I had only about 350 miles of riding planned today. I wanted to take Smokey Mountain Road, Hell's Backbone Road, and
UT 12 to a campsite near Capitol Reef NP. I was worried Smokey Mtn RD may be impassable and figured Cottonwood RD
would be the alternate route. Utah backroads are routinely marked "Impassable When Wet" on maps for good reason.
Washouts and superslick mud are the hazards. I guess I was hoping the weather had not been all that wet yet. I stopped
at the Visitor Center in Big Water and was warned that Smokey Mountain RD and my alternate, Cottonwood RD, are definitely impassable.
I'm also realizing Hell's Backbone would be snowed in. Crap! There goes my plan. What are my options. I could take a big
detour to the south then North to the Moab area, but I had my mind set on Capitol Reef. I head west towards Kanab.
The Paria River (Normally Just a Trickle)
It's gonna be a long day on the asphalt, But Wait!
I do know of a scenic backcountry shortcut that should be passable.
Johnson Canyon, Alton Amphitheater Scenic Backway
I was only about 8 miles from Alton when I started worrying the mud may cause another detour.
But I made it through.
Alton Amphitheater, Sunset Cliffs