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Old 05-21-2014, 08:47 AM   #16
RideFreak
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Snowflats Road is a great ride.

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Old 05-24-2014, 10:24 AM   #17
wbbnm
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Originally Posted by TNC View Post
Yeah, I did Snow Flat a couple of weeks ago. I'd ridden it before, and it's great scenery. On the Wooden Shoe route, have you done the Found Mesa route between Soldier's Crossing on 95 to Wooden Shoe? I did that one this trip, and it was a fun route...especially the part closer to Wooden Shoe. Did you see that complex of microwave recievers and solar panels at the high point of Wooden Shoe? I was able to get great cell phone coverage when I stopped near it.
I'm not sure what things are called out there. This time we took a road from 95 up to Woodenshoe that takes off a few hundred yards past the road up to the Bears Ears on the road to Natural Bridges. I think it is the Deer Flat road.

It was a nice fun road. We did go past the microwave stuff on WoodenShoe.

After this and Snow Flats we were pretty tired when we got to Hite. We had planned to ride up to the Dirty Devil and see if we could cross it. We were prepared to turn back if not. But we decided to just head up the highway to Hanksville. We did do a small dirt diversion over to the Little Egypt geological formation.

There was a dirt road north, but it was an ATV trail and given our past experience with ATV trails in the area we decided to forego it.

Had a great ride over the Henry's to Notam-Bullfrog and the Burr Trail the next day.
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:57 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by wbbnm View Post
I'm not sure what things are called out there. This time we took a road from 95 up to Woodenshoe that takes off a few hundred yards past the road up to the Bears Ears on the road to Natural Bridges. I think it is the Deer Flat road.

It was a nice fun road. We did go past the microwave stuff on WoodenShoe.

After this and Snow Flats we were pretty tired when we got to Hite. We had planned to ride up to the Dirty Devil and see if we could cross it. We were prepared to turn back if not. But we decided to just head up the highway to Hanksville. We did do a small dirt diversion over to the Little Egypt geological formation.

There was a dirt road north, but it was an ATV trail and given our past experience with ATV trails in the area we decided to forego it.

Had a great ride over the Henry's to Notam-Bullfrog and the Burr Trail the next day.
Good Lord, wb...your description here is a 3-day ride event for me...LOL!

Yeah, I rode that Deer Flat road for the first time this year...nothing challenging, but the scenery off that road on the way up and when you go out to that point that overlooks NBNM and hwy 95 was awesome. I did encounter some fairly rough stuff out on the end of Deer Flat toward 95, but otherwise it was just a fun, scenic ride.

I used to do those 150-200 mile days making huge loops in the past, but I've gotten to where I like to set up a base camp and do shorter runs each day. I get to poke around a lot more, see more, and even find some new routes like that Blue Notch/Red Canyon route I mentioned. I get to stop and smell the roses a bit more...so to speak...or was that cactus flowers?
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Old 05-24-2014, 03:45 PM   #19
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We don't like to camp and really want to stay in motels and eat in restaurants. This makes for some long days travelling in the west. Not a lot of roses get smelled most days.

But some of the guys do manage to down a couple of beers each during the course of the day on breaks.

On this trip we actually had a couple of 300 mile days and one 270.

I think in the future I will try to scale this back some. We are getting too old for the long days.
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Old 05-24-2014, 04:09 PM   #20
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Utah

Sorry we didn't cross paths while we were up there. WBBNM had us on a great ride schedule--something like 2300 miles in 10 days
I think he has the best southwestern loop that I have ever ridden
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Old 05-24-2014, 04:21 PM   #21
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Sorry we didn't cross paths while we were up there. WBBNM had us on a great ride schedule--something like 2300 miles in 10 days
I think he has the best southwestern loop that I have ever ridden
Then you better cough up some tracks Sy!

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Old 05-24-2014, 04:31 PM   #22
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Wbbnm

It was the reverse of a trip he laid out and did last year. Here is a link to that RR.

