Utah: Nature at Your Doorstep (Part 2 - Mirror Lake, Uinta Mountains)

In continuation of an entry Utah:Nature at your doorstep, I’d like to share some photos with you from another great and accessible place not far from Salt Lake City. Recently I took an overnight trip in to Mirror Lake, located in the Uinta Mountains. This high alpine area is popular in the summer months for outdoor enthusiasts.

Utah:Nature at Your Doorstep (Part 2  – Mirror Lake, Uinta Mountains)

Sunrise over The Uintas

Sunrise over The Uintas

While the elevation gradually climbs above 10,000 ft along the The Mirror Lake Highway, the temperatures drop, making it a great destination to escape from the summer heat in the lower valleys of Northern Utah. The ninety or so minute drive from Salt Lake City to Mirror Lake is quite a transformation from city to nature. In the Uintas one could easily be alone for days if that was the intention. It is also quite abundant in flora and fauna. Wildlife here ranges from beavers to bears.
Reflection at Mirror Lake, Utah

Reflection at Mirror Lake

Starry Night

Since it was a clear night with no moon in the sky, I decided I would focus a lot of attention on capturing the night sky. Being away from the city allows almost all the light pollution to drain completely to dark, dark skies. Even with the naked eye, finding the Milky Way up here is not difficult. This time of year, one should look to the south-southeast to find the “core” of the Milky Way. There are hundreds of billions of stars and planets in the Milky Way, so don’t waste your time counting and just admire it. Allow your eyes some time to adjust to the dark and keep your flashlights and other light sources off for best viewing.
Milky Way over Smith & Morehouse Resevoir

Milky Way over Smith & Morehouse Resevoir

With a good camera and using a good lens with a wide aperture (f2.8 or faster is best), one can use the camera’s abilities to capture more light and really get a great look at our Galaxy.
If you are wishing to visit the Uintas, I recommend paying a visit to the U.S. Forest Service’s website for more information.


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