We've been going to Eagle Valley for many years and have been looking around for a better spot for the hotter times of the year like July when temperatures will still hit over 100 degrees. This was our first time to Panguitch Lake and may have to say goodbye altogether to Eagle Valley – wow, we were just awestruck by it’s beauty. Panguitch Lake is the most beautiful place to camp that I've ever been except for the Redwood Forest of Northern California and it's only 383 miles from my front door in Las Vegas. Now I know it's not exactly right next door to Las Vegas but it's worth adding to the Las Vegas site for a few of the friends and locals that visit us here and are looking for a place to camp and have some family fun. Yes, it's more like a trip to L.A. than right next door but worth mentioning due to so many new people moving into the Las Vegas valley may not realize what are the best places to go camping / RVing / relaxing or whatever you may like to call it.
Panguitch Lake is about 50 minutes outside of Cedar City Utah. You'll go through Panguitch City then another 18 miles further up the road is Panguitch Lake. We finally hit our destination about 1:00am. From about 5 miles in from they Hwy I-15 we were dodging wild life of all types, especially Deer which slowed us down to about 10 to 20 miles per hour while pulling a trailer. You don't want to hit a Deer! The owner of the Rustic Lodge said he’s hit around 10 of them now, which was our destination located on the South West corner of the lake and when we arrived, we just plopped down right on their front doorstep, tossed our dog and bird in the trailer with us and went to sleep. We were then awakened a few hours later by a fellow that worked their chatting right outside our trailer window drinking a delicious cup. It was time to getup anyway and when I walked outside the trailer found myself starring at this big sign hitting me square between the eyes - NO OVERNIGHT PARKING. At least they were nice enough about it not to kick in the side of our trailer like Pete Gill (Forest Ranger) at Eagle Valley and let us sleep but we were right on the steps to walk in the business – haha - oops. In Vegas you would have been towed, in the place things don’t move quite as fast.
We had booked our reservations over the net or at least were trying too but they never called us back or wrote us, we didn't even know if we had reservations or not. When I walked into the office that morning to confirm this old boy just said, "We aint got nothin". I'm like - WHAT? …? …? Anyways, he said “hold on let me see what I can do”. I said, “sir, could I have a cup of coffee?” I would think just out of business gesture someone would have a cup to offer you and the restaurant was closed. He said, “All we got is our own, for us workers”, he replied in his Utah accent. A bit later he discover I wasn’t such a bad guy then asked me if I had my own cup, I said no thank you but do have a type writer.
We wound up getting spot #29 which was in the back of the R/V park overlooking the rest of the campgrounds, which was really nice and peaceful next to something that looked like a miniature cabin. They asked for a $10 deposit on the restroom key which included access to the showers but we declined and just used our trailer to only discover you needed about a 30’ hose to reach the sewer and 50’ for water. I always hear about folks that carry these extra things and now know why.
As mentioned, this being our first trip to Panguitch Lake decided to do some poking around. We looked at 3 other R/V parks and it was obvious we could have NEVER made it up the inclines pulling our small 18’ ECO trailer with a Mazda Tribute v6 at these parks. I could hardly walk up some of them let alone drive a vehicle with a trailer but people were in them, big trailers and all. It was by mistake and evident to us that we had booked our trip at the best RV park around Panguitch. One RV park was just a parking lot on the dirt having trailers jammed in up against one another like sardines in a can. The other mentioned RV park alluded to above was a restaurant, RV park, Boat Dock and various other rentals called Bear Paw Lake View Resort! We had a real nice lunch here one day and so two days later returned wearing our Rustic Lodge hats (competitor), which are the coolest looking redneck hats in the world with nice long rounded bills. Anyways, we are setting there having a cup of coffee and this young girl which appeared to be the owners daughter, this was a family run business, even the docks (photos below) was part of their business of boat rentals. So we are setting there having a cup of coffee one evening while it’s raining and RAINING HARD and the young girl is just starring at us, and starring at us and starring at us. We started feeling very uneasy and thought we were doing something wrong and so left, left the coffee setting and all. I figured she may have been waiting for us to either order or just wanted us to leave because we were close to closing time – It was just weird, eerie weird and still remember her lurking in this dark corner.
Moving along to another RV park we mentioned, which was located behind the General Store and not much better about the inclines and probable even worse. Even the place we stayed at called the Rustic Lodge was chuck full of inclined dirt roads. First we tried to get up the hill had to back down and get a running start to make it to the top peeling out the entire way up with people giving us the eye, like what the ….? I figured this must be the reason so many stay down at the RV park with the big water tank as a bill board sign because all of it is on level ground with no hills to maneuver up. But hey, my wife and I like pine trees and if you like them here then you’ll need to be in either the camp grounds or RV parks. Also, most of these RV parks have cabins that you can rent, nice little rental cabins. I was standing in the office listening to the manager answer questions on the phone about what was included chuckling – hey these are cabins, little ones.
DIXIE NATIONAL FOREST
Panguitch Lake – South Campgrounds
What about the camping facilities around Panguitch Lake? Panguitch Lake is an entire resort of camping surrounded by farms and cabins. There are more camp grounds here then you can ever imagine, what we call camping they call every-day life. We noted several rental cabins in the area that were fairly big and included some photos (below). The trees here are the very big thick type of pine trees and most beautiful, not that little stuff we call pine trees in Nevada. The roads into the camp grounds are well kept but narrow and the camp grounds very clean. The dirt around a few of the camp sites in the south campground seemed to be very dark for some reason, almost dirty black. You’ll need to be carefully about pulling a trailer in some of the camping areas here usually marked by a sign about it being a problem on some roads for good reason. Once in we saw a few smaller trailers in this particular campground. Fees: for a single site - $12, Double Site - $20 and Extra vehicles $6.