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=892221

I think he has posted up the tracks on that trip. Our trip was a reverse of last years with some changes. Nothing to really challenge you Trials types--well Elbow Canyon would at least amuse you

But for a great loop of the southwest it it excellent
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:16 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by wbbnm View Post
We don't like to camp and really want to stay in motels and eat in restaurants. This makes for some long days travelling in the west. Not a lot of roses get smelled most days.

But some of the guys do manage to down a couple of beers each during the course of the day on breaks.

On this trip we actually had a couple of 300 mile days and one 270.

I think in the future I will try to scale this back some. We are getting too old for the long days.
Well, on this trip my "camping" changed from my normal van and motorcycle trailer to a toy hauler. I am truly spoiled now.

People are different. I really enjoy camping in primitive locations...not so much campgrounds. Camping in Utah is my favorite.
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:49 PM   #24
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Yeah, sounds like we're talking about the same 2-track that is now blocked on that one route on Blue Notch road. On your description of the route into Red Canyon, that sounds like a different route than what I did. The route I took wasn't as severe, and that kind of surprised me from most of the stories I'd seen. The way I went you stay a fair distance away from the western walls of Red Canyon and are always out of the potential lake/water course. This route seems to stay further east of the actual streambed of Red Canyon until you get closer to Rainbow Canyon. Did you see the Rainbow Canyon spot that had the name painted on the canyon wall? I dropped into the main streambed near there coming in from the east. I'm thinking the more common route keeps you in the Red Canyon streambed for a longer period as you near the lake.

My route turns left off of Blue Notch well before you get to the lake and then stays well east of the Red Canyon streambed for a long time. It just seems to be harder route finding as you eventually work your way toward the Red Canyon streambed to hit the more established Red Canyon road, but the actual route and obstacles weren't particularly challenging. When I hit the streambed that had Rainbow Canyon, I knew where I was and was able to find old 2-track to take me toward the established Red Canyon road. I didn't encounter any extreme cutbanks or such. Because of the heavy rain 2 or 3 days before, I did have to dodge various muddy areas in the streambeds that I'm sure would have sucked my KLX up to the hubs quickly.
We must have missed Rainbow Canyon but I've heard about it from others. Like you said, you must have stayed higher up and to the east of Red Canyon, where we drifted south and west to get down to the bottom. There was a distinct patch of tamarisk that blocked the road and the steep drop into the canyon. The GS800 in our group had a bit of trouble with the drop into the canyon bottom, but not nearly as difficult as some of the steep, loose climbs up to Piute Pass. It's definitely worth getting down there and exploring where only a few people venture each year.

And since someone asked for pictures...

Getting started from Blue Notch



Cutbank and tamarisk at the bottom before entering Red Canyon. Tough to drop in, but I'd say nearly impossible to climb back out without a winch.


Bottom of the canyon where we dropped in. From here it started rough, but gradually got easier heading south toward the improved road.



But the full loop up to Piute as tough. This kinda climb wasn't great for a bike...(the greenish colored rock is the trail).




This was our route/loop.



The GS was in over its head in a number of spots and required help. No problem at all for a smaller bike, or a good rider on a KLR or similar.
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Old 05-27-2014, 06:08 AM   #25
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TNC,

Pucker factor for me would be riding the area without a GPS !

We made the Blue to Red connection on our ride last summer. It was pretty awesome. We got lost a few times missing the trail in and out of the washes, so I was grateful to have tracks.

Anyhow... I definitely think counter clockwise is the best direction due to the huge cutbank drop off:



Here is a link to our ride report if anyone want to pre-run the area:

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=909494

And here is the link to our tracks:

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=912851

Good scouting of the area TNC.



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Old 05-27-2014, 08:04 AM   #26
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I think there is a go-around to that section of Piute Pass with the long steep rutted bentonite hill.

We went up the hill okay a year and a half ago.

The BLM Travel Management map shows an alternate route to the west of that one.


