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Old 01-15-2012, 06:18 PM   #181
RedRockRider OP
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Gunlock and Enterprise Reservoir

Dad and I got out for a good ride yesterday -- 100 miles. St. George to Gunlock Reservoir and town, then on dirt up to Enterprise Reservoir. Did a little poking around, then out to Enterprise town, and slab (Highway 18) back to St. George by dusk. Weather was sunny in the mid 50s. Pleasant riding. Very unusual to be able to ride dirt to Enterprise Reservoir in January. High point of road is 6000 ft, usually deep snow, especially on the northern exposures. We crossed a few icy patches, but made it through with relative ease. Dad and I have also been stopped by mud (no wheel spin) on this road before. Stuff the consistency of wet cement. Yesterday was all easy fun riding. One of our favorite areas. Enjoy!

Here's a map:



- Post #56 on page 4 is a similar ride to Enterprise Reservoir on dirt.
- The paved road from Santa Clara to Gunlock Reservoir to Gunlock town is pleasant/scenic with very little traffic.
- Similarly, the paved road from Enterprise Reservoir back to Enterprise town has almost no traffic.
- Only Highway 18 from Enterprise back to St. George as traffic, but still fine. Possible to avoid some of this by dropping down through Snow Canyon State Park. We had dinner plans so skipped this option.

Dad at Gunlock Reservoir.




And me, on the TW200. Not much snow on Pine Valley Mountain. This reservoir might end up being really low next summer.




Beautiful little reservoir. Very nice for canoeing and kayaking.




Every ride report needs a mirror shot. Might as well get one early . . .




Firetruck in the town of Gunlock. Apparently purchased in ~1975. (Dad has been googling.)




Some details:




More:




In the "no parking zone" in front of the ~1975 Firehouse. It appears that not that much has changed in Gunlock since 1975. Nice quiet town. Very quiet. (No services). Pretty setting. This road is part of the St. George Ironman bike loop. Very popular with cyclists. Town of Gunlock provides excellent support to the Ironman.




The turn on to dirt. On the Benchmark Map this is called "Veyo Shoal Creek Rd." It is well maintained dirt all the way to Enterprise Reservoir, but climbs to 6,000 ft with some shady sections on north facing slopes. These patches will hold snow/ice much longer than lower elevations exposed to sun. As mentioned, serious mud can also be an issue. We have seen trucks stuck with no chance of self-rescue.




Small scale cattle operation. Fence in good repair.




Entering Dixie National Forest.




Dad on the road. Very typical scenery. Big views in some places.




At higher elevation (about 5000 ft.) the stream is frozen even though it is warm (mid 50s) in the middle of the afternoon.




Did some exploring of side roads in an area called "The Pinnacles." Been there before. Highly recommended if you like this kind of riding. Saw this sign, but decided to keep going . . .




Cattle operations. Inactive for winter.




Trouble. This road was washed out. As always in pics, this is much steeper than it looks.

Some would ride through without thinking twice, but not the right thing for us. We'll approach this from the "other side," probably with better weather. The area beyond this is also prone to wash-outs so not much point in pressing it. We retraced our path back to the main road and continued towards Enterprise Reservoir.




Back on the main road, near "The Pinnacles."




This sign has toppled over. An older pic is on Post #1 of this thread. This is the high point of the dirt, but several "passes" on the road are close to 6000 ft. Since St. George is less than 3,000 ft, this can make a big difference in snow vs. no snow. Highway 18 from Enterprise south also crosses a "pass" just above 6,000 ft, but it would be very unusual for Highway 18 to have snow, unless there was a (very) recent storm. Scenic road, but steady flow of traffic (by southern Utah standards, ).




Minor snow/ice patch, easy to avoid. We crossed quite a few of these and several that were larger with some steep angle. Certainly gets your attention. You wouldn't want to hit one of the shady patches at speed (in a turn . . . ) .




Just before Upper Enterprise reservoir, you hit pavement. The whole set of roads/trails towards Greek Peak, Cougar Pass and Slaughter Creek down to Motoqua make for great exploring. Lots of territory and quite remote. Good to have the SPOT.




We check out the "backside" of Upper Enterprise Reservoir. Great camping near here, right on the lake shore.




Getting ready to slab it to Enterprise. 11 easy/scenic miles. It was about 20 miles on dirt from near Veyo.




Upper Enterprise Reservoir. Also very good for canoeing and kayaking. High enough to be pleasant (temperature wise), even in mid-summer. Upper Enterprise Reservoir is lightly used except on the busiest summer weekends, and is a real gem. Lots of informal camping as well as an "official" campground, Honeycomb Rocks. Great base for camping as Enterprise town (food, gas) is nearby.




The dam for Lower Enterprise Reservoir. Not as large, but still nice.




TW at the waterline.




