Heber-Kamas Ranger District

Heber / Kamas Ranger District

Mirror Lakes High Impact Recreation Area

The Mirror Lakes High Impact Recreation Area (Mirror Lakes HIRA) falls within a rare east-west mountain range called the Uintas, with elevations from 6400 feet to 13,500 feet. It is within a forty-five minute drive of 1.8 million people living along the Wasatch Front, including the municipalities of Salt Lake City, Provo, and Ogden. Two clearly defined access points are through Kamas, Utah (from the west) and Evanston, Wyoming (from the east). Park City, site of many of the 2002 Winter Olympic competitions, lies directly on the western access route from Salt Lake City. Park City aggressively markets its recreation amenities nationally and internationally, including those managed within the HIRA. The scenic byway that dissects the HIRA is one of the most picturesque travel routes throughout the intermountain region.

It is emphasized to visitors that the fee they pay is for use and not entrance. The Recreation Pass is valid in all areas of the Mirror Lake HIRA. A pass is not required for those who are only driving through and stopping for Overlooks and scenic viewing.

The 191,791 acre Mirror Lakes HIRA contains and impressive recreation facility infrastructure including 272 miles of paved and unpaved roads to accommodate one of the outdoor recreation gems in the state. Facilities within this HIRA include:

  • 24 single family site campgrounds,
  • 12 group campgrounds,
  • 19 designated dispersed camping areas,
  • 10 heavily used dispersed areas encompassing over 75 individual sites,
  • 19 trailheads,
  • 8 designated picnic areas,
  • 10 designated angler parking areas,
  • 5 guard stations, and
  • 1 visitor information station.

Mirror Lakes HIRA draws hundreds of thousands of visitors yearly primarily because of the extremes of variety it offers and its easy access. The area provides outstanding backcountry opportunity for solitude, deep snow for winter sports, lakes and streams for fishing, rare topographic features and ecological systems for study, historic sites for interpretation, challenging trail systems for most type of users, all at the same time providing the traditional National Forest recreation opportunities such as camping and picnicking.

What draws a significant number of users to the Mirror Lakes area in the summer months is the proximity and easy access to lakes and streams for fishing. In addition the high elevation of the HIRA creates a significant climatic relief in comparison to where the public resides. After all Utah is a desert and one of the driest states in the west. The Forest Service manages this large area for a significant number of visitors that due to their proximity can use the HIRA for just a drive through, a short day use activity, or as an extended destination camping trip.

The high elevation of the Mirror Lake Highway requires the closure for a segment of the highway during the winter months, however, in turn, it creates a very popular snowmobile route that accesses some a huge amount of public land for winter use. Winter sports such as snow shoeing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and x-country skiing are all very popular and growing along with the state’s population. Marked trails, managed parking areas with facilities, warming huts, and groomed trails are all used to accommodate winter activities. A very popular yurt system is provided on both sides of the pass and outfitters provide snowmobile rentals.



Key Contacts

Evanston Ranger District
1565 Highway 150, Suite A
PO Box 1880
Evanston, WY 82930
(307) 789-3194

Heber-Kamas Ranger District
Heber Office
2460 South Highway 40
PO Box 190
Heber City, UT 84032
(435) 654-0470

Kamas Office
50 East Center Street
PO Box 68
Kamas, UT 84036
(435) 783-4338

Logan Ranger District
1500 East Highway 89
Logan, UT 84321
(435) 755-3620

Mountain View Ranger District
321 Highway 414
PO Box 129
Mountain View, WY 82939
(307) 782-6555

Ogden Ranger District
507 25th Street
Ogden, UT 84401
(801) 625-5112

Pleasant Grove Ranger District
390 North 100 East
Pleasant Grove, UT 84062
(801) 785-3563

Salt Lake Ranger District
6944 South 3000 East
Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121
(801) 733-2660

Spanish Fork Ranger District
44 West 400 North
Spanish Fork, Utah 84660