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Arapeen ATV Trail – Six Mile Canyon/Highline Loop
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Overview
Location

Sterling, Utah

Distance

About 70 miles round trip

Parking Lot Elevation

5,797

Summit Elevation

10,897

Elevation Gain/Loss

5,100

Time Required

4-8 Hours

Pets

Yes

Fees

No

Water Info

Several lakes you could filter from

Best Season

Summer, Fall

Trail Condition

Varies from graded gravel to rough ATV two track

Restrooms

At Duck Fork, and Ferron Reservoirs

Visitor Center

No

Camping

Yes

Food

In Manti, or Ephraim

GPS Coordinates:

Trail Head:39.21175N, 111.64175W
Skyline Drive Junction:39.13098N, 111.48323W

Driving Directions



The Trail:

The Arapeen Trail is an amazing trail system in Central Utah. The system covers all over the beautiful Wasatch Plateau from Mt. Pleasant to Mayfield. There are also access roads on the eastern side of the mountain. The biggest cities in the area are Ephraim, and Manti. The centerpiece of the trail is Skyline Drive. It is the longest road in the United States that stays above 10,000 feet. This road is accessible by any 4×4 vehicle and is really beautiful. There are hundreds of miles of trails with lots specifically for ATV’s. There are 3 types of trails here. Open to all vehicles, ATV/UTV, and ATV only. The ATV only trails are restricted at 50 inches. This means no side by sides. Please respect these restrictions. There are lots of people looking for reasons to close trails so lets not give them any excuses to do it. There are plenty of side by side accessible trails. This is a vast area with many junctions so you will want to get a decent map. They were free in town and went into decent depth. Most trails are very well signed. Its pretty hard to tell you what exactly you should ride so I can tell you what we did and what we liked on our visit but there are many options you can do on your visit. The trail I will describe can only be completed on an ATV or Motorcycle. UTV’s could do it but it would be a slightly longer loop taking out the 50 inch trails. For our trip we were camped in Manti Canyon and we trailered the machines to the trail head. This trail starts by Palisade State Park in Sterling and meets up with Skyline Drive and the goes to Duck Fork and Ferron reservoirs before heading back to Palisade. From our camp site in Manti Canyon it was about a half hour drive at most. You will start your ride on trail 35. This is Six Mile Canyon. There is a lot of private land in the bottom of the canyon so you will need to drive up canyon a bit and find somewhere to park.

1

This canyon starts out with some really pretty desert scenery and desert plant life.

2 3

The canyon follows a nice little creek a lot of the way.

4

The higher you climb the more the plant life starts to change into higher elevation trees. You will pass several shallow lakes in this area.

5

You will start to get views of the giant plateau that you are climbing to the top of.

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You will pass through fir and aspen forests.

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The road goes down for a short period into this valley where you will take route 2 to Skyline Drive which route 1.

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Once on Skyline drive you get amazing open views in all directions with pretty peaks high on the plateau.

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You will eventually see two small reservoirs far below you. You will eventually pass these on the loop.

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You will soon come to the signed high point of the trail. This is a great place to enjoy lunch.

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The views out towards Manti are fantastic.

18

Skyline Drive here stays at basically the same elevation for several miles since you are at the very top of the plateau.

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There are lots of pretty wildflowers up here.

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There are views down into the valley where there are several small lakes. We were here the very end of July and there was still some snow even. Not much but I was very surprised.

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Shortly after the lake pictured you will see trail 72 heading off to the east. This trail eventually turns into ATV only and there is a restriction fence to keep others off. This is where you will have to take other routes if you are in a side by side. This is a very nice forested two track.

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There is a short signed overlook trail that gives you absolutely gorgeous views.

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This trail will soon pop you out at Duck Fork Reservoir. This is a small but nice body of water. Its a good place to relax and one of us even took the plunge into the refreshing water. You can see the ridge high above the lake where I initially photographed it from above.

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After Duck Fork you will want to stay on trail 72 until you come to Ferron Reservoir which is very similar to Duck Fork. From Ferron Reservoir you will take trail 7 back to Skyline Drive where you will retrace your steps back down Six Mile Canyon to your vehicle.

Personal Thoughts:

This was one of my favorite rides I have ever done. It has really unique scenery, a few tight ATV only sections, and great panoramic views. All the trails we tried here were good but this one was definitely my favorite and the lollipop loop made for just about the right length for a day. Be sure to check out this other great ride on the Arapeen Trail! Manti Canyon and Milky Falls

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Ratings (out of 10)
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Difficulty
7.0
Technicality
5.0
Enjoyment
8.0
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek. If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

8.0
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About The Author
Josh1990
I love adventure! I live in Cache Valley, Utah. Do you have questions on any of my Treks? Email me @ joshua.oyler@gmail.com

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