For this three day weekend we decided to head to one of our most favorite places to visit, Utah, to explore some of their back country roads. We had no plans except to start near Zion National Park. Below you will find our video and all our stops along the way with some amazing scenic drives.
Virgin River Gorge
The small Arizona section between Nevada and Utah on the 15 called the Virgin River Gorge or Arizona Strip is one of our favorite parts of our drive. It is so beautiful but it is also letting us know we are close to Utah and close to the start of our adventure.
Arby’s in Hurricane
Once we got into Utah we stopped at Arby’s in Hurricane. If you are planning on eating at any fast food places here they tend to close a little earlier than most. We got there about 7:30 and they were closing at 8.
After dinner we headed up the highway towards Kolob Reservoir. It was getting late so we found a place to pull over on BLM property to sleep for the night.
Lava Point Overlook
Saturday morning we got up bright and early to head over to Lava Point Overlook in the Zion National Park. This was our only stop in the park and it was worth it.
After the breath taking views of Zion we headed to Kolob Reservoir. Kolob, located in Washington County Utah, was built in 1956 and sits at about 8000 feet. Here you can fish for rainbow trout, Colorado River cutthroat and bear river cutthroat. You can also Swim, Kayak, paddle board, Hike and camp. It has 43 primitive camp sites along the water but reservations are required. There isn’t any cell service so make sure you plan ahead if you want to camp here. We found an amazing place to set up for the morning to fish and have some breakfast. After a few hours at Kolob reservoir we headed north along the dirt road towards cedar city then headed towards Duck Creek Village.
Duck Creek Ice Cave
Right before we got to Duck Creek Village we turned off another dirt road and followed it to the Duck Creek Ice Cave which is located in the Dixie National Forest in Kane County Utah. This ice cave is made because the caves floor is lower than than the entrance so warm air never flows towards the bottom causing it to stay at a freezing temperature. With water seeping through the limestone for tens of millions of years it has slowly created this small cave. There is small dirt spot to park and with a short hike you are at the entrance to the cave. There is a rope that helps you down so you don’t slip on the ice path way. Inside the cave is 60’ x 40’ and 15 feet high.
Duck Creek Village
We stopped at Duck Creek Village to top off on gas. The gas station had one of the lowest prices that we came across. The stores in this town are so cute. There were a ton of side by sides coming in and out of the town. This is something you don’t see in California.
Mammoth Lava Cave
Our next stop heading north from ice to fire was the Mammoth Lave Cave. The Mammoth cave is one of the largest in Utah with is located in the Dixie National Forest in Garfield County Utah . A lava cave is formed by cooling lava and flowing water. This was a very popular spot with a lot of side by sides visiting. Once parked this is another short walk to the entrance to the cave. Head down the large hole in the ground and past the fence to begin your adventure. If you follow the cave you will exit out the other end. Make sure to have a flashlight or a headlamp because once you are inside it is super dark. You need to watch your footing due to wet slick rocks but also watch your head for low hanging rocks.
Mill Meadows Reservoir
Our last stop for the day would take us way up north almost 2 hours to Mill Meadows Reservoir.
Mill Meadows reservoir is a small lake in Fish lake national forest in Wayne county Utah and is at the end of the Fishlake Scenic Byway (off of the 25). Fishing Species include Perch, Rainbow Trout, Splake, Brown Trout, Tiger Muskie and our favorite Tiger Trout.
Once there we set up camp and fished until he sun went down. Later that night the skies opened up giving us a show of lighting and rain. The next morning we fished some more, had breakfast and headed Southwest towards Beaver.
Beaver Canyon Scenic Byway (153)
We decided to take the Beaver Canyon Scenic Byway (153) in FishLake National Forest in Beaver county. The East side of the dirt road from Junction is dirt until you get to Puffer Lake. The road is well maintained but the first section from Junction to the top of the mountain is quite steep. When we got to the top the skies opened up for us once again and hailed on us.
We headed to Puffer Lake which is now for sale. Driving around the lake you can see the reminisce of some old fishing cabins. At this time the hail turned to snow and it started to come down a little harder. We continued down the mountain to Beaver.
Creamery & Beaver Tacos in Beaver
For dinner we started with dessert first and headed to the Creamery for some delicious ice cream. Everyone has their favorites, mine is I’M YOUR HUCKLEBERRY. After that we headed over to Beaver Tacos for some amazing Tacos.
Our second to last stop was the Beaver River right past Minersville Reservoir in Beaver County Utah for some more fishing.
Our finally stop was Enterprise Reservoir in the Dixie National Forest of Washington County Utah. Enterprise Reservoir has rainbow trout and small mouth bass. Here you can disperse camp around the lake or camp at the Honeycomb campground on a first come first served bases.
While exploring Southern Utah in 3 days we were in one national park, two national forests and five different counties. We fished four lakes and 1 stream and explored 2 caves. We saw elk, deer, a bald eagle and a beaver. We went from 100 degrees to freezing, we got rained on, snowed on, hailed on and blown away. With over 1300 miles driven we told stories, laughed until we cried, and made memories that will last a lifetime.