Winter Adventure Guide: Away from the fray
There’s a lot of exploring to do in eastern Summit County. The Kamas Valley is the gateway to the Uinta Mountains, which is perfect for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.
There’s a terrific track set by the U.S. Forest Service just a few miles above Kamas. It runs six miles between the Yellow Pine and North Fork trailheads, with other parking areas in between. Dogs are allowed only on odd-numbered days, and you’ll need a forest pass, available on the road. Further up Highway 150 the road is gated at the Soapstone parking area. It’s the base camp for snowmobile and ski explorations of the high mountains, with miles and miles of open meadows.
There are a number of notable restaurants in Kamas Valley. The State Road Tavern specializes in smoked meats along with a great view of the Wasatch Range. It’s located inside the DeJoria Center, which attracts name act musicians. The Mirror Lake Diner serves classics, and the new Sur restaurant specializes in Argentinian and Uruguayan dishes. Summit Inn Pizza is an award winner, and Hi Mountain Drug serves Best in Utah burgers. To the north, in Oakley, the Road Island Diner is a classic railroad car diner with homemade everything. Don’t miss it.
A dozen miles further north, the county seat of Coalville is a true Western ranching town with great history and architecture. Don’t miss the history museum in the basement of the Summit County courthouse. Head north again to the ghost town of Echo, which thrived when the transcontinental railroad was built in 1869. It was a true Hell on Wheels. Echo Canyon was also a major pathway West for everyone else from the Donner Party, Mormon pioneers, Pony Express, Transcontinental telegraph and Lincoln Highway. There are plenty of historic signs to help you learn about the area. Don’t miss the historic Echo Church, built in 1876 by the Presbyterians as a church and school. It sits at the base of tall, red cliffs, and has been fully restored, with a fully-functioning bell. The Echo post office still serves the hamlet, the oldest in the state. There’s plenty of history and scenery to take in.
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