HIGHEST WOODED PLATEAU IN NORTH AMERICABoulder Mountain looms to the west of Capitol Reef National Park. At roughly 11,000 feet, the mountain’s 50,000 timbered acres cover half of the Aquarius Plateau (an uplift along the Colorado Plateau), making it the highest forested plateau in North America. Blue Bell Knoll, also known as Boulder Top by locals, is the highest peak on Boulder Mountain at 11,313 feet. Boulder Mountain can be reached from Torrey, at the junction of Highway 24 and Scenic Byway 12.
THE BOULDER MOUNTAIN AREAThe east slope of Boulder Mountain’s forested plateau overlooks the rugged cliffs and canyons of Capitol Reef National Park. Other stunning scenic vistas include The Escalante River from the south slope, Box Death Hollow wilderness area to the south, and Powell Point to the southwest. As part of Dixie National Forest, Boulder Mountain has about 60 high-elevation fishable lakes. While many of the lakes are tiny or run as stocked fisheries, trophy-size trout are not uncommon in the larger lakes, creeks, and streams. Although the high elevation lends itself to deep snow and cold temperatures, Boulder Mountain offers a long fishing season compared to Utah’s other high elevation mountains. The largest lake on Boulder Mountain is the 52-acre Blind Lake which offers excellent trout fishing and has a depth of 52 feet. Smaller fishing spots include Boulder Creek, Calf Creek, Sand Creek and Pine Creek.
ACCESS TO BOULDER MOUNTAINThere are several mountain roads which provide access to many of Boulder Mountain’s lakes. A few lakes are within hiking distance of the nearest roads. Four-wheel drive high-clearance vehicles are recommended for tackling many of Boulder Mountain’s scenic backcountry roads. Scenic Byway 12 crosses the high plateau of Boulder Mountain beginning in Torrey on the east. Check on road conditions at the ranger station in Loa prior to traveling.