Special Places

The Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest offers many attractions to visitors. Each provides a unique experiences.


Wilderness Areas

Mount Olympus WildernessWilderness is an area of Federal Land that is free from modern human control or manipulation, is undeveloped, and provides outstanding opportunites for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation. Wilderness areas are generally over 5,000 acres in size and may contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.
The Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests has nine Wilderness areas that are part of the 109 million-acre National Wilderness Preservation System. 

Scenic Byways

Nebo Loop Scenic BywayThe Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest is host to two National Scenic Byways, Logan Canyon and Nebo Loop.  You can visit the National Scenic Byway website or you can click on the link below to find out highway numbers, distance, time to allow, recreation opportunities and maps of the area.  Also listed below are the four State - National Forest Scenic Byways located on the Forests.

American Fork Recreation Area

 Pleasant Grove RD
American Fork Recreation Area is a 46,000-acre backyard escape for the 1.8 million people living in the Wasatch Front Metro Area.  Attractions include Timpanogos Cave National Monument, Cascade Springs, Tibble Fork and Silver Lake Flat Reservoirs, and Wasatch Mountain State Park.  Trailheads lead adventure seekers into Mount Timpanogos and Lone Peak Wilderness Areas. 
American Fork Canyon is within the recreation fee area and can be accessed from the Alpine Loop Scenic Backway (SR-92).  The spectacular canyon walls in lower American Fork Canyon are deeply incised.  Higher up, the canyon forks into open basins with alpine peaks that top 11,000 feet.  The road then crosses over a divide into the north fork of the Provo Canyon, with views of Mount Timpanogos and dazzling fall colors.

Highlighted Areas

Payson Lakes Cabin

Payson Lakes Guard Station is located approximately 13 miles south of Payson, Utah, along the Mount Nebo Scenic Byway. The Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest offers the cabin for advance reservation so visitors can enjoy an experience similar to that of early Forest Rangers and their families. The Guard Station is nestled in a forest of aspen and Douglas fir trees at an elevation of 8,000 feet. The Guard Station complex can sleep a maximum 8 people in bunk beds; four people inside the cabin and four people in the bunkhouse. Up to 7 additional day use only guests may visit. Parking space is limited to 5 family vehicles. No vehicles are permitted off the pavement. An adjacent pasture is included which can accommodate 8 horses. There is a 2-night minimum stay and a maximum 7-day stay limit. Pets are not allowed. Guests should bring their own bedding, plates and utensils.  The Guard Station was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1935 as part of the New Deal Program.

The Payson Lakes area includes McClelland, Box and Big East Lakes. Summer wildflowers are abundant.  A variety of wildlife makes its home around the lakes. The nearby Payson Lakes Recreation Area offers great canoeing and kayaking. Anglers enjoy fishing for rainbow and brown trout. There are many nearby trails for hiking, mountain biking and equestrian use.  A popular day-use area is located on the shore of Big East Lake, with a small swim beach, picnic tables and flush toilets.  A paved nature path begins at the parking area and circles the lake. The Mount Nebo Wilderness Area is adjacent, brimming with beautiful mountain scenery, pristine waters, abundant wildlife, vibrant summer wildflowers and numerous trail opportunities.

The Nebo Loop Scenic Byway stretches 37 miles through high alpine terrain, dense forests and colorful meadows. Devil's Kitchen Geological Area can be found along the loop. It offers a 1/2-mile round-trip trail to interesting red rock hoodoos. 

Blacksmith Fork Cabin

The small green and white cabin sits on the bank of the Left Hand Fork of the Blacksmith Fork River and is surrounded by box elder and oak trees with the steep canyon wall behind the cabin covered in Douglas fir trees.

The cabin complex can sleep 5 people inside the cabin and no more than 4 tents outside. There is also room for a small travel trailer in the driveway and no vehicles are permitted on the grass . There are no restroom facilities inside the cabin, a vault toilet located in the front portion of the complex,  There is also no electricity and no drinking water available at the cabin. The nearest water source is Shenoah Picnic Area approximately 3 miles southeast along State Route 101. 


The cabin can be rented for $75.00 per night
$525.00 per week
There is 2 night minimum on weekends and holidays
Checkin Time: 2:00 pm
Checkout Time: 11:00 am

The cabin has beds with mattresses, propane stove, refrigerator and lights. A wood burning stove.  All cooking utensils and pots, cleaning supplies and equipment and firewood. 

There is a horseshoe pit and fishing just off the back of the cabin.