Manti Canyon Road, Utah

One doesn’t need a “Welcome to Manti” sign to know what town is up ahead.


The presence of the LDS temple cannot be ignored.  The crew and I are at the Manti laundromat at noon when chimes ring out over the town, followed by twelve strokes of the temple bell.

As is my habit, I take Bridget and Spike on a walk around the neighborhood while the washers do their thing. 

Oddly the laundromat is surrounded by residences.  Every home is well-kept with fresh flowers blooming in beds.  Not a scrap of litter anywhere.  We walk past the temple, the site of last week’s “Miracle Pageant” that drew tens of thousands of people to this central Utah town.


By the time we get back to the laundromat, Bridget and Spike are worn out.  A drink of water and they’re both happy to settle into the PTV for a nap.  I leave them and go inside to fold the laundry.

Laundry done, I drive us up Main Street.


The street is decked with flags for Independence Day.  I’m looking for the brown national forest sign which points to Manti Canyon.

I glimpse the red Town Assembly Hall down a side street.  I quickly recognize it from having seen it as a backdrop in a photo of Jim Harmston, notorious polygamist, and his eight wives (Click to see photos.).

The crew sleeps as I drive up Manti Canyon Road.

The gravel road takes us along Manti Ridge.


I drive carefully, scanning for the free-range cattle grazing near the road.


I’m curious about Manti Canyon as a possible place to boondock in the future. 

The ridge is to our left as we gain elevation; the canyon with creek flowing through it is to our right.  I note spur roads where campsites are established but I don’t drive down them to investigate.  It’s Independence Day and a lot of people are around.  I don’t want to disturb people at their private campsite.

We arrive at Yearns Reservoir.


People are taking advantage of the holiday by fishing with their families.


I let Bridget and Spike out for a brief look around, and then toss them back into the PTV.  I don’t want Spike getting into the water which looks greenish.  Plus we might disturb the fishing.  As we’re pulling out, six ATVs roar into the parking area.

Within walking distance is Manti Community Campground.

1-P1050956Curious, I drive the campground loop.  How depressing! 

Campsites are crammed together.  Families sit outside their campers right next to the next family.

I am so spoiled!  Once you camp by yourself, it’s hard to go back to community camping.

On the way out of the campground, the PTV approaches a boy walking down the lane toward us.

I recognize him from the lake (photo above).  He’s about eleven or twelve and in his hand he proudly holds a stringer on which is a lovely trout.


I bring down my window and stop. 

“Wow!  That’s a nice-looking trout!  What kind is it?”

“A rainbow,” he replies, holding the fish up for my inspection.

“Do you mind if I take a picture of it?”  He poses, I thank him, and we part ways — He to take his catch to his campsite and me to continue up the mountain.

After much driving we still aren’t above the juniper line.

Having reached a point where I wouldn’t be likely to tow the BLT any further, I turn around and head back.  Camping along Manti Canyon Road is not as appealing as camping along Ephraim Canyon Road.  It’s not as lush with vegetation.  There are more rocks and dry, dusty areas.  Obviously one would have to drive further up the mountain to reach the altitude of aspens, spruce, and wildflowers.  It’s a long drive.


Right before a small bridge, I park the PTV and let out the crew. 

Bridget, Spike, and I walk a short lane leading to a good-sized creek.


Spike is the first one in.


Bridget gives it a try but not for long.


I take the crew out of their suits and put them back in the PTV.  

A mile or so and Sanpete Valley and Manti appear, similar to the view coming down to Ephraim from our camp on Badger Mountain.  (The LDS temple is out-of-frame, to the right.)


On the way to Ephraim I become aware of how hungry I am. 

Gee, we haven’t had a rotisserie chicken in a long time. I pull into the market at the corner of Ephraim Canyon Road.

After the winding climb up the mountain, the crew and I have our own Fourth of July celebration, feasting on the tender, tasty chicken.  I top it off with a bowl of cookies-n-cream frozen yogurt.  What a treat!

Happy Birthday, United States of America!


