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U.S. Forest Service

Intermountain Region Viewing Area


Thumnbail map and directions to the Viewing Area.

silver sagebrush and orange sneezeweed. Silver sagebrush and orange sneezeweed. Photo by Wayne Padgett.

wildflowers at Coyote Hollow. Coyote Hollow wildflowers. Photo by Wayne Padgett.

Whitney Area

Forest: Wasatch-Cache National Forest

District: Evanston Ranger District

Description: The Whitney Area, which includes Whitney Reservoir, Mill City Creek, Road Hollow, Meadow Creek, and Moffitt Pass/Moffitt Basin, provides some of the most intact subalpine (tall) forb communities in the Uinta Mountains of northeastern Utah. A majority of the Uinta Mountains has geologic characteristics that are not suited for these wildflower communities. And, while most areas were impacted by historic livestock grazing and show an abundance of the native, but non-palatable orange sneezeweed, there remain many other native wildflowers. In addition, there are spectacular views of the Uinta Mountains as a backdrop.

Viewing Information: The best time for viewing wildflowers is from July through early August. Orange sneezeweed dominates the mountain meadow vistas and its colorful display only adds to the beauty of the area. Other wildflowers include sticky geranium, penstemon, polemonium, monk’s hood, bluebells, and arnica.

Safety First: The Whitney Reservoir area receives high recreation use throughout the summer and traffic can, at times, be heavy along the forest roads. In addition, off highway vehicle use can also be high on these forest roads, so stay alert and watch for these vehicles when out and about.

Weather in the Uinta Mountains can change rapidly and can go from a reasonably warm summer day to winter-like conditions in a matter of hours. Bring appropriate clothing to stay warm and dry in this ever-changing environment.

Mosquitoes can be abundant throughout the summer months, so wear protective clothing (long sleeve shirt and long pants) and use insect repellent with DEET between dusk and dawn to reduce your risk to the virus. To date, no West Nile Virus has been noted in this area, but it has been found in Utah and could eventually enter these landscapes. The Utah Department of Health Office of Epidemiology maintains a website with current updates of West Nile activity in Utah.

Directions: From Evanston, Wyoming drive south on Wyoming Highway 150 approximately 35 miles, or from Kamas, Utah drive east on Utah Highway 150 approximately 45 miles to the Whitney Reservoir turnoff (Forest Service Road 032, on west side of Utah Highway 150). From here, it is about 9 miles to Whitney Reservoir, but there is wildflower viewing along Mill City Creek and past the Whitney Reservoir turnoff, along Meadow Creek Road up towards Moffitt Peak.

Ownership and Management: USDA Forest Service, Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Evanston Ranger District. (307) 789-3194.

Closest Town: The Whitney Area is in Utah (about 12 miles from the border with Wyoming). Kamas, Utah, and Evanston, Wyoming, are the closest towns.