Fish Lake Utah – Fun Things To Do in the Lakes and Mountains

September 2019 – The area around Fish Lake is a wonderfully remote corner of Utah that we’ve enjoyed exploring, and the tiny spot that is at the heart of this place is the Fish Lake Lodge.

Fish Lake and Forsyth Reservoir Natural Beauty in Utah

The Fish Lake area of Utah is remote and full of Nature’s wondrous beauty

Fish Lake Lodge is open only during the summer, and we arrived late enough in the season that the fantastic dining room in this decades old log lodge was closed. But we were able to tip-toe into the dining room and take a peak. Wow!

Fireplace in dining room at Fish Lake Lodge Utah-min

Fish Lake Lodge has an inviting dining room and very cozy fireplace.

The dining room has a wall of windows that face the lake. Talk about dining with a view!

Dining room in Fish Lake Lodge Utah-min

Dinner with a view at Fish Lake Lodge

FIsh Lake reflects in the dining room windows at Fish Lake Lodge Utah-min

Outside on the deck, the wall of windows reflects the image of Fish Lake

Built between 1928 and 1933, this historic lodge made from locally harvested spruce logs has hosted travelers for nearly 90 years. Modern day travelers can rent charming lakefront cabins on the property, and RVers can set up camp with full hookups in the RV park.

The deck at Fish Lake Lodge Utah-min

Fish Lake Lodge

Exterior of Fish Lake Lodge Utah-min


As we wandered around the outside of the building, we came across an absolutely fabulous old door.

Cool doorway at Fish Lake Lodge Utah-min

What a cool door!

There are lots of trails for hiking, walking and slow strolling in the area around Fish Lake, and every morning Mark took our pup Buddy out for a run.

Running with puppy

Buddy leaps into action — all four paws off the ground — at the start of his morning run with Mark

Buddy just loves his morning run, but his fast pace makes it tough for two footed runners to hang with him.

He likes to start his runs with a steady four minute mile pace, and he doesn’t throttle it back to a five minute mile pace until he’s gotten a mile or two under his belt. Yikes!

Running with puppy-min

Four short legs are a lot faster than two long ones!

My absolute favorite trail in the Fish Lake area is the portion of the miles-long Lakeshore Trail that goes southwest from the Fish Lake Lodge. It winds along the water’s edge for a mostly shady mile or two.

Lakeshore trail through aspen grove Fish Lake Utah-min

Lakeshore Trail heading southwest from Fish Lake Lodge was my favorite.

Buddy loves this trail too. It goes through a beautiful grove of aspen trees and is just wide enough to walk, run or bike comfortably yet stil feel intimate as you progress under the canopy of trees.

Aspen grove on Lakeshore Trail at Fish Lake Utah-min

Some folks run this trail and then have to wait for their slower companions to catch up

Puppy leads the way on Lakeshore Trail at Fish Lake Utah-min

The trail winds along the lake

Along the Lakeshore Trail there are lots of places where you can get down to the edge of the lake. We zipped up and down these short paths, and at one point we found a few aspen trees that beavers had gnawed on. One was even toppled over and had a huge pile of small wood chips next to it!

Beaver chewed aspen tree at Fish Lake Utah-min

Beavers had been busy!

In the middle of the aspen grove, the trees suddenly parted and the trail opened up to the sky. Looking down at our feet we found a wonderful area of rocks, wildflowers and deep puddles where Mother Nature had done some exquisite landscaping.

Mother Nature's landscaping at Fish Lake Utah-min

Beautifully casual landscape designs by Mother Nature

Flowers at Fish Lake Utah-min


The Lakeshore Trail wanders all along the shores of Fish Lake both north and south of the Fish Lake Lodge, and it is a truly delightful walk.

Pretty view at Fish Lake Utah-min

A nice spot to rest a spell…

Fishing at Fish Lake Utah-min

Pretty in Pink!

Forest shoreline Lakeshore Trail Fish Lake Utah-min

Shoreside view of Fish Lake

In addition to hiking and biking trails, there are also lots of two track motor vehicle trails, and we took our RZR on one two track trail that took us way up into the hills where we got a beautiful view of Fish Lake.

Fish Lake Utah-min

View from a bluff in the hills on a brilliant sunny day which made the water a vivid blue

Horseback riding is very popular around Fish Lake, and there are lots of horse-friendly trails.

Horses preparing for a ride near Fish Lake Utah-min

Horseback riders prepare for a trail ride.

One of the many US Forest Service campgrounds in the area is an equestrian-only campground. This unique campground has solid, well built horse stalls right next to each campsite. Some are single stalls and one can hold four horses! Most of the stalls are well shaded.

However, you can only stay at this campground if you have a horse with you!

Horseback riders near Fish Lake Utah-min

Riding at dawn

There are lots of smaller lakes in the area, and we spent some time at nearby Forsyth Reservoir, both walking and riding the RZR on the wide trails that criss-cross the area.

Forsyth Reservoir Utah-min

Forsyth Reservoir

Trail at Forsyth Reservoir Utah-min

Our little trail scout leads the way down the trail at Forsyth Reservoir

Forsyth Reservoir Utah-min

Our RZR took us high above the lake

Buddy absolutely loves water (but only wading…no swimming!), and he drank freely from a spring that flowed down to the reservoir.

Something about the fresh air, fresh water, and the little beach area brought out his inner puppy, and before we knew it he was doing high jumps!

Puppy jumping-min

Buddy jumps for joy…

Puppy jumps for a stick at the lake-min

…and throws in some dance moves!