THANK YOU, RVSUE SHOPPERS!  All your purchases, large and small, are sincerely appreciated.  Here are a few recent orders:
SUV Cover
Qwik Fill Hand Pump
Wi-Fi Smart Scale
Simplicity Rotary Cutting Machine
Bass Women’s Sharon Sandal
Booster Car Seat

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59 Responses to Manti Canyon Road, Utah

  1. Susan in Dallas says:

    That photo of the Manti Ridge is breath-taking! I would not be brave enough to drive above it. Glad to see Spike had his soak!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I wouldn’t want to drive on top of that ridge either. Fortunately the road doesn’t go up there, but travels alongside it. Hope you are keeping cool in Dallas, Susan!

  2. Dedra says:

    Beautiful pictures and a great town!
    You make me want to hit the road again!
    I really like the mountains. Cool weather, not like Oklahoma City, hot.
    I was born in flat lands of Kansas, so at first the mountains were frightening.
    Thank you always,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Dedra. I, too, was intimidated by the mountains when I first came out to the West after so many years in flat Florida and Georgia. They seemed so big!

      Now I love them for the cool air in summer and their natural beauty.

  3. That’s the way to do laundry day! Much better than an in-house washer and dryer, I might get it done faster than you but I don’t get the exploration of parts unknown or rotisserie and frozen yogurt for dessert either! Great day, love the trout photo… we know what that family will be eating that night! Hugs to you and crew!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Geri! I would’ve felt deprived if I had to go to a laundromat when living in my regular house on the outskirts of town. When on the road, everything is a new adventure. Hugs to you and your crew!

      • Donna D. (stickhouse in CT) says:

        Before I had my own washer and dryer, pre-kids, I didn’t mind going to the laundromat. You could do many loads at once so it would only take a couple of hours to do a week load of laundry instead of all day. I wouldn’t mind going back to that in the future.

  4. mockturtle says:

    Once you camp by yourself, it’s hard to go back to community camping.

    Ain’t it the truth!

  5. Dawn says:

    You know, back in the ‘olden days’ when I lived in an apartment and had to take my laundry to a laundromat I didn’t mind because I could do 3 loads of laundry all at once. (Except for having to have quarters…that really annoyed me.) In fact when I finally got a house and a washer and a dryer I didn’t like that it took me all day to do 3 loads and the running up and down the basement stairs. Now my laundry is on the main floor (heaven) and I don’t mind it so much…but I still wish I could do all the loads at once. Guess you always want what you don’t have – ey?

    Glad you got your laundry done and had an adventure besides. All I get when I do laundry is lint. Hmmmm…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Lint . . . funny!

      I know what you’re talking about, Dawn. When I had my house, doing laundry never ended. Stuff was always in the dryer because I’d procrastinate about folding it and putting it away.

      Now I go to the laundromat and come home with folded laundry that I have to put away. Done! Start to finish! Gee, I almost feel civilized!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I was tired of rounding up quarters so I went to my bank and got $100 worth of rolled quarters which I keep in the PTV. Very handy!

  6. Gaelyn says:

    I love how you make laundry day an adventure. Those cliff faces are amazing but believe I’d want some shade to park under to enjoy the view.
    Happy belated Independence Day. You represent independence very well.

  7. Ladybug says:

    I bet Bridget’s thinking ‘Spike, I just don’t see what you get out of this!’ LOL

  8. Just beautiful country out there in the west:) Glad you finally got your laundry done and Spike had a good cool down soak. Bridget is such a lady:)

  9. Brian says:

    Great posting Sue.
    A cool dip in a flowing creek, tasty chicken, frozen yogurt, and success at the laundromat. Sounds like a great day.

    Stay cool.

  10. Elizabeth aka E2/etwo says:

    OMG! I have been an RV’r for so long that I totally forgot about having
    to do laundry all day with only one washer and one dryer, or a clothes
    Making laundry day an adventure while traveling in new areas was always fun
    for me. For the past 13 years here at “The Original Ranch”, we sign up to use all five washers and six dryers if we need them all. Laundry only takes a bit over
    an hour….. Sometimes I get all of it folded but not put away in the same day! I let that be just fine with me!
    Washing once monthly works for me! Instead of lint I have long kitty hair
    all over everything! Clyde is a big beautiful boy with long thick hair!
    He is probably close to the size of Spike and Bridget… They are all just
    adorable and totally priceless! Clydie likes his doggy friends….
    BTW I never run out of panties either!!!
    Hugs from E2

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello Elizabeth!