Panguitch Lake – North Campgrounds
These two are right across from one another and both are 10 miles from Cedar Breaks and 16 Miles from Panguitch City with 39 single Units in this one, 8 Double Units and 3 group units. The sites are big enough for large RVs and Trailers. Flush toilets, asphalt roads and handicap accessible and is just across the street from the South Campgrounds.
Burger Barn – WIFI - Before the days of cells & Internet
What can we say about Burger Barn? Well, just two things. First, when you need an internet connection, guess where you’ll need to go? Guess who you’ll need to ask for the security code so you can get in? This would be the Burger Barn owners of course. I’d guess they just didn’t open up for free was because you might purchase something while you ask for the KEY. The owners have this property up for sale which seems like a horrible place to live and work. If we lived in Panguitch we would only want to retire from secular life, period. It’s just too nice of a place to have to work, we only wanted to hold hands and relax.
The second reason you may want to come to Burger Barn is to get a couple of hamburgers for winter use. You can glue two patties together and use them for hockey pucks during the cold winter months on Lake Panguitch. All kidding aside, if the owners were ever concerned about repeat business, it’s because of the burgers they serve. I would have to mention that when I looked up at the price of a Burger for $5.75 my wife and I thought, hummm, this must be from having plenty of fresh beef walking around here and is the best dog-on hamburger money can buy, you-know BIG, THICK AND JUICY with lots of onions right off the farm. But I still couldn’t do it, I looked at the price of that $6 burger and left. But I was getting desperate for an internet connection getting the shakes and everything, it had been 3 days or so that I’d been resisting buying that mean priced burger but I needed to check my email and do some business and didn’t just want to ask for the KEY for free. You have to ask to get it. NO ONE has internet in Panguitch that is shared with the public that we could find; it’s not like a hotel in Vegas or something where you just show up and have internet connections. Life is real-slooooow in this neck of the woods man which we discovered the very first day of our RV park experience when no one would call us back after all kinds of calls and emails.
So here we are at the moment of truth, I gave in, I purchased that $6 dollar burger to get that KEY in all good conscience. So here I am with my little $6 Burger, examining it in all sorts of ways, picking up my limp fries and discussing this episode with my beautiful wiffee. I must share something here with you for a moment, I have never in my life tasted such a nasty Hamburger from a place that specializes in burgers – I mean WE are the place. It’s a landmark, I asked for directions once and someone told me, yea do this and do that then hang a left by Burger Barn. But this is no joke or slam of some sort on aside from the price, my dog had to knaw at that thing like chewing a piece of rubber. You know what I mean, she had to hold her head up high so it would fall back against her canine molars and chomp at it. I had to pull on that sucker to break of piece off for my dog and then felt guilty about giving it to her. I told my wife I’ll bet if I were a shoe cobbler I could get this on the bottom of a pair of boots. HEY, this was a job for a handy man like Jed Clampit of the Beverly Hillbillies. Tearing this apart was a job for the mules on Levis Strauss tag and see if they could rip the meat in half instead of the pants.
The thing is, with a Hamburger you can also hide stuff under the Bunn. Once I had a Hamburger from a place in Vegas called Karl’s Juniors that had a green blow fly in between the buns with only half a fly left, wonder where the ˝ went? I think most Burger businesses don’t rely on customers checking what’s under the bun. They give it to you like you like so you can just sort of dig-in and in the case of Burger Barn – RIP-IN, but every since Karl’s it’s a practice of mine to check what these young $6 per hour employees are giving me. When it comes to Burgers – trust NO ONE. So I popped off the top of this burger to find this piece of leather and a tomato that was old. I said to my wife already knowing the answer, “why does the tomato look like this”? She said, “it’s old” yea and the bad thing is, is that this was my second one in some 2 or 3 days and didn’t check the first one but just couldn’t hardly chew it and couldn’t believe I ate it.
You know what, the owners where a couple of nice folks and the fact that they offered WIFI as advertised on their window of the Burger Barn could have been a nice modern addition to Panguitch where there aren’t even any restaurants to speak of except one, and definitely no McDonalds. A day or so later after this event was setting at the General store next door hammering away at the WIFI from Burger Barn, a lady came buy whom we were talking with and said people leave in the winters. Why? Because she said, “the whole area is seasonal and everything is frozen over including the lake and only a handful of people stay for the winter months. Most everything you’ll need in the form of supplies comes from somewhere else. Pipes freeze up including the water.”
So based on that, here’s the plan for winter sports in Panguitch: I’m going to bring a video recorder, buy one of these $6 Burger Barn burgers, bring a hockey stick and see how far I can shoot it across the road and upload the results to YouTube. I may purchase a Burger in the summer and save it until winter just in case it’s closed. Oh, I guarantee you it won’t spoil because this type of burger doesn’t spoil.
Sell WIFI – Can the Burgers.
We never looked inside the residential neighborhood style rental lodges at Blue Springs but they are available and from the looks of the picture not overly busy. As mentioned some of these rental lodges are available at the Rustic Lodge and Bear Paw Lake View Resort. Also, there are many custom lodges around the area for rent as well. My best guess is to do some research on the net and see what comes up. I know one site we are working on is starting to acquire a few listings for such type of vacation rentals by owners at Vacation Rentals AAA which is free to list and other nearby Vacation Rentals at Brian Head.
Panguitch Lake Photos