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Home to world-renown ski resorts Deer Valley, Park City, Snowbird, Solitude Alta and Brighton, the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest encompasses Utah's Wasatch Mountains adjacent to Utah's northern metropolitan area and is anchored by Salt Lake City. Containing nearly 2.1 million acres of geological and ecologically-diverse landscapes, this collection of forest area is one of the most frequently visited in the nation. 

Ski and summer resorts located in this forest along the Wasatch Front near Salt Lake City, Park City, Ogden, and Logan provide world-renowned downhill skiing, Nordic and snowmobiling options, as well as a variety of summer activities ranging from the IMBA-certified mountain biking trails of Park City to the mountain coaster and Oktoberfest of Snowbird. Further south, American Fork Canyon and Provo Canyon offer a stunning mix of aspen and tree-covered slopes that include zip lines, Blue Ribbon fly-fishing and singletracks of Sundance Mountain Resort, Deer Creek State Park and other destinations. Between the two canyons lies the 11,750-acre Mount Timpanogos Wilderness.

In total, the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest is divided up into eight districts. To best reflect the needs and character of the nearby community, the forest maintains a separate supervisor's office for each district. Because of the climate and high elevation of many parts of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, some areas may be closed to automobile travel in winter, during which most of the developed campground areas close. But during the warmer months, it's a 2.1-million-area playground. Come visit and start exploring it — and plan your adventure today.

Big Cottonwood Canyon | Wasatch Cache National Forest - Utah's Best Vacation Rentals

Things to Do

Winter Sports

In addition to hosting several of Utah's top ski resorts, such as Brighton, Alta, Solitude, and Snowbird, winter activities abound on the UWCNF.

Hiking, Biking, and Camping

The Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest is a popular attraction, so some trails and lakes receive a lot of traffic, but the sheer size of the forest means those skilled in wayfinding and looking for solitude often need only hike a little further off the main road to find a trailhead that offers everything they seek. Dispersed (primitive camping) is permitted in most areas, but there are several considerations for camping. There is too much hiking and mountain biking spread across these 2.1 million acres to list it all, so a good start is to know what district you'll be in, then explore some of the hikes here. There are hundreds of must-hit trails between Park City's Mid Mountain and the Wasatch Crest, or you might start with the gentler Eagle Rise near Brigham City or head to the resorts for lift-served downhill. We've also offered a few top hikes below, but they are only a tiny snapshot, given that the dynamic Wasatch Range is in the literal backyard of our best Northern Utah cities.


The UWCNF also offers nearly limitless opportunities to maximize your Utah fishing license on both harvest and catch-and-release waters. The forest is home to several of the top spots to go fishing, including some of the lakes of the High Uintas. 

Scenic Byways

One feature of the magnificent forest is its scenic drives. The Mirror Lake Scenic Byway, Logan Canyon National Scenic Byway and Ogden Valley Scenic Byway each carve a fascinating and adventurous path through some of the forest's best and most beautiful terrain. The Mt. Nebo National Scenic Byway, in particular, is a landscape photographers dream. The route is a 37-mile paved drive full of rugged mountain beauty and stunning overlooks of surrounding valleys. When the leaves change color each autumn, the brilliant colors found on this drive rival anywhere else in America. It features campgrounds and recreation areas, including the Devil's Kitchen Geologic Interpretive Site. The Mt. Nebo Scenic Byway features improved trailheads providing access into the spectacular Mount Nebo Wilderness, popular for day hikes, backpacking, and horseback riding.

Dark Skies

Though there are many secluded areas to enjoy brilliant, starry skies in Northern Utah, one location is a certified International Dark Sky Park — and it's not that far away. The vibrant city of Ogden is a major hub toward the upper end of the populous Wasatch Front, Utah's urban corridor. It's hard to believe, but just over the ridgeline in the peaceful Ogden Valley lies a sprawling county park so ideally tucked away in a canyon the International Dark-Sky Association added the park to its list of bronze-tier International Dark Sky Parks.

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Vacation Home Accommodations and Lodging along Wasatch Front near Wasatch Cache National Forest

When visiting Salt Lake and Park City along the Wasatch Front and the Wasatch Back, be sure to stay a couple days to see and do all there is to experience here in the incredibly beautiful Wasatch Cache National Forest. One of the best places to stay, and the perfect "home base" when traveling with friends, family, or groups, is our vacation homes in Salt Lake City located just 15 minutes from Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude, and only 30 minutes to Park City, Utah.

Rent only one vacation home or pair multiple homes together to accommodate a large group of people. Our Salt Lake vacation homes are located on the east bench of the Wasatch Mountains and offer private hot tubs, private swimming pools, game rooms, and large spacious gathering areas. Utah's Best Vacation Rentals was awarded "Best of State" for the best vacation homes in Utah. Our homes are the best place to gather everyone in one vacation home (or multiple) and enjoy privacy, while also being together for a ski trip to Utah, family reunion, convention, LDS General Conference, sporting events, or while touring our Mighty 5 National Parks. We can accommodate families and groups of all sizes big or small. Call reservations or book online above.