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Old 06-23-2013, 08:21 AM   #1
psmcd OP
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Joined: Aug 2012
Location: foot of Olympus
Oddometer: 601
Stansbury Front

Hopped on the bike yesterday for a single track test of my DR650. I live on the Wasatch Front and The Stansburys are the second range to the West. The Salt Lake Valley is slab no matter how you cross it so I'll start with the Oquirrhs.

The road heading West up Butterfield Canyon crosses the Oquirrhs and drops down Middle Canyon to Tooele. It's a fun, pretty 7 miles up on twisty pavement, posted 35 mph with deer and picnicker hazards around blind corners. At the pass it turns to gravel and to the North is the Kennecott copper mine and to the South is a jeep road. I don't know that it's open but a KLR650 rider posted a youtube of that spur.

Middle canyon is fairly smooth early in the season but develops serious washboard with traffic. Watch out for 4-wheelers etc blasting out from campsites on your way through. It empties into Tooele on Vine St, jog up Main St one block to 2nd North, turn West and that puts you on Utah Ave out to Hwy 112. Slab across the basin to Granstville on 112 or cut straight West at R Ave, at the Miller Motosports Park. Either gets you to the S. West St/Mormon Trail Hwy where you head South. Ride South and pick your canyon.

I started at Davenport Canyon which is the North spur off North Canyon Rd.


The mine roads go quite a way up each of these canyons. Before heading South on the Stansbury Front single track I rode up Davenport. It's rocky and steep in places, knobbies recommended and some sort of limit test for rider skill/bike weight.



The single track is posted and easy to find. The only traffic I encountered were a few 4-wheelers and trucks on the canyon roads. Lumbering around the trail on a DR650 I kept eyes and ears open for these guys:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuIERPz7dCA
but I had the trail to myself all the way.



I'm a sucker for the views out here. The DR is a comfy traveler but induces a pucker here and there along the way.



The trail traverses around ridges and smaller drainages into the next canyon.



I split off the trail and rode the mine road up to it's end. On future rides I'll do some moto based hiking. The ridge line of the Stansburys is great walking with curve of earth views over the salt flats to the West and multiple ranges to the East.



No photos of South Willow Canyon and Deseret Peak. That's the Southern end of the trail and a worthy day hike to 11,035'. In all the DR proved it's single-track mettle though I'll be avoiding the rocks, boulders and roots when its wet. I did stop for 5-point turns at a couple of steep switch-backs. One mine road climb bounced me out of my line and old man caution permitted a stop I was able to torque out of even with the stock gearing. Slab ride home from Grantsville on I80 for a 150 mile loop.
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:54 AM   #2
psmcd OP
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wannabee juggernaut

Been out to the Stansburys again today. I rode up Big Hollow from the southern end of the range (Highway 199 from Rush Valley/Clover area). Typical PM thunderstorms were on the march and I rode into one just as I got there. New rule; if rain gear is necessary, single track should be avoided. I just wanted to take a peek so I rode up the Hollow to the saddle (Hickman Pass) into East Hickman Canyon.
map: http://www.tooelecountytrails.com/im...intablemap.pdf



See that mud on the tires? It's a paradox. Sticks to you and the bike, while preventing tires from sticking to the earth.


Figured it would be as easy to ride down into Hickman Canyon as to retrace my route back down Big Hollow. Thus commenced the juggernaut. I thought it would only rain enough to settle the dust, tack up the trail so to speak. It was well past that stage by the time I reached this first saddle. The trail going down afforded minimum braking or steering traction. I got out of sorts on one straight descent, but fortunately the bike hurled itself on its side, and my leg, for better traction and a stop was accomplished. I forgot to take a picture, what with the extrication and lifting and all. There was no need for anyone else to worry, I had that covered all by myself.

An angel named Ginger Lee and her brother Judicious saw me through the remaining descent whereupon I commenced a puckered traverse. I really didn't want to drop a wheel off the trail and avoided doing so long enough for conditions to improve. (looking back at the saddle)


But today was not a good one for trail riding in the trees, where one encounters roots and logs and such.


No need for me to spend good money going to the gym.


I just stop and drag my bike through the briar patch if I get feeling too spunky.


I decided a sweatsuit was unnecessary for this workout.


And the rain seemed to be letting up.


I thought.


This turning climb was entirely coated with a 2" layer of the mud/clay equivalent of grease. I didn't fall scouting it, but your average nut out in these conditions should have.