Since this is a mountainous area, the weather was highly unpredictable and ranged from really hot to really cold to crystal clear skies to fabulous storm clouds.

Light and shadow with storm clouds Forsyth Reservoir Utah-min

Light and shadow play on the land at Forsyth Reservoir


After the storm…

Puppy watches storm clouds-min

Saying goodnight to the clouds at sunset

RV under stormy skies at sunset-min


Late one afternoon we were surprised to see an almost full moon rising. We took note of the time, and the next day, about an hour later and a few degrees to the left of where the moon had risen the day before, we watched the full moon rise out of the trees on a distant hillside.

Full moon rises above the trees-min

The moon rises behind the trees on a distant hillside

Full moon rising behind the trees-min (1)


Full moon rises from the trees-min


Full moon rises from trees-min


Full moon at night-min


We’ve really enjoyed exploring this quiet part of Utah where it’s not uncommon to see deer crossing the highway and herons stalking fish in the lakes. We even had a troop of five elk walked right by our campsite one evening! If your travels take you to central Utah, Fish Lake is worth a detour to see.

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More info about this area:

Other blog posts from our travels to Fish Lake Utah:

Blog posts with full moon images (some have just one image and some have several):

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24 thoughts on “Fish Lake Utah – Fun Things To Do in the Lakes and Mountains

  1. Oh my goodness! What a wonderful post. You guys have had a great summer. I’m jealous. So it looks like the atv has been a wonderful addition. You haven’t had to travel lots of miles on busy freeways to find wonderful places to visit which is really special. On another note, isn’t it amazing how much Buddy has enriched your life? 10 years ago we were “livin the dream” and this dog came out of the forest and how did we ever live without her? Happy trails.

    • It was a fantastic summer, Mary, even though we didn’t cover very many miles. There is so much to see and do in Arizona and Utah. I was just looking at the map of Utah the other day and realizing there are still vast areas we haven’t been to yet!

      The RZR has been a great addition to our lifestyle, and Buddy is a priceless little companion. The two together are a total hoot. Last night, after a long day of patiently tagging along with us on boring errands, Buddy needed to stretch his legs. Neither of us wanted to go for a walk particularly, but a RZR ride was perfect. Buddy ran four fast miles out in front, with some sprints thrown in to chase chipmunks and squirrels, and he went to bed happily exhausted. We got some fresh evening air and came back grinning and laughing after watching his antics. A win-win-win for all three of us!

      Lucky you to have had the perfect dog emerge from the woods to find you and change your lives forever. It was meant to be, no doubt!!

  2. Emily,
    What a gorgeous area. As usual, Buddy seems to be making the most of it. He is certainly living a charmed life! 😉

  3. I hope I get to live “a dog’s life”one day very soon. Another spectacular journey shared with many friends! Thank you from one of the happy ride-a-long friends!

  4. Wow! Wonderful images, especially of the moon!!! Your dog is living every doggie’s dream. Think of all the dogs locked up in apartments each day and then look at Buddy’s life. Thanks for the post, never have been to this area of Utah but will plan on it.

    • Oh gosh, Liz, we think of all the sweet dogs in the world all the time. Buddy lucked out big time and so did we.

      Today is his 2nd birthday and he had steak bits and hamburger bits with his kibble for breakfast. Not a bad start to a puppy birthday!

      We often wonder what his parents were like and who took him to the Animal Rescue League in downtown Phoenix. He was gentle and polite from Day 1, at 12 weeks old. He had Parvo Virus, though, and we wonder if his owners couldn’t afford the vet bills to cure him. Thank goodness the Animal Rescue League gave him good vet care 2-3 times a day for the whole week he was in their care until Mark’s daughter picked him up…

      • He’s a special one, alright! And lucky to live the good life with plenty of outdoor activities and owners who love him. Loved the picture of him with all paws off the ground! Star pictures from last post were outstanding. Big dipper over your rig – priceless!

        • Thank you very much, Liz. Compliments from a pro photographer like yourself sure mean a lot. Buddy had a great birthday today, complete with a hike in a red rock canyon that has a stream running through it. He sprinted in happy circles to let us know how much he liked it, and then he sat his wet and muddy red paws and legs right down in my lap!

  5. WOW! Incredible moon shots!! Looking for a silhouette of a witch on broomstick going by. And the beautiful rustic cabin reminds me of Nadia’s Girl Scout camp in the Berkshires in western Mass. I can just smell the old pine wood.

    • A witch on a broomstick — LOL! — we’d both have fallen over in shock! Lucky Nadia, though. Girl Scout camp with time in an old log lodge like that would have been such fun. Great memories, I’m sure. Thanks for reading and appreciating!!

    • It’s so funny that we set up to take photos of the moon with our very long lenses and had no idea that there were trees out there until after the first shot as the moon rose (it was too dark to see the horizon before the moon appeared). Once we saw that row of trees we knew they’d be wonderful pics!! Buddy ran around in between us and entertained himself sniffing for chipmunks in the bushes the whole time, even though it was quite cold. What a trooper!

  6. You had me at the beaver-gnawed tree; but then those shots of the full moon rising were exquisite! Could you tell us what camera. lens and setting you used for those shots? And the photos of Buddy always make me smile! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Utah had always been one of my favorite states along with Idaho. I plan to spend most of my boondocking in UT and ID except for winters in AZ. Is Utah your favorite?

  8. Your travels are beyond what 99% of the people in the world have even had the chance to do, let alone experience.
    The pictures and descriptions are marvelous.
    We’ll be the gray Sprinter following behind you.


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