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Front Page » June 24, 2004 » Summer Guide » Castle country's growing outdoor playground
Published 4,119 days ago

Castle country's growing outdoor playground

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ATVing is a popular sport in Carbon and Emery Counties


The biking opportunities available to people in Castle Valley are nearly unlimited.

From the desert terrains with buttes and mesas to the mountainous regions with forest trails, biking is a popular recreational activity in the Carbon-Emery region.

The San Rafael Swell provides excellent fat tire biking opportunities.

Miles of gravel roads take cyclists on a trip back in time through the centuries into the land where dinosaurs walked and ancient Native Americans left artwork marks.

The 40-mile long Nine Mile Canyon offers bikers challenging altitude changes and breathtaking scenery.

Riders should pause a moment to observe the rock art, storage structures and village sites of the ancient Fremont culture.

With many side canyons to explore and a well maintained roadway, Nine Mile represents an ideal option for all cyclists.

For riders who prefer the quiet solitude of the mountains, the Manti-LaSal National Forest provides hundreds of miles of trails.

Near Joes Valley Reservoir, biking trails wind through forests that open up into vast open spaces.

In addition to a wide array of biking opportunities, the San Rafael Swell contains a number of excellent hiking spots for people of all ages and all skill levels, from the novice to experienced backpackers.

Younger hikers typically tend to gravitate to narrow slot canyons of the San Rafael Reef near Goblin Valley State Park.

Walkways through the labyrinths wind around vertical slick rock, narrowing to tight squeezes in several places.

For the more experienced hikers, several trails located in the Swell follow the San Rafael River through deep gorges and narrow passageways.


Fishing is a favorite pastime for southeastern Utah residents. Tourists from across the nation also come to eastern Utah to participate in the outdoor sport.

A variety of waterways give anglers an opportunity to fish for various species.

Fishing holes, reservoirs, rivers and creeks are located throughout this vast area and allow anglers to fish using just about any technique.

The one thing which potential anglers must remember is that a current Utah fishing license must be obtained before casting the first line.

A permit may be obtained from Utah Division of Wildlife Resource offices throughout the state. An online application is also available at and merchants throughout the state are licensed through the wildlife division and are able to provide permits to the public.

Anglers are also encouraged to pick up a current Utah fishing proclamation for information regarding tackle and catch limits.

An updated fishing report for southeastern Utah is printed weekly in the Sun Advocate sports section and is also available on the wildlife division's Internet website. Anglers must also remember the importance of reading all posted signs at Utah waterways. These signs will specify trout limits and proper facility usage. Fishing is an inexpensive recreation and is easily available throughout Utah.


For those with a wild sense of adventure, Castle Country offers many rock climbing opportunities. In the historic ghost town region of Spring Canyon west of Helper, rock climbing enthusiasts will find sheer rock cliffs just right for climbing. At the base of one of these cliffs is evidence of some ancient Fremont rock art. This represents old past times mingling with the new.


Three great courses await the golf enthusiasts in Carbon and Emery Counties. All unique and challenging, they include the Country Club near Price, Millside near Ferron and Green River State Park.

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