Fish Lake Byway
The Byway in the Fall
(Photo by Kreig Rasmussen)
Lorenzo's Rock Monuments (Mile 2.5)
When Lorenzo Larsen, a bachelor sheepherder from Glenwood, Utah grew bored, he built stone monuments. From the late 1940s through the 70s, Lorenzo spent hundreds of hours creating rock monuments that look like dogs, tea kettles, and eveFislake Lodgen a woman with a frying pan. Lorenzo passed away in 1988, but his stone sentinels still stand watch on the hills near the first 4 miles of Highway 25.
Hancock Flat Road (Mile 4.3)
Long before the pavement of Highway 25, visitors to Fish Lake would travel into the area along what is known as the "Hogs Back". In the early 1900s, the trip from the valley up to the Hancock Flat turnoff took a full day and could be very dangerous. Today, the dirt road is open to all vehicles and provides access to the Paiute Trail. Visitors may also want to note that the ponderosa pine grove at mile marker 4 is not native to the area. The Forest Service, BLM and local business owners came together to plant the trees at the entrance to the forest land.
Lake Overlook (Mile 5.5)
Rounding a sharp curve, travelers suddenly catch their first view of the beautiful Fish Lake Basin. A scenic overlook is provided to allow a chance to stop and take in the view.
"Pando" (Mile 6.2)
IN 1994, the Forest Service clear cut this land in an effort to regenerate the aging stand of aspens. The Aspen stand, known as "Pando", is a clone colony of a single male quaking aspen and is estimated to weigh over 6,600 tons, making it one of the heaviest known living organisms in the world. The name "Pando" was chosen because of its Latin for "I Spread".
Dr. Creek Trailhead (Mile 7)
At the south end of Fish Lake, is the Dr. Creek Trailhead. The trailhead offers access to two trails. The first travels up Dr. Creek Canyon to an elevation of over 10,000 feet as it makes its way along the beautiful Fish Lake High Top. The second is the Lakeshore Trail following the western shore of Fish Lake. Lakeshore trail is approximately 6 miles in length and include interpretive markers along the way for those interested in gathering information about the area.
Lakeside Resort (Mile 7.5)
Sitting on the southwest shore of Fish Lake, Dr. John St. John once operated a sanitarium at the turn of the 20th century at this location. The hospital caught fire and burned in the doctor was gone by 1908.
Fish Lake Lodge (Mile 8.7)
Charlie Skougaard started recreational lodging on this spot in 1911 with 12 wall tents and 12 fishing boats. When the first lodge slid into the lake, he built a two story lodge with a large dance hall. After the dance hall caught fire and burned down, they built the building that stands today. The lodge took four years to complete and opened in August of 1932.Aspen Heart
Aspen Heart (Mile 8.7)
The Aspen Heart is a grove of aspen trees located on the west side of the Fish Lake Basin above the lodge. The grove is naturally shaped like a heart and is the largest grove of trees on the mountain to turn bright red-orange in the fall. It is the first grove of trees on the mountain to change color and the first to lose its leaves. The "Romeo and Juliet" type legend of the Aspen Heart dates back to when the Paiute Indians made Fish Lake their summer home.
Twin Creek Fishery (Mile 8.8)
Twin Creeks is one of the natural and continuous tributaries into Fish Lake. In the early 1900s, it was nearly impossible to cross the creek with a team and wagon without first getting out and clearing the fish from the crossing. A commercial fishery was established on the shore of the lake where fish were netted from the water, cleaned, cured and then sent to the valley for sale.
Bowery Haven (Mile 10.2)
At this site, early pioneers sat on log benches and held Sunday church services under a large bowery made from native spruce trees.
Joe's Bush (Mile 10.6)
This site was names for Joe Nielsen, a local fishing guide who used to troll for the big ones just out from this spot.
Pelican Point (Mile 12.1)
This is the site where the first Forest Service cabins in the area stood. Today, it is a great place to see where the mountain broke away on the fault line and came to form Fish Lake.
Jorgensen Creek (Mile 12.9)
In 1879, Johan Gustave Jorgensen took up a homestead on this small creek running into the north end of Fish Lake. He and his wife with their eight children established a dairy and hog farm on the site where they produced hundreds of pounds of cheese, feeding the whey to the hogs. Each week, the family would trek down the mountain with a supply of cheese and salted fish to sell. The ranch provided fresh dairy products and meat to the local resorts until the 1930s.
Johnson Reservoir (Mile 15.9)
Covering one square mile, this scenic reservoir is located seven miles north of Fish Lake. In an effort to help reduce the number of "trash" fish in Fish Lake, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has planted Tiger Musky in Johnson's Reservoir for the past decade. The Tiger Musky is a cross between a Northern Pike and a Muskellunge and can grow to 50 plus inches long and weigh over 30 pounds.
Old Spanish Trail (Mile 19.0)
In the early 1800s, thousands of men and tens of thousands of horses and mules passed this way on a well trodden trail. This pack trail, known as the Old Spanish Trail, stretched 1200 miles and linked Sante Fe, New Mexico and Los Angeles, California. Between 1829 and 1848, Meadowtraders used this trail to carry New Mexican woolen goods (rugs and blankets) that were traded for California mules and horses.
Zedd's Meadow (19.3)
Zedd's Meadow is located east of Johnson Reservoir where the Fremont River meanders through the meadow after making its way through the woods below Johnsons.
Mill Meadow (Mile 27)
Crossing Zedd's Meadow, the paved road carves out a winding rails as it parallels the river in the gorge below on its way down the drainage to Mill Meadow Reservoir. Paved pull-outs are available along the way to giving travelers a chance to stop and take in the view as well as provide parking for dispersed camping spots. Mill Meadow Reservoir is the concluding highlight along the scenic byway, which ends at the junction of Highway 25 and State Road U-72.