      Being able to sign up for more than one washer and dryer is a great idea. When I was planning to live the vagabond life, I was told to keep clothing to a minimum because of space concerns.

      Well, with all the room I have in the PTV, I don’t follow that advice. Living as I do, my clothes get dirty fast, so I’m glad I have plenty. Plus I don’t have to run to the laundromat as often.

      Hugs to you and Clyde!

  11. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Their temples are always so huge and the landscape nicely manicured.

    Funny as soon as I saw the water I knew the next photo would be Spike. Glad you got your laundry done…………..and some of the crews favorite rotisserie chicken.

    Manti ridge looks peaceful. That trout looked yummy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, cinandjules!

      I’m surprised no one has commented on the Jim Harmston article and photos. His group of polygamists shook up the town of Manti.

      Everything is well-manicured in this part of Utah. None of the towns have a “poor” side of town. There are neighborhoods of huge homes and neighborhoods of small homes and apartments, but all are clean, well-maintained, and tidy. I imagine crime rates are low.

      Always nice to hear from you . . .

      • Donna in CT says:

        I read the article and thought about commenting on it but it brought up so many reasons why I don’t agree with their lifestyle and their rationalizations that I thought it better to keep my thoughts to myself. 🙂

  12. Andrea in Glendale says:

    Gotten to where I really look forward to your blogs. Right now I can’t physically travel so I so much enjoy your wonderful descriptions, beautiful photos and humor..and love the crew! Thanks for giving us your outlook of the great outdoors Sue!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Andrea in Glendale!

      I’m glad you look forward to my blog postings! Thanks for the compliments.

      I’m sorry you’re unable to travel right now. Stay with me and the crew and we’ll go places together!

    • Donna in W. Texas says:

      Just curious, if that Glendale, CA (an old stomping ground of mine) or Glendale somewhere else?

      • Donna D. (stickhouse in CT) says:

        To one Donna to another… funny you should mention Glendale CA. My brother is a full-time RVer and he’s currently parked and working at one of the large parks in or just outside of Glendale. I wish I could remember which one.

        • Donna in W. Texas says:

          Glad to talk to another Donna, when I lived in the LA area I don’t remember any RV parks in the area (or are you talking about amusement parks?). I haven’t been back since 1993 though and things can change quickly there.

  13. Keith Sondgeroth says:

    I just found your site, blog. Great, Karon and I have RVd the usa for the last few summers. Always boondocking if we can otherwise Walmart. A month ago Karon was diagnosed with cancer that is terminal. 6 mo. or so to enjoy life. 54 wonderful years and 7 great kids. You are a breath of fresh air that we all crave. Happy travels Keith

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Keith!

      I welcome you and Karon to my blog! “54 wonderful years and 7 great kids” — Wow! You have quite a life story.

      This time must be very difficult for both of you, as well as for your family. May God continue to bless each of you.

      You remind us that every day is precious! Thank you for writing and sharing, Keith.

    • Reina says:

      Keith, enjoy moments you and Karon still have. Take care of yourself too and if you are taking care of your wife there are going be moments of frustration, blame, hopelessness. They are part of being with the person you shared your life with for so many years and who is now ill and needs you more than ever before. My husband died only a few months ago. I force myself every day to recall at least a few great things about our 20 years together, not 54. He was so full of life, enjoyed traveling, loved his job. He was so proud of who he was and what he accomplished. Because he was older than I our friends repeated often that I’m the one who kept him happy. But only now I know he was the one who kept me feeling young and happy. I don’t even know why all those wrinkles showed up now.
      Good luck!

  14. John fossildreamer says:

    Hi, Sue Nice to see you and the better half had a nice 4th
    but than again nice things happen to nice, people and dogs..
    Safe travels

  15. Cari in North Texas says:

    I agree with you that the Manti Canyon Road area is not as appealing as where you are currently located. I need trees! But I do like having water around, to look at if not to swim/wade in.

