Special Places

Mammoth Interpretive Panel

Here are some places we consider special on the Manti- La Sal National Forest. These places are loved by the communities surrounding them and are favorite spots to visit on the Forest.


Huntington and Eccles Canyons National Scenic Byway

Lake with mountains in background

Whatever the season, the views are breathtaking on the Huntington and Eccles Canyons National Scenic Byway. It is a favorite place for fishing, hiking, and camping. The route is rich with the history of mining in Utah's coal country, with views of a coal-fired power plant and an operating mine along the way. The Scofield Cemetery is witness to a mining disaster that killed hundreds of men and boys in 1900. The recovery site of the 9500 year-old mammoth skeleton is interpreted just off the road near Huntington Reservoir. There are gateway kiosks at Huntingon and Fairview on State Route 31 and just south of the junction of SR96 and US 6 and wayside interpretive panels all along the byway.

Dark Canyon Wilderness

Dark Canyon Wilderness

With narrow, steep walls that block the light in the morning and late afternoon, Dark Canyon Wilderness is aptly named. Once home to a small segment of the widespread Anasazi Indians (Ancestral Puebloan), the canyons included in the area (Dark and Woodenshoe Canyons, and their tributaries) make up the roughly horseshoe-shaped Dark Canyon Wilderness. This is an extraordinarily beautiful and remote section of the Colorado Plateau where sculpted and colored walls of Cedar Mesa sandstone rise above the canyon floors. You may see evidence of the Ancestral Puebloan culture in the form of structures, rock art, or artifacts.

To view more information on Dark Canyon Wilderness, click here

Mammoth Discovery Site

Mammoth Skeleton in Museum

Scientists believe that, at the end of the Ice Age as the climate was becoming drier and warmer, the mammoth retreated to the colder mountain setting in search of food.  Preserved intestinal contents show that he was subsisting on a meager diet of fir needles. Slowed by age and arthritis, the old bull died near the summit of Huntington Canyon.  Its body was probably covered by seasonal snow and ice and then exposed many times before it finally sank entirely.  It may have been one of the last of its kind.

For more information Click Here.



Skyline Snowmobile Complex

Skyline Snowmobile Picture

The Skyline Snowmobile Complex, located just 2 hrs. south of Salt Lake City on Highway 89, is great for family riding. At an altitude of over 10,000 feet (3,048 meters), the Wasatch Plateau provides one of the premier snowmobiling complexes in Utah and the United States.

For more information Click Here.



The Great Basin Station

Great Basin Experiment Station

Early in the century, scientists, led by Dr. Arthur Sampson, came to research climate, soils, vegetation and grazing to determine how to stop the raging floods that thundered down on valley towns and farms each summer after rainstorms.  It was a problem that plagued the west. 

For more information Click Here.



Mont E. Lewis Botanical Area

Mont E. Lewis Map

Some species found in this wet meadow are quite rare and attract botanists who wish to study them and other nearby plant communities.  Several willows (Salix spp.), about 20 species of sedge (Carex, Eleocharis, Kobresia) and a variety of wetland plant community types occur here. 

For more information Click Here.


Scenic Drives

Elk Ridge State Scenic Backway

Elk Ridge Road

Length: 87 miles. The Elk Ridge Road seems to be on top of the world. From here, travelers see stunning views of Monument Valley, Canyonlands National Park, and other scenery that is nearly 200 miles in the distance. The start of the Elk Ridge Road is at the junctions of SR-95 and SR-275 west of Blanding, UT. After 1 mile, turn onto FR-088. The backway follows the Elk Ridge spine at nearly 9,000 feet elevation, with panoramic views of red rock canyons and Canyonlands National Park. The backway ends at SR-211. Most of the route requires high-clearance vehicles and is passable only in the summer months. The road is impassable when wet.

More information on the Elk Ridge Backway can be found here.

Ephraim to Orangeville Road

Length: 47 miles. The Ephraim Canyon Heritage Tour segment is a 15 mile drive from Ephraim to the summit of the Wasatch Plateau, a climb of 5,000 feet. Along the way, travelers can stop at 6 different interpretive displays that describe the natural and cultural heritage of the area, including the Civilian Conservation Corps work. It is not suitable for low-clearance vehicles, and is closed in the winter. The historic Seely Guard Station, built in 1908, is along this road and is available as an overnight rental. Reservations can be made at Recreation.gov.

La Sal Mountain Loop State Scenic Backway

view of La Sal mountain peaks

Length: 50 miles. From the alpine ridges of the La Sal Mountains to the red rock desert and sandstone pinnacles of Castle Rock, this backway is an adventure! You will see mesas and buttes that are often used in movies, and you will drive past steep laccolithic peaks that often serve as the backdrop in photographs of the famed Delicate Arch. The route is mostly paved and starts about 8 miles south of Moab from US-191 to SR-128. Although suitable for passenger vehicles, it is not recommended for large RVs or trailers.

You can visit Interactive Visitor Map for information on trails and recreation or visit the webpage here.

Non-motorized Trails

The Whole Enchilada

The Whole Enchilada Trail Map

Length: 26.2 miles. This is a premier but difficult single track mountain bike trail. It starts high in the La Sal mountains, crosses Burro Pass, follows the Hazard County Trail, and merges with the Kokopelli Trail. It then continues down the edge of the Procupine Rim, eventually ending at the Colorado River. Shorter portions are suitable for moderate hiking. More information can be found on our website here.

Here is a video of The Whole Enchilada.

Highlighted Areas

Joes Valley Bouldering

Joe's Valley is one of the world's premier bouldering destinations. The sandstone boulders that line the hillsides are seemingly made for climbing: the rock is textured but skin-friendly, it's featured yet strong, and the landings are generally fantastic. Approaches are almost all 5 minutes or less. Workers have recently put in a bathroom, and worked on access trails and landing zones in both Straight Canyon and Cottonwood Canyon. Climbing Zones we have worked on include: Trent’s Mom, Big Joe, Eden Zone, Hillside/Hulk, and Riverside.

For an Overview of Joes Valley Bouldering visit mountainproject.com