Encompassing 16 square miles of Bureau of Land Management property, North Stansbury Mountains offers great opportunities for primitive recreation, outdoor fun, and relaxing getaways, amidst its beautiful landscapes. This Wilderness Study Area (WSA) located north of the Deseret Peak Wilderness lies 40 miles west of Salt Lake City in Utah, and can be accessed via Interstate 80. Elevations in the wilderness range from 5,200 feet to 8,800 feet. No vehicles or motorized equipment are permitted in the wilderness.
When you are here on vacation, you can enjoy a host of fun opportunities such as hiking and backpacking, hunting (in season), horseback riding, environmental education, and photography. The fun does not end there, as you can extend your reach to Deseret Peak Wilderness where more primitive recreation is on offer. Here you can hike to the top of the 11,000-feet high Deseret Peak or other lower mountains. Moreover, the winter activities and water-based recreation opportunities in Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest are popular with guests.
There are no facilities or services in this WSA, so gear up to enjoy free and dry camping opportunities. The nearby National Forest offers more camping options.
North Stansbury Mountains lies northwest of Grantsville in Utah. This Bureau of Land Management property can be most easily accessed via Interstate 80, so if you’re coming from West Wendover and Aragonite in the west, or Salt Lake City in the east, you won’t have issues getting to the park’s access routes in your vehicle.
Along the Interstate Highway, take the Rowley Dugway exit (Exit 77), located six miles east of Delle and drive south along Skull Valley Road (CR 196) for roughly five miles. You’ll find the access road to the wilderness study area just after mile marker 31. Follow the gravel road to the fence that delineates where the boundary of the wilderness is. Beyond this point, you won’t be able to drive your vehicle or use any mechanical equipment.
It’s advisable that you come in moderate to high clearance vehicles because of the rough and rocky access roads.
Feel free to park at any point along the access road if you cannot safely drive to the wilderness on the rough road. You’ll find parking spaces along this route.
Upper Narrows Campground lies about three miles up South Willow Canyon, south of North Stansbury Mountains WSA. Typically open between May to October (peak season), this campground offers tent and vehicle camping opportunities. Because of the nature of the access to the campground, RVs are not recommended.
You will be able to relax within the campsites that sit under juniper, oak and maple trees that offer partial shade.
Single and group camping opportunities are offered here. Six single sites are provided, while two group sites are available. Pets are welcome in the sites, and amenities such as picnic tables, vault toilets, and campfire rings are provided. Bring your own water.
The single sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, while the group sites can be reserved. The maximum stay is seven days.
As the most developed and largest campground in the area, Loop Campground in South Willow Canyon features 13 campsites - 12 single sites and one double site. The campground is open between May and October (peak season), and offers campsites that are available to guests of all ages.
This cool campground is surrounded and shaded by forests of aspens, Douglas fir, and box elder trees, making it a great place to relax and enjoy peaceful escapes from the noise.
No water is provided here so you have to bring your own. Amenities such as picnic tables, fire rings, and vault toilets are available.
Reservations are not accepted for campsites here, so you can only get them on a first-come, first-served basis. Pets are welcome here.
By far the most attractive feature in the Deseret Peak Wilderness Area is Deseret Peak which rises to more than 11,000 feet. Other elevated areas are present here from just under 5,500 feet, so if you feel you can’t make the climb to the top of Deseret Peak, there are other places to go to. Most of the trails here are easy to hike, but note that you may have to cross some rough terrain from time to time.
Vegetation in this area include desert mountain brush mixed with grass and sagebrush, with patches of juniper and various firs.
Winter recreation is a blast here at North Stansbury Mountains and at Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. In essence, the snow is a major reason to visit this area and not the opposite. In fact, the world-renowned powder snow here attracts millions of visitors to the area every winter.
With about 1,100 square miles of lands open to non-motorized winter recreation, you’ll definitely have a swell time here enjoying your favorite winter pursuit, be it snowmobiling, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. You’re free to bring your dogs too.
Game animals are available in North Stansbury Mountains for hunting enthusiasts to go after. If you have the appropriate license, there’s nothing in the way of your hunting adventure. Deer, cougar, and grouse are some of the game animals in the wilderness area.
More hunting opportunities are provided in the nearby National Forest. You are allowed to hunt with your dogs, too, as long as they wear hunter orange or clearly visible colored clothing on leash, vest, coat, or bandana.
Come along with your horse so that you can ride through the WSA when you want to explore the BLM park. Seeing as the park is open to primitive recreation, equestrian riders enjoy good sightseeing opportunities here.
At Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, equestrians also have plenty spaces to experience breathtaking and magnificent wonders on the back of their horse. Some trails here are designated equestrian, while others are shared. Within Salt Lake County, enthusiasts can ride in Millcreek Canyon.
Nature viewers will enjoy the sight of beautiful plants and animals in the North Stansbury Mountains WSA.
If your interest is flora, you’ll find that the area features juniper-conifer forests within various elevations and growth zones. In the lower elevation areas, look out for sagebrush scrublands and juniper. On the other hand, the heights feature wild rose, mountain mahogany, and serviceberry.
About 180 wildlife and bird species are present here, some of which include cougar, deer, bobcat, grouse, bald eagles, and golden eagles.
Hiking is a fun activity here at North Stansbury Mountains. Depending on how much you want to push yourself, you could restrict your walks to the low-lying areas in the wilderness, and take in the scenic views of the surrounding heights. Alternatively, you could hike to the top of any of the peaks in these mountain ranges.
What’s more, you can discover many areas of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest on foot, especially on the over 1,700 miles of trails provided. Opportunities range from easy strolls to more strenuous hikes.