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Utahns take to the lakes to avoid Labor Day heatwave

Posted at 8:17 PM, Sep 05, 2022

MIRROR LAKE, Utah — As temperatures continue to scorch much of Utah, those who were willing to travel for Labor Day could find much cooler temperatures — but it came at the price of many other people doing the same.

Salt Lake City hit an all-time high for the month of September at 104 degrees.

Up at some of the nearby reservoirs, it was around the mid-90s. But up at Mirror Lake in the Uintas, the high was just 73 degrees.

The temperatures were nice, but the cat was out of the bag with hundreds of people swarming the lake. It was the busiest most people have ever seen it.

“Water was great. Once your body gets numb, you don't really feel anything anymore and it feels fantastic,” one man told FOX 13 News.

Another added that it was"way cooler” than other places in Utah.

Even the furry friends were enjoying the relief and jumping in the water. But the popularity was just the problem — it felt like all of Utah was up in the Uintas for the weekend.

Up and down Mirror Lake Highway, every road and turn-off was full of campers, tents and off-road vehicles.

Many also were hoping to cool down in the water itself which was a brisk 54 degrees.

“A lot cooler,” one dad said. “We're used to cold mountain lakes and wanting to escape the heat and the people.”

But the second half of that plan didn’t quite work out.

“We didn't quite escape the people — we found that out on the way in here with all the cars," he added. "When we got here, it was probably about half as busy as it was.”

Parking lots were full, roadways tight from cars on both sides, and all the way up Mirror Lake Highway, people pitched their tents to get a bit of relief.

“This is nuts. Every pullout up the road has been just full,” Sam Skaling said. "What do you do? I mean... It's 75 degrees [here], the valley's 95+, so why not come up here today? This is a good little spot for kids. There are a couple of little beaches... we brought her sand toys.”

He’s hoping to catch a fish as big as the crowds by heading out on the water with his wife and daughter.

“[She has] her little Barbie fishing pole so hopefully we can get her on her first fish today,” Skaling said.

Another looking for the bites was Raphaels Hunt.

“We just thought it is a good time of year to come up," he said. "It's been a while since we’ve been up here but this is pretty busy.”

At least he’s had some luck netting a tiger trout before the crowd scared the fish away.

Whether it was the cooler temperatures, the even cooler water, or the lure of casting lines, Mirror Lake was one of the best places to escape the heat — but at a price of crowds across the area.