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Front Page » July 3, 2003 » Recreation Focus » Scenic Byways at your Fingertips
Published 3,941 days ago

Scenic Byways at your Fingertips


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By BOB HENLINE
Sun Advocate


In 2000, the Federal Highway Administration officially designated the Energy Loop through Huntington and Eccles Canyons as a National Scenic Byway, recognizing the route as one of America's premiere driving roads.

The byways wind through the remarkable sights and resources of the Manti-LaSal Naitonal Forest, rising up to 10,000 feet above sea level, providing spectacular views of mountains, valleys, historical landmarks, coal mining operations and other points of interest. On a clear day, visitors can see some of these landmarks from up to 50 miles away.

The Energy Loop begins in Huntington, on SR-31 at the edge of the dramatic San Rafael Desert. The route winds through the Manti-LaSal National Forest to the town of Fairview. The views from this route, some pictured here, include jewel-like high elevation lakes, vertical cliffs and escarpments and a wide variety of forests and vegetation.

In addition to the majestic natural scenery, travelers along this byway will have the opportunity to see historical mining camps and towns, current mining operations and coal-fired electrical plants that provide energy throughout the Western US, native American rock art, and other historical sights and landmarks.

Just short of Fairview is the cutoff from Huntington to Eccles Canyon. This section of the byway roams the Wasatch Plateau toward Clear Creek, ending in the town of Colton. Driving past several operational coal mine fields, the route leads to some of Utah's most impressive scenic and sport-fishing lakes; Electric Lake and Scofield Reservoir state park.

In addition to fantastic fishing and summer boating, the Scofield State Park provides groomed trails for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter.

Near the park is the historic town of Scofield, a treasure trove of Utah's mining history.

For anyone interested in Utah's rich mining history and heritage, or just for an incredible journey through some of the nation's most spectacular sights, take the four hour drive through Castle Country's Energy Loop.


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