National Forest Foundation | Manti-La Sal National Forest

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Manti-La Sal National Forest

The 1.4 million-acre Manti-La Sal National Forest is located in southeastern Utah and is managed for multiple uses such as range, timber, minerals, water, wildlife, and recreation

The Manti Division of the Manti-la Sal National Forest is part of the remnant Wasatch Plateau, exhibiting high elevation lakes, diverse vegetation, near vertical escarpments, and areas of scenic and geologic interest.

On the La Sal Division-Moab, mountain peaks, canyons, and forest add climatic and scenic contrast to the hot red-rock landscape of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

The La Sal Division-Monticello offers timbered slopes to provide a welcome middle ground and background contrast to the sand and heat of Canyonlands National Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, and the surrounding desert. Pictographs, petroglyphs, and stone dwellings are evidence of past civilizations.

Outdoor fun
The Manti-La Sal National Forest offers a wide variety of recreation options, including hiking, biking, hunting and fishing,camping, off highway vehicle riding and boating. Expect a variety of weather conditions over the year, varying widely with elevation. Plan your outing and clothing accordingly! You can calculate roughly -5 degrees Fahrenheit for each 1000 feet of elevation gain. This translates to a potential temperature decrease of over 40 degrees from the Moab valley floor to the summits of the La Sal Mountains. From the Sanpete and Castle Valleys to the top of the Wasatch Plateau, temperatures in summer will decrease by about 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spring brings wildflowers to the forest. The blossoms gradually work their way to higher elevations, providing a colorful and protracted show in wet years. Late-season snowfields provide the easiest access of the year to the loose, talus-strewn peaks.

Fall is colorful with autumn leaves, gold aspen and bright red maple interspersed with dark evergreens. Rivers and streams are lined with reds willows and yellow cottonwoods.

Winter brings solitude, snow fall and winter sports. If you're headed into the mountains during winter, you need to be aware of avalanches. Learn more at the Utah Avalanche Web site.

For those looking for a bigger adventure, visit the Dark Canyon Wilderness Area. This area in Southeastern Utah is a unique and colorful canyon system. Dark Canyon begins on Elk Ridge at an elevation of 8800 feet. The canyon cuts through sandstone and limestone descending to the upper reaches of Lake Powell at an elevation of 3700 feet. The upper reaches provide views of Cedar Mesa Sandstone amidst a forest dominated by ponderosa pine. As the canyon descends into a more arid desert environment vegetation changes to pinyon-juniper and blackbrush.




Nearest Large Urban Area:


Notes & Conditions:

Private and State lands exist within the forest boundaries and may be closed to public use. Please refer to maps and information on land ownership, which may be obtained from the Ranger District offices.

Research campground locations and amenities at the U.S. National Forest Campground Directory. The Web site is full of pictures and detailed descriptions to help you plan your next trip.

If you want to experience a guided recreation trip in a National Forest, visit Adventure Vacation to learn about whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, hiking and fishing trips.

Permits, Passes and Fees:

Purchase an annual pass for access to all federal recreation areas that charge entrance fees, including National Parks, National Recreation Areas, and other destinations. Learn more, or purchase The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass online today!


Visit the U.S. Forest Service Map Directory to see what maps are available for this Forest and others you may want to visit.