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Old 01-03-2013, 02:56 PM   #1
Ron in Boise OP
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Information about Southern Utah Requested?

Information about Southern Utah Requested?
Hi All;
Ron in Boise here; I am looking forward to coming down to Southern Utah this Spring for a week or more of back country adventures.
I am an experienced rider and here in Idaho, since 1972, I have ridden pretty much every drainage and mountain range south of the Salmon River from Oregon to Wyoming. I am now riding a TW200 as a concession to being 69 years old.
I have traveled through Southern Utah on a number of occasions and now, being retired, I have the time to come back and smell the canyons. It is likely that a friend of mine and often riding partner will be coming with me for riding adventures. His is a skilled back country rider and also rides a TW 200. We both have campers and the time to explore.
I would like to get information regarding your part of Utah for our adventures. I would like to come down as early as the Winter moderates and the usual riding conditions prevail. Both of our bikes are licensed as well as off road legal in Idaho.
Also, are there restrictions to out of state users other than the normal BLM and Park Service rules?
All help will be appreciated. Thanks
Happy Trails All
Ron in Boise
ronhbr@cableone.net
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:56 PM   #2
ALinUTAH
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Howdy Ron.

If you're looking for places to park the camper and day ride, the Moab area is huge with more opportunities than you know what to do with. Tons of stuff all around there. If you do one thing near Moab it should be the white rim trail. Camp out on the island in the sky and ride the loop from there in a day.

If you want to get away from the mob, there is also the Maze district of Canyonlands NP over on the west side of the river. And the San Rafael Swell a little further west, west of hwy24. That area is not a park, just wide open BLM, has everything from graded gravel roads to single track and is unknown or ignored by most people. It will be peaceful and lonely compared to Moab. The Grand Staircase/Escalante south of the towns of Boulder and Escalante is a fun place to poke around, too. I explored around in Capitol Reef for the first time last summer and it was a lot of fun.

If you can be more specific about what you're looking for you'll get tons of recommendations. Dirt roads? ATV trails? Gnarly single track?

If you're street legal you're good everywhere.

March can be nice, or it can be kinda cold and stormy. By April you're safe. May is very nice. Sometimes you can ride into early June before it gets too hot.

And if you're looking for company just ask. I've met some internet strangers for rides down there.

White Rim




Maze


Capitol Reef


San Rafael Swell




Escalante


-al
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:51 PM   #3
Ron in Boise OP
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Awesome Information

Thanks for the response. The out of the way areas are exactly what we enjoy riding. It would be nice to find a local rider who could go on the rides with us and guide us to the fun stuff.

We will ride every type of terrain. Not much for paved road riding other than to get to where the adventure begins. Day rides to be back at the comfort of the motor home in the evening is the best of all worlds. ATV trails and single tracks are a hoot.

Happy Trails All

Ron in Boise
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:11 PM   #4
ALinUTAH
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Okay then. Out of the way places. When you say motorhome I'll assume you don't go too far off the pavement in that rig. Here's what I'd do. Go to the Hanksville area, camp somewhere around Temple Mtn or Goblin Valley State Park. From there you could day ride west into the swell and east into the maze (how are you with sand?). If you run out of stuff to do there, just cruise on down the road a little to Capitol Reef NP near Torrey or the Burr trail east of Boulder. The Burr trail is a mostly paved road with some nice camping and dirt spurs you could explore. Or from Hanksville, drive south down 95 to the top end of Lake Powell (Hite), set up camp, and explore that area. From there you can ride north into the maze if you didn't get that far before, or explore around the lake, or NE into the Dark Canyon area. Hwy 24 and 95 don't get much traffic so short spurts on the TW to get around should be fine. That should keep you for a week.

National Geographic has good maps of these areas.

http://www.natgeomaps.com/ti_utah

-al
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:20 PM   #5
Ron in Boise OP
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St. George?

How is the St. George area for early spring riding? Does it seem to dry out and be an area where spring comes earlier? I will be anxious to get to the high country as soon as possible. I have read that the Arizona Strip can stay pretty muddy late into the spring.

Happy Trails All

Ron in Boise.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:34 PM   #6
Elmer_C
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in Boise View Post
How is the St. George area for early spring riding? Does it seem to dry out and be an area where spring comes earlier? I will be anxious to get to the high country as soon as possible. I have read that the Arizona Strip can stay pretty muddy late into the spring.

Happy Trails All

Ron in Boise.

This guy has reported on tons of riding in the St. George area.

http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...in+River+Gorge
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:39 AM   #7
DADODIRT
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I prefer south of Moab. Highway 211 goes west from 191 between Moab and Monticello. Good camping just before the Needles district of Canyonlands. Lots of riding. I've found it to be a bit warmer than up above Moab and north of Canyonlands. Good riding in the park and both north and south of the highway.
Another good place is even farther south. Butler Wash and Comb Ridge run parallel in a north-south direction between two highways. This area is south and west of Blanding.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:56 AM   #8
wbbnm
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We did a five day ride in southern Utah in October. We wanted to hit challenging and out-of-the-way places. We trucked dirt bikes from place to place. A few of the guys camped.

