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Old 09-24-2012, 04:10 AM   #421
TheAdmiral
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Just for a second

in the background of the hay baler your Versys looked like it was painted in John Deere colors!

Kind of neat you could get a photo of the muddy braided river, don't usually see that very often.

Thanks for sharing.

P.S. Happy Southwest Utah: Dual Sport Riding from St. George anniversary.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:38 AM   #422
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one year and doing well - congrats!

thanks triple R for the leg work, lots of good info on this thread.
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:13 PM   #423
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Skutumpah Road

Great ride with Dad this past weekend. We were at Brian Head and had the chance to do the Skutumpah Road. We had been thinking about this for a month or two. Here's the map.




The Skutumpah Road is mid-quality dirt (highly variable based on weather/rain) from Cannonville down to the Johnson Canyon /Glendale Bench Road. Skutumpah is part of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and traverses some rugged desert canyon country east of Bryce National Park. The northern section of road by Willis Creek and Bull Valley Gorge is more interesting, but on a moto it's all good.

We are starting at Brian Head. Usually we patronize the local gas station. Pricier than it should be but convenient. Good to start full.




On UT 143, near Cedar Breaks. At 10,000 ft the fall aspen color is at its peak.




We know we'll lose this once we drop elevation so it's worth a few pics. The next week or two should still be very colorful, especially at 8,000 to 10,000 feet. Duck Creek area may be at its peak this next weekend.




We ride on good gravel near Mammoth Creek eastward to Hatch.




There is some pavement time on this trip, but it's all good. This is on UT 12 just past Bryce Canyon Junction descending towards Tropic.




Roadside info. The night skies are spectacular.




We gas up again in Tropic. No services of any kind on the Skutumpah Road. Always start full.




An old pump, on the paved road just south of Cannonville.




Fresh cut hay makes striking contrast with red, eroded cliffs.




Lots of classic western scenes.




And colorful roadside flowers.




The start of dirt at the Skutumpah Road. Kodachrome Basin State Park and the "famous" Cottonwood Canyon Road (scenic dirt) are just ahead.




The official entrance sign.




And a description of our road. The road crosses lots of drainages. Currently it is in good condition. Easy for any dual sport. Would also be fine for mid-sized road bikes -- Versys friendly. I wouldn't advise taking a Goldwing through here. After rain, the road goes from easy dirt to impassable very quickly. Not a good place to press your chances.




Dad on his Honda ascending a steeper grade with big views behind him.




We saw quite a few cars on the scenic northern section of the road, all with dust-covered rear windows.




Short stop at Sheep Creek, the first of three interesting water courses. This is the backside of a small dam which creates a marsh/swamp. The cattle in the area loved it!




Second (most interesting) drainage is Willis Creek. Nice slot canyon here. Easy and very accessible to the road. Dad has been here before, but not me. Will have to return with time to hike.




Willis creek appears to have modest running water year round. Very attractive area.




Third drainage is Bull Valley Gorge.




Dad by the Gorge. Short walk, but we didn't descend. Looks like good exploring to do here. The dirt "bridge" for the Skutumpah Road is fairly dramatic. No pics, but it is a longish drop-off on either side. Old remains of a car a wedged on one side. Drive carefully.




Shortly after, the road flattens out and turns into a bit of a faster course. Good speeds and good riding with Dad!




Occasional stop for a flower pic.




And another one in late afternoon light.




Grass airstrip (in the middle of nowhere), near private property at Dear Springs Ranch (shown on Benchmark). This would make for a bumpy landing. I only stopped at the edge, but the ground was anything but smooth.




Here's Dad at the southern end of the Skutumpah Road. Out little mission was accomplished.




We turn right and head west on the Glendale Bench Road. Excellent fast gravel, dirt.




After dropping elevation, the pavement returns near Glendale on UT 89. Lots and lots of older cars in a local "business" (junkyard) at this intersection. Would be a dream for old vehicle buffs.




One pic of a classic, just in front of my WRR. We put on extra layers and prepare for some fast riding on pavement back to Brian Head.




Final stop for gas at Long Valley Junction. The loop rides from Brian Head are excellent. Not much more motorcycle season left for the high country, but there will be more of this with Dad next summer. Cottonwood Canyon Road will be a priority.




About 175 miles total. Excellent ride.


On Tuesday, I did a quick road ride to Zion to pick up a canyoneering permit. Here's my Versys at the entrance sign.