I had planned to check out the alternate last fall but suffered so much trying to do Bobbys Hole and Elephant Hill that we had to forego it.
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:16 AM   #27
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I posted my edited tracks for our recent trip thru this area and a link to my pictures in GPS Tracks Rockies here:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=24254694#post24254694
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:13 AM   #28
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I think there is a go-around to that section of Piute Pass with the long steep rutted bentonite hill.

We went up the hill okay a year and a half ago.

The BLM Travel Management map shows an alternate route to the west of that one.


I had planned to check out the alternate last fall but suffered so much trying to do Bobbys Hole and Elephant Hill that we had to forego it.
The San Juan County trail guy I ran into on May 14th told me that the western approach of Paiute was fairly impassable when I spoke with him, so I didn't even look for it or attempt it as the day was pretty much shot for time...my time line, not your 200 mile off road time line, wb. Now, I'm sure this fellow with the county knows these trails quite well since he oversees their upkeep, but he was an older guy on an ATV, so his definition of "impassable" might vary from that of enduro-ince and others. He said the eastern approach off hwy 95 is doable. I finally found the common trail for Paiute off 95 just south of Gravel Crossing near that stock tank on the east side of 95. I got all kinds of conflicting info about where Paiute was from locals and didn't find that spot off 95 until it was late in my trip...too late to really check out. I noticed that a bunch of ATV'ers camped at Soldier Crossing on 95 apparently did the route, as I saw their tracks when I at least checked out the first part of Paiute off 95.

Here's something I've thought is strange on the Red Canyon route. They have a well maintained and graded road that is still labeled as Red Canyon that goes for about 15-20 miles east from the actual Red Canyon streambed. However, it appears to be a total deadend after all those miles. For less mileage they would have accomplished more by making a shorter and easier connector between Blue Notch and Red Canyon above the lake water line...somewhat like the route I stumbled and bumbled on. It's almost like the Glen Canyon knuckleheads...or similar fed bureacrats...want to discourage anyone making that connection.

On Paiute from the Red Canyon side, I don't think I've ever actually found that route. I say "I don't think", because I've run down quite a few side routes off of Red Canyon that I'm not sure where they went or they appeared to be deadends in some cases. I could have been on it and just didn't realize it. Erosion seems to have killed some of these side roads.

jglow, I do use a GPS, but I just don't drive by it minute-by-minute or follow tracks. I know if I spent some time learning how to download tracks and such, it would make things easier. I just use my Oregon 450T to insure my location and that I don't get totally lost. I'm reluctant to do the track thing a bit, because I kind of like the challenge and discovery of "stumbling and bumbling" like I do.

On that cutbank I seen in a couple of ride reports, I've never come across that. That's why I think I was further east from the more traditional route. My guess is that some have done my route after the lake has been in place when water line issues were a problem, or maybe it's just a meandering route from someone running cattle or some old uranium exploration. The Rainbow Canyon name and what appears to be a brand painted on the short wall in Rainbow Canyon made me think someone has attempted to run cattle in that area. The San Juan County guy told me that Rainbow Canyon is a recognized route to the east from Red Canyon. When you look closely on Google maps you can see faint traces of an old trail meandering in and out of the streambed. I thought I might have been off the grid a bit, but apparently I was on somewhat of a trail. That is a fun area to poke around in.
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:45 AM   #29
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Little bump here for this thread. I've been interested in exploring the Blue Notch/Red Canyon connection and was thinking about a trip down there in late September. Perhaps a few of us could rendezvous down there for a few days? I'd probably schedule a week off from work so that would give me 10 day from a Sunday through the next Tuesday.

Oui? No?
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:12 PM   #30
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Little bump here for this thread. I've been interested in exploring the Blue Notch/Red Canyon connection and was thinking about a trip down there in late September. Perhaps a few of us could rendezvous down there for a few days? I'd probably schedule a week off from work so that would give me 10 day from a Sunday through the next Tuesday.

Oui? No?
Boy...I'd normally jump at that, but I'm going to be doing the mountains in the Dixie NF to the west of there for a couple of weeks immediately after Labor Day.
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