Hey ADVers -- just had another great Thursday ride with Dad. About 100 miles. We left St. George and headed west on Old Highway 91. Just past Shivwitz we started up the Utah Hill. After a short climb (less than a mile), we turned off the asphalt onto dirt. The right turn onto the Motoqua Road is unmarked, but it is a good road.
From there the Motoqua Road goes west, crosses Beaver Dam Wash and heads in to Nevada. Just past the Halfway Camp we turned south, worked along the Bull Valley Wash, re-entered Utah, crossed the Beaver Dam Wash at Lytle Ranch, then home.
A recent ride (Post #102, page 7) covers the Eardley Road and Beaver Dam Wash area at Lytle Ranch. Check it out.
The dirt road intersection just past the Halfway Camp goes over Bunker Pass and leads to Barclay, and eventually Caliente, NV. Haven't been on this road yet. About 40 miles to Caliente. Pavement and all the amenities (gas, food, lodging). Interesting old railroad town.
As always, the map:
Just getting started. This is the Santa Clara River. Pic taken from the side of the asphalt road in the Shivwitz Indian Reservation. Some falltime colors. Perhaps this will get a bit better in a week or two.
The right turn on to dirt. The Motoqua Road. No signs. It is the first right turn after the pavement intersection to Gunlock. Only about a mile up the hill.
Look for the cattle gate and the tire.
Especially the tire.
The view looking back down Old 91 towards the red cliffs of Ivins.
There's Dad, my favorite riding partner, always ready to go! Great photographer, too. I'm going to "steal" some of his pics soon.
The first stretch of the Motoqua Road is on the Indian Reservation. No trespassing on either side.
Common desert scenery.
Lots of great looking red rock to the right (north) side of the Motoqua Road. This is the last of the red rock in the area. As you head west to Nevada, the rock changes to primarily black/gray. Still scenic, just different.
Leaving the Shivwitz Indian Reservation. Once past the reservation, there is lots of dispersed camping and lots of smaller side roads / tracks to explore!
Side road to Manganese Wash. Some sand and nice red rocks here. This exits just above Gunlock Reservoir. Necessary to ford Santa Clara River to exit to pavement. Easy, as long as water is low. Not advisable during high water.
The road west towards Motoqua, Beaver Dam Wash, and Nevada.
Side roads. All good. Motoqua only 4 miles ahead.
Looking down on Beaver Dam Wash and irrigation pond at the Motoqua crossing. Motoqua is a very small, very isolated polygamous community along the Beaver Dam Wash. We crossed at the southern edge and didn't drive through Motoqua itself this time. Future ride. Motoqua is a very weird little place. Makes Colorado City look like NYC.
Horse pasture in Beaver Dam Wash. Broad leaf trees in the desert, seems like an oasis. Very interesting little micro environment.
Road north up through wash, the "town" of Motoqua, and eventually to the higher country (Bull Valley Mountains) of Enterprise Reservoir. Great riding all up through here. Roads a bit rougher and prone to some washouts. Infrequent maintenance. Some of this area is covered with snow in winter and is unaccessible. Also some first class mud.
Looking back at the easy stream crossing at Beaver Dam Wash. At high water, this wash has taken out houses in Littlefield, AZ, about 20 miles downstream (south) from here.
On the west side, looking back at Beaver Dam Wash with Square Top Mountain in distance. Beaver Dam Wash is a BIG wash. My kid says it looks "prehistoric." The vastness of this area always seems to impress!
Soon, the Nevada state line.
Break time. Our trusty bikes. Just perfect for this kind of riding. My dad and I really enjoy this backroad exploring. Forest fire damage, many years ago. No more red dirt. Things are grayer. Gaining elevation.
Our turning point south. Going right to Baclay and Caliente leads over Bunker Pass and takes us further from home. This looks fun, but will be another day. We turn left and plan to make a loop back to Beaver Dam Wash at the Lytle Ranch crossing. Check out the Benchmark Nevada map for lots of riding towards Caliente.
Our road south. Almost 5,000 ft elevation at this point. High enough for some light residual snow on the northern exposures.
My WRR with uniquely colored Nevada rock. Some mining history in this area.
Washout. This one was easily avoided. Thoughtfully marked with plastic containers. Helpful warning if you happen to be zipping along.
Dad. Cruising in Honda red!
Mirror shot. Gotta have it.
Old car. We hypothesized that this one drove off the road, and wasn't worth rescuing. Undoubtedly, there is a story that went along with each of these old wrecks.
Dad can appreciate the old names more than I can. The advantages of age, right Dad?
One more shot of the vastness.
Crossing the Bull Valley Wash (no water). Close to our turnaround point from the ride in Post #102. These desert washes are huge! Really interesting to explore. Thanks, Dad for another great ride.
Thanks, inmates and lurkers. Hope you are enjoying our travels. Have fun out there. Ride safe!