Wednesday (today) was a trip down Mystery Canyon. More to follow. But here is a pic of me on the last rappel (120 ft) down the cliff face of Mystery Falls. My buddy is below in the Narrows of the Virgin River. Mystery Falls is a very colorful section of the Narrows just past the end of the Riverside Walk.




Permits for more canyons in the next few days. Should be fun!
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:28 PM   #424
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Here is a picture of the abyss with the car remains. My bike is on the bridge.


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Old 09-27-2012, 09:27 PM   #425
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Mystery Canyon, Zion National Park

At the top, near Observation Point, looking down on the upper reaches of Mystery Canyon. Start of the aptly named "death gully."




The start of the rappels. Beautiful fluted sections of slot canyon.




Lots of down climbing and obstacles.




Recent rains have "filled" Mystery Lake. Often this is a dry mud flat. Water was neck deep for 50 yards. Cold!




The canyon quickly climbs and opens up to sunshine after the lake.




Setting the rope from a ledge for the 110 ft. rappel into Mystery Springs.




The descent.




Same rap from below.




This one has a "wet disconnect." My buddy happy to photograph me in the water.




The long final rappel down Mystery Falls into the Virgin River.




Hooked up and ready to go. 120 feet above the Narrows.




Fantastic. Very pretty section of the Narrows.




Slippery footing in the waterfall.




The last of 10-12 rappels. Mystery is probably the best of the Zion technical canyons!




Feet in the Virgin River. Short walk down to Temple of Sinawava and the bus ride out.

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Old 09-27-2012, 10:43 PM   #426
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I'm going to have to get up that way soon. I have a Versys too, and a new CRF250L. I live in Vegas, so it's not a long drive.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:19 PM   #427
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I really like the shots of the slot canyons.I watched some guys rappel into the narrows and wondered where they had been. Wonderful pics, as usual.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:03 PM   #428
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Keyhole Canyon, Zion

Second day of canyoneering. Did Keyhole Canyon. Same as Post #419, about a month ago.

Just before the first rappel. Wetsuits on. This little slot canyon is cold!




Smiling for the camera while dropping down into the water.




In a pothole. Almost no sunlight in this section of the slot.




RRR with red shoes emerging from the darkness.




Back at the truck, 2 miles from the small tunnel in Zion. If you see people in wetsuits walking along the side of the road, this is what they have been doing.




Just completed day 3 of canyoneering, Pine Creek. Will post pics tomorrow. One preview pic of a 4th friend who could join us. Smiling for the camera on the next to last rap in Pine Creek.

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Old 09-30-2012, 10:46 PM   #429
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Pine Creek Canyon, Zion

Third day of canyoneering. Pine Creek is the slot canyon that starts immediately at the top of the long tunnel. The "technical" part of the canyon is "underneath" the cliff with the tunnel above. In some sections it is easy to hear traffic in the tunnel above. Weird. Pine Creek is very wet this year. Lots of swimming. Wetsuits are mandatory.

Our crew getting ready to swim for the first rappel point.




Rap #1. Soon the canyon tightens up. Deep slot. Very dark. Pine Creek has a large catchment area and most of it is slick rock. Very prone to flash floods.




Exiting a cold swim coming off a rappel. Most of the water was "fresh" and cold. Very little floating debris.




Deep inside the slot. It feels like caving.




A couple of short raps down log jams.




Beautiful sculpted walls.




A few shafts of sunlight hit the canyon floor in the middle of the day.




Fabulous rappel into the "Great Cathedral Room."




Checking out the stability of a debris jam. The insides of these slot canyons can change with every rainstorm.




Lots of water sculpted rock, even in the open sections of the canyon.




Next to last rappel, about 70 feet.




Same rappel from below.




On a large shelf above the last rappel. The Zion tunnel is several hundred feet above us on the cliff. Pine Creek Canyon opens up at this point, but there is still a final 100 ft. free rappel, then a tough hike out.




The view down canyon. Trademark Zion scenery.




My buddy on the last 100 ft. free rappel. This is a place for great caution. Several serious accidents have occurred at this spot. Easy landing in gravel near large pool.




I stand by as Eddie gets ready to go. Just below his feet the cliff is undercut, so you gracefully slide down and hang in space. Enjoy the view for 100 feet to the ground below.




The hike out is scrambling over endless car-sized boulders. Gradually gets easier as you descend. Beautiful swimming holes along the way.




