The Energy Loop is one of Utah’s most scenic drives. I spent Saturday on the Huntington side of the loop, which is very beautiful. Designated as a National Scenic Byway in 2000, this particular byway is called the Energy Loop because the area is an energy source for high-quality coal, oil, gas and electrical power for the western United States.
Fairview, UT on Hwy 89 (one of my favorite quiet roads) is the gateway to the Energy Loop. If you like canyon riding like I do, this is an awesome way to spend the day. Before you head up the canyon, stop in Fairview at the Home Plate diner and have their house omelet. The first time I had been to the diner was last fall. It had a dozen pickup trucks outside, which usually means a small town diner is pretty good. The Home Plate wasn’t a disappointment. “Most people eat breakfast here,” was what the waitress shared with me the first time. The breakfast is good enough that if you can plan your ride to be there by 9:00 or 10:00 am you won’t even feel awkward about enjoying your eggs and toast later in the afternoon (which I would do anyway if I was there around lunchtime).
It splits at the top. Go left around Scofield Reservoir or right to Huntington. I’ve been on both sides and both are wonderful rides. I rode into Huntington on this ride. Beautiful mountain scenery and a number of sapphire blue lakes are right along the road. I love riding in the canyons and this was a great first canyon ride of the season.
Once out of the canyon I cruised through the small mining towns of Huntington, Orangeville and Castle Dale toward I-70 to make a long loop home. My dad used to tell me about the time he spent in Castle Dale as a boy and the stories his grandmother used to tell about the cowboys and some of the famous outlaws (Like Butch and Sundance) who used to hang around those parts. As a little boy my dad once asked, “Did the good guys really wear white hats and the bad guys wear black hats like in the movies?”
“Nope,” his grandmother said. “They were all dirty and stinky. You couldn’t tell the difference by looking at them.”
From the saddle of my motorcycle, it’s hard not to imagine what it must of been like riding through the area on horseback.
Fairview is a little over an hour or so south of Salt Lake and well worth the visit—even if you just want to continue on south or eat breakfast at the Home Plate. The energy loop is just one more excuse to spend some time on Hwy 89—which is fine by me. Out of Huntington is high desert, so you’ll want to make sure you’re a little more prepared for dry and windy riding, but it is very peaceful out in the middle of nowhere all alone on a motorcycle.
I’ve included some video footage of the ride if you’d like a taste. This is one fun canyon ride in Utah that I highly recommend.