We were a couple of road-weary travelers when we drove into the town of Beaver, Utah, halfway between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas along Interstate-15. Beaver was going to be our base camp for a couple days.
After a good night’s sleep we consulted with the locals, and soon we found ourselves a few miles east of I-15 riding two rented off-highway vehicles on the famous Piute Trail. We bounced through the densely forested Tushar Mountains, crossing the Beaver River several times as it meandered down the mountains from the beautiful views at Eagle Point Resort along the Beaver River Scenic Byway. No surprise that this is one of the top-rated off-road trails in the United States!
What really stunned us was that just half an hour later, we were on foot scrambling over enormous house-sized limestone boulders in the Mineral Mountains, where the deep sand that makes up the roadways is a pure gold color. It was a breathtaking contrast from the giant stands of pine and fir trees in the mountains to the deep sand, pinion pines, occasional cactus, and white limestone rock formations of this desert!
Depending on the time of year, you can be playing in the snow in Tushar Mountains in the morning, and hiking in the desert that afternoon. This is the only place in Utah where you can experience three significantly different mountain ranges, offering three totally unique experiences!
Just another 20 minutes west of the Mineral Mountains we found old mining ghost camps at the base of the San Francisco Peaks. What a trip!
When YOU arrive in Beaver, be sure to have lunch at the new Creamery, the flagship retail store for the Dairy Farmers of America. The ice cream is delicious, and while there, get some locally crafted cheese for snacks while you’re out exploring. In town, visit a local institution and one of the coolest gun shops and outfitters in the west: Beaver Sport and Pawn.
For a great steak dinner, don’t miss the Timberline Inn Restaurant, just off I-15. And the best burgers, fries and outstanding raspberry/chocolate shakes can be found at El Bambi Café. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the interior is packed with customers. It’s a throwback to the mid-century cafes of the 50s. And don’t miss Maria’s Cocina Restaurant. It’s a tiny place, but it’s as authentic as you could hope for. You’ll swear you’re in Mexico. Yum!
“Beaver Country” adventure can be as extreme as you’d like, and it’s guaranteed to be outstanding.
If you’re visiting Southern Utah, make sure you stop in Beaver Country for a great meal, ice cream, or an amazing adventure without the crowds. You’ll love it!