- 48 miles (77 km)
- 1 hour
- There is no fee to drive the byway.
The Huntington Canyon Scenic Byway is a desert oasis. Sprinkled with reservoirs and rivers, the pristine high mountain valleys boast spectacular views. The concentration of fresh, arid breezes brings a welcome sense of remoteness. While here you can't escape a keen sense of history. As the area's many mines experienced typical booms and busts, towns have come and gone in these parts, just as the snows come each winter and then leave in the spring, or as the valley grasses fade in the fall. Further, fossil remains remind the visitor that other creatures roamed here long before humans.
At the Fairview Museum of History and Art see historic artifacts, oral and family history collections, and sculptures and paintings including an extensive Avard Fairbanks collection. A stolid, hairy mammoth stands watch. He's a life-size replica of a Colombian Mammoth, which was actually discovered during the construction of the Huntington Reservoir's dam in 1988. Incredibly well-preserved, the actual beast's remains testified of ancient life and habits. Such relics disturb your sense of space and solitude in this desert area.
More tendrils of the past creep into your memory as you pass abandoned farmsteads, homes, barns, and other significant buildings such as stores and churches. Throughout Sanpete County find some of the finest preserved communities and architecture in Utah. Unkempt remnants bespeak the once thriving towns of the coal boom era of the late 18 and early 1900s. This legacy continues today on a smaller scale in Helper and Price. At the Western Mining and Railroad Museum in Helper learn about the industry and the immigrants involved.
After your history lesson, enjoy some fresh air and fishing. Huntington Creek parallels much of the byway, providing excellent fishing opportunities. Alternately, fish, boat, or swim at the picturesque Huntington or Scofield State Parks. Their small, intimate feel, along with the fresh breezes and bright sunshine, invites you away from the taxing bustle of everyday life. In the winter, snowmobile, cross country ski, or ice fish in and near the parks.
The Huntington Canyon Scenic Byway passes through the Manti-La Sal National Forest and offers beautiful views of the mountaintops and canyon. Head up Highway 31, replete with history, to become reconnected with the past. A myriad of engaging activities await you.