-owned Camp Steiner.
Next you come to Butterfly Lake. Most of these lakes allow camping, but Butterfly Lake is for day use only. It got its name from the shape.
Another 100 yards beyond Butterfly Lake is the Highline Trailhead. This has an amazing view of Hayden Peak.
Three minutes further along the highway is the Ruth Lake Trailhead. Ruth Lake is popular with families and backpackers, because it is only an easy two miles round trip to this gorgeous lake!
There are smaller lakes near Ruth Lake. You pass one on the trail and there are several more just beyond Ruth Lake.
There are nearly endless possibilities for more stops in this amazing area. Here are a few views of the drive back.
Other Utah scenic drives include Big Cottonwood Canyon, Alpine Loop and Nebo Loop.
Stats: Distance – 42 miles one way
Approximate driving time – 2-3 hours (longer if including hikes and stops)
Seasons to drive: June – October
Permits needed – None
Pets allowed – Yes