Provo River Falls - Mirror Lake Highway
For some time now there has been talk about a beautiful family destination just off the Mirror Lake highway called the Provo River Falls. It is said to be a series of waterfalls on the Upper Provo River and one of the most popular stops along the way to Mirror Lake and beyond.
With that being said, on a beautiful summer day we decided to take a relaxing drive with some friends along the Mirror Lake highway with the Upper Provo River Falls being our destination. Our trip started with a short drive to Kamas, Utah, where the Mirror Lake highway begins.
The Mirror Lake Highway:
Although our destination was the Provo Falls the drive along the Mirror Lake highway was spectacular, so we decided to take the time to explore a little, take some photos, enjoy some fishing along the Upper Provo River, and stop at many of the high mountain lakes. There are many fishing opportunities, campgrounds/picnic areas, scenic overlooks, and a whole lot of fun if you're willing to take the time to do some exploring.
There are several lakes and reservoirs along the way which are accessible right from the Mirror Lake Highway. These include Washington Reservoir, Trial Lake, Lost Lake, Lily Lake, and Tea Pot Lake. Although, every lake was beautiful in its own unique way Lily Lake is the one that stood out the most to us. The green grass, the towering pines, and of course the Lily Pads that covered the lake, made this the perfect destination to stop and have lunch.
Provo River Falls:
As we continued to travel the Mirror Lake Highway for approximately 24 miles, we began to see signs marking the falls. As soon as we turned into the parking area, we got the first glimpse of the upper portion of the falls through the pine trees. The parking area offers several spaces, however, be prepared if you plan on visiting the falls on a weekend, because you may have to wait a little while for a parking spot, but if you don’t mind walking there is additional parking along the highway.
The Provo River Falls Trail:
From the parking area there is a paved path that leads to a railed observation point that overlooks the upper falls. This vantage point provides a view of the first of many tiered water falls. The way the river has craved the rock into almost a stair like feature is an amazing example of the forces the river has played on the rock face for thousands of years.
For those who are a little more adventurous, they can take a well traveled dirt trail to get up closer to the lower portion of the falls. Please be aware this trail will require scrambling down a step like rock face and there is no railing to hang on to or grab if you happen to stumble.
On our visit, we saw several people wading in the lower pools of the falls, sitting and enjoying the scenery while relaxing to the sound of the water and having a picnic on the water's edge.
With so many wonderful outdoor activities in Utah, we tend to find ourselves forgetting about all the amazing scenery, and recreation we have within an hour drive of our home. The Mirror Lake highway is one of these many locations throughout our beautiful state.
If you are searching for an outdoor activity the whole family will enjoy or a place for a romantic date, the Provo River Falls is an excellent location to visit. There are many activities to be enjoyed at the falls, and all along the Mirror Lake Highway. When packing and getting ready for your venture, please remember the Provo Falls is located in the Uinta Mountains and the weather can change at any given time. Also, you may want to bring along a jacket because the temperature between the valley and the high mountain elevation can be a drastic difference. Keep in mind when using the recreational facilities anywhere along the Mirror Lake Highway there is a $6.00 fee for up to 3 days of usage.
Location: Travel along the MIrror Lake Highway for approx 24 miles.
Hiking Time - 10 minutes, depending how long you enjoy the falls.
Dogs Allowed - Must remain on a leash at all times.
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest - (435) 654-0470 or (435) 783-4338
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