By means of meditative pacing I discovered a feng shui alignment of stones, and an arch of ascending grace to emerge from the trees. Translated; don't fall down and have to pick up the bike again.


My intent with this ride, possibly, was to clear the next saddle (Box Elder Pass) and drop into South Willow Canyon. (this is looking north to the head of East Hickman Canyon)


That pass is almost 8,400' and it's a bit too steep, and wet, at the top for any more of this nonsense.


So I dropped down to the road going out E Hickman and passed what was probably an old cattle herding cabin.


Bill Hickman was a capable and notorious character in these parts. He was known for covering a lot of ground. He'd chuckle at me floundering through maybe 5 miles of his turf.
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:43 AM   #3
Rutabaga
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Nice landscape shots. Good cardio workout picking the bike up.
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:11 AM   #4
psmcd OP
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last piece of the puzzle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutabaga View Post
Nice landscape shots. Good cardio workout picking the bike up.
Thanks, it's a bit austere for some but I'm hooked on this country. Speaking of cardio, I was glad for a rag to wipe my head before putting on the helmet.

For perspective, here's a shot from the foothills north of Salt Lake City looking southwest across the lake. Midway you see the northern end of the Oquirrhs. In the background are the Stansburys.

And below, a shot looking from the Stansburys northeast across the end of the Oquirrhs to the foothills of the Wasatch, where the above picture was taken. (from a week previous when it was dry, and I was slightly more sane because I turned back at this point)


This is the climb out of South Willow Canyon (to Martin's Fork Pass) that I found too long, steep and remote late in the day last week. There's just a 6 mile segment of trail between here and where I bailed in Hickman. May have to walk or mtn bike it to see it all but one thing's for sure - I won't do it when wet. The mud out here is hateful.


Ain't nobody staying upright on this when wet whether on foot, bicycle or moto.


There's another challenge or two in the trees coming out of South Willow.
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:27 AM   #5
acidman1968
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Don't know how I missed this thread about the Stansbury Front, but I can attest as to the gnarliness of the trail - at least certain sections of it. I haven't ridden it, but I've hiked a few sections and they've kicked this fat guy's ass!!! Because I do most of my riding solo, and because I don't want to get stuck/wrecked/injured out in the boonies with nobody knowing exactly where to look for my corpse, I tend to not take La Bruja Negra onto the really rough stuff...

As for your reference to a youtube video of Middle Canyon in the Oquirrhs which was posted by a KLR rider, I know it wasn't mine, because I hadn't posted (or even taken the video) yet.

Here's mine:


http://youtu.be/nAC1B7zQkXA

If I remember correctly, this was my first-ever attempt to make a video and post it.

Some time, if you want to go for a ride - nothing too gnarly, mind - shoot me a PM!
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Old 04-12-2014, 06:19 PM   #6
psmcd OP
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Stansbury Redux

I should know better. I was pushing my mtn bike over a north facing slope at 6,400' this week, post holing through snow banks and wishing for gaiters. But the snow is too soft for skiing, it's too early to garden and the moto's been begging for a ride. The Stansbury front single track opens on April 2nd so I thought I'd have a look.

Lotta snow up there still:


Quick access is up West Canyon, on the north end of the range:


The trail up here is at about 6,500':


Snow's melting:


but lingers where it can:


Above photo was up canyon of the trail head so I rolled back down:


and gave it a go (note white patches above left of center):


I knew it was iffy, not a good idea for DR wrangling solo:


so I turned around:


and headed down to the ranch roads:


for some DR two tracking:


below the snow line:
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:29 PM   #7
acidman1968
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Hell, I haven't even considered trying to go up North or South Willow Canyons - let alone the SFT (and a KLR probably isn't the bike to try the SFT on). I just look across the valley from home and say "Nope! Not quite yet!"

However, I did enjoy your pics! Feel free to share more!

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Old 04-13-2014, 02:17 PM   #8
psmcd OP
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Nothing more

to show but my folly:


It was laying downhill, on it's left side. I entered too slow, stalled and immediately dropped it to the inside. A good deal of this trail is easy, including this switchback, but there are a few steep and rocky areas. Better traveled with another rider and on lighter bikes.

I did make it out to the Simpson Mtns earlier this year. Maybe we'll get in a ride out there before it's too hot. I'd like to go over the top of Indian Creek.

Looking north(west) to Stansburys from near Faust earlier this year:
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