Carter Military Trail Yurt

Ashley National Forest

Carter Military Trail Yurt provides primitive lodging during summer and fall months, and during the winter, it is open to the public as a warming station for snowmobilers. It is located in the Ashley National Forest, at roughly 9,800 feet in elevation. It is approximately 25 air miles northwest of Vernal, Utah, and is situated near the historic Carter Military Trail and the Highline Trail.

The yurt can be accessed by vehicle, from Vernal, Utah. Guests are responsible for their own travel arrangements and safety and must bring their own amenities.

The yurt is approximately 224 square-feet (less than 16 feet in diameter) and has limited amenities. Indoor plumbing, running water and electricity are not available. It can accommodate up to six people for overnight visits. Parking is available for a maximum of one RV/camp trailer and two vehicles. Tent camping is allowed outside the yurt.

The yurt has one bunk bed with full size mattresses that will sleep two-four people. No linens, bedding or pillows are provided.

The yurt is equipped with a heavy-duty propane case stove for cooking, a wood burning stove for heat and a folding table and chairs. A vault toilet is located outside.  


The yurt remains locked; call the Vernal Ranger District office, at (435) 789-1181, three business days prior to arrival, to confirm the combination lock code. COMBINATION CODE REQUIRED to enter yurt. (Some combination locks used have off-set entry lines. If code is not working, try off-setting entry line).

One portable propane Coleman lantern is provided but guests must bring extra propane canisters and their own mantles. The Forest Service provides propane for the stove. The tanks are located outside, beneath the deck and guests must activate the tanks upon arrival and deactivate them upon departure.

Need to Know

Natural Features

The yurt is situated on a scenic plateau, high in the Uinta Moutains of northeastern Utah. A mixed pine forest covers the area, offering limited shade. Wildlife and summer wildflowers are abundant.

The Ashley-Karst National Geologic Recreation Area offers dramatic canyons, densely forested backcountry areas, and vast networks of caves.

The Red Cloud Loop Scenic Backway is nearby, meandering through miles of aspen groves, open meadows and lodgepole pine forests. Petroglyphs and historic sites dot the area.

Nearby Attractions

Numerous scenic driving routes on maintained dirt roads crisscross the area, providing miles of trails for off-road vehicles enthusiasts, hikers and mountain bikers. Trails lead to Long Park, Oaks Park and East Park reservoirs, Hacking Lake, Red Lake and Lily Pad Lake, as well as overlooks, forests, meadows and historic sites.

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area is known not only for its beautiful red cliffs, but also for world-class fishing for lake, brown and rainbow trout. Boating, water skiing, jet skiing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming and scuba diving are popular activities on the reservoir.


The yurt provides access to numerous hiking, biking and off-road vehicle trails, including the Carter Military Trail and the Highline Trail. The Carter Military Trail served as a military supply road from the legendary Oregon Trail in southwestern Wyoming, over the Uinta Mountains and to the Uinta Basin. The route winds up and down hills, through marshes and disappears in some spots, but it remains a significant trail due to its historic and archaeological culture.

Many lakes and reservoirs in the area are open to canoeing and fishing.

Contact Information


355 N Vernal Ave VERNAL UT 84078

Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

Follow the mileage indications below and look for signs on the ground when traveling to the yurt. Leave with plenty of time to arrive at the yurt before dark.

From Vernal, travel north on U.S. Highway 191 (Vernal Avenue) for approximately 20 miles. Turn west (left) on Forest Road 018. A paved parking lot with a restroom is located at this intersection, but follow Forest Road 018 for approximately 3.3 miles. Turn west (left) at Forest Road 018/Red Cloud Loop Scenic Backway and continue for approximately 12 miles. At the four way intersection continue straight toward Hacking Lake and Leidy Peak. Continue on Forest Road 043 approximately 4.7 miles. Turn north (right) at Forest Road 026 and follow it approximately 1.7 miles to the Carter Military Trail Yurt.

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