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When I was growing up, we all knew about Charlie and the story of his monument.
Dad told the tale to all of us as we climbed the hill above our cabin and placed a rock on top of the pile.
“Charlie’s Monument” is at the end of a little dirt road in Sanpete County’s Fairview Canyon, just above the Fairview Lakes Association of water users and cabins. There are two ways to reach the monument.
The first is off Skyline Drive.
As you make your way up the canyon, you will continue passed the turn off to Scofield and follow the Skyline up the hill. Once you reach the top, the road will start to curve to the left. There is a small parking lot adjacent to a dirt road on the left side of the road, though I’m not sure the exact mile marker, but I’ll update that as soon as I can. If you reach the Mammoth Discovery Site then you’ve gone way to far. Turn left down that dirt road and follow along until you see the old jeep trail on the right hand side.
The second way to Charlie’s is entering off of the road to Scofield near the CC Pond/Bench’s Pond a few miles west of Electric Lake. Go over the small dam and follow the road until you see a rut filled mess of a dirt road going up the hill on the left. Follow that road until you see the old jeep trail on the left. There are some sweet little primitive campsites up that road with gorgeous views, if you can beat the hunters and good old boys to them. Sorry good old boys, I sort of just outted you didn’t I?
Once you are to the jeep trail it’s time to decide if you are hiking, trail running, or off-roading.
Whether you take a quiet hike or load up the family for an hour of muddin’, you are in for some serious eye candy.
The 360 degree view of Fairview Canyon is a soul filling experience.
Follow the trail as it makes it’s way along the ridge.
If you are jeeping or on an atv, be prepared for a very bumpy ride especially as you make your way through the aspen groves.
This isn’t somewhere you want to be taking your Corolla, y’all.
After you come out of the aspens you will come to an opening at the base of a steep hill with another stand of aspens at the bottom. The road will split and the trail to the right will make it’s way up the steep face. The one to the left will make a circle back to the original road. If you are not an experienced off-roader, I suggest you start hiking at this part of the trail as he can be a little tricky and has been known to buck off an ATV or two. Grandma can fill you in on that story.
This trail is particularly lovely in the early morning hours of late June and early July.
Don’t mind my sweet great granny of a husky. Her arthritis was giving her fits on this lovely mountain morning.
It’s hard to be an old lady, even for dogs.
These pics are from spring, but in the next couple of weeks the aspens will be a breathtaking brilliant yellow.
Skyline Drive in the fall is a heart stopper!
As you follow the trail up the mountain, it will make a sharp turn to the right and then you’ll see it…
Nope, it’s nothing fancy, just a giant cairn if you will, but it’s sure beautiful to my family.
It’s funny, Charlie’s is almost a sacred spot for me.
I’ve been coming here since I was younger than this pretty little blondie on my lap.
Every time I make the trip to Charlie’s, I like to find a rock and quietly imagine that it is a struggle, a hurt, or a trial I am facing.
I place the rock on top of the pile and then leave it there for the Lord to take.
Subtle healing imagery that somehow works.
My brothers are going to have a hay day teasing me about this, but oh well.
It brings me joy, so tease all you want boys.
From the top of Charlie’s you can see everything.
The Skyline and miles of blue sky and green mountains surround you. Fairview Lake below you to the west, Mount Nebo standing valiantly in the distance to the north.
The best part? You will rarely see anyone else around except maybe a spotted fawn or two.
It doesn’t get much more peaceful or serene.
If you are headed down to Skyline Drive this fall and need a little bit of tranquility in your life, take an hour and visit old Charlie.
Since it’s the season of harvest and gratitude, maybe place a rock as you think of something you have been blessed with or are thankful for. And, for an even more meaningful visit, take a moment to read Charlie’s Monument by Sanpete’s own Blaine M. Yorgason before you go.
As much as I love adrenaline, sometimes the simplest of adventures can be the most meaningful.
Even a trip to an old pile of rocks.
This looks so beautiful! I’d love to go hiking up there and take my family. We will have to carve out some time to do that hopefully before the weather gets really cold. I love all the flowers and fun trails. Great family outing!
The fall is such a gorgeous time up there! Take a family drive down the Skyline then go for a hike to Charlie’s! End the day with dinner at the little diner in the gas station on the north side of the road in Fairview. It has delicious food!
After reading this book a million times with grandma lindsay, how did I never know there was a real monument? Bucket list.
You guys will have to come up to the cabin some time and we can all hike to it! It’s been too long since our fams have played.
It really has been way too long. I think the last time I was up there was when you had your wisdom teeth out. I think we need to do something about that.
My family planned to drive and look at the changing colors of the leaves. The aspens would probably be beautiful. We will have to go in the spring too, because we love seeing wildflowers.
You should! It’s so lovely in the fall! I’ll bet your kids would love to stop off and learn about the Mammoths, just up the road from the turn off to Charlie’s!
This is wonderful! My dad was over just last night, and finished reading Charlie’s Monument to my kids and I. So naturally, I was curious. I want to send him a link to this page, but as I know he will ask, may I ask you how your family came to know where it was? Thank you for sharing how to get there.
Meliah “Leah” Crow
I spent a big portion of my summers in Sanpete County growing up. I don’t know who first started calling it Charlie’s but I know there are a few monuments just like it sprinkled around the county. I’m not sure where the real one is, or if it still exists, but this one is real for us. Thanks for the comment and for loving the book as much as we do!