Surrounded by the ponderosa pines, rushing brooks, dewy meadows and abundant wildlife, the high Uintas offer a mountain paradise for campers in search of getting away from, well, everything. The Notch Pub, found on a gray gravel road past a sign reading “Families welcome,” straddles the world between that unspoiled wilderness and a warm bowl of buffalo wings.

The Notch features live music every Saturday night, along with shaggy blue pool tables for folks over 21 and a Deer Hunter video game. A throng of TVs hang above the bar. Bikers are welcome, and frequent. And an outdoor seating area offers a combination of pine-tinted summer mountain air alongside fumes from the in-house smoker.

I order a “beast burger,” because there’s nothing quite like a patty featuring the flesh of four animals — beef, bison, elk and boar — in a single bite. Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” hums along just loud enough to be noticed — reminding me of my obligations back in the city. I scarf down one last bite, my gut pushing up against my belt, and head out. My tires crunch the gray gravel as I take a final look at the triangular, mountain-shaped grey building and know I’ll be back. 

The Notch Pub

2392 E. Mirror Lake Highway

Samak, Utah