Southwest Utah: Dual Sport Riding from St. George

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by RedRockRider, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    The route was all paved. Leave Brian Head going towards Cedar Breaks. Turn left onto UT 143, dropping elevation, heading north towards Panguitch Lake, turn right onto smaller paved road, US Forest Service Rd 67. This road is has VERY little traffic, a nice surface and some very good curves. Makes a nice connecting loop back to UT 14 at Duck Creek Village. Once on UT 14 pass Navajo Lake, turn right on UT 148 past Cedar Breaks National Monument, then back on UT 143 into Brian Head.

    Open road of UT 143 starting descent towards Panguitch Lake. Some residual snow. This is about 9000 ft. Definitely feels like fall is over and winter is fast approaching.

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    The V leaving Iron County and entering Garfield County. :wink:

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    On to US Forest Service Rd 67, the small community of Mammoth Creek. Very ATV friendly. :clap :clap :clap

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    View from the bridge. :thumbup

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    Heavy snowfall and errant plow operators lead to some pretty banged up signs. The missing state highway number is 14, right back at Duck Creek. The road to Hatch will have to wait for another day.

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    Glamour shot of the V, in late afternoon light on the open road. :D :D :D

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    Fire station, just before reaching UT 14.

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    Old truck. And insignia on door in great shape. A bit of a mystery . . . :hmmmmm

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    Passing back through Duck Creek in fading light. Good road, easy to make time.

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    Little snowman at the Navajo Lake overlook. You gotta like this!!! :rofl :rofl :rofl

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    Driving right past the Sunset View Overlook of Cedar Breaks -- worth a quick stop. So lucky to live near all this fantastic scenery.

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    Interesting snowmelt pattern on the south/west facing slopes. One pic and back to Brian Head.

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    #61
  2. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    A few pics from our afternoon moto and ATV ride to a viewpoint back to Cedar Breaks. Great weather. Good times! This is what it is all about.

    I trailered my WRR up to Brian Head. Here she is on the road to the High Mountain Meadow. A great viewpoint looking back at Cedar Breaks National Monument. Kids like to ride double, unless it is rough. Then they jump to an ATV. :lol3

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    Here come the ATVs!!! :clap :clap :clap

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    Family and friends -- all helmetted up -- looking like a bunch of happy bugs! :rofl

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    Snacktime at the High Mountain Meadow. :clap Kids love snacks.

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    The view back to Cedar Breaks National Monument.

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    My wife, smiling and saying "hello" to all inmates and lurkers. She is a winner!!! :raabia

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    Slightly different spot with a view of red rock and Brian Head Peak. :eek1

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    Most of the bright yellow color is gone, but it was still a gorgeous day.

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    Typical dirt road scene, near the back of Navajo Mountain at Brian Head ski resort. We all enjoyed the warm weather with the recent snow and lingering fall colors - unique combination. Great to be out with family and friends.

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    Two last scenery shots: Cedar Breaks in afternoon sun.

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    Near Cascade Waterfall.

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    #62
  3. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

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    Great stuff as always, thanks for reminding me of where I was 4 weeks ago minus the white stuff.

    BTW, doods over at bmw moa in the regional west are showing a slide on 14 out of Cedar. Have you ran into this? I think that TW of yours would just eat it up...:lol3
    #63
  4. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Hey Sam, Yeah. UT 14 above Cedar City had a fairly major slide a few weeks ago. Haven't seen it; only a few photos in the local paper. UDOT put up a barricade at the top, near Cedar Breaks (I've seen it), and I'm sure one at the bottom also. Cars, etc. can get by to allow "local" access to a few dirt roads and camping areas on either end. I don't know about the actual slide area. The word from a few locals in Brian Head is that the damage is major -- a complete re-route of the road is in order. This will probably take months, perhaps not until next summer. I tend to doubt if the TW could sneak through; UDOT may already be "demo-ing" the old route. Or it might be barricaded big-time at the actual slide. There may be damage in several spots??? Still, if opportunity presents, the TW may have to go take a look. :lol3 :lol3 :lol3 If so, we'll definitely photo-up at the key spots. Thanks for checkin' in. Take care, RedRockRider.
    #64
  5. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Two pics from the last ride of the weekend at Brian Head. :clap

    The TW 200 on the ski bridge above the highway.

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    At the Wildflower chairlift.

