Big Sky at Strawberry

Strawberry Reservoir in the Uinta National Forest is one of Utah's most popular boating and fishing getaway spots, remaining relatively isolated for decades. Wide, rolling hills of sagebrush and pristine waters attracted the first developers in the 1970s that sold individual plots where owners built cottage-like cabins on two dirt streets near the reservoir. At 8,000 feet in elevation, the area was mostly cut off from people during the winter and posed a long trek to those who wanted to visit during the summer.

Now, with Utah's wealth increasing and the oil boom in the eastern part of the state calling for the expansion of Highway 40, which runs past Strawberry, larger properties are popping up and there is talk of building a world-class resort on the reservoir's shores. With nearby Park City's ski hills quickly filling up with second homes and high-end condos, the idea of pushing out toward Strawberry seems like a lucrative possibility for developers, but vexes owners of the original cabin properties who want to keep Strawberry the way it is: rugged and natural.

However the tide turns, for now, Strawberry Reservoir still stuns with its barren beauty. The dynamic of the hills, water and open sky works to lure campers and fishermen into a trance of solitude. Bright summer days tease you to forget the power of the sky and water, where clouds change from friendly and puffy to dark and deadly with quickness and ease, and could determine your fate on the land and water. Even if every inch of shore is built upon, the sky and water will remain with dominance that development can't shake.

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