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Old 09-17-2008, 08:47 PM   #1
Kodanja OP
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Utah Route Help

Hey all. I'm doing a 7-8 day southern Utah "landscape photography" ride from Boise to Monument Valley mid-October riding a 1200GSA. I'll either get to Beaver or Cedar City the first day from Boise and proceed to Bryce Canyon and onward to Monument Valley. I plan on camping in the parks to catch the sunrise/sunset moments. I'm a skilled rider and dirt roads are ok.

I'd like to take Burr Trail to Bullfrog but don't want to miss the rest of Hwy12 north of Boulder. After Monument Valley, I'd loop back through Hanksville to Torrey and visit Capitol Reef. Then start my way back to Boise north through the center of Utah.

So, for the best photography, is the northern part of Hwy12 worth skipping to do Burr Trail?
Is Burr Trail to Capitol Reef any good?
Can you recommend a route north of Torrey on my way back to Boise? Hwy 31, 191, 35? I may have to slab it from SLC (at least to Snowville.)
Any good camping spots along the way (other than the parks)

With your help, I'll put the route together and post a route map later.

Thanks!
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Old 09-18-2008, 09:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodanja
I'd like to take Burr Trail to Bullfrog but don't want to miss the rest of Hwy12 north of Boulder. After Monument Valley, I'd loop back through Hanksville to Torrey and visit Capitol Reef. Then start my way back to Boise north through the center of Utah.

So, for the best photography, is the northern part of Hwy12 worth skipping to do Burr Trail? Thanks!
Kodanja,
12 north of Boulder is an awesome twisty mountain ride and fairly short, only 50 miles to Torrey. You could run up 12 from Boulder to the top (15 miles?) for some great photos looking east at the Henrys and south back over Boulder and Hells Backbone then back down to the Burr Trail. If it's a clear day it may be worth an hour up for some good shots.
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Old 09-19-2008, 07:19 AM   #4
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At the top of Mokie Dugway (Big cliff face with switchbacks as you drop into Mexican Hat) there is a turn off (dirt) for Muley Twist Overlook. In my opinion this overlook is one of the best of the West. You look right into the Goosenecks and can see Monument Valley. I rate it right up there with Dead Horse Point. Nice free range camping too.

Don't miss the Valley of the Gods while you are right there.

Enjoy your trip...
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Old 09-19-2008, 08:19 AM   #5
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View from the top of Muley Point towards Monument Valley:



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Old 09-19-2008, 06:10 PM   #6
KenR
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The Highway 12 north of Boulder is a really fun motorcycle ride, but if your main goal is landscape photography you wouldn't miss too much if you skipped it. Don't get me wrong - it's a beautiful ride on a twisty mountain road, but you wouldn't be stopping every few miles for big, scenic photo opportunities.

The Burr Trail, on the other hand, is not only a fantastic ride, but full of photo ops. You'll have the option in Bullfrog of either taking a ferry across the lake, then riding the 276 to 95 and on into Hanksville via Natural Bridges National Monument, or skipping the boat ride and going straight to Hanksville. Personally having done both, I'd take the ferry if your schedule permits. Definitely hit Capitol Reef N.P. Torrey is a nice town to stay in - check out the Chuckwagon if you're ready for a night of no camping.

Heading north out of Torrey, the must-do road is highway 72 from Loa to Fremont Junction. This is a road the hoons call 'Sweeper Madness' and it's a riot. The speed limit is 40 mph I think, but on the slim chance that you actually get popped by a ranger, the ticket will be worth it. I doubt you'd see a cop or even more than a car or two. Time to strap the gear down and rail this E ticket ride. A number of photo ops if you have the will power to actually stop.

Jump on I-70 for a brief run up to the 10 - boring as hell until you get to Huntington but what follows will justify it.

Take the 31 out of Huntington into the Manti - La Sal Forest. This is a road that's hard to keep your eyes on because the scenery is so incredible. You have the option of riding into Fairview and then to the 89 north which is nice, but I'd probably continue north on Skyline Drive to Highway 6, then into Spanish Fork and on up the Salt Lake Valley to Boise.

Feel free to PM me if you need more information. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-19-2008, 06:52 PM   #7
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Some thoughts:
1. I 84 to Howell Ut, turn right onto hwy 83 south toward ATK/Thiokol/golden spike monument (83 becomes 102 and liks up with I 15 in Brigham City, cuts out a chunk of slab on a flat fast 2 lane)

2. I 15 SOuth to Nephi, hwy 28 south at the south nephi exit through Gunnison/Salina/Sigurd to Hwy 24.........decent 2 lane, 70 mph more senic than slab........22 to Loa, Bicknell, Torrey Cap Reef.......down to hwy 12 etc...

