Moon Lake Resort
Out of this world, but still in Utah
Nestled among the aspens and pines on the largest lake in the High Uintah Wilderness, find out the secret of generations of visitors to Moon Lake Resort.
In 1925, the first special use permit was issued by the US Forest Service, allowing the establishment of a resort at Moon Lake. The first "lodge" was probably constructed around 1927-28 near the mouth of the Brown Duck Creek, in front of the current campground. The first cabins were probably built in 1928 by the Lee Alger family. It is unclear whether a second "lodge" building was constructed by the Algers at the Brown Duck location, but it is reasonably certain that a lodge burned down here in 1934, when "gasoline, instead of kerosene, was added to a wood burning stove," according to an Alger family member.
The construction of the Moon Lake Dam and reservoir, beginning in 1935, made it necessary to move the resort to its new, present location. The original cabins were moved to their present location in 1935 by a team of sturdy horses, after a Model T failed at the task.
The June 28, 1935 special edition of the Uintah Basin Record newspaper reported, "the construction of new cabins which are to house the reclamation crew and which will later provide tourist accommodations. A new store, pool hall and beer parlor are now in operation here, to accommodate the workers and visitors." The original building, referred to in the article is the core structure of the lodge today--a single story use structure with an unfinished upper level. The original beer "bar" remains in the lodge today.
Another article in this paper refers to CCC improvements of the recreation area at Moon Lake that seem to reference the additional cabin construction in 1935. It is believed that today's cabins # 1,2,3,4,5, 6,8 & 10 were the cabins constructed by the CCC at this time.
The Alger family operated the resort until 1944, when it was sold to a local resident, Joseph H. Kemp. The Kemp family operated the resort until 1962, adding the most "modern" cabins, #7,9,11,12, 23 & 24 in the early 1950's. The Kemps also built additions on the lodge, currently used as staff kitchen and sleeping areas, and installed small sleeping rooms in the upper level of the lodge, which are unused by the public today.
Cal Clark and six partners purchased the resort from Kemp in 1962. Cal, soon after, became sole owner. Many family members, friends, locals and Salt Lake school teachers managed the resort over various seasons during Clark's ownership. In the early 1970's, bathroom facilities were added in or onto all but two of the 15 cabins in use today.
In 1994, Cal's daughter, Kathy, formed a corporation with three other friends, titled Moon Lake Resort, Inc. Also, in 1994, the corporation hired Bill and Julie Reardon as co-managers of the resort. The Reardons assumed full General Manager duties in 1998 and by 2002, the Reardons acquired 100% shareholder interest in the business. They currently own and operate Moon Lake Resort under a Special Use Permit of the Ashley National Forest issued to them in 2002.
Moon Lake and the Moon Lake Resort have some kind of special magic or spirit about them. We (The Reardons) became aware of something unique in the first year we ran the resort. Nearly every Resort guest we spoke with could recount a long and lovingly-remembered history of coming to this place. Many expressed the feeling that it was the place they most looked forward to coming, every year for many years. Most had been coming for decades, some had been returning yearly for nearly 70 years! Generations of the same families share memories of this place. Many have expressed to us, their love of the fact that the Resort has not changed that much through all the changing times and years they've been coming, here.
We value this TIMELESS atmosphere and character of the Resort as being one of the things that make it special. This character seems to appeal most to the families who share true family hours together, here. The atmosphere invites families to gather around a campfire and embrace precious shared moments. Many say they value FAMILY TOGETHERNESS as the best reward of their visits to the Resort.
Many "newcomers" have also discovered Moon Lake Resort only since the road was paved in the past ten years or so. We've seen most of these folk start their own new traditions of returning annually, as well. Moon Lake Resort especially appeals to those who value family-centered SIMPLE PLEASURES, away from the hustle-bustle distractions of these modern times. Some technology comes with visitors, but it is not featured or promoted at the Resort.
ROMANTIC COUPLES, GOOD FRIENDS and INDIVIDUALS SEEKING PERSONAL ENRICHMENT also find a lot to like about the place. And, as they say at the circus, "CHILDREN OF ALL AGES" have expressed delight in being here. We've actually heard from many that they'd rather be here than at Disneyland (or anywhere else, for that matter).
As owners, we work hard to manage and preserve this unique atmosphere with great respect for all our guests' experiences and memories. We appreciate those who cherish this place as they do and thank them for always reminding us of the magic here that we sometimes miss while too busy with work.
They say the best advertising is "word-of-mouth" and the best business is the one you return to. Moon Lake Resort thrives on both. That's the kind of place it is and the kind of place we hope to keep it.
Moon Lake Resort, Full facility rustic cabins, general store, boat rentals, land and stream fishing, are just the beginning. Bring the whole family for a cool summer family reunion.