Bruin Point |

Sunnyside

Roadside Attraction Bruin Point - Sunnyside Roadside Attraction Bruin Point
Sunnyside

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments

Overview

RATING: Roadside Attraction
LENGTH: 1+ hours
MAPS: SUNNYSIDE, UT; BRUIN POINT, UT; PATMOS HEAD, UT

Sat

82 | 61

Sun

82 | 62

Mon

81 | 61

Tue

82 | 59

Wed

84 | 61

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Late spring, summer, fall
WATER: None

Sat

82 | 61

Sun

82 | 62

Mon

81 | 61

Tue

82 | 59

Wed

84 | 61

View Full Weather Details
Looking south towards the San Rafael Swell on a bit of a dusty day.

Looking south towards the San Rafael Swell on a bit of a dusty day.

The Book Cliffs make up an imposing line of cliffs east of UT-6 between Wellington and Green River. Bruin Point, near the small towns of Sunnyside and East Carbon is one of the few easy to access routes to the top of the Book Cliffs.

The road climbs up Whitmore Canyon, a popular area for viewing Big Horn Sheep. Part way up Whitmore Canyon, the road diverges from Whitemore and climbs the steep Water Canyon via a dirt and gravel road. The drive up Water Canyon is a road back through time. An old mining tram crosses the road, with many old mining trestles and ruins visible. It is both an interesting and very scenic drive. Views from Bruin Point of the vast Book Cliffs, and San Rafael Swell areas are excellent.

This is a great outing to escape the heat of lower elevations if visiting the area in the summer months. On our visit, it was 90 degrees in East Carbon, and a refreshing 65 degrees on Bruin Point. An excellent picnic spot when it is how in the lower elevations. Though a pretty drive anytime the road is open, this one is particularly spectacular during fall colors.

History Note: From the plaque at the junction of Highway 6 and Highway 123

Rock asphalt was first mined at the top of Whitemore Canyon-15 mi. NE Of this location- in the early 1800s. The mine closed in 1898 & re-opened in 1903. It operated erratically until 1915 when it was forced to close due to the development of sheet asphalt. In 1927 another company, tried to develop a rock asphalt industry. They spent over 1/2 million dollars on equipment, including a 3 1/2 mile gravity powered aerial tramway. To promote the use of rock asphalt for paving, it was sold for $8.00/ton even though production costs exceeded $16.00/ton. The company went bankrupt in 1931 and the Rock Asphalt Company of Utah took over the mine in 1932. The mine operated only about 2 months out of the year & eventually closed. Interest was rekindled in the 1970s, but nothing ever developed.

- Matt Warner Chapter 1900, E Clampus Vitus
Driving Notes: The road is good, but steep gravel and dirt. Any vehicle with a bit of clearance should find the road passable when dry. I wouldn’t recommend a low clearance sedan, but 2wd pickup, SUV, or the likes should have no issues. Because of the 10,000 foot elevation, the road can hold snow into late spring depending on the year. Also note, much of the land surrounding the road is private. Please respect private property and just view the mining ruins from the road.
Part of the old tram.

Part of the old tram.

Getting There

Reaching Bruin Point starts from the small town of Sunnyside. From Price, head east on highway 6 toward I-70/Green River. About 14 miles from Price is the junction with UT-123, signed East Carbon/Sunnyside. Follow UT-123 east for about 10 miles to the small town of Sunnyside.

  • From the east side of the town of Sunnyside, continue on UT-123 as it enters Whitemore Canyon. ( 12S 553217mE 4378665mN / N39° 33' 22" W110° 22' 50" )
  • About 3.6 miles from Sunnyside is a major junction signed for Bruin Point. Turn right onto this dirt road. Reset your odometer. ( 12S 553376mE 4383569mN / N39° 36' 01" W110° 22' 42" )
  • 5.5 miles - Jct - left. ( 12S 556107mE 4388077mN / N39° 38' 26" W110° 20' 46" )
  • Jct - Left ( 12S 556113mE 4388116mN / N39° 38' 28" W110° 20' 46" )
  • Overlook ( 12S 555753mE 4388550mN / N39° 38' 42" W110° 21' 01" )
  • Bruin Point ( 12S 555934mE 4388468mN / N39° 38' 39" W110° 20' 53" )
The old tram still with suspended ore carts.

The old tram still with suspended ore carts.

Route

Near the small utilities shed is the benchmark, surrounded by a few small rocks. I couldn’t find a register on my visit, but the benchmark is easy to locate.

If you continue a very short distance to the end of the road, there is a turnaround and an excellent place for a picnic. From this spot, on a clear day, you can see the Uinta Mountains in the far distance to the north. The canyons just north of the pullout drain down into the famous Nine Mile Canyon. Looking south is the vast flat area between the Book Cliffs and the San Rafael Swell to the southwest.


Maps

Printable Maps:
Sunnyside

12S 553217mE 4378664mN

N39° 33' 22" W110° 22' 50"

3.6 miles from Sunnyside - Jct - Right onto dirt road. Reset your odometer.

12S 553375mE 4383569mN

N39° 36' 01" W110° 22' 42"

5.5 miles - Jct - left.

12S 556107mE 4388078mN

N39° 38' 26" W110° 20' 46"

Jct - Left

12S 556114mE 4388116mN

N39° 38' 28" W110° 20' 46"

Overlook

12S 555753mE 4388549mN

N39° 38' 42" W110° 21' 01"

Bruin Point

12S 555934mE 4388468mN

N39° 38' 39" W110° 20' 53"

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