We rode Piute Pass the first day (one of the best rides I have ever done). It is just off 95 between Blanding and Hite. Rode the Maze 2nd day. Then Henry Mountains 3rd Day. Capital Reef and Boulder Top south of Torrey 4th Day. And Cathedral Valley/Hartnett draw last day.

Tracks are in dualsportmaps.com and GPSXchange.com under March Across SE Utah.

Some pics and a map are here:

http://wbbnm.smugmug.com/Motorcycles...4476&k=xJ98CWk

Nearing top of Piute Pass:

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Old 01-07-2013, 01:22 PM   #9
Ron in Boise OP
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Weather Conditions?

I have researched the areas south of Moab that you recommended. They look like very good areas for adventures. When can a person usually head down there without the threat of mud everywhere?
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:27 PM   #10
wbbnm
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I think snow is a bigger problem than mud. Anything above 8500 - 9000 ft is often still snowed in until mid-late in June I believe. This would include the La Sals, Abajo, Henry, and Boulder area mountains.

Generally roads in the desert dry out quickly - within a day or two, after a big rain. Sometimes there is a continuing problem when deep snow by the side of the road continually melts into a road and makes it muddy.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:34 PM   #11
TNC
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wbbnm, there's some great riding in that area around Blanding and Hite. I saw RideFreak's video of that Piute Pass and went there last May. Lots of fun and beautiful stuff around there.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:06 PM   #12
ALinUTAH
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There are a few areas that are clay that you want to avoid when they're wet, but they are rare and that kind of rain is rare. Most of the places you will want to go will be rocks and sand. So mud isn't really a concern.

You might want to work some anasazi ruins or rock art into your trips. The Beef basin area on the south end of Canyonlands NP, near the abajo mtns, has a bunch of cliff dwellings and grainaries and stuff. Easiest way is from hwy211. There are petroglyphs and pictographs all over the place down there. Lots of old mining ruins from the uranium days too in some areas. If you're into that.

A couple jeep-related websites that I've found useful for routes down there are expeditionutah and traildamage.

I don't think a week is enough. If you're retired, you need to head down there for a couple months! I've been working on it for 25 years and have barely made a dent. -al
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:52 PM   #13
RedRockRider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in Boise View Post
How is the St. George area for early spring riding? Does it seem to dry out and be an area where spring comes earlier? I will be anxious to get to the high country as soon as possible. I have read that the Arizona Strip can stay pretty muddy late into the spring.

Happy Trails All

Ron in Boise.
St. George is lower elevation (less than 3,000 ft) and somewhat warmer than the rest of southern Utah. Lots of southern Utah is several thousand feet higher and much cooler. There are a few cold mornings in St. George (freezing is rare), afternoons have sunshine. I would say year round moto riding is fine as long as you gear up a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elmer_C View Post
This guy has reported on tons of riding in the St. George area.

http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...in+River+Gorge
Thanks, Elmer_C

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALinUTAH View Post

I don't think a week is enough. If you're retired, you need to head down there for a couple months! I've been working on it for 25 years and have barely made a dent. -al
Agreed! If time is not an issue, there is basically unlimited riding/exploring to do in Southern Utah. Anywhere south of I-70 is excellent. Very few people and fantastic scenery. I'm partial to St. George area (southwest UT) because it's my backyard. But you can't go wrong anywhere.

If you are driving from the north, just keep heading south and dropping elevation until you end up with temps that you like. Very easy to regain elevation to find cooler air.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:28 AM   #14
wbbnm
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Originally Posted by TNC View Post
wbbnm, there's some great riding in that area around Blanding and Hite. I saw RideFreak's video of that Piute Pass and went there last May. Lots of fun and beautiful stuff around there.
I obviously agree. I have been thru there 3 times in the last few years. I thought that by doing a 5 day trip in the area, we could get to see just about all. But I think we have barely scratched the surface. I really want to explore all the other trails on the southwest side of Pitue Pass and of course go up the pass again.

And there is lots of stuff on the other side of 95 I want to do. Only a couple of guys still had energy to do the afternoon ride over there after Piute Pass on our October trip. And I hear Jacob's Chair is great.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:51 AM   #15
RideFreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbbnm View Post
I obviously agree. I have been thru there 3 times in the last few years. I thought that by doing a 5 day trip in the area, we could get to see just about all. But I think we have barely scratched the surface. I really want to explore all the other trails on the southwest side of Pitue Pass and of course go up the pass again.

And there is lots of stuff on the other side of 95 I want to do. Only a couple of guys still had energy to do the afternoon ride over there after Piute Pass on our October trip. And I hear Jacob's Chair is great.
I might take the second half of the summer off and would like to explore some more of that area. We'll be passing pretty close to Jacobs chair on the May ride.

Too many trails, not enough time
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