Another Utah Ride Report

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Rut Runner, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. Rut Runner

    Rut Runner Been here awhile

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    This is a write-up of my trip to Utah in November of 2009. There are many Utah ride reports on ADVRider, but I guess no one minds as long as the pictures are okay! I hauled my XR650R down on my pickup and drove to each riding location. As ADVRider is orientated towards adventure touring bikes, I will mention whenever a trail is suitable for those bikes.

    The drive down from Toronto was uneventful except for the border crossing. I was grilled by the border guard and then directed to secondary inspection. I was told to park my vehicle, leave my keys and cell phone in the car and go inside. Looking back at my vehicle, I could see four border guards, one in each door of my pickup, start to go through my stuff. Further disquieting were all the socket sets, pry bars and crow bars all neatly laid out in the inspection area! I was interviewed by a border person who asked exactly the same questions as the first guard. After being photographed I was free to leave. The contents of my car were fine. I asked why all the security this time, and they said that they were overstaffed that day, so they do more secondary inspections!

    The trip down followed a pattern I have used before: Leave work at 4:00 pm on Friday in Toronto, drive continously with the odd nap, and arrive 3000km later at 8:30 Sunday morning in Rabbit Valley.

    Day 1 Rabbit Valley

    Located off I70 at the Colorado/Utah border, it is the closest desert riding if you're coming from the east. There's lots of singletrack here iwth many trails running along the rims of cliffs. I started out on the Zion Curtain singletrack and moved over to the Overlook Trail. I don't have pictures to prove it, but the Zion Curtain is strictly one way!

    My only mishap was a broken rear fender. I had to muscle my bike over an obstacle-but I grabbed the fender too far back and it snapped. Nothing like trashing your bike on the first day out! I decided to head back to my car as I wasn't sure if the fender was integral with the airbox.

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    Overlook Trail


    Day 2 Potash Road

    I checked in with Fred Hinks at Aroowhead Motorsports in Moab to order a new rear fender. Delivery time- 2 days!

    I did a brief spin on Hells Revenge Trail-this is one of my favourites as I like the big expanses of slickrock. After a couple of hours I headed over to the Potash Plant and did a big loop starting on the Potash Road, into Canyonlands and then down Long Canyon Road.

    This route is ideally suited to Adventure Touring Bikes. These are the pics from the second day:

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    Myself on the Hells Revenge Trail

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    To be continued...
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Yay!! Moab!! :super
    :lurk
    #2
  3. header

    header Chris

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    desert ride report AND a XRR, sweet!

    :lurk
    #3
  4. B-Rod

    B-Rod RubberNecker

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    How the??
    #4
  5. B-Rod

    B-Rod RubberNecker

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    Is this with the self timer? If it is, you got pretty far in ten seconds, hitting the button, mounting the bike and tearing off.
    #5
  6. BusyWeb

    BusyWeb Adventurer

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    Wow sceneries....
    Thanks :clap
    #6
  7. Jimmym1296

    Jimmym1296 Adventurer

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    Butler, PA
    I'm in. Love the pics. Did the family thing a few years back in 03 and loved it. Don't get out west too often. We took a Hummer ride over the slickrock. My wife and older boy were terrified. My younger son loved it. Can't wait to get back. I'd love to do it on my bike.
    #7
  8. salute

    salute Been here awhile

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    its starting to warm up here in Utah----------- time to start riding again :clap

    great pics so far-----I did some of the same rides last fall
    #8
  9. RamblinKevin

    RamblinKevin Adventurer

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    What camera do you use? Very nice quality from the camera, and stellar composition on your part. Although I have seen many of the same locations in other ride reports, you did and extra fine job of capturing more of the essence and feel of the spot.

    I will be riding the same area this June, and will try to pay more attention to composition because the results are worth the extra time and effort. I will be using my Nikkon D60 SLR. Any suggestions on lenses, settings, etc?
    #9
  10. Rut Runner

    Rut Runner Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the positive comments.

    I apologize for the picture of the arch, that was from a different trail on a different day.

    Most of the pics were taken with a Canon SD1100. I wear it on a lanyard around my neck, under my jacket. The pic on Hells Revenge was done with the self-timer; Canons come with a self timer that can be programmed up to 30 seconds and up to 10 shots. If the flash is set it increases the delay between shots to 5 seconds, so really it's possible to get shots up to 80 seconds from pressing the shutter. Canon's have a Vivid mode which I use, it tends to bring out the red colors more.

    I also pack a Sony DSC H9 in my knapsack. It has a much larger lens and 15X zoom, but in many cases I can't tell the difference in picture quality between the two. I would love to get a DSLR, just have to save up more money! I do use some image editing software-I've often found that on overcast days the pics often need more contrast.

