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Old 02-25-2012, 06:49 AM   #226
TwoShots
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRockRider View Post
Give me a "heads up" if you're ever in the area. Local inmates -- any interest in the occasional ADV ride?

Longer days and warmer weather are fast approaching. Ride safe and ride often. Thanks again to all.
Roger that. I'm finishing up restoration of a '01 Dakar. An occasional riding/exploration partner would be good. And likewise fire a PM if you're ever up this way.

And thanks for the inspiration. Figure I'll fire up a similar thread to document the areas I previously mentioned... the roads less traveled hidden between the common paved/tourist routes.
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:05 AM   #227
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:31 AM   #228
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:10 PM   #229
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Diamond Valley - Snow Canyon Loop

Did this loop twice last week. Once with Dad starting on the east side of St. George (near MotoZoo). Direction of travel is counterclockwise -- up past the T-Bone Tank and on dirt over to Diamond Valley. Return to St. George via Snow Canyon State Park. I was on the TW200 for this ride. We encountered some mud.

Same loop, but clockwise a few days later. This time solo on the WRR. Started on Snow Canyon Parkway, up through Snow Canyon State Park to Diamond Valley. Then on dirt back down past the Black Gulch to the east side of St. George.

Pics from both trips are combined. Mostly in the order of the first trip (counterclockwise). Loop is about 35 miles. One of the easiest short loops from St. George. Start of ride is very similar to Post #96 on page 7.

The map:




Safety inspection time for Dad's Honda. We stopped in the local shop near the MotoZoo store.




Going over the bike. So far everything looks good. Total time for inspection = 5 min. Total time for paperwork = 20 min. Standard stuff. All friendly.




The T-Bone Tank. Near the end of the pavement, just as you are leaving and rising up above St. George. Cool name.




Serious business!




Entering the Red Cliffs Conservation Area.




Dad on the "safety inspected" bike -- what a relief. Good to be out moving!




Looking ahead to Pine Valley Mountain. Always interesting to see the snow amounts on Pine Valley Mountain.




Trailer set up near intersection with 033 to Leeds/Silver Reef and Oak Grove. Obviously lots of deer in the area.




The cut-off road to Diamond Valley. Route #901 is not marked on Benchmark map, but is easy to see.




Time for a quick break. We stop to check out the mud. Easy enough to skirt around the edge. Just a bit messy. Relatively firm. Occasionally these mud pits are slick as snot. No problems today.




Standard father-son shot. Good to have! Time together, especially riding, is time well spent!




Here's the same mud pit a few days later going the opposite direction on the WRR. Dried up a bit. Not even any mud sticking to the bike.




WRR with Pine Valley Mountain. There has been more snow in the last few days, but still not much this winter.




Just before descending into Diamond Valley there is a bit of a powerline road. You can explore for a few miles before getting ledged out (going north) or fenced off (going south).




Obligatory mirror shot.




Just before entering Diamond Valley there is a semi-permanent mud pit. Road has been widened and there are several easy work-arounds.




The cattle gate. Don't think this one is going to stop that many cows.




View from the cattle gate across Diamond Valley.




Here's where pavement and dirt connect in Diamond Valley. The sky was bluer on my second (clockwise) ride (solo) on the WRR.




My SPOT link at this intersection.

http://www.findmespot.com/mylocation...83N/113.60323W


The nearby streets in Diamond Valley.




Winter tree in Diamond Valley neighborhood.




Diamond Valley has a good entrance sign from Highway 18. The profile of Pine Valley Mountain is very accurate.




Best way back to St. George is through Snow Canyon State Park. Only a very short stretch of Highway 18 is required. Here's the sign from the bottom of Snow Canyon State Park. Take your State Park pass, otherwise you might have to pay.




Snow Canyon State Park.




Near the top of Snow Canyon State Park.




Temps were in the 60s both days. Very pleasant to ride in St. George year round.



Lots of mud on the bikes after the ride with Dad. Had to clean up a bit. A few quarters well spent.




Parade of Homes time in St. George. Entrada -- just off of Snow Canyon Parkway.




Southwest style homes.




View towards Snow Canyon from the backyards.




Lots of visitors. Perhaps the real estate market is turning.




Landscaping.




Details:




Several parade homes in the area.




More crowds.




How I spent my weekend.




And the best part. My son likes the hats!




Thanks for checkin' in. Ride safe!
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Southwest Utah: Dual Sport Riding from St. George
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=725976

RedRockRider screwed with this post 02-28-2012 at 10:17 PM
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:17 AM   #230
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RRR,

Extremely nice thread!! After 19 years in southern UT, and working on the AZ strip, between the TW and the Tiger I think I've been on, or been on a portion of, every one of your routes. Your thread has got me thinking I need to purchase another TW. Great photos!! Thanks for a great report.

TB
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:49 AM   #231
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Nice!

Always enjoy reading your thread. The views are awesome, and sometimes you get to share them with your dad. And that's awesome too!
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:01 AM   #232
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The cactus blooming and the flowers in the Parade of Homes shots look so inviting - this is quite a contrast to a 7000' elevation this time of year. Gives us hope that spring is making its way up the hill!

Thanks for taking us along

Rick
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:03 PM   #233
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RedRockRider. Wow reading your stuff makes me drool. I live PT in StGeorge/Coral Canyon and would love to try some of these routes. I always ride alone so it would be great to tag along. I haveca KLX250. Please PM me,
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:03 PM   #234
GeoMoto
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Talking Flying Monkey Adventure Rally 2012

"Flying Monkey Adventure Rally" Link:
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=766096

Hello Southern Utah,

How the heck have I missed this thread!

