Manti-La Sal National Forest
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.
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.
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.
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.