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Old 02-02-2013, 11:23 AM   #1
BuffaloAl OP
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St. George - Spring 2013

After reading Red Rock Rider's posts about the St. George area, I've decided to head down this spring to extend my riding season. I plan on going the week of March 25th or the week of April 15th. Do any of you have suggestions on either date? I am planning on tenting and the weather information I've seen for the area suggests that it should be feasible, although a little cool at night.

As for my plans, I really want to explore the Grand Canyon Parashant area. I've been playing on Garmin's Topo U.S. 24K Southwest in Base Camp and have come up with several day rides (all in the early planning stage at this point). Could those of you with knowledge of the area take a look at them and let me know if I've included anything that's completely insane or missed something that is glaringly obvious? I classify myself as a fairly seasoned dual sport rider and I'll be on my KLR 650. I've got the usual bells and whistles (skid plate, engine guard, bark busters, Kenda 270s). I'm not an enduro racer by any stretch, but I'm pretty proficient on gravel and twin tracks.

Thanks,
Al
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:13 PM   #2
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The track due-South out of Mesquite leaves town crossing the river where there is no crossing. You can cross the river a mile East on Scenic Blvd. Earlier that same track leaves the freeway frontage road on a sketchy road along the side of a golf course. 1.3mi East of the golf course is the main road (Scenic Blvd) that crosses the river, which would be a much better way to go.

The track South of Bar-10 goes off the edge of the Grand Canyon cliff on a hiking trail. No road or rideable section that last mile or so!

Your track due-South out of St George is blocked by a new freeway that goes to the new airport there. Where your track first hits dirt, just stay on the pavement 2 miles more, crossing the freeway at an underpass, then you'll hook back into your track there.

Your track going East out of St George goes straight through someone's house and their back yard fence where there is no road, 3 miles before reaching Sand Hollow Reservoir.

Leaving Sand Hollow Reservoir South, your track goes where there appears to be no road or trail, bushwacking through the bush, about 3 miles after leaving the Sand Hollow area.

A section of your Lime Kiln-Mt Trumbull track goes through a cattle fence where there appears to be no way through. It looks like there was a road there at one time, but not anymore. The blocked part is just West of a dirt road called County Hwy 257 exactly 3 miles South of Mt Trumbull school.

The exact point where your -Toroweap track exits Hwy 389 in Colorado City is no exit, and probably goes through a fence. Exit 170 yards North of that point, and hook right into your track.

Your Pearce Canyon track goes through a nasty rocky wash where there is no existing road, going South from this point ( 36 16.617'N 113 54.420'W ). It won't be any fun unless you enjoy torture. Also, there is a BLM fence right at those coordinates. People have ripped the fence open there, but it could be back up when you arrive. There's a much easier way around, on the road 2 miles West. When you arrive at the abandoned cabin, go another 50 yards down the road and turn LEFT up a beautiful smooth wash. That will hook you back up with your track.

Does your topo map say that this point ( 37 2.931'N 113 45.196'W ) would be fun to see, just 1/4 mile East of your Lime Kiln-Mt Trumbull track on a powerline access road?

Hope you carry a LOT of gas, because most of those dead-ends are a LONG ways from any gas station. Also, unless your're amazingly fast, you won't get in and out of some of those points in one day. Make reservations at Bar-10 and also camp at Toroweap and one of those points West of Bar-10 and you might get away with it. Good luck!
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:14 AM   #3
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Garmin Map Culture

Hog Wild:
Thanks for the information. As I said, the tracks are preliminary and based on Garmin's map culture in their Topo US 24K product. I've found their culture to be out dated quite frequently, so I take the routes as more of a suggestion than anything. I really wouldn't ride through someone's yard or off the edge of the Grand Canyon .

What I was really interested to hear, and the reason I made this post, is discussion about the destinations themselves. Have you ridden the stretch from St. George to Twin Point or Toroweap? I know that they are a long distance, but I ride the super tanker of dual sports, the KLR650! I've got a range of more than 400 km (250-290 miles), so I'm not too worried about fuel. I may even carry an extra gallon in such a remote area. I am wondering about the duration of the ride, so I'd like to hear from people that have ridden it to see if it's been too long in their experience. I see that there should be almost twelve hours of daylight by the time I'm riding there, so I'm hoping that the ten hours mounted should be achievable.

Thanks for the suggestion of that knoll outside of Mesquite. That's exactly the sort of think I'm interested in. It's also the sort of thing that I detour to investigate as I'm riding!
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:18 AM   #4
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I'm sure you'll be fine as long as you turn around when your day is half gone, or be prepared to ride in the dark or camp. Some of the roads are super deluxe freeways, while others are like goat trails. You could learn a lot by loading the tracks into Google Earth and take a look from that perspective.

The "knoll" isn't what you think. I'll let it be a surprise when you see it in person. It taught me a lesson!
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:47 AM   #5
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HogWild.

