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Surrounded by the unspoiled wilderness of the Manti-La Sal National Forest, Fairview Lakes provides a pleasant opportunity for lakefront living in Utah's Panoramaland region. The lakes themselves are private, owned by the Cottonwood-Gooseberry Irrigation Company with lots contracted by long-term lease. Since the small dam created the main reservoir in 1869, the lakes have become increasingly popular for seasonal cabins and year-round homes.
Usually designated as Fairview Lake #1 and Fairview Lake #2, the second is far larger with 105 acres. The other lake only about 20 acres, but both are popular fly fishing spots. The Utah Department of Wildlife Resources stocks them both with rainbow trout. The area is a rare blend of public and private interests, with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) controlling fishing and the Fairview Lakes Association offering a small private campground, gravel boat launch and restaurant. Visitors and residents come to Fairview Lakes for the scenic waterfront and to enjoy the many miles of hiking and ORV (Off-Road Vehicle) trails in the Manti-La Sal National Forest.
The reservoir provides irrigation waters, recreation and a cold-water fishery. At almost 9000 feet, the lakes are ice-free only during the summer months. There are no native fish in the lakes, so the rainbow trout reign supreme. Large numbers of anglers arrive in summer to try their luck. No motors are permitted on Fairview Lakes. This makes the lakes always serene for canoeing and kayaking along the wooded shores. The lakes attract a variety of wildlife, including deer and elk.
Some of the leased lots on Fairview Lakes hold beautiful cabins in a variety of architectural styles ranging from ski chalets to multi-level vacation homes. Other lots are empty much of the year until the owners come camping in their RVs. The preferred mode of transportation on roads within the developments here is the Off-Road Vehicle. Many part-time residents use their properties as home base for ORV trail riding in the surrounding area. Many national forest trails nearby are designated for motorized ATVs. Mountain biking, horseback riding and hiking are some of the most popular warm-weather activities among visitors and residents.
Fairview Lakes is just a short detour from US 89 south of Provo, adjacent to scenic Skyline Drive. Although the area receives copious amounts of snow during the winter months, both Skyline Drive and Utah Highway 31 are plowed regularly. Salt Lake City is only two hours to the north, and the area near Fairview Lakes is one of central Utah's most popular winter sports areas.
A number of snowmobile trails circle the immediate area. A few miles north of Fairview Lakes is the parking area for the Fairview Trailhead, while a short distance south provides the Millers' Flat Trailhead parking lot. These snowmobile trails are part of a complex web of over 140 miles of groomed trails that are very popular during snow season. Some of the trails are easy and suitable for all riders, while more experienced snowmobilers may venture into the surrounding hills and bowls for some snowy, scenic adventure. Certain areas are designated for the sport of snow kiting or kite-boarding. Cross-country skiing is a favored activity on many of the non-motorized trails. There are numerous locations for snowboarding and sledding, often with a view of the spectacular mountain scenery surrounding the Wasatch Plateau. Areas within the national forest require an Access Pass, available from any USDA Forest Service Ranger Station. Camping requires an additional permit.
Fairview Lakes aren't the only water bodies available for fishing in the area. Not far away, Beaver Dam Reservoir, Boulger Reservoir, Huntington Reservoir, Cleveland Reservoir and Electric Lake all offer fishing, with large Electric Lake a favorite for water-skiing and personal watercraft. All require a Utah fishing license and often have specific fishing regulations to be followed. Several campgrounds exist in the area along with dispersed camping on US Forest Service lands. Some private rentals may occasionally be found on Fairview Lakes, while the surrounding areas outside the boundaries of the Manti-La Sal National Forest offer a wealth of lodgings for visitors. The small City of Fairview, 13 miles to the west, offers hotels, motels, guest ranches and rental cottages.
The area is well-equipped to satisfy vacationers' needs. All types of hiking and skiing equipment rentals are available near Fairview Lakes, along with kayaking tours, paragliding, rock climbing and other extreme sports. Simply driving the back roads and enjoying the scenic meadows filled with wildflowers against the backdrop of some of Utah's most majestic mountains can fill entire days. Tiny towns, abandoned farmsteads and unique shops and country stores are always a delight to discover even for those wishing a less-active holiday.
Two hours away, Salt Lake City is a unique tourism destination, offering history, culture and unusual sights. Salt Lake City offers excellent theater, music, museums, sports and visual arts venues, along with unique Temple Square and its Mormon pioneer heritage. To the immediate west lies Great Salt Lake and its ever-changing pools of saline water, water birds and salt deposits. A day trip to Antelope Island State Park offers the opportunity to swim or wade in the highly-saline water. South of Salt Lake City, the entire family will enjoy the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. Central Utah is filled with contrasts, from jagged peaks to salt flats to green meadows surrounding brooks bubbling with mountain snow melt. Numerous downhill ski areas are located near Salt Lake City, making central Utah a year-round destination
Real estate can be found at Fairview Lakes, both existing homes and build-able lots. Properties nearby outside of the National Forest are available with acreage. A lucky few will be able to arrange for the rental of a private home or cottage overlooking Fairview Lakes. Bring the fly rod and your favorite flies. Also pack the hiking boots, hoist the kayak onto the car-top carrier, and hitch up the trailer with the ORVs. The Fairview Lakes adventure begins.
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