Huntington-Eccles Canyons Scenic Byway
The Energy Loop
|Mileage||74 miles (119 km)|
|DurationThe duration is an estimate of a one-way drive and does not include any stops or side-trips.||1 hour, 53 minutes|
|SeasonsThe seasons listed are the best seasons for this scenic drive. If Winter is not mentioned, the road may be closed during the winter.||All Seasons|
|Roadways||Utah Highways 264, 31, and 96|
|ServicesThe cities or towns listed have either Food or Services such as gas, hotels, pharmacies, etc.||Price, UT▼, Huntington, UT▼, Fairview, UT▼, and Mount Pleasant, UT▼|
3.4 average from 43 votes
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Immerse yourself in the diverse historical past of the Native Americans, Spanish explorers and Mormon settlers whose presence has colored the land. Explore the fascinating legacy of the deep-rooted coal-mining and railroad industries still visible in the small towns along the route. The Huntington-Eccles Canyons Scenic Byway is one of the only paved roads over the Wasatch Plateau which divides the Great Basin from the Colorado Plateau.
This scenic drive begins in Huntington which can be reached from US-6/US-191 by taking UT-10 near the town of Price. Before leaving Huntington, consider a side trip to the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry (A1) where an extensive collection of Jurassic dinosaur bones have been found. Marvel at the reconstructed skeletons and exhibits of allosaurus, stegosaurus, camarasaurus, camptosaurus and learn more as scientists and paleontologists are currently at work unearthing more fossils in a covered building.
From the Quarry, there are also several nearby trail options. The Rock Walk, a 1.4 mile interpretive trail exploring the geology, natural history, and human history of the immediate area, the Raptor Point Trail offering a viewpoint at the top and the peaceful, scenic Rim Walk. Note the quarry is closed from October to March.
From Huntington, the drive heads north on UT-31 through farmlands and ranches until you enter the mouth of the Huntington Canyon and into the Manti-La Sal National Forest. Finding a spot to enjoy a picnic or a hike is not difficult in the canyon.
Twenty miles into the canyon, stop at the 1930s ranger station, Stuart Historic Guard Station (I1). Now a visitor center for the Manti-La Sal National Forest, learn about the forestry history of the area and the remote life in an outpost. Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Near the top of the canyon you arrive at Electric Lake, popular for fly-fishing. As the name implies, the lake is used to generate power for nearby towns. At 9,000 feet of elevation the lake affords expansive, picturesque views of the lush mountain slopes and U-shaped glacial valleys. Keep your camera handy for the nearby Sanpete Valley Overlook (V1) where you can see both Lake Fairview and the Sanpete Valley.
In a few miles, you will arrive at the fork where the UT-31 and UT-264 meet. This scenic drive continues on the UT-264, but consider a side trip to the town of Fairview to visit the Fairview Museum of History and Art (M1). In addition to its large collection of agriculture equipment, artifacts and art, the museum features a full scale replica of a 10,000-year old mammoth skeleton originally found when building the Huntington Reservoir. You could easily spend an entire day here.
Following the signs for the Huntington-Eccles Canyons Scenic Byway, you will soon be traveling alongside beautiful wildflower meadows with a superb, clear view as you are now above the treeline. The area’s coal history can be seen as you descend into the Eccles Canyon. Skyline Mine is a working coal mine and an example of the more environmentally friendly “longwall mining.”
As you arrive in the town of Scofield, it is hard to miss the markers in the cemetery. Scofield was a popular mining town that suffered one of the worst mining explosions in history on May 1, 1900 that killed over 200 men.
Scofield State Park (H1) is a popular stop for boaters and fisherman. The reservoir contains cutthroat and rainbow trout, and during the winter, the reservoir is Utah’s best locations for ice-fishing.
The scenic drive ends as you arrive in the town of Colton. From here, consider heading south on US-6 and then north on US-191 towards Vernal for the Flaming Gorge-Uintas Scenic Byway.