US 89 provides a nice, scenic alternative to Interstate 15, headed north to Salt Lake City. I was only going about half that distance, to the turnoff to U-31, the Energy Loop Byway. Along the way, though, there was plenty to see and enjoy, starting with…
This beautiful blue man-made lake is about halfway between Gunnison and Manti. There’s a place at the edge of the road to pull off and enjoy the view, or you can join the fishermen gathered on the shore and cast a line.
North of the reservoir, the pleasing scenery continues, all the way to…
It’s never a surprise to see a beautiful LDS church at, or near, the center of a small Utah town, and Manti is no exception. The tidy downtown district has wide streets that were pretty quiet during my Sunday morning drive up US 89.
Wander one block away from Main Street and you’ll find an old blacksmith shop.
Back on Main Street, you’ll notice Manti’s historic city hall (dating back to 1882)…
… and the Sanpete County Court House.
In addition to the downtown church, the LDS church also has an impressive temple on the north end of town, built on a hill overlooking Manti. I had seen the temple before, on a previous trip through town, so I only stopped to take one picture of it. Check out my 2007 Yellowstone Trip for more on the Manti Temple, and the important role the town plays in the Mormon faith.
Ephraim is the largest town in Sanpete County. The small downtown is also home to Snow College.
On Main Street, you’ll find an impressive City Hall building…
… and the Towne Theatre, which is still showing flicks. It dates back to at least 1940, and has a balcony and orchestra pit.†
Here’s a time-lapse dash-cam video of the drive from Salina to Fairview, Utah on US 89: