Special Places

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

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    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.

  • Mammoth Discovery Site

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    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.

  • Mont E. Lewis Botanical Area

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    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), about 20 species of sedge (Carex, Eleocharis, Kobresia) and a variety of wetland plant community types occur here. The botanical area is named for Mont E. Lewis, who was a forest officer and an eminent Intermountain botanist/ecologist and teacher. Lewis identified five major meadow plant communities in the area. The wetland species are strongly segregated by water temperature or soil moisture and seasonal variations. No other known site has these noteworthy species or the botanical diversity. It is truly unique to the Wasatch Plateau and Utah. This area can be reached using a high clearance vehicle, traveling south from Utah SR-31 on Forest Road 14 (The Millers Flat Road) or from Utah SR-29 north on Forest Road 14. The Forest Road is unpaved and dusty and can become very slick in wet weather. It is not open during winter and early spring months.

  • Dark Canyon Wilderness

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    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.

  • Bears Ears National Monument

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    The Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah protects one of most significant cultural landscapes in the United States, with thousands of archaeological sites and important areas of spiritual significance. Abundant rock art, ancient cliff dwellings, ceremonial kivas, and countless other artifacts provide an extraordinary archaeological and cultural record, all surrounded by a dramatic backdrop of deep sandstone canyons, desert mesas, and forested highlands and the monument’s namesake twin buttes. These lands are sacred to many Native American tribes today, who use the lands for ceremonies, collecting medicinal and edible plants, and gathering materials for crafting baskets and footwear. Their recommendations will ensure management decisions reflect tribal expertise and traditional and historical knowledge.

  • The Whole Enchilada

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    The Whole Enchilada Trail is primarily a mountain bike trail, although it is open to other non-motorized use as well. This trail combines a series of Forest Service and BLM trails to create a primarily downhill, singletrack trail from Burro Pass high in the La Sals to the Colorado River and back to Moab. The following Forest Service trails are traveled in combination to complete the Whole Enchilada: Burro Pass Trail #315, Warner Lake/Beaver Basin #033, Hazard County #650, Forest Road #634 (Kokopelli’s) and UPS #973. The UPS trail connects to the BLM’s LPS and Porcupine Trails which continue to Whole Enchilada towards the Colorado River. This trail is approximately 35 miles long and drops approximately 7,000 feet. This popular trail sees use by multiple different types of users, primarily, hikers, mountain bikers and equestrian users. Please respect one another and observe standard trail etiquette: mountain bikers yield to both hikers and equestrian users and hikers yield to equestrian users. The highest elevation portions (Burro Pass area) of this trail are often closed due to snow and wet, muddy conditions until July.

  • Stuart Guard Station

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    The Historic Stuart Guard Station lies along the Huntington and Eccles Canyons National Scenic Byway. It was originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the early 1930s and was afterward in regular use by the U.S. Forest Service for several decades.

  • The Great Basin Station

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    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. Over 100 years later, the Great Basin Experimental Range, as it is now called, is the site of the longest continuous range research in the world. The research conducted here has guided range science and livestock grazing programs worldwide. Locally, the research led to programs that healed the range and stopped the summer floods. Rather than leave these historic buildings empty and deteriorating, the Forest Service, Snow College, Ephraim City and the state of Utah worked to restore the buildings so they could be used as an environmental education center. The station became the Great Basin Environmental Education Center (GBEEC) in 1992. In 2018 Snow College returned the compound to an earlier name, The Great Basin Station. It has provided housing and classrooms for students and teachers who come to learn about natural resources and the environment. Researchers continue to visit and conduct experiments from the site. The Great Basin Station is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites and has received the Utah Heritage Award for historic preservation.

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

Recreation Areas