At the exit point, on the second switchback of the road leading up to the tunnel. Pine Creek Slot Canyon exits just to the right of the great arch, over the back shoulder of my buddy on the end.




Success. A few minutes before driving back to St. George to gather up the families for dinner out.

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Old 10-01-2012, 10:14 PM   #430
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Nice update, I always wondered where the people with climbing gear were going, near the little tunnel.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:45 AM   #431
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It was good to see your picture of the smashed truck in your report on the Skutumpah Road. That was one of the first places I ever went on my KLX650C when I first got it. I almost hit a deer on the way back. I was so shaken that I had to load my bike in the back of my friends truck for the ride home.

Have you seen this book?



I bought mine in the Safeway in Page, AZ many years ago (before there was a Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument). Here is a link to the publisher: http://kelseyguidebooks.com/?page_id=51 It has some great history on the area. There is another one about hiking around Lake Powell too.

That canyoneering looks like a good time!
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:19 PM   #432
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Fall Colors near Enterprise Reservoir

Thanks, MasterMarine. Yes, I've browsed the book at the local St. George canyoneering/climbing store, The Desert Rat. Lots of good stuff. And yes, deer, especially at dusk are scary. Especially when they have that "kamikazee" look in their eyes. My friend hit a deer on his Goldwing just east of Zion a few months back. I was right behind him. Big wobble, but stayed up. Deer spun around hard, then got up and hobbled into the brush.

Enjoying your ride report from the desert / mountains of northwest Nevada. Awesome territory!

Been out on the ATVs a few times recently. Once with wife and son, a second time with Dad. Both times near Enterprise Reservoir to look at fall colors.

Upper Enterprise Reservoir is extremely low. Lowest I've ever seen it. Cows seem to like the additional grazing area.




Spent most of my day eating dust behind the son and mom team. Good fun.




Cow crossing stopped 'em for a minute.



The colors:



The dynamic duo!




Went back a few days later with Dad. Been here many times on motos, but ATVs were readily available, so why not.




Dad near the Pinnacles. Very scenic. Much better than most roads near Enterprise Reservoir. Check it out. Was washed out about a year ago. Repairs completed. Now in good shape.




Fall colors at their peak!




The upper hillsides, 6,000 - 7,000 feet, are all touched with fall colors. Won't last much longer.




As always, thanks for checkin' in inmates. Ride often, ride safely!
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:43 AM   #433
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Thanks, as always for the posts! Over Labor Day I spent time passing through Pinto, Veyo, Enterprise reservoir, Modena, Beryl, etc. stayed on dirt as much as possible. One kamikaze deer but no impact. About 30 wild turkeys and a few pronghorn. Spectacular! Keep up the great photos and posts!
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:51 PM   #434
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ATVs on Sand Dunes: Sand Hollow & Coral Pink

Thanks, Drex. Those are some relatively "out of the way" places. Good moto country. I haven't ever seen any pronghorn out there, but lots of deer and turkeys. Give me a "heads up" the next time you are passing through.

Spent the weekend on ATVs with the family. First was Sand Hollow State Park, near Hurricane, UT.




My son and wife posing for the camera!




Lots of sand, rocks, trails. Kind of like an "ATV amusement park." Close to St. George.




My son was riding double. Sand Hollow Reservoir in background.




Descending back to the parking lot by the water.




After a detour to Brian Head, we're at Coral Pink the next day. Coral Pink is closer to Kanab and has some large free standing dunes. My son on his machine.




We had fun on the dunes, both on the ATVs and general playtime. Coral Pink is very scenic.




Striking a pose on the crest of one of the dunes.




Strange two-headed monster. They like their helmets!




Late afternoon light. Our machines plus our footprints all over the crest of the dune.




My son likes the pirate flag. Hope he doesn't grow up to ride a Harley.




Looking back at the dunes.




Sand Hollow and Coral Pink State Parks are both worth visiting, especially if you have ATVs. Best to avoid the hottest days of summer. Right now is perfect for both, especially in late afternoon.

Thanks for following along. More moto rides coming shortly . . .
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:03 PM   #435
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The Pinnacles, near Enterprise Reservoir

Back to motos, specifically the TW200 near Enterprise Reservoir. Great dirt road past an area called "The Pinnacles." Probably the most scenic road / loop in the area. Fine for any dual sport bike.

Here's the map:



The dirt route starts just west of Veyo (at the bottom of the Veyo Wall). Road to Enterprise Reservoir is called the Veyo Shoal Road (Benchmark) or Goldstrike Road (sign). Forest road #06 on map. Pinnacles Road is #004, and connector road to Enterprise Reservoir is #274. All easy to follow.