Quick stop at the convenience store in Enterprise before motoring the ~40 miles back to St. George on Highway 18. Enterprise has reliable gas and a few modest diners, grocery/convenience stores.




Thanks for riding along. Check out Enterprise Reservoir if you are in the area. Easily accessible on 100% pavement from Enterprise Town. Of course, the real fun is on the dirt roads leaving the Upper Reservoir area!
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:24 PM   #182
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I like the map prelude to your reports - gives one an idea of the area and good info if you wast to try it yourself.

Thanks for taking us along - 2 more days and I have days off - hope the weather holds here too - this is fun riding in January!

Rick
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:45 PM   #183
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Thanks, Rick. Yeah, I like maps. Have found the Benchmark Maps to be most useful. Good luck with the weather. SW Utah looks like it'll remain nice. Let me know if you ever plan to ride on over. Lots of good moto country along the southern edge of Utah!
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:50 PM   #184
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As always,

another nice post showing some really nice riding/exploring area's. I agree with DCZ, the map overview upfront is a nice touch, particularly for those of us not familar with the area. I've done the same in some of my RR's using my post Garmin tracks instead of a map, but really just about the same intent. I really hope I find the time someday to come ride down yonder, looks fun with lots of history. Of course I have a soft spot for the TW when you ride it as well.

I'm amazed at how dry it's been here out west this year. Up here, we are suppose to get some weather come mid-week. Hope so, or we'll have some empty reservoirs like you mentioned...and more fires too. Which will limit summer riding!

Fitted an ATV chain on the TW rear yesterday. After completing some preventative maintenance while the tire is off, I hope to test the TW with the chains tomorrow. If all goes well, I hope the chains will help with those icy patches like you encountered. Well, enough of my thread hi-jacking!

Again, thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:40 PM   #185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRockRider View Post
Thanks, Rick. Yeah, I like maps. Have found the Benchmark Maps to be most useful. Good luck with the weather. SW Utah looks like it'll remain nice. Let me know if you ever plan to ride on over. Lots of good moto country along the southern edge of Utah!
Thanks for the offer - same goes here if you venture to the other side of your great state, I'm just 7 miles in to Colo.

I've been looking at the TWs - anything in particular you would look for in a used TW?

Thanks - Rick
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:01 PM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedRockRider View Post
Thanks, Rick. Yeah, I like maps. Have found the Benchmark Maps to be most useful. Good luck with the weather. SW Utah looks like it'll remain nice. Let me know if you ever plan to ride on over. Lots of good moto country along the southern edge of Utah!
indeed Benchmark makes the best maps to find new DS rides.
i use em all the time.
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:35 AM   #187
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Red,

Looks like another great ride. Can't wait to get out there.

I have information that there is gas in Enterprise. Is this still true?
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:18 PM   #188
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Wbbnm -- Yes, reliable gas in Enterprise! Also reliable gas in Veyo, UT. For nearby Nevada, there is reliable gas in Caliente, Panaca, and Pioche. Was out to Caliente on moto this past weekend. Will post up shortly. Caliente would be a nice town for a simple hotel stop. Several inexpensive choices, some diners, and a few "tourist" things -- old train station. Cheers, RRR
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:48 PM   #189
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Preview: Tule Desert & Rainbow Canyon, NV

Took advantage of the "extra" day last weekend and went for an all day ride. Flyin' solo. About 250 miles on the WRR. Left St. George by late morning. Had to wait for the chill to burn off a bit. On pavement (past Shivwits) up over the Utah Hill (Old 91), and onto dirt at the Eardley Road. Crossed Beaver Dam Wash at Lytle Ranch, and entered Nevada. Head west into the Tule Desert (never been here before), then north into Rainbow Canyon. Route 317 on map. This was the highlight of the ride. Got gas in Caliente, then returned south through Rainbow Canyon and picked up a dirt road through the Mormon Mountains and down to I-15. Second gas stop in Mesquite. Used some surface roads and I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge back to St. George.

The big picture map. More detailed maps to follow:




WRR was great. Pulled 80 mph on I-15 up through the Gorge. Right at home on all the dirt, much of it fast and smooth. Nice riding a few twisties on new pavement in the northern part of Rainbow Canyon. It was about 100+ miles from my house to Caliente, then a second 100+ from Caliente to Mesquite. Both times the reserve light just blinked on a few miles before the station. I carried quite a bit of "extra" gas, but didn't end up needing it.

A few preview pics:

Crossing Beaver Dam Wash at Lytle Ranch (Eardley Road), just a few miles from the UT / Nevada border.




On the way to the Tule Desert. Meadow Valley Wash is the watercourse in the bottom of Rainbow Canyon. Eventually, I tracked down (southwards) to I-15.




In the Tule Desert.




Crossroads in the middle of nowhere. Actually, very good signage, and the roads in great condition.




Abandoned farm equipment. Tough to make it work in the desert.