OR,
from Sigurd head toward Fish lake Take "short cut" Hwy 62 South through Koosherm to Antimony that exits right at the North end of Bryce little to no traffic (cuts out the distance over west to Panguitch, shortens some of the Hwy 12 loop)....Salina to Bryce is 100 miles, 1.5 hrs tops....
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Old 09-19-2008, 10:28 PM   #8
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I'll second the recommendation of 72 from Loa. Absolutely amazing road. Many tar snakes this spring though, and a few cows around turns. Keep a sharp eye out.

Here's a number of pics from Muley:

http://grendel.smugmug.com/gallery/5...39074121_tojCJ

You can get a great view of the valley from there:


While you're in the Mexican Hat area, also hit Goosenecks State Park. Bring the widest frickin lens you have:


Also, hit Valley of the Gods Rd:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...,0.152779&z=13

to see stuff like this:


while in Mexican Hat, this is a decent place to stay & eat:
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:21 AM   #9
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Thanks Guys! Some great suggestions that I'll be using and nice photos. Makes the trip more enticing.

I'm thinking of coming down through Ely, NV (overnight) and over to Beaver, 153 to Junction, to Antimony and down to the north end of Bryce (overnight), then onward via 12 (u-turn at summit), Burr Trail to Bullfrog (take ferry) and then Monument Valley (overnight.)

On the way back, via 95, side trip to Goblin park then Capitol Reef (overnight), Day trip through Cathedral Valley and overnight at Torrey. Take 72 to 31 into SLC (poss. overnight) and back to Boise with a stop at Golden Spike.

Date is set for Oct. 20-26. Hope I don't run into snow. Tomorrow is a test ride to experience camping (first time from bike!) at City of Rocks, Idaho. I'd like to camp most of the nights on the Utah ride.

Any additional comments based on this description?
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Old 09-20-2008, 01:33 AM   #10
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Camp at the free campground at Upper Cathedral valley for the sunset/sunrise. Even mo'betta than Torrey.
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Old 09-20-2008, 06:47 AM   #11
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Bryce is high elevation and is already getting too cold to camp, for me anyway. I was thru there a couple of weeks ago and the night time temps were already dipping to near freezing. I went further and dropped down to Calf Creek (Boulder) for camping.

Ruby's Inn has all types of lodging at Bryce. Just a short way past Bryce is Kodachrome Basin Park. They rent out those small cabins at a fair price.
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Old 09-20-2008, 07:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodanja
Tomorrow is a test ride to experience camping (first time from bike!) at City of Rocks, Idaho.
City of Rocks has big goings on today. Sounds like one big party/celebration/festival to celebrate their 20th anniversary as a National Preserve.
Have fun! I'm seeing if I can get enough things done to go camp there tonight as well.
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Old 09-20-2008, 09:08 AM   #13
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"Bryce Canyon Pines"
Excellent mod-priced hotel near Bryce (2 mi west on 12), or has camping on the other side of the road.......Also a very good cafe
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Old 09-20-2008, 09:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodanja
Thanks Guys! Some great suggestions that I'll be using and nice photos. Makes the trip more enticing.

I'm thinking of coming down through Ely, NV (overnight) and over to Beaver, 153 to Junction, to Antimony and down to the north end of Bryce (overnight), then onward via 12 (u-turn at summit), Burr Trail to Bullfrog (take ferry) and then Monument Valley (overnight.)

On the way back, via 95, side trip to Goblin park then Capitol Reef (overnight), Day trip through Cathedral Valley and overnight at Torrey. Take 72 to 31 into SLC (poss. overnight) and back to Boise with a stop at Golden Spike.

Date is set for Oct. 20-26. Hope I don't run into snow. Tomorrow is a test ride to experience camping (first time from bike!) at City of Rocks, Idaho. I'd like to camp most of the nights on the Utah ride.

Any additional comments based on this description?
Route will be fine be safe
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Old 09-20-2008, 10:33 AM   #15
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I've got a ride planned with a small group on October 24-27th in some of the same area you'll be visiting.

Fri. 10/24 we'll overnight in Torrey
Sat. 10/25 Mexican Hat
Sun. 10/26 Kanab

Maybe we'll see you on (or off) the road.
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