Spent most of the day on bicycles with my wife -- fun!
But, by late afternoon had a few hours of flex time. Perfect for a quick moto ride. Just enough time to check out the Diamond Valley loop up around the Grassy Knoll on the side of Pine Valley Mountain. This is forest service road 033.
Here are a few pics from post 57 on page 4 of this thread.
Today I was solo, and moving along at a good clip. Not very many photos since it was late afternoon by the time I started. Total ride was almost 50 miles, not quite 2.5 hours. Finished the last bit of pavement back home in the dark. Here's the map.
A few notes:
- In Diamond Valley, turn left just past the church onto a graded gravel road. Bear right after 1/2 mile. This systematically gains elevation and heads in the direction of Pine Valley Mtn. It becomes 033.
- There are several little tracks to explore up by the Grassy Knoll, and at least one old cabin. Have to go back.
- No sign at the pass, but there is a trailhead (for hikers). Climbs to summit.
- The steepest bit of road is just over the pass with the large switchback. Overall ok, but steep grade with some loose gravel. Recent maintenance is pretty good.
- Did not explore 322 yet. Running water in this wash. Another reason to go back.
- 033 through the area marked Black Gulch is an easy descent. It is a long, gradual decline all the way back to St. George. The connection with pavement is near the MotoZoo store (East Red Hills Parkway).
- Connection in red from Black Gulch area over the Diamond Valley is easy, but prone to mud. Makes a nice short loop.
- Forest Service Road 031 extends east to Silver Reef, then easy to ascend to Oak Grove, maintained gravel. I've been on these roads a number of times, but no extra time (daylight) today. Just puttin' it out there so inmates will know these are good roads. Oak Grove is a nice camping area. High enough to be very cool in summer. Some good fall colors in the area.
On to to pics
Here is a photo taken at about the same spot as the turnaround point with my Dad from our ride about 10 days ago. On the map this is about where the 033 is just to left of the Grassy Knoll.
View of Pine Valley Mountain (Signal Peak, 10,365), almost at pass. The pass climbs through a high meadow, scrub forest to the right of this picture. The pass itself is not dramatic.
One of the side roads to explore on a future ride, just before the pass.
Hiking trailhead at pass. 3,000+ ft of elevation gain to summit. Rocky trail, not recommended for horses.
One pic of a curve on the descent. Overall, road in good shape, but there are a few steep spots with some loose gravel. Light was fading and I still had 30 minutes of dirt in front of me, so it was time to go. Passed several hunters (all friendly). We shared info on the road, so I knew it was in good shape. (Plus I have been this way before.)
One more side road, worthy of exploring. This is 322 on the descent. Looks like year round water. Possible primitive campsites nearby.
Final pic of last sunlight, looking back high on southwest face of Pine Valley Mountain. The rest of the road is an easy decline back to St. George. A few spots are prone to mud, and there are some bumpy rocks, but all easy. Stopped to chat with a few hunters, also saw the local Sheriff. Kinda busy for a Sunday evening.
These are good rides. Nice to start in St. George and ride up the Black Gulch area on 033. Then turn right on 031 to Sliver Reef (no gas), then up to Oak Grove. Retrace same route back to St. George to avoid pavement.
Thanks for checkin' in. Ride safe, inmates!