Mirror Lake Highway and Monte Cristo

There are a lot of really great rides within 30 or 40 minutes of the Salt Lake Valley. One of my favorites is the Mirror Lake Highway. On Labor Day, we decided to take Highway 150 past Mirror Lake, ride to Evanston, Wyoming, on to Woodruff, Utah and climb over Highway 39 past Monte Cristo into Ogden Valley for lunch. Although I always enjoy the Mirror Lake Highway, adding another favorite, the pass over Monte Cristo, had me even more jazzed for the ride.

Kelly and I were going to be riding with some guys we’ve never ridden with before, so we were meeting at 8:30 at the Einstein’s on Wasatch Blvd near the mouth of Parley’s Canyon. Sometime around 9:00 am we hit the road in what I thought was just about perfect riding conditions—beautiful blue skies and cool temperatures in the high 60s.

Climbing Parley’s on I-80 was about what you’d expect on Labor Day. But after dodging a few campers, we pulled into Kamas, topped off a tank or two, and headed up highway 150 to Mirror Lake and beyond.

There were splashes of fall colors all along the highway that were accentuated by the cooler temperatures. While we didn’t have the road to ourselves, traffic wasn’t bad. We did enjoy the smell of the pines and bacon cooking in the campsites that dot the highway. The view from the top of Bald Mountain Pass is always a favorite, and once you’re past Mirror Lake the traffic subsides enough that you’re able to pick up the pace a bit headed for Bear River Station.

The rest of the way into Evanston is great highway—allowing us to pick it up even a bit more.

One of the bikes had a smaller-than-average fuel tank, so we stopped in town for another fuel stop before heading to Woodruff. The temperature was still mild as we made the turn for Monte Cristo. This is another great mountain pass that is just about perfect for a motorcycle. While it’s still plenty warm in the valley, it won’t be long before autumn is in full swing in the mountain passes—there were more fall colors as we dropped into Ogden valley for lunch at Carlos & Harley’s in Eden. C&H is a nice little Mexican restaurant and a great place to stop for lunch.

We gassed up before heading down Trappers Loop and couldn’t help but notice the temperatures rise as we started shedding our jackets and shot the breeze with a couple of bikes who had made the trek from Florida and were on their way home from Sturgis (the long way).

We were definitely back in traffic and facing the real world as we jumped on 84 headed for the junction with 89 and home. Traffic looked pretty heavy on I-15, so we opted for the Legacy Highway and 215 for the rest of the way home. We pulled in around 4:00 pm, making it about a seven-hour day in the saddle. A nice way to spend Labor Day.