Easy to ride pavement from St. George to Veyo Wall, either up Highway 18 (fast) or via Gunlock (more scenic). I did it both ways on this ride, but didn't stop for any pics on pavement. Could also truck/trailer to base of Veyo Wall. Easy parking.

For any noobs or lurkers there is an index of rides on page 1. Post #56 (page 4) and Post #182 (page 13) are similar rides. Also, some of the recent ATV riding (just above) was in this area.

So here's the marquee area -- The Pinnacles. Definitely worth the trip. Great riding.




At the bottom of the Veyo Wall starting out on the dirt/gravel of the Goldstrike Rd or Veyo Shoal Road. This road has received lots of maintenance and a rework in the last few years. Great shape. It will probably hold up to winter quite well. Although it is likely some snow will block the higher passes. The other roads #004 by the Pinnacles and #274 connector to Enterprise Reservoir are in not nearly the same condition.




Quick stop at an abandoned gravel pit. Lots of old equipment.




Some big gears.




Found this behind a pile of rocks. Not sure if it's operational or not. Nice scale with the mighty TW!




I was carrying extra gas. Didn't need it, but wasn't exactly sure of my route. Intended to do a bit of exploring. Quite possible to fine a serious washout 3/4 of the way around a loop and have to reverse course. Just didn't want fuel to be an issue.




The photo focus was on fall colors. Still lots of red and yellow as you gain elevation. Fading fast, not quite as good as a week ago, but still on display.




The seat of my bike makes a good back drop.




Near the top of one of the passes. Road in background is rougher track to the Dagget Flat area. No maintenance here.




Bridge over Moody Wash (currently dry at his spot). A bit of construction here. Road surface on bridge is paved. Lots of nice color, above and below!




Shortly after the bridge, make a left onto a lesser dirt road, #004. Start to gain elevation toward the Pinnacles.




Near Maple Spring. Cattle country. Also lots of camping opportunities, although the camping gets better as you get higher. The road where my bike is was washed out a year ago, not passable. New culvert is installed, road rebuilt.




Fall colors on the hillside. This is about 5,000 ft.




Everyone likes red, but the yellow is nice too.




The source of the yellow leaves. Great afternoon sunlight!




The gains elevation and runs parallel to the Pinnacles. Constantly changing views, probably best in this direction.




The two most prominent outcroppings.




Lots of scrub oak, all different colors.




Great camping spots up high on the rocks. I'll have to be back here. Lots of open 360 views.




Exploring some double track (off route) I came across this #197. I won the stare down.




Some of the double track.




Lots of firewood in the area.




Love this terrain. Made for exploring!




More scenery.




Another section of Pinnacles. With the bike . . .




. . . and without the bike.




Fall colors, southern Utah style.




Using the seat of the TW as the backdrop.




Same spot, different angle. Looking for the light.




The reds. Stars of the show.




At the top of The Pinnacles Road there are signs for a non-motorized trail. I picked up my riding pace from here, but still lots of good scenery.




Chose to head back to Enterprise Reservoir. Near Lost Peak Spring, about 7,000 ft high now. Above most of the color.




More large rocks set off against a small bike.




Doing a little single track exploring along a wash.




There are little bits of water if you know where to look. Often the water runs underground as it descends.




Unusual plant for a mostly desert environment.




The connector road from the Pinnacles to Enterprise Reservoir, #274. The road I came down.




Close to Enterprise Reservoir you rejoin the road coming from Cougar Pass, Slaughter Creek, eventually Motoqua. Did this ride in Post #352, page 24. Also a great ride. Road in not as good a shape. I came down the road behind the tree.




Interesting cave on a side road near Enterprise Reservoir. Lots of ATV traffic and usage in this area on popular weekends. Not remote like the Pinnacles.




Shore of Upper Enterprise Reservoir. Very low water.




At the waterline.




Easy enough to exit out on pavement to Enterprise town, but better to complete the loop back to Veyo on dirt.




Small private in-holding within Dixie National Forest. Now it's late afternoon light.




One of my favorite signs. Original sign was damaged a few years ago. This is a new replacement. Several of my first moto rides solo and with Dad (and friends) came to this area. The sign was always a good marker.




Still good scenery, but now it was time to head for home.




As always, thanks for riding along. Appreciate all the positive comments and PMs.
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