Intermountain Region Viewing Area

LOCATION and PHOTOS

Stink Flat
Stink Flat on Boulder Top. Photo by Mark Madsen.

Torgerson Lake
Torgerson Lake on Boulder Top. Photo by Mark Madsen.

Horseshoe Lake
Horseshoe Lake on Boulder Top. Photo by Mark Madsen.

Penstemon procerus
Penstemon procerus. Photo by Teresa Prendusi.

Polemonium viscosum
Polemonium viscosum. Photo by Teresa Prendusi.

Silene acaulis
Silene acaulis. Photo by Teresa Prendusi.

Boulder Top

Forest: Dixie National Forest

District: Fremont River Ranger District (administered by the Fishlake National Forest)

Description: Boulder Top on Boulder Mountain offers a unique alpine wildflower viewing experience. This high mountain sup-alpine flora offers the only alpine wildflower viewing on the Dixie National Forest. The dominant grass is sheep fescue (Festuca ovina), however there are a number of alpine forbs mixed amongst this clump forming grass. Boulder Top is one of the largest contiguous flat tops in the U.S. above 11,000 feet. At its edges, it offers spectacular views of the San Rafael Swell and the Henry Mountains to the east, Thousand Lake Mountain to the north, Escalante Canyons to the south, and of the vast Awapa Plateau to the West. Boulder Top is also scattered with numerous sub-alpine lakes.

Viewing Information: The main road on Boulder Top winds through high elevation sub-alpine meadow parkland, which is intermixed with stands of Engelmann Spruce and Subalpine Fir. High elevation flowers found in these sub-alpine meadows include such plants as alpine avens (Geum rossii), alpine pussytoes (Antennaria alpina), cushion phlox (Phlox pulvinata), sky pilot (Polemonium viscosum), small-flower penstemon (Penstemon procerus), Low goldenrod (Solidago multiradiata), bear daisy (Erigeron ursinus), moss campion (Silene acaulis), northern gentian (Gentianella amarella), and Parry’s lousewort (Pedicularis parryi). There are also two rare plants occasionally found in these high elevation meadows. These are Aquarius paintbrush (Castilleja aquariensis) and Angell cinquefoil (Potentilla angelliae). These two sensitive plants can only be seen on the Dixie National Forest.

Safety First: Visitors should keep in mind that off-road travel is strictly prohibited. All forays onto the broader landscape away from roads should be conducted on foot or horseback. When visiting in the summer, be mindful that Boulder Top attracts massive thunderstorms that display their fury with spectacular lightning shows. When these storms appear, it is recommended that you seek shelter immediately. Also, please be mindful that the elevation on Boulder Top is above 11,000 feet, so altitude and extreme weather is always a factor at any time of year.

Directions: The Boulder Top viewing area is located in Northern Garfield County and Southern Wayne County in Utah on the Fremont River Ranger District, Dixie National Forest. This district is presently managed by the Fishlake National Forest. From Bicknell,Utah, drive east on Utah Hwy. 24 for 2.5 miles, and then turn right on a paved road. Drive 3.8 miles to a junction where you will see signs about "Kings Ranch" and "Bouldertop." Turn right (may be signed as the Posey Lake Rd) toward Boulder Top. Go 3.6 miles to a road split, and take the left fork. Drive 0.7 mile, find FS Road 178, and follow it 12.8 miles to a gate and a sign about the road being closed from October 31 to June 15. From this point on, these are rocky and treacherous dirt roads. A high clearance 4 wheel drive vehicle is recommended. Only travel on these roads when they are dry. Continue up onto the Boulder Top. Highways 12 and 24 are kept open year-round, except during major storms. Back roads become snow packed in late October or November. Roads on Boulder Top do not clear until early or mid-June.

Ownership and Management: USDA Forest Service, Dixie National Forest, Fremont River Ranger District (administered by the Fishlake National Forest).

Closest Town: Bicknell, Utah.