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Old 10-20-2013, 11:09 PM   #820
RedRockRider OP
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Joined: Aug 2011
Location: St. George, UT
Oddometer: 1,480
St. George to Mesquite on dirt

Been piecing together a few options for riding dirt from St. George to Mesquite. Had to go back down to Beaver Dam Wash to figure out a route up out of the wash to reconnect with the powerlines on the Nevada side. It's all there, you just have to know where to look. Also found a few dead ends. Still more exploring to do. Here are some pics . . .

Blasted over Utah Hill on pavement on Old Highway #91. Went all the way to AZ border checking out a few things, then came back about a mile. Stopped to photograph this relatively new sign.


Start of dirt. Old Mormon wagon road. Leaves Old Highway #91 in Utah, but within one mile of AZ border. No signs. Just north of powerlines.

Signage. Gotta love those Eagle Scout projects. At least this one didn't have anything to do with tipping over hoodoos in Goblin Valley.

After a quick turn, you see the long, straight stretch heading west. A bit rocky and few erosion ditches, but reasonably fast, steady riding.

Another cattle gate at a 4-way (X-style) intersection. Keep running due west with powerlines parallel, just to the south. Some red paint on stone markers near here.

Just to the north of the dirt road. At this point, the fence line could be the UT-AZ border. Certainly very close to here.

Eventually drop down into a tributary wash to Beaver Dam Wash. Easy riding, no washouts, firm sand.

Wash meanders southwest, crossing directly under the powerlines.

Still have the Old Mormon Wagon road signs from our Eagle Scout.

Directly under the powerlines, very close to Beaver Dam Wash.

Stopped back in at the hermit's place . . . no changes from a couple of days ago.

Rather than driving south down Beaver Dam Wash I want to go slightly north and find a route up and out the west side of the wash, up on top where the powerlines are. There are roads/tracks by these powerlines that will connect me with Mesquite (although it's not as obvious as it might seem).

The TW is dwarfed by some of the erosion banks, but for the most part travel in the wash is easy. The challenge is to find the right exit spot up to the powerlines.

Found one or two dead-ends, mostly by following ATV tracks. A few spots made some very steep climbs with bad erosion marks in the trickiest spots. Some inmates would happily give it a go, but I was content to walk up and take a look, then walk back down. Too easy to have a mishap in an isolated area. The exploring was really fun, so I didn't mind.

Eventually found a good side wash heading west. Very fun riding as the track narrowed. Sample pic.

A few interesting spots, but eventually popped out on top, well north of the powerlines. Needed to skirt some gullies and find a gap in a north-south running fenceline. Turned out it was the border between AZ and Nevada. Was very close to the 3-way corner with Utah-AZ-Nevada. Have to go back and look around for a marker. This pic is looking south as I ride down toward the powerlines again.

After riding the 2-track along the fenceline I find the powerlines and hit a good dirt road just behind the cattle gate. Of course, gotta come take a look at the sign. Very nice. I know right where I am. Couple of choices from here. My efficiency breaks down as I want to know where all the roads go. Benchmark doesn't have good detail and GPS rarely works on the smaller tracks. Just doesn't match up with what you see in front of you. I prefer the "exploring" method. Fun to discover the unknown.

Among other things I find some smooth fast dirt back towards the town of Beaver Dam, AZ. When the guys where building the powerlines they went all out on the road in some sections. Other bits seem like they were barely enough to get the job done, and of course, no regular maintenance.

Popped out on pavement on the top edge of Beaver Dam town. Not much in Beaver Dam, certainly no gas, so I want to make my way down to Mesquite.

Some very fun dirt tracks just on the north side of I-15. Good whoop section. A couple of chances to duck under I-15.

More secret passageways. There are some washes which make things tricky. Didn't want to get myself into a situation I couldn't easily reverse. Still need to do a bit more exploring, probably starting in Mesquite and working northwards.

Used a short stretch of pavement to get to Mesquite and find gas. Then back to exploring. Ended up south of Mesquite checking out this tower, easily visible on the south side of I-15.

Always wondered about this tower. Seen it many times with family while driving to/from Las Vegas. Always jokingly referred to it as some kind of "space ship" building. My son never bought that story anyway.

One more pass back to the north side of I-15. This one is actually a road, albeit is noted as one lane.

Looking north towards Davidson Peak. The road is marked as dead end, but generally roads this good just don't go out and end. Still exploring . . .

Lots and lots of powerlines (and a pipeline) up this way. Found my way back, but the route was longer than I thought. The powerlines split and leave you with some interesting choices. For the most part, I opted for what I was familiar with even though it wasn't always the most direct route. Once it starts to get dark you have to stay on roads you know. Too much chance for unexpected wash-outs and big backtracking. Still lots of new areas to figure out. But certainly have a few good options down for good dirt between St. George and Mesquite.

The little washes climbing out the west side of Beaver Dam Wash are some very interesting riding!

Thanks for coming along. Be safe out there.

RedRockRider - WR250R, TW200, Versys, Vulcan 900 LT, Zuma 125

Southwest Utah: Dual Sport Riding from St. George

RedRockRider screwed with this post 10-21-2013 at 11:38 AM
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