I am organizing the 2nd Annual Flying Monkey Adventure Rally and it is in your back yard at the Zion Ponderosa Ranch.

I am going to be starting to map out the routes within the next couple of months and continuing up to the event in July.

PM me if you are interested in organizing some rides!

Thanks,
Jesse
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:06 PM   #235
GeoMoto
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Camera?

Great Photos! Thanks for sharing!

What kind of camera are you using?

Thanks
Jesse
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:35 PM   #236
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Thanks, GeoMoto / Jesse.

Camera is a simple Olympus point-and-shoot. 10 megapixel. Very little cropping and no photo-shopping / color adjustment. Old school (film) approach -- what you see is what you get. Southern Utah colors tend to stand on their own pretty well. My dad is the real photographer. I'm his apprentice.

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Southwest Utah: Dual Sport Riding from St. George
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=725976
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:35 PM   #237
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Index of Rides on Page 1 updated

Thanks inmates!

TwoShots -- Good luck with the '01 Dakar. St. George in the "winter" - we'll connect. And lots of summer weekends at Brian Head, usually with a dual sport and a road bike. Fun to explore either way.

TheMule -- Your ride to Alaska on the TW was epic! Highly recommended reading.

TW Goes To Alaska Solo
http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...ght=utah+tw200

TheAdmiral -- Nice YouTube with Georgie (dog) on the back. Hope your foot is feeling better.


Ride safe, ride often. RRR.
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Southwest Utah: Dual Sport Riding from St. George
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=725976
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:36 PM   #238
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Smith Mesa

Did this ride on the Versys a couple of days ago. Smith Mesa is just north of Virgin, Utah with fantastic views of Zion National Park for most of the ride. Best to do the ride in a "clockwise" direction. That way, you are looking at the higher cliffs of Zion for most of the ride. The Smith Mesa Road (dirt) ends just after entering Zion National Park on the Kolob Terrace Road (paved).

The road up to Kolob Reservoir (all paved) is also a great ride. Quite easy to connect through on dirt all the way to UT 14 in Cedar Canyon just east of Cedar City. That route won't be open again until the snow melts.

Map of Smith Mesa Ride:




Just starting out. Leaving UT 9 (left turn) just before Virgin, UT. Road is paved for the ascent of Smith Mesa.




Looks promising. This is a lower speed road. Lots of sharp (somewhat blind) turns. Narrow shoulders with drop-offs.




As you climb, there are great views east to the skyline of Zion. The West Temple is the highest and most prominent part of the ridge.




At the top is a restricted area. The Smith Mesa road turns to dirt and essentially circumnavigates Smith Mesa providing views most of the time.




The road is mostly firm dirt passable by most street bikes, unless wet. The are some dried ruts which require attention.




A few large rocks, but most of the land is open and fairly agricultural.




Up close and personal with dried ruts. Never a problem on this ride, but it could be a real mess.




Views from Smith Mesa!




The road heading north.




Private property.




And the consequences!




View north towards the Red Butte with the higher snow covered mountains near Kolob Reservoir in the far distance.




An informal cemetery, just off the road. Very scenic and uplifting.




Peace to these souls.




The view from near the cemetery.




Back on the road.




Self-portrait.




Waiting for the developers to come. Several signs like this in the area. This won't be agricultural land 100 years from now.




The Versys managed to get through fine with only one or two small dabs of mud. But, it did take constant attention with the kickstand to avoid sinking in softer muds. Lots of photos taken while sitting on the bike.




Photo taken while on bike.




Cattle operations.




Descending the east side of Smith Mesa and getting closer to Zion.




Horses with Zion in background.




This caught my eye.




Entering Zion National Park on dirt, near the Kolob Terrace Road. Amazing scenery and almost no people. I saw two pick-ups on the whole ride, one was across a field.




Reconnecting with pavement. The Kolob Terrace Road is an official Utah Scenic Backway. Well deserved.




This spot is bit further up on the Kolob Reservoir Road. I went up to take a look. The late afternoon light with the grass in the foreground is always striking. Cave Valley area.




Some snow on the highest rocks of Zion.




Back down. Leaving Zion. This is the Kolob Terrace section. Very light visitation compared to the main canyon and tunnel areas.




Back to UT 9 and home to St. George. The Versys is fun at highway speed as well as being a reasonable bike for graded dirt.




Highly recommend Smith Mesa. Avoid wet conditions (for any bike). Best to travel clockwise to enjoy near constant views of Zion. In warmer weather possible to extend towards Kolob Reservoir and beyond.

Thanks for checkin' in.
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Southwest Utah: Dual Sport Riding from St. George
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=725976
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:28 PM   #239
GeoMoto
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Did you notice the indian art on the rock to your right? Great ride! I was lucky enough to get a tour of the rocket test facility a few years back. Very cool and highly recommended if you can get a tour and to hear about the history. The mesa where the test track is is also known as "Flying Monkey Mesa" from back in the day when test monkeys where used in ejection seat tests. It is also the inspiration for the "Flying Monkey Adventure Rally" and "Flying Monkey Adventure Riders" You gotta love Southern Utah!
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:49 PM   #240
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Indian Art ???

Gotta go back. I missed that. Thanks, Jesse.

Yeah, I knew about some of the history of the "Flying Monkey Mesa," and the inspiration for your avatar and the adventure rides. Very cool name.

I've been up on Smith Mesa several times. Almost no people and excellent views. Very accessible from St. George and Hurricane.

Ride safe on those commutes between CA and Utah.
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Southwest Utah: Dual Sport Riding from St. George
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=725976
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