Upper Duchesne River

Upper Duchesne River Falls    by Dave Hanscom   İDave Hanscom
  


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Directions: The Upper Duchesne River drainage can be accessed from Wolf Creek Pass, from Mirror Lake, or via Murdock Basin and Little Deer Creek, also near the Mirror Lake Highway.

Wolf Creek Pass    by Marlene Foard    İMarlene Foard
  

Description: County lines are confusing in this area. Trails and roads east of Wolf Creek Pass are in Duchesne County, but those west of the pass are in Wasatch County. All of the trails near Mirror Lake are in Duchesne County. Murdock Basin is in Wasatch County, but the Little Deer Creek Road is mostly in Duchesne County.

The falls at the base of Little Deer Creek, where it empties into the Duchesne River, is a known nesting spot for Black Swifts. This is also the East Portal of the Duchesne Tunnel, part of the Central Utah Project. Water flows through the tunnel from the Duchesne River, in the Colorado River drainage, to the Provo River, which takes it to the Wasatch Front.

Upper Duchesne River Falls    by Dave Hanscom    İDave Hanscom
  

To access the East Portal, drive up the Mirror Lake Highway to about mile 22 and turn right on the Murdock Basin road (FR-137, or 80137 on the newer signs and maps). In about two miles this road crosses a large flat open area where people camp and drive their off-road vehicles around.  Navigation is a bit confusing here, but keep going basically eastward.

At this point the road deteriorates significantly, but if you have a high clearance 4-wheel-drive vehicle you can continue on FR-137. In about a half mile, turn right on FR-27 (80027) and follow that for about two more very rocky miles down to the Duchesne River. Bear right at the bottom to get to the East Portal and the falls.