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Huntington Canyon/ Fairview Canyon summit(u) 

This route reminds me of another great biking route to the east in Colorado, the road over Grand Mesa. Neither one is marked as a summit on maps, and both are great cycling summits. When riding in lower Huntington Canyon (on the east side), it may not seem that way at first. The reason is possibly heavy truck traffic. But the volume decreases drastically when continuing a little further up the canyon, especially during weekends. The striking difference in climate and landscape between the bottoms and top of this summit demonstrate the fascinating variability of Utah.
1.(5820ft,mile00) START-END EAST jct Ut31, Huntington
2,(6400ft,mile08) START-END EAST ALTERNATE: powerplant overlook
3.(7490ft,mile20) junction with road up Woodand Canyon on right
4.(9700ft,mile34) junction with Skyline Drive south on left.
5.(9880ft,mile35) TOP
6.(8850ft,mile40) junction with Skyline Drive north and Ut264 on right
7.(6000ft,mile47) START-END WEST, jct Ut31, Fairview


From East. Starting up the Wasatch Plateau from Huntington, this summit looks like anything but a great cycling route. The reason is traffic, coal trucks. 10 to 12 axle double trailers frequent this road along with other industrial traffic. However, there is a reasonably good shoulder and the Utah Highway department has not rendered it useless for cyclists by placing a rumble strip down the middle. Thank You. But please read on, things get even better. One reason for the coal traffic becomes immediately apparent, a monstrous power plant at the mouth of the canyon, complete with "scenic overlook" onto the plant, labeled as such. Apparently some state officials not only deem this plant economically advantageous, but also an aesthetic addition to the landscape of rugged dessert bluffs. 

Traffic conditions improve past the power plant, and after two more coal mine turnoffs the industrial thoroughfare has transformed into a lonesome country road. The landscape undergoes equally drastic change to an alpine canyon sculptured with straight edges into changing plateau geology. A long shallow climb finally picks up grade around 8200ft and climbs to lakes frozen solid in April. It feels like the top should be near, with passage between rolling plateau knolls below overhanging snow cornices is ahead, if it's April. Instead the road heads up for the cornices and reaches a high point where Skyline Drive ( a dirt route ) joins the road from the south. Meanwhile the views to the north stretch to where to Wasatch Plateau becomes the Wasatch Range, appearing like a distant knife inserted into the plateau loaf. There is no elevation or summit sign along the route. Descending on this - in many places, shallow - climb still requires substantial effort if there is a strong headwind, even if it does loose 3500 feet.

From West. The town of Fairview at this end of the profile is a striking contrast to the town of Huntington on the other end. Instead of trailer parks and refuse, manicured lawns and refuse turned into museum exhibits line the wide mormon avenues. Beginning with the first 100 yards, that Ut31 turns off US89, the climb is relentless and doesn't take a break below 8000 feet. The view ahead consists of angular slopes, whose straight lines aim for a vanishing point somewhere on the plateau. Once on the plateau at around 8200ft, much climbing remains to be done. Skyline Drive from the north joins the route and continues with Ut31 to the top. Astonishing views of the San Pete Range to the west and the Wasatch range to the north open up. These scenes have very different appeals depending on the season, and make this my favorite paved cycling climb over the Wasatch Plateau. An initial false top before the real top is used as parking lot not only by snowmobile motorheads, but also by Crosscountry skiers and paraglide skiers into April. In my experience traffic is very light on this side.

Dayride with this point as highest summit:


 A out and back ride from the Huntington Power Plant "scenic overlook" to Fairview and back, covering the summit twice, measuered 79 miles with 7480 feet of climbing in 7.2 hours. (m2:06.04.22)