Top of the World
Thousand Lake Mountain, located in the easternmost section of Fishlake National Forest, towers from 7,000 to 11,000 feet. The mountain is surrounded by Fremont, Loa, and Lyman to the west; Bicknell, Teasdale and Torrey to the south; and the northern section of Capitol Reef National Park to the east. The mountain’s unique topography features exposed layers of red sandstone along the lower slopes, while alpine forests and open meadows define the upper slopes. Despite its name, Thousand Lake Mountain is known more for its craggy terrain than its lakes. According to legend, a cartographer mistakenly labeled Thousand Lake Mountain for nearby Boulder Mountain to the south, and the names just stuck.
Thousand Lake Mountain Road is a 35-mile scenic backway that begins in Fremont and loops through the Cathedral Valley section of Capitol Reef National Park. The road climbs steep cliffs and towering rock formations, leading to stunning panoramic vistas. A high-clearance vehicle is recommended for the two hour drive along the mostly dirt and gravel but well-maintained road.
ATV, snowmobile, and cross-country ski trails are plentiful at Thousand Lake Mountain. Hiking, mountain biking, camping and horseback riding in and around the canyons are popular activities, as well as hunting and trout fishing. Some alpine lakes are simply scenic, with no fish population, surrounded by aspen, pinion and juniper. The Solomon Basin features a transitional alpine/desert climate, and a variety of wildlife. A section of the Great Western Trail, which runs north-south from Canada to Mexico, crosses the mountain. There are a few campsites, most without facilities, near the lakes. Lodging in all forms can be found in the surrounding towns of Bicknell, Fremont, Loa, Lyman, Teasdale and Torrey.