Day trippin’ to Fish Lake, UT

Wednesday, May 29

“Holy moly!  Eight campgrounds?”  I survey my map of Fish Lake and the Johnson Valley Reservoir.  The two bodies of water are close together, connected by Lake Creek.  Eight campgrounds cling to their western shore.

The crew and I jump into the PTV to investigate.

We leave Sunglow Campground and motor on down the road.


We pass through the towns of Bicknell and Lyman, and then arrive at the turn that takes us to Highway 72.

Beyond Fremont we turn onto Highway 25 and soon pass Meadow Mill Reservoir.  Highway 25 is also known as the Gooseberry Fremont Scenic Backway.  It’s mostly up, up, up to the land of aspens and cold, mountain streams.


Although it’s less than twenty-five miles to our destination, much of it is in second gear so it takes a while. Bridget and Spike become restless.  I notice a place where I can pull off the highway and park.

1-P1040824 - Copy“Let’s go down by the river!”

I open the side door of the PTV and put their wiggling bodies into their black suits.  Bridget yips with excitement (right in my ear) as I snap on her harness.  The two of them haul me down the bank to a lawn of dandelions.

1-P1040828  Spike gazes wistfully at the water rushing by in the creek nearby.


“Sorry, Spikey.  That current is way too strong for you.”


We loll in dandelions and walk a short distance upstream.


“Time to go!  At this rate we’ll never make it to Fish Lake, playing around here all day.”


A few more miles and overlooks later, water comes into view!


At a look-out point, I leave the crew in the PTV and walk a short path to take some more photos.  The rough boulders give contrast in texture and color against the water.


The campgrounds around Johnson Reservoir and Fish Lake range from parking-lot-with-picnic-tables style to carefully designed terraces where every site holds an unobstructed view of the water.


Fishing from boats is the big draw here.  Uh, thus the name Fish Lake?


Bridget and Spike are asleep.  I don’t stop.  Instead I mosey the PTV along the shoreline road.


I drive into each of the campgrounds which are mostly empty this early in the season. Mackinaw and Doctor Creek Campgrounds have the most scenic and well designed sites.  This site is at Mackinaw.


Whoever designed these campgrounds knew how to use terracing to advantage.  Here’s another Mackinaw site.


As lovely as it is here, I know I won’t move our camp to Fish Lake.  First of all, there’s no internet.

Secondly, the lake is too isolated for us right now. It’s a wonderful place to visit for cooler weather during summer, but there is absolutely nothing around here.  Isolation is a good thing if you want to “get away from it all” and need to relieve stress.  Right now I like being camped a few miles from a grocery store.

Thirdly, there’s not much for us to do.  I don’t fish and it’s not the kind of water for an interesting float in the inflatable kayak.  I don’t know for sure, but this looks like bear country.  Not smart to hike with two bear-baits-on-a-leash.


A drive to Fish Lake and around her shoreline makes a great day trip for us.  If you drive up to Fish Lake, whether to spend the day or to camp, it’s easier to come from the south, rather than up mountains on the scenic backway.


I continue on Route 25 to Route 24 which goes through Loa and completes the loop back through Lyman and Bicknell to our camp at Sunglow.

On the way the snow-capped mountains attract my attention.  It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced snow and I’m happy to see it so far away!


I really enjoyed that drive today!


A beautiful, sunny day at Fish Lake floats into memory like a cloud drifting across a pure blue sky.


Canine Corner:  “There’s more than one way to have fun” by Spike and Bridget


“Man, this is the life.”

“Boy, this is my kinda’ camp.  I can come down here and soak in the water whenever I want.  Isn’t it great, Bridge?”

“Yes, it’s very nice, Spike.  But do you have to get yourself so muddy?  I always try to stay clean so I don’t make tracks inside for RVSue to clean up.”


“See, Spike? Step over the muddy places like this.”


“Oh, cryminny.  You can suck the fun out of anything, Bridge.  Loosen up, babe.  Let yourself go.  Get a little mud on ya’, for cryin’ out loud.”

“Spike, it is possible to have fun without making a mess of yourself.  I like to step in the water where there isn’t any mud.”

"C'mon, babe.  Get muddy with me."

“C’mon, babe. Get muddy with me.”


“Gee, Bridge, you gave me a great idea!  We should have a blog post all about us in the stream!”

“It’s not your blog, Spike.”

“Errrr.  Like I was sayin’, you can suck the fun out of anything.”