    I remember feeling cramped in the state park cabin areas when the cabin(s) next to me were occupied (I guess the rangers wanted everyone close together in case of an emergency? There were empty cabins down the road.)

    Fourth of July holiday at my house was quiet. I can see our city’s fireworks display from my backyard, so I avoided the crowds and the traffic. I did have to put on my “neighborhood witch” hat though, when the people across the street started shooting off their own fireworks. I can accept the little noisemakers, but when bottle rockets start going off above the roofs and trees, that’s when I call the police. We’re in a drought, and it only takes one landing on a roof to start a fire. Plus, it’s illegal…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good for you for reporting the illegal activity! I don’t think it interferes with “the pursuit of happiness” to give up shooting off bottle rockets. Idiotic, juvenile activity . . . Don’t feel like you’re a “witch” for reporting them.

      It always amazes me how people can create a disturbance with no concern for those around them. I’ve been listening to gun shots, ATVs, and dirt bikes up and down this mountain yesterday and since 8 this morning. They choose the quietest, most scenic, natural place in the area to shoot guns and race loud vehicles. Huh?

      • Rattlesnake Joe says:

        When I was young I loved to rip up the Mohave desert on my dirt bike. I didn’t mean any harm, I was just having what I thought was fun. My buddies and I didn’t know the tracks we were making would last for centuries. Later in my life I learned to backpack and still enjoyed the desert with out hurting the topography. Now days people are still doing what I use to do only now they have to stay on roads and jeep trails. Lessons to learn as we get wiser.

        • Rattlesnake Joe says:

          The thing is if you got wheels, others have wheels too. It is the curse of being a Rubber Tramp. If you want peace and quiet try Backpacking.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Backpack every single day of my life?

            • Rattlesnake Joe says:

              By Backpacking I mean carrying your home on your back. Tent, sleeping bag, kitchen, food, water and every little doo-dad that makes you completely self sufficent far from the road. I use to have a 100 lbs irish setter and black lab mix who even carried his own food when we went backpacking.

    • Marsha says:

      I had to do the same thing; neighbors with actual fireworks in the sky at 12:30 at night. Jarred me out of a sound sleep.

      I used to hate laundromats, but this past Spring’s heavy rains flooded our drain field for our septic so I started going to the laundromat until it subsided and I could do six (yes 6!) loads in one front-loading washer. Woo Hoo! I was done in 26 minutes with the wash and then I just took it home and dried it. However, when we were out east last month we did a load of wash in a smaller front loader and I forgot to check to see if anything stuck to the sides of the washer. Threw everything in a bag and waited until I got back to the campground to fold and lo and behold! Left the bottoms to my jammies and a pair of skivvies behind. The campground was too far from town to go back – not worth the fuel we would burn to go back 🙁

  16. Reina says:

    I so enjoy following your adventures. What I like the most are your pictures followed by corresponding stories. Are there still wildflowers around your area? I just loved them. Your life designed by you must bring lots of satisfaction and great feeling of independence especially on the 4th of July. The more I read your blog more I realize that I don’t want to stay attached to a house/condo. My husband and I sold a condo only a few months ago and soon after that he died. I have to decide what to do but I’m so longing for being on the road and do what I want to do. You know I have a noisy and not very thoughtful neighbor but if you have noisy or nosy neighbors you just hope they are going to leave the next day or you can take your home, your crew and go to another area. If you own a home and your neighbors blast their music, then what do you do? Nonetheless, majority of people once they get to adulthood they feel that owning a home is their goal. That’s great. Some are pleased having big houses; others are happy renting a place. Some had homes and now are satisfied with freedom of movement and their lives in RVs. It looks like you found your calling and having many followers seems to bring some contentment too. As for me I’m still deciding. However being only recently on my own it takes time to make any important and final decisions but I need freedom. I need to keep going.

    Keep moving so I can travel along. Enjoy your crew, your freedom and don’t worry about doing laundry too often.

    BTW, was there any advantage of getting a brand new vs. used BLT?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Reina! I’m glad you’re with us!

      My condolences on the loss of your husband. You are wise not to make any big decisions for a while.

