OverviewMost of the Uinta Range is one uninterrupted belt of wilderness, stretching East to West for over a hundred miles. The Western flank of the range is more tame. It is bissected by roads here and there, few peaks pop above the treeline, and the mountains passes are deep and wide. It shouldn't be underestimated nonetheless. Hikers and campers disappear and die in these mountains every year.
Mt Watson - Lakes Roadless Area, sandwiched between Mirror Lake Highway and Weber River valley, crowned by nearly 12,000 ft-high (but easily accessible) Bald Mountain.
To the North of Weber River, Windy Ridge still holds tremendous allure to backcountry skiers. But after avalanche fatalities of recent years, private landowners of lower-elevation lands made public access to Windy Ridge a problem.
Murdock Mountain (11,212) is the highest point in this part of the range, although perhaps the most popular hikers' destination is an unconspicous hill named after Mr. Cardwell, which happens to be Wasatch County highpoint. Iron Mine Mountain and Soapstone Mountain are towering above Provo River further South - South-West.
Currant Creek Peak (10,554) is the highest point here. Further SW over Strawberry Peak, the range joins with Southern Wasatch.
The prime use of the mountains these days is recreation. Mirror Lake Hwy (SR150) is a fee area, and so is Daniels Summit area. Not being a wilderness, the area is still partitioned rather reasonably into motorized and non-motorized recreation sub-areas. Lakes are stocked with fish, using airdrops these days. Logging has pretty much ceased since the 1960s, and young pine forests sprang up in place of former clearcuts. There is hardly any useful minerals in the area, although a group of abandoned mines exists in South Fk Weber River drainage. The most precious commodity Western Uinta provides is probably water. Back in the beginning of the 20th century, Utah agricultural authorities, under the guidance of Mr. Cardwell (after fhom one of the lesser hills is named these days), sought to harness the water resources of these lakes and marshes, and dammed creeks here and there. Most of these irrigation projects lay in ruins now. In a followup to the Great Depression, Park City miners were employed to construct an ambitious irrigation tunnel from Duchesne River into Provo River, crossing under 10,000 ft ridges of Iron Mine Mountain. With some interruption for WWII, the project was finally completed in 1950s.
Mirror Lake Highway (SR150) is closed at Soapstone Turnoff from November through Memorial Day, altough the gate may be left unlocked when the snow level is low, so one can drive at one's own risk.
Weber River Highway (SR213) is plowed for the public to the ranch gate at Smith and Morehouse turnoff.
SR35 is plowed about to Pine Valley.
Route 169 (a.k.a. Lake Creek Road, off Center Street in Heber) is plowed to the 'bilers parking lot at the edge of Timber Lakes development.
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Western Uinta Avalanche Advisory
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