By Lynn Blamires Content Writer for My Local Utah
While this is the 20th year that the Manti Mountain ATV Run will be held, it is the first year that two events will happen in the same year. Traditionally, the jamboree was held in August, but this year Manti will hold two jamborees – one in the summer on July 12 – 13 featuring wildflowers, and another in the fall September 15 – 16 which will feature beautiful fall colors.
This adding of additional events is indicative of the explosion of interest in Utah’s backcountry. Caused in part by the pandemic that restricted distant travel and also because UTVs are such a fun way to see the wonders hidden from people who never get off the highways.
I have written before about the economic benefits that the ATV community brings to Utah. The understanding of just how big the positive financial impact on Southern Utah communities has caused an upsurge in community-sponsored ATV events. In 2021, that economic pie was 33 million dollars. Inflation this year along with the surging interest in ATVs is pushing that number to top 40 million. It is no wonder that communities want a piece of that pie.
Utah has been an ATV mecca since ATVs were born holding more ATV events than any other state in the Union. Event planners tried not to step on other scheduled events, but now there are more events than there is space on the calendar as townships vie for participants.
Sanpete County has only held one ATV event in the past. Last year they increased that to three and in this year to five – two in Manti, two in Ephraim, and one in Fairview.
I digress – I am supposed to be writing about the Manti Mountain ATV Run, so what? Here is what – I plan on attending the July event. The registration fee is $75 and it includes two continental breakfasts, two-sack lunches for the trail, and dinner on the first night of the run.
The best part is that the rides will be small – about 10 machines and they will be guided by people who know the Arapeen Trail System like the back of their hands. If you have not ridden these trails, you are in for a treat. July is when the wildflowers are in full splendor.
This jamboree is unique in that riders will not be picking trails they want to ride, they will choose a skill level they are comfortable with and the guides will choose the routes that will give them the best riding experience. All the trails whether they are wild or mild will take them to the top of the mountain on the historic Skyline Trail.
The Arapeen Trail System is named after Chief Jake Arapeen, a Ute Tribal Chief in the 19th Century and it is situated on the Wasatch Plateau. The Skyline Trail travels north and south at the very top for some 58 miles without dropping below 10,000 feet. On the east side of the mountain are the towns of Huntington, Orangeville, Castle Dale, Clawson, Ferron, Moore, and Emery. The west side features Fairview, Mt Pleasant, Spring City, Ephraim, Manti, Sterling, and Mayfield. Each town presents unique access to the trail system that is worth exploring. There are over 600 miles to explore on this incredible trail system.
The views from the Skyline are amazing. When you are on top that is it! There is nothing above you, everything is below.
The valleys spread away below dotted with lakes and streams. As you take time to study a lake, and there are plenty of lakes to see, you can pick out a trail that will take you right to the edge of the water.
Each rider will get a map of the Arapeen Trail System. This is a treasure in and of itself. I have written before about all the features this map includes, it is one to hold onto.
Another highlight of this jamboree is that once you arrive in Manti and unload that is it. There are no trails that require you to trailer your machine to a trailhead.
While you are free to ride about town, please respect the local residents. Do not ride noisily around town and especially late at night.
If you can’t make this one, plan on attending the fall ride. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down, and join me at the summer ride July 12 – 13.