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61 Responses to Day trippin’ to Fish Lake, UT

  1. Oklahoma Kate says:

    Great to see you back! I have had withdrawal symptoms!

  2. Ginny says:

    Fish Lake and the surrounding country was wonderful! Nice day trip with the pups.
    Loved the convo. with Spike and Bridget-great fun.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Ginny! We did have a good day. The crew missed Fish Lake, but they had fun in the dandelions by the river.

  3. CT says:

    Very lovely pics today, looks like an excellent day trip. Spike looks so content soaking in the stream. It’s in the mid-80’s in the Denver area today & 90’s predicted for tomorrow, wish I could dip a toe in Spike’s stream! 🙂

  4. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Love your backyard! Very peaceful…secluded….even at the boat marina. What? Did you say, “Too isolated for us right now.” Just giving you a bad time.

    Looks like bear country to me! (what exactly does bear country look like?) Pick a picture…any picture.

    A bear bell for your bear baits on a leash!……and for the one holding the leash! It can have a two sided purpose…you’ll always know when Spike is sneaking away. He’ll probably learn how to walk without jingling the bells!

    Loa……hmmmm Loa Utah……is this the area where Timber was?

    Spike is always trying to get Bridget to be part of his criminal behavior. RVSue isn’t going to scold the princess..and she can’t scold me by myself if we both were involved. Don’t fall for it Bridget.

    What’s for supper?

  5. mary ann (pontotoc ms) says:

    somehow spike & bridget can steal the show despite the beautiful scenery!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, they do! I write a serious, dignified post and their nonsense steals the show.

  6. Lefty says:

    Sue, Fishing is fun and if you actually catch, they taste better than store bought. You should try.

    B.T.W. I just took my new dog, Betty, to the lake. I think I have a problem. She loves swimming.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Lefty!

      I’ve tried fishing! And I loved it! I fished some small lakes and the Gulf of Mexico mostly while I lived in Florida. A few times I fished from piers on the Atlantic in Florida. I caught blue fish, flounder, red snapper, silver trout, lake trout, sand shark, ladyfish, sting ray, blowfish, amberjack, drum, and others I can’t recall right now.

      As time went on I lost interest in fishing, mainly because I couldn’t stand harming the fish and anything else I pulled up. I’ve never been any good at freshwater fishing. Seems I always showed up the day after or the day before they are biting.

      Good for Betty! You can take her swimming with you.

  7. Geri says:

    That drive is beautiful in the autumn when all the Aspen turn gold! So where did you end up for the night ???

  8. DesertHawk - Las Cruces, New Mexico says:

    Photos of Fish Lake brought back some nice memories, we were there for a few days many years ago. Kids were young still. We canoed on the lake a couple times. My daughter found a tommy hawk like ax on the far side of the lake while stopped to stretch our legs. She still has it as a souvenir.

    Saw an Osprey flying by & an Osprey nest. Had a beaver come close & tail slap it’s tail (kind of like the sound of a shot gun going off).

    We also found a good size tackle box on the far side as well, fairly well stocked as well. I believe my son has it now.

    Not sure if you have already gone to [url=]Bryce Canyon[/url], the link has some neat photos. We’d been there earlier. Very hot that year while there. Fish Lake was much cooler.

    We’d spend one or two nights at Bryce, then moved over & up to Panguitch Lake at Nat’l Forest campsite. Very cool up there. We drove from Panguitch Lake to Ceder Breaks (very high elevations there) to Zion as a day trip.

    Very nice country you have been in. Enjoyed the ride with you.

    Re: the Road or Hwy in the Sky…..never been on it, but seems like one I would enjoy driving. As long as one stays on the road, doesn’t matter how far down it falls off the edges. Ha!

    Good things about having wheels, one can go or can not go on roads.

    • DesertHawk - Las Cruces, New Mexico says:

      Link didn’t work like that, maybe this will work:

      • DesertHawk - Las Cruces, New Mexico says:

        We discovered while at Fish Lake, it is a natural lake, not one manmade. Kind of cool to see one. Good sized as well. Very pretty country.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          At least in this part of the country you can tell the difference . . . Man-made are called reservoirs and lakes are called lakes. I know in some places the reservoirs are called lakes which makes for confusion.

          Great memories you have, DesertHawk. Maybe if I had someone with me, I would venture out on a lake in my kayak.

  9. Hi Sue,
    I’ve missed you so much while you were “shut down”. I no longer receive an email with your latest post. Do I need to sign up again somewhere to get an email re. a new post from you? Let me know.

    • Dedra says:

      Hi Carol,
      I’m having the same problem, not able to get emails.
      I tried signing up again, but no luck. Did I do it right?
      I just adding Sue to my home page.
      Sue makes my day!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve searched the internet for an email notification button to download and haven’t found one yet. All I find are “share” buttons like the one I put in the sidebar. If anyone finds one, let me know. Until then there’s no place on my blog to sign up for emails. Sorry. I have a ticket in to Hostgator asking for help.

      • Geri says:

        Hi Carol and DedraI! t is very easy to right click on RVSue’s front page and then select the “create shortcut” option and it goes to the desktop and you don’t have to wait for email, just click onto RVSue’s desktop icon as often as you want!

  10. Ladybug says:

    Poor Spikey, looking so wistful at the water! And Bridget… she licking her chops over the dandelions???

    As for the bears-it looks like Fishlake Forest is also home to cougars!! Definitely keep an eye on your bait.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, I will! Bears and cougars and such are the reason I prefer to stay in campgrounds when in their habitat. And the crew and I stay close to camp.

      I think Bridget was thirsty. We’d been playing around for a while. She licks her chops when she needs a drink. I always have a dish with water in the PTV.

  11. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Cougars! Oh you mean the four legged ones…… 🙂

    Made me laugh thinking about that young National Park Ranger back in South Dakota.

    • Ladybug says:

      Well, I don’t know about. Guess it depends on if Sue finds anything interesting roaming around in them thar woods! 😉

    • EmilyO of KS says:

      Oh ya, wonder if she’ll head back to that spot again cinandjules. I am just a chuckling again.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Okay, crazy ladies, settle down. That ranger would make a very cute GRANDSON. 🙂

  12. cinandjules (NY) says:
  13. This is a magnificent area but there sure is a lack of stores. You definitely had a beautiful drive. Love that crew!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      There’s something to be said for a grocery and laundromat down the road. And, of course, internet!

  14. Kay says:

    HA! I don’t think Bridget is buying into that “Babe” part… she has a good sense!

    Lovely photos… and a beautiful spot if no need for internet, or if ones has a super duper system.

    Thanks for sharing…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Kay. I guess it gets really busy during the summer judging from all the campsites and cabins, plus the big lodge.

  15. Ed says:

    Here are a couple of links that MAY fix your missing email notification button issue.

    What you had before with WordPress was part of their hosting package so that did not come across as part of the WordPress software for you to self host or have Hostgater do it, as the case may be.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, Ed… I’ve tried a few plug-ins so far and with each one I encounter an obstacle, mostly with the installation procedure being waaaay over my head. I tried the watershedstudio… downloaded it and then… duh?

      I still haven’t heard from Hostgator about this. I plan to nag them in the morning to give me some assistance. I don’t have any patience left for dealing with it today. I’m also having problems installing Akismet… What a mess. Spam popping up. Plus my connection is so slow, which really tries my patience on top of all this technology stuff.

      Thanks for the links. I may end up using one of them.

      • ajfixit says:

        If you install through the dashboard, Plugins, add new – it’s pretty easy. Search for the type of plugin you want, click install and then figure out the settings. If you don’t like it, uninstall it through the plugins list. There is lots of help on the web on how to do this. That’s how I figured it out.

  16. ponce02 says:

    Sue: How do I get back to your new sight?

    John and Kona

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      For now you can do one of the following:
      Type in the URL in the address bar”
      Or bookmark this page, putting it in your “favorites”
      Or make a shortcut to this page on your desktop

    • ponce02 says:

      Got it ~ thank you!
      John and Kona

  17. Susan in Dallas says:

    “Loosen up and let yourself go!” LOL, just like Spike to try and get Bridget to the “wild side”. But, she’s having none of it as she gingerly steps OVER the mud. What characters!
    Utah is so varied and beautiful.

  18. John fossildreamer says:

    Hi Sue, Beautiful pictures, I really enjoyed all of them,,,
    I also no longer get emails, but no matter as I look at your blog every am & pm
    By the way as I understand it cougar’s do go after Grandson’s those
    crazy ladies may be on to something,,
    Safe travels Sue,,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I never should’ve mentioned that drop-dead gorgeous ranger in that old post. Some ladies here won’t forget it! 🙂

  19. Ron Sears says:

    Looks like another great day for you and the gang..would have been hard for me to leave fish lake though….

