More Mountain Meadows of the Fishlakes
I know it was just a couple posts ago that I first posted about my day trip to the Fishlake Mountains but what I didn’t say was that I loved them so much that I scheduled a return trip for two days later with my friend Terry. ‘Course I could have gone by myself, but Terry camps up at Kents Lake every year and I knew he’d have some other awesome places to show me. And yeah, he totally did. Plus he has a 4 wheel drive truck, which is something of a necessity on many of the forest roads in Utah.
We headed for the Beaver District of the national forest, heading up the canyon on SR-153 before turning off on FS-137 which winds its way past a string of reservoirs and lakes. Terry had some destinations in mind but true to form we stopped in a random spot and decided to walk. This spot happened to be near a trailhead, and so we started hiking up the Copes Basin Trail, first past a small pond, then the sizeable “Little” Reservoir, and up through ponderosa and spruce forest. After we’d been on the trail for almost an hour and a half we decided to return to the truck to go explore some of the other places Terry had in mind, but I believe this trail continues for quite a ways. We had a few beautiful views into the canyon when the tree cover broke, and I bet there is more of that farther up the trail.
After a few stops at some of the lakes, Terry pulled off on a nondescript section of road near Kents Lake and suggested we follow the faint footpath leading into the forest. Less than a half mile later the trees abruptly disappeared and I found myself in a volcanic depression filled with high, green grasses and spring water. I admittedly have a thing for mountain meadows, but this unnamed little jewel was amazingly gorgeous.
As far as meadows go however, the best was yet to come. Our last stop before descending back down the road was at Anderson Meadow Reservoir. The meadows surrounding the reservoir also features lush grass and clear, cerulean waters, but the saturation of colors are unreal. We walked the length of the lake noting the many flattened patches of grass from last night’s elk sleepover and then crossed the meadow into the dense spruce and fir forest where we followed the stream for awhile, enjoying the light and shade playing across the ground. I don’t know for how long we walked but after more than a half hour of strolling and crossing the stream a few times we wandered up the ridge that had risen to the south. And here we discovered yet another meadow, lush and secluded; after exploring we made a mental note to come back here for spring wildflowers.
Just as we had had our fill scampering up and down the ridge we had another surprise, discovering a section of slope that had an unusual concentration of blue and purple rocks – neither of which colors I had seen before. We made our way back to the truck via a different route and headed back down the mountain, stopping twice – once to admire the yellowing aspens across the canyon, and the second time at the road crossing of the South Fork of the Beaver River, where we walked a short distance downstream and picked raspberries from a steep slope along the water. I was already smitten with the Fishlakes from my trip two days ago, but walking among the large conifers and across the succulent meadows pretty much sealed the deal.