Thanks for that great information. We are planning a trip there in May. I will cross check our planned tracks against the OPs tracks and your information. I think all of my tracks are based on actual rides by others.

BTW. I am really intrigued by Red Rock Rider's exploits. I have done a little riding in that area and we will be going thru there in May.

During the cold last winter I created Garmin routes as best I could of a lot of his rides from looking at the Benchmark maps he posted.

I don't want to post the file since I am not sure of its accuracy. But if anyone PMs me, I will be happy to send a copy.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:17 AM   #6
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I can't offer precise feedback like Hogwild has (few are there who can), but I did this trip report about that area last March (here).

We approached it from the west, camping 45 minutes south of Mesquite. The video of the first day is further to the west than you're planning, but the other two videos in that trip report are in the western edge of what you're thinking of riding.

You'll see some pictures of us in tall pine trees. That the area overlooking the Virgin River Gorge. Had we gone another 10 miles or so I think we would have reached a lookout point, but we were worn out fighting the mud and turned back before that point. I'm guessing that area will be as easy to reach from St. George as it was from Whitney Pockets.

The third video is just riding around on a lot of the flat dirt roads crisscrossing the northeast corner of AZ in Grand Canyon/Parashant NF. It was a fantastic area to ride.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:29 AM   #7
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Hit me up when youre down here, as an ADVer and a BLM employee I have lots of info on riding areas. plus I grew up here.....
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:11 AM   #8
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St. George Spring 2013

DirtReeper:
I certainly will. I'm planning on coming down during the week of April 15-19th. The plans are still not firm yet. Thanks for the information. I was planning on stopping in at the BLM offices to check my ride routes for concerns or comments.

Thanks,
Al

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Hit me up when youre down here, as an ADVer and a BLM employee I have lots of info on riding areas. plus I grew up here.....
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtReeper View Post
Hit me up when youre down here, as an ADVer and a BLM employee I have lots of info on riding areas. plus I grew up here.....
Bit of a hijack. We are planning a ride thru this area in late May. The ride originally was planned for a fall ride, but plans change.


Anyway the original plan called for lots of mountain riding between Cedar City and Escalante. I assume that the mountain dirt roads will still be snowed in in late May.

Any suggestions for a good dirt route between Cedar City and Escalante that wouldn't be snowed in that time of year.

I have been looking at some roads south of hiway 12 that stay down below 8500 ft and may try these. I see one of them crosses the Virgin River, and I am a little concerned about that.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-04-2013, 09:18 PM   #10
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I have been spending my spring vacations riding the Arizona strip area since the late 1970s. Something to keep in mind when you ride south from St George towards the Grand Canyon...in general, the further south you go the higher the elevation. Just the opposite of what most people expect. Middle of April, don't be surprised to find a lot of snow and mud. I generally go down there about the middle of May. Two years ago when heading for Oak Grove (jumping off area for Twin Point, Kelly Point, etc., I had to turn back because of mud and snow. Last year - no problem. Roads were dry and dusty for the most part. Same if you try to get over the shoulder of Mt Trumbull to get to Toroweap - you're looking at riding at 7000 feet and mid-April the roads may not yet be passable. You'll have to check locally for what it's like this year. On the other hand, both the Oak Grove and Mt Trumbull area are great for camping if the snow is melted off - giant stands of Ponderosa pines for shade and to break the force of the wind, nice and open between trees.

Regarding the road to Kelly Point - be aware that the last 20 miles or so, your butt and the seat on your KLR will not spend much time bonding. It is rough! You'll be up on the pegs most of the time, bouncing from rock to rock. I've done these roads on everything from an XR250 up through a 600 and the smaller bikes were much easier to handle.

If when you get to the St George area you find that there is still deep snow in the higher elevations of the Strip, start from Colorado City and head down toward Toroweap down Clayhole Valley road where the elevation won't be as high. From there you can check out TuckUp Point and SB Point also depending on how the roads are.

The Yamaha, last year on Snap Point:
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Old 03-08-2013, 08:10 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by BuffaloAl View Post
I am wondering about the duration of the ride, so I'd like to hear from people that have ridden it.
The bulk of the riding is easy two track and some dirt fwys (CR5).......it's really all about the weather......if it's dry you're golden, if it's raining you're screwed.......that red clay is NO fun when wet....
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:40 PM   #12
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I am actually in St George as I write this. My KLR calves as I was loading it so all of my exploring has been in my pickup. We drove out to Toroweap yesterday from St. George via the Mt. Trumbull loop. It was fine. We stopped at the BLM office and got lots of ideas of places to visit. We're having a down day today, running errands and such. Tomorrow we are headed for Whitney Pocket and then Friday we'll be headed home. My wife came along and we towed the trailer so we are camped at the Virgin River Recreation Area (very nice). I hope the bike is a little more cooperative next time!
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