On the recommendation of a friend, I decided to check out the Fishlake Scenic Byway in central Utah, and I’m SO glad that I did!
I’ve had a cold this weekend, which always happens when school starts. I spent most of yesterday just resting, but today, I knew I would go stir crazy if I didn’t do something. My girls are with their dad for the holiday, but I decided to get myself out of the house and go on a beautiful solo Sunday drive.
I mean, look at this:
Here is a map of the way I accessed the scenic byway. (You can click on it to make it larger.) I went through a little town called Sigurd, and about 23 miles later, I came across the turnoff to Fish Lake.
Now when I say this drive was beautiful, I truly mean it. I’m excited to show you all of the cool things I saw along the way…
My first stop-worthy point was a place called Koosharem Reservoir. Now, if you’re allergic to sage brush, this is the place that you would certainly remember if you had forgotten to take your allergy pill. But sagebrush in bloom is so gorgeous, so I had to get some pictures.
After getting back on the pavement, I noticed a brown sign at the side of the road that indicated there was a historical marker ahead. I’m a history minor and I love to learn, so I thought, “What the heck,” and I stopped to see what it was all about. It teaches a little bit about a peace treaty made in that area in 1873 between the Mormons and the Indians in the Grass Valley. The information was interesting, but even more interesting to me was the amazing variety of rocks that they had used to erect the marker. Check out those colors!
A short distance from the marker was my turnoff east toward Fish Lake. This turnoff is where the scenic byway begins. I stopped and took a few pictures on my way toward the lake. The Aspen trees became really thick as the elevation increased, and it was beautiful!
As I was driving around the lake, I noticed numerous campgrounds, a store with small cabins surrounding it (which I’m sure are available for lodging), a couple of resorts, and two restaurants. There were also a handful of hiking trail heads right from the main road, which I would have gladly explored if I was not under the weather. Sad. I happened to stop on the side of the road where there was access to the Lakeshore Trail and walked a short distance (maybe 800 feet) to a little drop down area right next to the lake. I laid out my picnic blanket (which I always keep in my trunk – you can find out what else I keep in my trunk if you click here) and I read my book and ate some snacks (of course) for about 30 minutes before I decided I was going to get a sunburn if I didn’t get back on the road…
My intention when I left the lake was to continue on the Fishlake Scenic Byway until it ended at the intersection with Highway 72 just northeast of Fremont Utah. However, I discovered a turnoff right at the north end of Johnson Valley Reservoir called Sevenmile/Gooseberry Rd. It looked pretty cool and seemed to go straight back up to I-70, so I decided to check it out instead! (You can click on the map below to make it bigger.)
Sevenmile/Gooseberry Road climbed to an even higher elevation! I was SO happy that I took this turn because I saw my first glimpse of fall, and it literally made my heart sing with joy! I sat on the side of the road looking at these trees for about five minutes. I didn’t want to leave! Haha.
I reached the peak at 10506 feet in elevation! I broke 10,000 feet today!! There have been some wildfires in Utah, and you can see a little bit of the smokiness in the air, but it was still incredible.
On the way down the canyon, I happened upon this little guy. He didn’t want to get out of my way, so he ended up getting his picture taken, and then I drove around him. He wasn’t about to budge…
A few miles later, there was a turnoff on the road to a place called Salina Reservoir. Here are a few pictures that I took while I was exploring that area:
Even with all of my picture taking and stopping to read by the lake, I was only on the road for about four hours. I certainly could have spent more time there, especially with a little bit of hiking on the trails at the lake. But even being under the weather, I would call this day and the Fishlake Scenic Byway just what I needed to start feeling better! Getting a little bit of sunshine and fresh air in the mountains was exactly the medicine that I needed. I can’t wait to take my girls to see it!