Meadow Valley Wash in Rainbow Canyon.




Train country!




Color in the desert! Meadow Valley Wash in Rainbow Canyon.




Rainbow Canyon is named for the brightly colored rock walls. Lots of variety on display.




Pavement part (about 20+ miles) has some fun dips and curves.




Great little inmate town. Everything you might want. Railroad history!




Some different colored rock in Rainbow Canyon (Nevada #317).




This is a Nevada State Park (currently closed). Similar to Mount Trumbull Schoolhouse on AZ strip.




Mormon Mountains, heading back south to I-15 and Mesquite.




More pics to follow in a second post. I highly recommend Nevada #317 - Rainbow Canyon. Nice paved road from Caliente to Elgin Schoolhouse. Very scenic! Trains, bridges, tunnels, rocks, water . . .
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:02 AM   #190
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Great ride report you guys have a great place to ride you have to look hard around here to find a dirt road.We are planning a trip to Utah we are going to ship our bikes to Salt Lake City or Vegas and ride and camp for a week and ship them back.This thread has been very helpful because we have no Idea where to start or where the back rds. would be or where they go.We would like to make our way to Moab,Mon.valley,Brice can. and aroud where you are riding.Still in the planning stages but it is a go this year.
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Old 01-19-2012, 09:59 AM   #191
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Thanks for that last one, Red. I've been out to Elgin from Caliente a few times -great road- but hadn't done the Tule Desert to I-15. Looks manageable!

If you're interested, we should talk about possibly consolidating your stuff with a new endeavor: I've been pondering a blog style site outlining the best-of-the-best roads throughout SW Utah... the off the beaten path stuff from your area north to Kanab, Cedar, Brian Head, Panguitch over to Hatch, Bryce, Cannonville, Tropic, and Escalante.

Dirt only gems, each route prefaced with a map followed by photos much the same as you're doing here. I've got dozens of folders with photos and milepost-style notes. I just need an excuse to develop it.
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:59 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by RedRockRider View Post
Wbbnm -- Yes, reliable gas in Enterprise! Also reliable gas in Veyo, UT. For nearby Nevada, there is reliable gas in Caliente, Panaca, and Pioche. Was out to Caliente on moto this past weekend. Will post up shortly. Caliente would be a nice town for a simple hotel stop. Several inexpensive choices, some diners, and a few "tourist" things -- old train station. Cheers, RRR
We spent a night in Caliente on our return trip from the western TAT. We stayed in a neat old mon&pop style motel about a block off the main drag run by a little old lady.

There had been a desert race a few days before we got there. The guys left a lot of beer, so the proprietor gave us as much beer as we wanted.
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:01 AM   #193
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Thumb Tule Desert & Rainbow Canyon, NV

Time to post a few more pics. Here is the "big" cut and paste map of the ride. You need Benchmark Utah and Benchmark Nevada to piece this together. If you are serious about riding this area, I'd definitely recommend the Benchmark maps.




This map is easier to read. It's the most interesting part of the ride. Tule Desert, then north into Rainbow Canyon up to Caliente. The road is paved from Elgin Schoolhouse north. On the bottom of the map Carp Road heads south through the Mormon Mountains (30+ miles), easy dirt, to I-15.




Enough with maps. On to some pics.

Starting out west of St. George. This is the split where Highway Old 91 starts up over the Utah Hill (towards Las Vegas). Done lots of other riding out towards Gunlock as well.




New sign. Just starting up the Utah Hill. Quite a few rides on the Joshua Tree Scenic Backway. Check out Post #17 (p. 2), Post #44 (p. 3), Post #95 (p. 7). Bloomington Cave is Post #142 (p. 10). Just prior to this sign is the entrance (right side) of the Motoqua Road, Post #120 (p. 8).




Just below the summit of the Utah Hill is the dirt road leading right to Hell Hole Pass and West Mountain Peak, Post #121 (p. 9).


Down the hill, here is the "exit" to the Eardley Road leading to Beaver Dam Wash. Castle Cliff is the rock formation on the other side of the road behind my bike. See Post #102 (p. 7) for info and pics of Eardley Road.




On the Eardley Road headed for Lytle Ranch and Beaver Dam Wash. The Nevada state line is just past Beaver Dam Wash.




There are a couple of cut-off roads / tracks to Indian Springs. Write-up of Indian Springs Trail, Post #144 (p. 10).




Beaver Dam Wash. Reasonable water flow right now. Still an easy crossing. This will probably very dry next summer unless there is a lot of snow quickly.




Gravel beds along the bottom of Beaver Dam Wash. The scale of this place is impressive! Hard to imagine full of water, but it definitely happens.




Welcome to Nevada! Not sure why the chunk is missing from the middle of the sign.




