Kristen B.
Salt Lake City, UT
Joined November 2017
Avid climber, hiker, skier, and adventure-seeker
Ranger Review: Wild Zora Paleo Meals to Go at Christmas Meadows

Campground Review:

Just over two hours east of Salt Lake City, Utah, you can find yourself among a meadow of pines, decent sized campground, and a trail system that leads to numerous lakes. Christmas Meadows is by no means the closest camping to Salt Lake that you can find in the Uinta Mountains, but it's a pretty getaway that leads to even better backpacking trails.

The campground sits at about 8,800 feet in elevation and is walking distance from the Stillwater Fork—where you can easily fly fish for brook trout. Views from the meadow up toward the mountains are absolutely beautiful, and there is a trail system walking distance from the campground.

Christmas Meadows Campground was a decent place to stay. In late August, it was very crowded and because the campground itself doesn't have a lot of trees, there is not much privacy. The campground does have water and put toilets, which is very convenient.

This place is worth camping at if you're not seeking privacy. It's a great place to stay if you want to walk to creeks that you can fly fish, or backpack to any of the nearby lakes. The views nearby certainly don't hurt.

Product Review:

As someone who works at The Dyrt, I get the opportunity to test products in the field from time to time. After a morning hike where my partner and I bushwhacked to an alpine lake, we decided to have lunch catered by Wild Zora, and dig into one of their Paleo Meals to Go.

We tried that Caldera Chicken Curry which gave us the energy to hike back to our Christmas Meadows campsite.

Here's what I liked about Wild Zora's paleo meal:

  • Easy to make in a pinch - This meal was so easy to prepare. I just simply boiled 1.5 cups of water with my backpacking stove, poured it into the bag, stirred, and let it sit for 15 minutes while I enjoyed alpine lake views
  • Perfect portion - A lot of freeze dried meals are 600+ calories and often yield too much food for me. Wild Zora's Paleo Meals to Go are a single serving and clock in around 340 calories. It was the perfect amount to refuel in the middle of my very steep 6 mile hike
  • Aromatic flavor - I expected the Caldera Chicken Curry would have a lot of flavor given the list of ingredients: pineapple, onion, garlic, cayenne, and turmeric just to name a few. Though this particular meal was on the sweet side for my taste, it still had plenty of different ingredients that provided a nice flavorful balance.
Murderer's Creek is Full of Surprises

The Cabin

Besides the pullout couch leaving a lot to be desired, this little guard station was wonderful. Perfect for two, this cabin comes with propane heat and powered appliances, so no need to sacrifice meal quality or comfort. We were here for Thanksgiving and it was great to be able to explore the Malheur National Forest during the crisp days, and come back to a warm cabin late in the afternoon. In the spring, I imagine you can fish the creek behind the cabin.

The Wildlife

If you hike a little off trail, there's plenty of wildlife to be seen. We ended up hiking to Horse Mountain (about 3.5 miles from the cabin), and saw wild horses early in the morning. We also saw mule deer and turkeys. Maybe it is because it was November, but there were very few people out exploring the area.

The Terrain

The forest was super easy to move through, and if you're driving from western Oregon, the terrain is quite an amazingly unique site given its golden hills and red rocks. All in all, I highly recommend staying here for a nature filled getaway.