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Price - Utah

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There are two sides to the town of Price, and also to the surrounding countryside, where many prehistoric fossils have been unearthed. The town is a mining community -- originally a rough and ready coal mining camp -- now home to the College of Eastern Utah. These two sides of Price make for an interesting stay, with many examples of mining history as well as the social and cultural ambience which a college brings to a community. Be sure to visit the world-renowned CEU Prehistoric Museum.

What to See & Do

To the west of Price lies the Manti-La Sal National Forest, on the southern part of the Wasatch Range and the Wasatch Plateau. The forest is a wonderful recreation area with hackroads leading to ghost towns and a multitide of recreation sites.

However, east and south of Price lies the western portion of the Colorado Plateau. This is high desert country and the contrasts to the area west of town couldn't be more extreme. Within sight of the Rockies is a scenic desert area featuring two remarkable geological areas: Nine Mile Canyon and the San Raphael Swell.

This area is explored in the drive over Soldier Summit Drive, which starts near Provo, crosses the mountains north of Price, and continues through the high plateau to Green River and the Colorado border. Price is the largest town in Castle County, and visitors find good accommodations and restaurants for an overnight stay. The college has the fine Prehistoric Museum, on the north side of the Municipal Building, showing the geological features of the area and skeletons from the nearby Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry. The quarry, 30 miles south of Price, is also open to visitors. The Western Mining and Railroad Museum is located in the village of Helper, just north of Price on Highway 6.

Nine Mile Canyon (actually 50 miles long) is reached by turning east off Highway 6 just south of Price. The canyon was the main home of the prehistoric Fremont Indian people. It features high cliffs, balancing rocks, panels of rock art and remains of the Fremont dwellings. Altogether, it provides one of the most satisfying backroad adventures in the West. There are no services along the route and a picnic lunch is advised. The entire trip, in and back, will take about six hours.

The San Raphael Swell, like Nine Mile Canyon, is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. It is a little known natural wonder on the high plateau, which includes high mesas, buttes, and pinnacles rising from the desert floor, and wide rolling pastures and meadows on which there are wild antelope. Rivers cut their way through narrow canyons. Major features include the Goblin Valley, the San Raphael Reef and "Utah's Little Grand Canyon". There is a campground in the center of the area, located mid way between Highway 6 (to the east, north of Green River) and Highway 10 which runs south from Price through Castledale and Ferron.

There are two state parks at the edge of the national forest within a short distance of Price. Scofield State Park is on the Scofield Reservoir northwest of town. Millsite State Park is on the Millsite Reservoir, four miles west of Ferron, off Highway 10.

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