      Advantages of getting brand new vs. used BLT:

      1) I got the options I needed for the way I intended to camp… high lift axle, heavy duty tires, larger tanks, plus the Casita model I preferred.
      2) It was easier. Grabbing a used Casita with the options you want is not easy. They get scooped up very quickly.
      3) No hidden problems from someone else’s wear and tear (plus factory warranties).
      4) Pride in ownership (I’ve purchased and lived with “used” stuff all my life.)
      5) Timing… The BLT waited for me at the factory while I waited for my house to sell.

      I’ll probably think of more reasons but those are the main ones. At first I was going to buy used, thinking it was my only choice. Then I saw how I could save with some pretty determined frugality. I’m so glad I did!

      I know what you mean about neighbors. I moved from one regular house to another to get away from neighbors. It’s a much quicker process when your house has wheels!

      Thanks for writing. I hope we hear from you again . . .

  17. cozygirl says:

    Larger tanks….how big is your black water? I’d trade off for a bigger black tank for a smaller grey water but we have to go with what we have now. I can’t wait to get to BLM opportunities…far and few in the Midwest. As for laundry….I’m all about, do it and get it over with…remembering my days of apt living. Tomorrow we off for some rolls of quarters :O) 11 days and counting YAY!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I forget how big the black water tank is… Gray water is 32 gal. and fresh water is 25 gal.

  18. Reine in Plano says:

    Black tank on a Casita is between 13 and 15 gallons. They key to stretching the black tank is to use as little water as possible to flush. When boondocking we cut the water off to the commode (we have installed a cutoff on the supply line) and flush with water from a gallon jug. Very little is needed.

    • Rattlesnake Joe says:

      Yep I put a shut off valve on the water intake to the toilet also. Save the cold water you use when turning on the hot water. Use this to flush the toilet. Take a Navy shower or like Sue a sponge bath. My Grandmother use to say “People wouldn’t waste so much water if they had to carry it from the spring to the house in gallon buckets”. I learned how precious water was when I backpacked in the desert far from any drinking water source.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t have the cutoff on the supply line but I do follow the same strategy when necessary. I’m not flushing with a gallon jug yet, but will if needed.

  19. Tawanda says:

    What a wonderful day for you and the crew…
    Hope you will soon have peace and quiet as the weekenders leave..

    Seeing those streams would have me bringing out the fly rod to catch a trout or 2 …

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      About the weekenders… Yesterday afternoon (Saturday) a heavy rainstorm hit the mountain. Pickups and flatbeds hauling ATVs scurried down the mountain, one right after another, like rats leaving a sinking ship. Several travel trailers and fifth wheels rolled off the mountain, too. And I guess the guy with the gun left, because it’s almost 9 in the morning and I don’t hear him.

      Thanks for stopping by, Tawanda!

  20. Glenda says:

    I have just caught up with 3 weeks worth of RV Sue after being away on holidays for the big birthday in Bali. Not so great to be home to the cold and wet after the heat and sensational tropical clime. So good to catch up with all that you have been doing with the crew and what wonderful and such pretty camps that I have missed. Thanks for the travelogue through some spectacular country Sue………your photos are lovely!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Welcome back, Glenda! I was thinking yesterday, hmm. . . I wonder how Glenda’s bash in Bali went. Sounds like you enjoyed it! I’m glad you didn’t forget us . . .

  21. Dominick Bundy says:

    Hi Sue and crew, I’ve been going back over past posts of yours to see when it was you decided to name your Casita the BLT. So far I couldn’t find it. Just being curious that’s all. I don’t comment much but I do follow your everyday adventures. Take care, stay safe, and God bless.. cheers!! Dominick

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, Dominick… It went something like this: When I found the PTV I said, “Wow! This is the perfect tow vehicle!” That’s what I wrote and someone in a comment called it the PTV.

      Then when I picked up my Casita and had it for a while, readers suggested names that would go with PTV. As soon as I read Best Little Trailer, I knew it was the right name.

      God bless you, too, Dominick!

  22. alison - pnw says:

    We haven’t heard from you… Hope you haven’t met some guy and moved in with a new “family” down in Manti!

    “Pickups and flatbeds hauling ATVs scurried down the mountain, one right after another, like rats leaving a sinking ship”

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