About U.S. Highway 189
U.S. Highway 189 has its southern endpoint in Provo, Utah, and ends at Hoback Junction, near Jackson, Wyoming, a hypothetical distance of 322 miles. However Utah doesn’t have an official route for highway 189 between Heber and the Wyoming border. At the junction with U.S. Highway 40 in Heber, a sign indicates that U.S. Highway 189 ends there. To reach the Wyoming segment, you would presumably folllow U.S. Highway 40 north to Interstate 80 and then turn east to reach Wyoming. Wyoming has highway 189 following interstate 80 from the border to Evanston, passing through Evanston, rejoining the freeway on the other side of town, and then leaving the freeway at the next major interchange to the east. From there it has its own route to its northern endpoint.
Before the construction of Interstate 80 and the Jordanelle Reservoir near Heber, U.S. Highway 189 shared a route with highway 40 north from Heber to an intersection which is now under water. From there it went east to Francis. From Francis the old highway is now Utah Highway 32 until it meets Interstate 80 at Wanship. The old route parallels the freeway from there, past Echo Reservoir and several miles up Echo Canyon. Most of its previous alignment from there to Evanston was dug up in building the freeway.
U.S. Highway 189 intersects U.S. Highway 89 (its “parent” route) at both its northern and southern terminus. Between Evanston and Wanship, it followed the route of the old Lincoln Highway.
What to See along Highway 189
Most of U.S. Highway 189 passes through beautiful mountainous areas, and there are many points of interest along the way. it is also an area rich in the history of pioneers days.
Immediately north of Provo, U.S. Highway 189 enters Provo Canyon, a beautiful scenic drive lined with granite cliffs, forested slopes and waterfalls. Provo Canyon is a popular weekend getaway for people in Utah Valley, with many picnic grounds and hiking trails. Bridal Veil Falls is one of the most popular attractions in the canyon.
Echo Canyon’s sandstone cliffs are a marked contrast to the drama of Provo Canyon. Echo Canyons run in a straight line for many miles and the tops of the cliffs are nearly level as the canyon floor gradually rises up toward their level. Side canyons are narrow and steep and scrub oak, junipers and cedar trees crowd into the shady places where more moisture is available. The Mormon Trail made its approach to Salt Lake City through this canyon, and the echo of their voices off the cliffs is the source of the canyon’s name. Travelers today don’t hear any echo as they rush through on I-80. But if you take the old highway and stop along the way, you can try out the echo.
The Fontenelle Dam on the Green River in Wyoming created Fontenelle Reservoir. Highway 189 follows its western shoreline for much of its length. Hills of cream-colored earth with small sections of cliffs flank the reservoir. Campgrounds and boat ramps are available.
For More Information
See the Wikipedia U.S. Highway 189 article.