  20. Reine in Plano says:

    Hi Sue, we’re back from our ramblings in Utah and Arizona. You’re in a beautiful part of the country. I highly recommend Bryce and Zion national parks. HOWEVER, please not that the Crew is not welcome on the shuttles. In Bryce you can drive to about half the park but parking is crowded. In Zion, the parking is scarce and you must take the shuttle to go anywhere except the visitor center or the campground. If you’re interested in Zion the Watchman campground has electricity so you might be able to leave the crew in the Casita with the AC on and spend some time on the shuttle. Loop B of Watchman campground is nice with trees and some walks along the river. The river is fairly swift but folks tube down it and there are a few places where it’s shallow enough to be safe for Spike to soak as long as he’s in his suit. Cost is $9 with the geezer pass.

    • Ed says:

      Reine in Plano,
      I’m going to venture a guess that RV Sue and Crew will not be going to Zion and Bryce National Parks. They do not sound like the kind of places where she spends much time. Those are the places where the big vacation crowds are with everyone frantically crossing off another place on their ‘bucket list’.
      Sue has been seeing the West and the many splendors that it offers with very little time spent in National Parks. I am not trying to put words in her mouth but I think she would agree with John Stienbeck that said the following in Travels With Charley: In Search of America.

      For it is my opinion that we enclose and celebrate the freaks of our nation and our civilization. Yellowstone National Park is no more representative of America than is Disneyland.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi Ed!

        You have come to know me well! I do visit the national parks because I feel like I should… Why, I don’t know. Anyway… Invariably I’m overwhelmed and I suffer from what I call “sensory overload.” And then there are those crowds!

        I much prefer the more “ordinary” experiences when temporarily living in different locales. I go to a place like Capitol Reef which is spectacular and afterward I need to settle somewhere to debrief for a while! For that reason I’m spreading my national park visits over several years, God willing.

        In fact, I’ve been working on a blog post off and on all afternoon about the simple pleasures that occupy my days. The connection here is very, very slow so I may not be able to finish it today. After that post, I’ll have the blog caught up to where we are presently camped. And, my oh my, it is a place of “many splendors.”

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Reine! Good to know you and Paul made it home, safe and sound. Thank you for all the information you’ve posted here. I’ve already been to Zion. Last year friends Chuck and Geri were workkamping near Zion and Geri babysat the crew while Chuck and I took the shuttle and made the river walk.

  21. Mick says:

    On the first photo looking across the valley notice the mans face, upper center, just above the silver cliffs. The profile shows his eyes, nose and mouth with his tongue out over his chin. What is his name?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, you gave me my first laugh of the day, Mick. I just sat down with my coffee this morning, opened up the blog, and read your comment. How in the world did you ever notice THAT? He’s there but I don’t know his name. 🙂 That’s the mountain that looks down upon Loa.

  22. Sandy says:

    Hi Sue,
    I have been missing you and I was getting worried….I have not got emails for a while now. I googled you and saw your address changed. Has anyone else not been getting emails? Keep on having fun……sandy

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No one is getting emails. The email notification plug-in did not transfer when my blog was moved to Hostgator. You’ve been gone a while, girl!

  23. Sandy says:

    What do I need to do to continue to get emails or is it in the works of syberspace?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m hoping all you need to do is register. I’m also hoping the email notification works for the next post.

  24. Walt says:

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane! My wife, son, and I spent a week at Fish Lake in June, 2009 when we still had our pop-up tent trailer. It was one of our first outings with our then new-to-us four-legged family member, Oliver the beagle. I seem to remember the warnings about it being bear country, but we never saw one. Still, I guess it’s better to be warned and not encounter a bear than the other way around. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m glad my blog brought back good memories for you, Walt. The bears were more likely to be around you during the night when you couldn’t see them. I’ve already seen two mama bears and four cubs, all up close, especially the grizzly. I can’t get into a conversation about bears without bringing that up. LOL

      • Walt says:

        Probably just as well I couldn’t see them. That way, I wouldn’t worry about them. 🙂

        By the way, I know several people have mentioned that with the change in host they no longer receive notifications of your new posts. (I know you’re working on that, so I’m not concerned.) One other thing to be aware of if you aren’t already is that I also no longer receive notifications of new comments to a post I’ve commented on, something I did receive in the past. If I weren’t stealing a few minutes at work to check, I might well have missed your response here.

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