The Cedar Mountain Wilderness sits in the northwestern part of Utah, about 45 miles (72.4 km) west of Salt Lake City. Included in the Cedar Mountain Wilderness Area is the majority of the 180,000 acres (730 square km) of the Cedar Mountain Herd Management Area, where wild horses have lived since the 19th century. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, watering troughs for the horses can be found in the wilderness area during the months when the springs are dry. The Cedar Mountain Wilderness is home to numerous other wildlife, such as antelope, bighorn sheep, mule deer, coyotes, snakes, lizards, badgers, and mountain lions.
At the higher elevations of the Cedar Mountains, visitors will encounter plenty of juniper trees, while desert shrubs will be found in the foothill and valley areas. There are many recreation opportunities for visitors, to include hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, and hunting, and while spending time in the Cedar Mountain Wilderness, you can experience incredible views of the Great Salt Lake basin and the peaks of the Wasatch.
Typically accessible year-round, the Cedar Mountain Wilderness offers plenty to see and do, making it an ideal option for your next RV adventure!
To get to the Cedar Mountain Wilderness from Salt Lake City, take I-80 W to exit 56. Upon exiting, continue south on the paved road for two miles toward the Aragonite Plant. Keep your eyes open for a dirt road to your left that is found just before the plant. Proceed for one mile (1.6 km), at which time you should encounter a BLM information board, where you can register.
You will also encounter a fork in the road; take the right fork, where you will pass a cattle grate and continue for 13.2 miles (21.2 km) on a dirt and gravel road. Stay alert for cattle, and remember that they have the right of way on the open range. After 13.2 miles (21.2 km), you will come to a jeep road; 4WD is essential for this road, which includes switchbacks and gets pretty steep. It is important to keep in mind that roads near the mountains can be slick and muddy and can be impassable during poor weather.
Parking is available within the Cedar Mountain Wilderness.
Public transportation is not available to the Cedar Mountain Wilderness.
Great Salt Lake State Park is home to a campground with five sites, all of which have electric and water hook-ups. RVs and trailers that are about 40 feet in length can be accommodated and each site has a grill, fire pit, and picnic table.
Facilities include a boat ramp, beach, dump station and drinking water is available. A comfort station is also available so it will be easy to clean up after a day of activity. Camping at the Great Salt Lake State Park will make it convenient to explore the park before or after your visit to the Cedar Mountain Wilderness.
About an hour and a half from the Cedar Mountain Wilderness is Clover Springs Campground. Located at an elevation of 6,000 feet (1829 meters), the campground is quiet with cottonwood trees and a natural spring-fed stream. The campground includes ten individual sites that are first-come, first-served. Two of these sites can accommodate horses.
There is also a large group site that can accommodate up to 50 people and that can be reserved. The campground includes pit toilets, tables, and fire rings and can accommodate RV’s and trailers up to 30 feet long. Clover Springs Campground is ideal for relaxing after a day of outdoor adventure.
Located southwest of Grantsville, Utah, Upper Narrows Campground is a small campground situated at an elevation of 6,400 feet (1951 meters) above sea level in South Willow Canyon. The campground is primitive with sites spread over a mile-long portion of the road. There are six single sites and two group sites (one can accommodate 30 individuals and the other can accommodate 50 people).
Sites are located across the road from where you will park your vehicle, requiring a small walk; each site includes a picnic table and campfire ring and vault toilets are available for campers. The Upper Narrows Campground is a great choice to access a variety of recreation opportunities in the area.
While there are no designated trails or trailheads in the Cedar Mountain Wilderness, don’t let that stop you from exploring the area. Signs can be found along boundary roads, and hiking is typically engaged in over open terrain.
You are free to explore the area and its landscape, where you will experience sagebrush, grassland, and juniper woodlands. Many boundary roads offer access to ridgelines, steep slopes, rolling benchlands, and rugged canyons. As you reach higher elevations, you will have the chance to enjoy excellent views of the surrounding area.
Horses and other pack animals are allowed in the Cedar Mountain Wilderness and on horseback is an excellent way to explore the park. Riding opportunities are available along the benches just off the boundary roads on either side of the mountain.
While livestock water may be available at grazing troughs, it is recommended that you haul your own water for your animals to ensure that they remain properly hydrated.
Shooting is permitted in the public lands of the Cedar Mountain Wilderness, though there are guidelines that must be followed. Find an area to shoot where you will not disturb and/or put at risk other visitors. Also, be sure to only use paper targets (no clay, metal or glass targets, televisions, computers, bottles, or anything else) and pack everything out when you are ready to leave; this includes all spent cartridges and shell casings.
The Cedar Mountain Wilderness is an excellent location for wildlife viewing. Within the confines of the wilderness area, there are about 250 wild horses, which tend to be large and are known for their beautiful colors.
Wild horses are not the only wildlife that can be found in the Cedar Mountain Wilderness; keep your eyes peeled for golden eagles, bald eagles, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, ferruginous hawk, spotted bats, blacktail jackrabbits, bobcats, mountain lions, badgers and Skull Valley pocket gophers.
Located in Salt Lake City, the Family History Library, which is the largest on-site collection of genealogical data in the world, is open to the public and free. The Library has operated since 1894, and though the LDS (Mormon) Church runs it, membership in the church is not required to access the available resources. Check out the microfilms, microfiche, periodicals, and more as you dive into the history of your family.
During your visit to the Cedar Mountain Wilderness Area, it is worth a side trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats Special Recreation Management Area. The Bonneville Salt Flats include 30,000 acres of salt crust located near Utah’s Great Salt Lake basin. About 12 miles in length and five miles in width, this unique landscape is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and is one of just a few salt pans in the world (and the only one in the United States).