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Camping:  Moon Lake

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Moon Lake is the largest of the high alpine Uinta lakes. It sits at around 8000 feet and covers 768 acres. The lake was enlarged in 1938 when the dam on the Lake Moon Lake is the largest of the high alpine Uinta lakes.Fork River was constructed. The lake has been stocked with numerous fish and features the following species: Brook Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Splake, and Whitefish. The best places to fish are the inlet on the far side of the lake, and the dam and West side back down to the campground. Drift with the wind keeping nightcrawlers just off the bottom, experiment with the amount of weight to achieve this.

If the nightcrawlers aren’t working try trolling small spoons or spinners. Weight or downriggers can get your bait down to the fish that tend to hang out at a greater depth. The Kokanee and Splake will be found a bit deeper than the Trout. In recent years some rather large Splake have come out of Moon Lake, your chances for a lunker are good.

There is an unimproved boat launch near the campground. This launch is rather sandy and can only accommodate small boats. Many people have become stuck trying to launch large boats, be aware that your 4x4 can still get stuck in the soft sand.

Moon Lake CampgroundIf camping is your thing, Moon Lake is definitely the place to do it. The campground is located in a forest of lodgepole pines, these provide a curtain of shade. There are 56 sites divided into two loops. The campground fills up pretty much every weekend so reservations are highly recommended. The upper or “trailer” loop has the more widely spaced sites, these are sites 38-56, I’d recommend staying in one of these.

The lower loop is closer to the lake, although, the sites are a bit closer together. Sites14, 15, 16, and 18 are located near the shore of the lake. In some of the sites you will definitely get to know your neighbors. Please be courteous and obey the campground rules, quiet hours begin at 10:00 pm.Moon Lake Campground

There are a few places to primitive camp before entering the recreation area. Look for spur roads to the left as you are nearing Moon Lake. If you camp on one of these spurs please be responsible for the cleanliness of your campsite. Take out what you brought in, and take out whatever else those before you didn’t.

If camping in a tent or RV isn’t your style there are still alternatives. The Moon Lake Resort/Lodge has cabins for rent. These cabins are by no means opulent living, but they beat sleeping in a tent. In the past few years the new owners have been renovating the cabins, they should be in pretty good shape by now. The lodge also rents fishing boats, kayaks and pedal boats. Fishing boats are $47.00 per half day At Moon Lake, fishing boats are $47.00 per half dayand $80.00 for a full day.

There are many hiking trails traversing the area. The Lake Fork trail follows the Western side of the lake to where the Lake Fork River enters the reservoir. This trail then continues on into the High Uinta Wilderness Area. Another entrance into the wilderness is the Brown Duck trail, this trail heads into the Lake Basin and is the path to Brown Duck Lake, Island Lake, Kidney Lake and many others. Be prepared and have good navigational skills when entering the wilderness areas, you won’t have any artificial landmarks to guide you.

Of all things available to do at Moon Lake, riding an ATV is not one of them. The Forest Service recently decided to ban all ATVs from the Moon Lake area. If you wish to ride on ATV trails drive over to Yellowstone Canyon and ride on some of the designated trails in that canyon.

Horses are welcome on all the trails around the area. If you wish to horseback ride but have no mounts, the Flying J outfitters will be happy to serve you. Flying J will arrange guided horseback rides of varying lengths and costs.

Even in the summer it can get chilly at Moon Lake, make sure to bring warm clothes. Don’t be surprised by afternoon thunderstorms and high winds, bring some cards or games to keep the kids occupied in the tent.

To get to Moon Lake, drive East on Highway 40 to Duchesne, drive North from Duchesne on highway 87. Turn left on 21000 West, there will be a sign to direct you. Continue on to Moon Lake following the signs.

Enjoy your stay at Moon Lake.

Nearby Areas:

Currant Creek

North Fork of Duchense River

Yellowstone Canyon

Rock Creek

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