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Friday, September 2, 2011

Boulder Mountain, Utah

Headed up Boulder Mtn;  See the snow?  (Enlarge all photos for larger pictures!)
Continuing our journey north on Scenic Highway 12 in Utah  (note map above),   after we left the town of Boulder (which the locals call Boulder Town),  we had no idea we were headed up a STEEP mountain...  The name Boulder Mountain is commonly used to refer to the high plateau area between Boulder and Torrey,  Utah.

See the beautiful Aspens?  Would love to see them in the Fall!!!!
Boulder Mountain is the highest timbered plateau in North America, and is part of the Dixie National Forest.  Most of their trees are Aspens and Conifers.   (I personally was thrilled to see Aspens --since I had heard so much about them.)  The highest point is Bluebell Knoll (known by the locals as Boulder Top) and is 11, 313 feet.  There was still snow on the tops of the mountain.  The largest lake is Blind Lake which covers 52 acres with a maximum depth of 52 feet.

The views were incredible.  The lake is called Blind Lake.
Boulder Mountain is one of two major high-elevation lake areas in Utah;  the other is the Uinta Mountains in northeastern Utah.   (I know about this area from blog friend, JANIE.) On Boulder Mountain, there are approximately 80 lakes (although some are pretty small).  Most waters are managed as fisheries.  For this reason,  people flock here to fish from April to November.   According to local lore,  Boulder Mountain was confused with nearby Thousand Lakes Mountain,  which actually has very few lakes,  and the name just stuck!

It was wonderful to see this along the route up Boulder Mtn.  This is the Pleasant Creek Cascades.
Camping and hiking  and horseback riding are popular on Boulder Mountain.  However, most of the dirt roads can only be traveled by high-clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles...  (I guess our Prius wouldn't qualify, huh?).   We were lucky to pass by a creek (Pleasant Creek) which made a gorgeous cascade down the mountain.  Of course, we had to stop and take pictures of the Pleasant Creek Cascades.  

More of the beauty along the way up Boulder Mtn.  Interesting to see desert at the bottom and Aspens at the top!
The main road across Boulder Mountain is Scenic Highway 12 (the road we were on).  The views from Boulder Mountain are spectacular in every direction,  overlooking Capitol Reef National Park from the east slope,  the Escalante River from the south slope,  Box Death Hollow wilderness area to the south,  and Powell Point (near the town of Escalante) to the southwest.

Not a good picture,  but these are just a couple of the cattle we saw crossing the road in front of us!!!
There were three major overlooks:  Homestead,  Larb and Steep Creek.  We stopped at all three.  The views were fabulous!!!!  One funny thing which surprised me on that mountain was coming upon cattle crossing the road in front of us.  Of course, we stopped and let them meander across.  Apparently,  the mountain is a good area for livestock grazing ---and they have something I had never heard of (since I'm not a farm gal, and have never lived in the wide-open-spaces) --and that is "Open Range"...  After seeing the grids on the roads (cattle gates),  I learned about "open range", and was fascinated with it the remainder of the trip.  See how much this ole gal is learning in her OLD age????? ha

We met a nice couple at this overlook--who took our picture.  This was the Larb Hollow Overlook.  We were at 8,882 feet here.
Boulder Mountain is an interesting place --and I'd love to go back and see the yellow Aspens in Fall.  Wouldn't that be awesome?????  WELL---we continued on to Torrey, and this ends our journey on Scenic Highway 12 in Utah.   Not counting the Red Canyon and Bryce Canyon (blogs I haven't done yet),  I have done 3 posts along Scenic Highway 12.  If you want to see the other two posts,  go to my sidebar,  scroll down to labels and click on Scenic Highway 12 in Utah.

Hope you enjoyed this little journey along one of the back roads of Utah!!!   Have a great Labor Day weekend,  and I will see you on Tuesday.

Hugs,
Betsy