It’s forgivable that most people traveling through Beaver have never noticed the gradually rising
Ranked next to the Uintah and La Sal Mountains, the obscure Tushars are
In 1865, the first prospectors to dip their pans into the frigid moss-lined Pine Creek in
The Ohio Mining District was organized in 1868 and its largest mining camp,
Accessed from Marysvale,
After crossing the creek on a bridge, the tour culminates at a large flat occupied by former Bullion and Webster Cities. Here, the density of interesting things to see rises significantly and you risk missing some hidden gems unless you park and venture out on foot or bike. Highlights to look for are several miners' cabins, the Bully Boy Mill which is nearly dwarfed by tall aspen, and Miners' Park - an informative outdoor museum full of artifacts from Bullion Canyon's glory days as a major gold producer.
Equally interesting sites can be found on the north side of the canyon by crossing back over the bridge and locating the Bullion Falls Trail that is open to ATV, bicycle, horse, or foot traffic.
Along the trail you'll see old cabins in various states of dilapidation. Angles between floor, ceiling, and walls - no longer square - appear to become more acute with every passing minute as gravity nears inevitable victory.
About 1 mile from the bridge, enjoy views of the striking Bullion Falls, where Pine Creek plummets 60 feet down a mossy ledge of volcanic rock.
Want to see more of the Tushar Mountains? For an incredibly scenic loop, turn south onto Forest Service Road 126 just above the bridge. Gaining elevation through a series of long switchbacks, views become increasingly more expansive and finally infinite as you reach a high pass on the eastern shoulder of 11,757-foot-high Mount Brigham. Descending into Cottonwood Canyon, the intrepid traveler may find more signs of the Tushars' mining legacy. The road out of Cottonwood Canyon joins U.S. 89, where 3.5 more road miles take you back to Marysvale. ATVs, not allowed on the highway, must cross the the highway and follow dirt roads that parallel the Sevier River back to town.
This is definitely ATV country, but I was perfectly content on my mountain bike, and every passing ATV rider was extremely friendly and courteous. A group of riders even cheered me on as I crested the 11,200-foot summit, and before I knew it, we were swapping Bullion Canyon adventure tales over sandwiches and drinks from their cooler. All agreed that the Tushar Mountains are one of the best kept secrets in southwestern Utah.
If You Go:
National Geographic Map 708, "Paiute ATV Trail," covers the Bullion and Cottonwood Canyons area. Detailed travel maps may also be downloaded for free from the Dixie National Forest website (www.fs.fed.us/r4/fishlake/maps/index.shtml).