Distance: 134.5 miles • Elevation Change: Sevier 5595 ft.-Provo 4550 ft.
Between Sevier and Spanish Fork, US Route 89 passes through two intermountain valleys—the northern part of the Sevier Valley and the Sanpete Valley. These valleys were settled by Mormon pioneers who created a string of farming and ranching communities and are now part of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area.
Between Sevier and Gunnison, US 89 crosses a broad agricultural valley along the Sevier River. At Gunnison, the highway turns east and crosses into the Sanpete Valley through which the San Pitch River flows providing water for the communities known as Little Denmark because of its Scandinavian heritage. From Fairview north, 89 follows a valley on the east side of the Wasatch Range to its intersection with US Route 6 at the top of Spanish Fork Canyon where it begins its descent into the Salt Lake Valley.
Fremont Indian State Park: Located just west of US 89, the park and museum present artifacts of a local band of prehistoric Native Americans who lived in the area.
The Sanpitch Dragon: The Sanpitch Dragon is a 218 foot long mosaic located under the bridge over the San Pitch River in Gunnison. Park on either side of the highway and walk under the bridge to hear the dragon ROAR.
Manti Temple: It is hard to miss the Manti Temple as its prominent hill-top location at the north end of Manti makes it visible for miles. The temple is built from native limestone and like all LDS temples only church members in good standing may enter.
Central Utah Art Center: Located in Ephraim, CUAC presents work by contemporary artists focusing on those living in Sanpete County and Utah. The center is housed in the historic Relief Society Granary which provides and outstanding venue for its exhibitions.
Spring City: Now on the National Register of Historic Places, many of the homes in Spring City have been restored and are now occupied by artists and writers. Annual events include a Plein Air Painting competition and artists’ studio tours.
Mt. Pleasant is the geographic center of Utah denoted by a marker in the sidewalk on Main Street. The Old Pioneer Museum on State Street is most famous for the treaty signed there by Chief Blackhawk in 1872. Wasatch Academy, a private coeducational boarding school, is the oldest continuously operating secondary school in Utah. The entire campus is on the National Historic Register.
Fairview Museum: A combined art, history and natural history museum, the Fairview Museum is housed in two buildings—a 100 year-old former school for the heritage collection and the contemporary Horizon Building for art and sculpture. The latter is also home to a life-size cast of a mammoth skeleton.
Historical homes and buildings: Throughout the Sanpete valley are located historic pioneer homes, commercial and public buildings. Park your car in the middle of town, walk around and look for historic markers placed on many buildings.
How to follow historic US Route 89: US 89 is routed onto I-70 between Sevier and Salina. Traveling from the south, turn right toward Joseph just before the I-70 interchange at the bottom of Sevier Canyon (aka Maryvales Canyon). Go through Joseph to Elsinor. Turn right on Main Street (UT Route 258) which merges with UT Route 118. In Richfield, turn right on 300 North. Watch for the sign pointing to Salina and turn left staying on UT Route 118 which then merges with UT Route 24. Pass under I-70 to the intersection with US Route 50. Turn right to downtown Salina and the intersection of US Route 89.
Towns, Cities & Reservations:
Public Lands & Historic Places:
Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area
Fremont Indian State Park
Fishlake National Fores
Manti-La Sal National Forest
Palisade State Park
Uinta National Forest
Mt. Nebo Wilderness
San Pitch Rver
San Pitch Mountains
Spanish Fork Canyon