DATE 12/22/2005 1:54 PMFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.
Secret’s Out: Sanpete County’s Outdoor Opportunities Are Second to None
The secret it out: when the weather outside starts getting frightful, there is one thing that is sure to be delightful: outdoor recreation in Sanpete County.
“More and more people are definitely discovering how wonderful winter time is in Sanpete County,” says Monte Bona, a member of the Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council.
The fantastic snowmobiling routes, friendly people and outdoor sports opportunities are among the reasons that the county has been dubbed the “best outdoor recreation experience” in Utah. And the combination of fresh snow and access to fabulous routes keep people coming back year after year, local sporting enthusiasts say.
For starters, there is Skyline Drive, one of the state’s most beautiful scenic drives. Situated on the top of the Wasatch Plateau it gets an abundance of snow, it is slowly being recognized as one of the state’s best snowmobiling areas. The drive is 87 miles long and located above the 10,000-foot elevations means it offers some spectacular views.
Fairview Canyon, which is maintained during the winter months, is a popular an snowmobiling access point for The Energy Loop: Huntington and Eccles Canyons Scenic Byway. The loop, which splits off to either Scofield or Huntington, is also known as one of the most beautiful scenic drives in the country.
The Division of Parks and Recreation also grooms about 80 miles of access trails to the plateau out of Ephraim and Manti. It makes it convenient for the snowmobilers or cross country skiers is the access to nearby towns — Fairview, Mt. Pleasant, Moroni, Spring City, Ephraim and Manti.
Then there is the redesign of the Arapeen trail system. The routes, found primarily in the Manti LaSal National Forest, have been carefully marked and mapped to ensure that riders find their way around the 370 miles that make up the trail system. The redesign was several years in the making and includes bridges, culverts and water bars. In fact, the forest holds some of the state’s largest elk and deer herds.
One of the newest winter activities is snowboarding. Economic development officials say the snowmobiling and snow boarding are huge benefits for the county, contributing by means of people eating in local restaurants, staying in hotels and bed and breakfasts and visiting stores and shops. County officials are hoping to build on the reputation for excellent winter sports venues by getting visitors to spend more time in the local cities and towns visiting local attractions.
When the snow melts and the cold weather subsides, Sanpete County is still a popular spot for outdoor sports. For starters, the back country roads are open to vehicles, ATVs and bike riders. Rock climbing is also a big draw in the summer months with the county’s rugged cliffs that draw rock climbers from all over the country. In particular, Maple Canyon, located west of Moroni, offers climbers more than 80 established routes.
Fishing, horseback riding and camping are all other popular warm-weather sports.
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For more information Contact:
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council