No signage here. The right branch goes to Bull Valley Wash and eventually to Bunker Pass. Alternate route to Caliente. Also possible to loop back to Utah at Motoqua. Stay left to Tule Desert. Fast dirt.




Snow Spring. Quite a few cattle. Not sure if I'd drink that water. Have to be pretty thirsty.




Typical scene in the Tule Desert. Some very thick stands of Joshua trees. Several smaller washes. Road heads almost due west and is in good condition.




First sign to Elgin and Caliente. Never did track south in Meadow Valley Wash to Carp. Don't think there is anything there, but will still have to check it out on a future ride. Amazingly, there is an official exit on I-15 marked "Carp."




First sign of civilization is at Lyman Crossing. These shoes were nailed up near the front gate to a "ranch." Kind of assuming that this meant some version of "No Trespassing."




Old farm equipment just north of Lyman Crossing.




Details, with bullet holes.




Bad news for this little building. Looked like a residence.










Storage building for equipment? No roof here, but maybe an interesting place to camp . . .




More old equipment. At one time, this was quite an operation.










Details:




Once in Meadow Valley Wash, you are quickly close to the train tracks. Lots of bridges and tunnels. Saw one train, but wasn't able to grab a decent pic. Very cool area!




As you head north the canyon walls steepen. The beginning of some dramatic rock.




Some type of maintenance or access bridge across Meadow Valley Wash to the train tracks on the other side.




More rock and good dirt / gravel road. Any car or (street bike) could travel south from Caliente to Lyman Crossing.




Meadow Valley Wash with train bridge in background. Dried up tumbleweed in water.




Clover Mountains Wilderness Area.




Rainbow Ranch. Not really sure what this is, but a very cool setting in the heart of Rainbow Canyon. This area is remote. Didn't see any other vehicles until on pavement, still several miles north from here.




Typical scene. Nevada has tons of gorgeous country that doesn't look anything like the desert around Las Vegas.




On to pavement, Nevada 317. Heading north to Caliente to get gas.




Around a bend and . . . WTF That's a lot of water on the road. A nearby drainage culvert appears to have been blocked. It was easy to cross, but if you wandered off the road bed, you'd quickly be in 4+ ft of water. Ouch. Not sure how this obstacle would be if temps were below freezing. It would probably ice up nicely! This was the only issue with the road. Otherwise 317 has been completely rebuilt since severe flooding several years ago, and is in great shape. A fun 20+ miles of asphalt to Caliente!




Part of the sign welcoming you to Caliente.




The historic train station.




The Union Pacific emblem.




Finding Rainbow Canyon Road and heading back south.




Retracing 317. Fun.




Rock.




Train tracks.




And more rock.




The water of Meadow Valley Wash is always nearby.




Almost no traffic, and a few spots to test out the throttle.




At the end of the pavement, cross the railroad tracks to visit the schoolhouse.







Since the grounds are gated, this is as close as you can get.




The WRR back in Lyman Crossing.




Back on the edge of the Tule Desert. This is the road going south through the Mormon Mountains to I-15. It would have been faster to retrace route back to Utah stateline, but I wanted to check out the Mormon Mountain area.




Looking west in late afternoon light at the Mormon Mountains. The area is fine, but not really worth repeat visits. The road is easy dirt, quite fast in most places. Well signed and easy to follow.




View ahead (south) towards Davidson Peak and "the Summit" pass, before the descending to I-15.




Powerlines, near I-15. Looks like lots of riding potential along the powerlines, perhaps all the way back to Beaver Dam Wash. Not sure how interesting. Might be just a lot of desert. I think these same powerlines cross the Eardley Road and Indian Springs Trails and eventually the Motoqua Road. Been riding in that area. Northwest flank of West Mountain Peak. More interesting.




Some official signage just before I-15.




Last pic of Virgin River at Riverside, NV, south of Mesquite. Check out Post #117 (p. 8) for the Gold Butte Road which takes off from here. Access to AZ strip via Whitney Pockets.




As always, thanks for riding along. Cheers!
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:50 AM   #194
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Versys coming home from Brian Head

Up at Brian Head this past weekend. Finally new snow. The Versys somehow didn't get back down to St. George this fall. Time to use the trailer and bring her home. Mountains were beautiful with the new snow!




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Old 01-23-2012, 03:23 PM   #195
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Awesome ride to Caliente and back. Snow in the mountains looks tempting, doesn't it? Kidding.

So, I was looking at your photo's of Caliente, and the train depot started to look familiar, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I've read many threads that talk of Caliente, but nothing triggered my brain until I saw your pitchers. Had to look on a map to have the ah ha moment. I drove through Caliente to visit my son when he lived in Las Vegas. We were on a family vacation (w/o the TW). We didn't stop, but it looked cool. Must have a bunch of railroad history there.

Now I really want to ride down there! If only I could find the time.

Thanks for sharing another most excellent post.
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