Scenic Drives on the Uinta National Forest - Utah Scenic Drives

The Uinta National Forest offers three scenic highways. They are the Adventure Highway, the Alpine Scenic Loop and the Left and Right Forks of the White River. Each has its own unique characteristics. All three highways serve a specific purpose, which is to take one on a trip filled with beautiful scenery.

The Backways and Byways of Utah are scenic routes that are shared by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Utah Department of Transportation. They do not go from one destination to another as the Adventure Highway does, but rather are scattered throughout the state. The Scenic Backways on the Uinta National Forest are the Alpine Scenic Loop and the Left and Right Forks of the White River. The White River area is recommended for high-clearance vehicles.

The Adventure Highway goes from one end of the state to the other, encompassing five National Forests, and is administered by the Forest Service. It starts on the Wasatch Cache National Forest in the north end of the state and ends on the Manti-La Sal National Forest in the south. The Highway is not restricted to off-road vehicles but most of the surfaces are gravel or native material. Higher clearance vehicles are advisable.

On the Uinta National Forest, the Highway can be accessed from U 150 (Mirror Lake Highway), U.S. 40, and U.S. 6. While traveling the Adventure Highway through the Uinta, one will see such sights as the Japanese Memorial Monument, Mill Hollow Reservoir, the aspen of Current Creek Canyon, Current Creek Reservoir, Strawberry Reservoir and recreation area, and much more. Views from the high country in the Uinta Mountains are many and spectacular. Bring your camera, for there are many photo opportunities. Also keep a lookout for wildlife and be prepared for abundant opportunities to hike, fish, picnic, and camp. Fall is especially beautiful along this route. A number of side trips may be planned since the Adventure Highway is close to many areas of special interest—for example, Wasatch Mountain State Park, Cascades Springs, Mt. Timpanogos Wilderness, Mt. Timpanogos Cave National Monument, and Provo Canyon. The Highway has a limited season from June through September.

How to Recognize Forest Service Roads
All roads recognized by the Uinta National Forest are marked with a specific road number to guide forest travelers. Flexible brown posts can be found at Forest boundaries, junctions, and along straight stretches of road. Roads maintained for two-wheel drive, low-clearance vehicles are marked with road numbers on a horizontal sign. Roads suitable for high-clearance vehicles have markers with numbers vertically on the post. In some cases, the markers have other stickers identifying use for all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. If a road does not have one of these markers, it is not considered a travel route for any type of vehicle. Travel on unassigned routes is prohibited.

The majority of the Uinta National Forest's 1,250-mile road system is not paved. Travelers should keep speeds low, allow extra distance for braking, and honk when going around blind curves.

Driving vehicles during wet conditions is one of the greatest causes of damage to Forest roads. It takes only one wheel to put a deep rut in a soft wet road. Subsequent runoff channels down these ruts causing extensive erosion and additional rutting. Dried ruts present hazards for other travelers, so avoid driving on these roads when they are wet.

The people who manage the Uinta National Forest invite you to explore and enjoy the variety of roads winding through it. Know the rules of the road, drive safely, and just follow the numbers.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »