Manti-La Sal National Forest

(Central and Southeastern Utah), 1,400,000 acres, main office, 599 W. Price River Dr., Price 84501, (435-637-2817).

Manti La Sal NF The Manti-La Sal National Forest consists of three mountain blocks located in central and southeastern Utah. The forest's La Sal and Abajo mountain ranges provide excellent opportunities for hiking and mountain climbing and serve as scenic backdrops to state and national parks in the desert lands of southeastern Utah.

The Wasatch Plateau offers excellent camping, fishing, hunting and exciting ATV and off-road trails including the famous Skyline Drive and Arapeen Off-Highway Vehicle Trail System.

The Abajo Mountains, rising 11,360 feet above sea level, and their associated red rock plateaus just west of the town of Monticello, Utah, are rich in history as well as scenic beauty. Places named "Deadman Point," "Babylon Pasture," or "Chippean Rocks" conjure vivid stories of the early West of the white man, but the imagination can go wild over pictographs, petroglyphs, cliff dwellings, arrowheads and pottery left by Anasazi Indains and others who came before.

Fishhook Cactus Along the eastern Utah border near Moab, the La Sal Mountains rise 12,721 feet above sea level. This part of the Forest provides climatic relief to the desert of the Colorado River Plateau. Narrow forest roads lead travelers to the high mountain passes, and into narrow canyons like Dark Canyon where the crystalline rock structure of the peaks is exposed for all to see or into Mill Creek where Oowah Lake sits as a small jewel amid spruce trees.

The northern, Wasatch Plateau area of the national forest offers scenic drives through the Huntington and Eccles Canyons National Scenic Byways known as the Energy Loop. These forest byways wind over the Plateau from levels of 5,000 to 11,000 feet. The energy aspects of the forest include a power plant, coal mine, and gas exploration wells. There are several high elevation lakes and streams that feature excellent fishing and camping, and the Arapeen OHV Trail System is popular with ATV enthusiasts.

Broad rolling ridges of the forest plateau have vegetation varying from deep green conifers to delicate, light-stemmed aspen separated by wild meadows where flowers bloom from snow melt until fall. The splendor of mountain greenery creates a colorful contrast to the vertical cliffs and escarpments which abound in the forest. The scenic drive includes the "backbone" of the plateau, known as Skyline Drive, which is also a bird watcher's paradise with eagle and hawk circling overhead. The Wasatch Plateau section of the Manti-La Sal Forest contains a variety of recreation trails for foot, horse, and/or mountain biking traffic that provide access to some quality fishing opportunities in addition to breathtaking scenery, and includes the discovery site of the famous "Huntington Mammoth."

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