    Day 3 Beef Basin Area

    I had last been in the Needles area 2 years ago, and wanted to explore more. After parking just outside Canyonlands on hwy 211, I took the Bridger Jack Mesa trail south. This ATV trail climbs steadily, skirting the boundary of Canyonlands NP. It joins a bladed dirt road and a spur from there took me out to Big Pocket Overlook. This spot has amazing panoramic views into Canyonlands. The spur is 2 miles off the dirt road, and is doable on a big bike with some patience.

    From there I took the dirt road back towards 211 and explored some of the spurs trails off of it.

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    Bridger Jack Mesa Trail



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    Big Pocket Overlook

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    Big Pocket Overlook

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    Cottonwood Canyon overlook


    Day 4 Cameo Cliffs

    The Cameo Cliffs is a trail system abouot 30 miles south of Moab. The write-up in an ATV guidebook soounded okay, so I decided to give it a try. Scenery wasn't as spectacular as other Maob trails, but still nice. Trail surfaces were hard-packed dirt with the odd bit of slickrock. One trail was particularly enjoyable. I forgot the trail name but it had lots of rollercoaster ldoubletrack leading into a slickrock canyon.

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    Wilson Arch Overlook Trail

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    There is a group of riders on the slickrock dome.

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    One of the riders dropped their bike on the slockrock.

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    #10
  11. RamblinKevin

    RamblinKevin Adventurer

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    So how many pics untill it took the "money shot"? I am going to carry an extra battery and try to get 3 or 4 "action" shots like that this summer.

    Also, did you notice if dispersed (free) camping is available at any of those locations outside Canyonlands?

    Thanks for the great pictures, and useful information!
    #11
  12. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    I never get tired of pics of Utah, especially when they are as good as yours. Thanks for posting:clap :clap :clap
    #12
  13. KneeKicker

    KneeKicker Long timer

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    Going to Moab in July,your RR is making wish it was late June :cry
    #13
  14. ata

    ata expat in the jungle

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    great pics, man, and a great ride aswell
    :beer

    thanks for sharing
    #14
  15. trailrider383

    trailrider383 867-5309

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    Great pics. Where and what is the big round balanced rock that looks like it could fall on your bike? Does it have a name?
    #15
  16. bikergirl

    bikergirl Shalala...

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    :cry I'm jealous!
    seriously.... amazing!
    #16
  17. TwoShots

    TwoShots Vagabond

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    Nice ride, Mike. Gotta ask, though...What was the point of this?

    Not wanting to spark a debate here, but the pic couldn't better represent why hardcore conservationists want more UT lands protected from motorized vehicle use.
    #17
  18. MSH

    MSH The Salt

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    Great pics dude! :super
    #18
  19. Rut Runner

    Rut Runner Been here awhile

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    I don't know the name of the balanced rock, but it is on the potash road. It is hard to miss.

    Playing around with the self-timer for "action shots" was fun. If you're facing the camera you can see the flash every 5 seconds and time yourself accordingly.

    In terms of camping there is a large BLM site at highway 211 and Beef Basin Road. I don't know enough about Utah to say if dispersed camping is available everywhere in the Beef Basin area.

    Day 5 Cane Wash- San Rafael Swell

    My wife was flying into Las Vegas on Friday, so I decided to start heading west and spend a day riding in the San Rafael Swell. From exit 128 I rode north through Cane Wash. The scenic vistas were amazing. At the end of the trail I passed some abandoned mine workings. Looking up at a cliff face I could barely make out the remnants of a ledge road. I backtracked abit and found a small spur which led upwards. There were boulders in the way but I managed to squeeze through to the mine entrance. After checking it out I had lunch, descended, and took some of the numbered trails (736,746?) back to I-70.


    Two pics of Cane Wash:
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    Heading up to the mine entrance:
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    At the top, a steel cable for ore buckets is still up.


    Looking down:
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    Riding back down:
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    To be continued
    #19
  20. Rut Runner

    Rut Runner Been here awhile

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    Riding Day 6 Logandale, Nevada Trails

    After a four day intermission in Las Vegas I dropped my wife off at the airport in the morning and sped east. My destination was the Logandale trail system, a few miles off I15, near Overton, Nevada.

    I was quite impressed by this riding area. There is Moab style riding on brilliant red sandstone, sand dunes, endless sand washes and rocky trails in the foothills. The area is used by ATV tour companies who bring in tourists from Vegas.

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    Riding Day 7 Factory Butte

    Located off hwy 12 near Hanksville, Factory Butte is an extreme hill climb area. The open play area was reduced to 2600 acres from 160,000 acres in 2006. The hills are Bentonite, which as I understand, is a soft, crumbly rock.

    I spent a few hours playriding, gradually pushing my limits. Traction was excellent and I had no need to put the 100 decibel powertip on my exhaust. Tire prints go everywhere and there were always extreme tracks enticing me further. As I was the only person there that day, I decided to err on the side of caution and just take a leisurely cruise around the open area.


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    Factory Butte:
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    Caineville Wash Road:
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    South Caineville Mesa:
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    To be continued...
    #20