Area: 1,597 square
miles: population: 16,259 (1990); county seat: Manti; origin of county
name: a corruption of San Pitch, the name of a local Indian tribe; principal
cities/towns: Ephraim (3,363), Manti (2,268), Mount Pleasant (2,092), Gunnison (1,298), Moroni (1,115), Fairview (960); economy: agriculture
(particularly turkeys, sheep, and beef and dairy cattle), local government,
and education; points of interest: Manti LDS Temple, Spring City Historic
District, Fairview Museum, Wasatch Plateau, Maple and Box canyons, Snow
College at Ephraim.
At the northwest
corner of the Colorado Plateau, Sanpete Valley is tucked between the
higher Wasatch Plateau to the east and the San Pitch or Gunnison Plateau
to the west. The valley drains south to the Gunnison Valley section
of the Sevier River, which then drains northwest to the Great Basin. Mount Nebo, the southern end of the Wasatch Mountains, across the border
in Juab County, is a prominent viewpoint from northwest Sanpete County,
and its foothills divide Sanpete Valley into two northern prongs.