Boulder Mountain

The name Boulder Mountain is commonly used to refer to the high plateau area, including the Aquarius Plateau, between Hwy 24 (Loa/Torrey) and Hwy 12 (Escalante/Bouder). It is one of two major high-elevation lake areas in Utah; the other is the Uinta Mountains, in northeastern Utah.

There are approximately 80 small lakes on Boulder Mountain (depending on how loosely you use the term "lake" - some are pretty small). Most waters are managed as fisheries. Several streams also contain significant fish populations and provide good angling opportunities.

Most of the high lake areas in the US are located in the north and have harsh climates. Snow piles deep on Boulder Mountain, but it has a considerably longer fishing, hiking and camping season than the Uintas or Wyoming's Wind Rivers.

Much of the mountain is heavily forested and the land is managed by the Dixie National Forest.

There are countless roads on the mountain, providing direct vehicle access to many lakes. Of the lakes not accessible by vehicle, virtually all are within three miles of a road. (Check with the Forest Service, because there is a movement underway to close some unimproved roads, to prevent erosion and improve habitat for fish and wildlife.)

Most back roads are extremely rough (in harmony with the name Boulder Mountain), and can only be traveled using high clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles.

Long backpack trips are possible on the mountain and lead through remarkable country with incredible scenery.

Details

Highest point: Bluebell Knoll, at 11,313 feet.
Largest lake: Blind Lake, covering 52 acres, with a maximum depth of 52 feet.
Key attractions: This is one of the best places to catch large brook trout. The east slope overlooks Capitol Reef National Park and the south slope overlooks Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, both offering spectacular scenery. Box Death Hollow Wilderness Area is located on the southern edge. Powell Point, on the southwest edge, provides an amazing panoramic view. Small streams draining from the mountain into the Escalante (Boulder Creek, Calf Creek, Sand Creek and Pine Creek) offer good fishing in remote, rugged canyons with classic red rock and sheer cliffs; some of these streams are located far from any roads.

Best fishing: Flies and jigs in dark colors are usually productive. Small lures are also effective. We're often asked to list lakes that hold big fish. We choose not to do that because these lakes are fragile and we don't want them to be overrun. In general, lakes with fast fishing are full of small fish. Lakes with slow fishing may hold trophies. More fishing information

Seasons: Highways 12 and 24 are kept open year-round, except during major storms. Backroads become snowpacked in late October or November. Roads on Boulder Top don't clear until early or mid-June. Most Boulder Mountain lakes are closed to fishing from Nov. 1 through April 23 (check the current fishing proclamation).

Information: Dixie National Forest, Teasdale District: (435) 425-3775; Escalante District: (435) 826-5400.

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