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    Ride safe, fellow inmates.
    #65
  6. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Out doing a few errands today. The Moto Zoo store had a good deal on jackets. Look for it on a future ride. :lol3

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    Thanks for checkin' in. Get out and ride!
    #66
  7. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    #67
  8. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

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    OUCH! :yikes

    Looks like UDOT has some o.t. coming. :happay
    #68
  9. westerlywinds

    westerlywinds Two Wheels-Ride it

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    Hello redrock rider. I just saw the reports I lived in Moab for several years. I rode around there I like that slick rock riding.I got myfather riding when he was 65 mostly only when I was there.I havent done any around Saint George except road. this year I have been riding my klr 250 ( My first dirt bike in 20 years I was on BMW road bikes) I live in El Paso and go out from here .After seeng your photos I now have new someday i will go there places.
    #69
  10. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Great that you got your dad riding, too. As many inmates know, it is really very special to share some time together out on the road. My dad will occasionally do a short ride without me, but the vast majority of his riding is with me. My mom jokes -- this is good. I can keep my eye on him. Always good to have a buddy around (and a second bike!).

    St. George really does have great riding in all directions. Lots of variety, and lots of it is very close to town. You don't have to go for more than 10 minutes to be in some really scenic areas. Also, the riding season really never closes down due to winter. It just doesn't get that cold. In fact, lots of the desert-type rides are better in the winter. In the summer, of course, the best way to beat the heat is to head for elevation.

    RIde safe, Westerlywinds. Hope you make it to St. George with your bike, sooner rather than later. :clap
    #70
  11. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Dad will be out of town this weekend . . . so when the opportunity for a Thursday afternoon ride presented itself . . .

    About 45 miles of fun . . . good for the psyche . . . We went on pavement out to Kayenta, the out Old 91 to the Apex Mine Ride, the start of dirt. Up the Apex Mine Road, then down past the Bloomington Cave and eventually onto Navajo Drive (pavement) in Bloomington.

    The ride is very similar to post 17 and post 44. Check out those posts complete with maps!! :clap

    Dad on his Honda, leading us through the roads of Kayenta. Fantastic development (very southwest) under the big red cliffs.

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    Aside: Quota -- I drove past the Sweet Pea Cafe and Bakery -- unfortunately, it is not looking good. I'll go back and more thoroughly investigate, but the first pass was not promising. :cry :cry :cry


    Our first break for a drink, on the Apex Mine Road (officially known as the Mojave Desert Joshua Tree Scenic Backway).

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    The view down to the red cliffs of Ivins (Kayenta development). Pine Valley Mountain in distance. Great weather. Warm, and sunny. :D :D :D

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    We moved along pretty good, enjoying the ride and the changing views. Here's a pic at the start of our descent from the Apex Mine Road. From this point (high on the Utah hill, just under Jarvis Peak) all of western St. George is visible below. There are distant panoramic views to Sand Hollow Sand Dunes, the cliffs of Zion and the higher mountains near Brian Head (very distant). Pine Valley Mountain and all of its lower flanks (Snow Canyon State Park) are in prominent view.

    On past rides, we have seen Rocky Mountain Sheep in the exact spot where this photo was taken. Fun!

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    At the side trail to the Bloomington Cave. Been to the entrance area before, but not today. All about the ride, not so much the photos. Some inmates in younger days may have spent time exploring the cave. My understanding is that in years past there was quite a lot of "activity" near the cave -- some of this info was gleaned from my nephews who grew up in the area. (I have only lived in St. George for ~5 years, so I don't have deep long-term knowledge.)

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    The road below here follows a wash. It is in pretty bad shape in a few spots. Looks like road grader is in position; perhaps some maintenance will be starting shortly. Enough loose rock (albeit) in flat sections, that I wouldn't take a really big bike through. You could make it, just too much loose crap. Our little bikes are just perfect. :clap :clap :clap

    This is also the stretch were Pop (father-in-law) dumped a couple of weeks ago. (No harm.)


    A pic of the TW200 with the "White Hills" in the background. There is a way to snake through from this spot and come out in Santa Clara. It requires a bit of "maneuvering" but it can be done. The easy route from here is out to Navajo Drive in Bloomington.

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    Just put this Yamaha OEM rack on the TW. Seems like the right size. Thinking about the best tail bag. Anticipating a few longer trips (exploring, camping) on the AZ strip (North Rim of Grand Canyon) and out past Motoqua into Nevada, towards Caliente. The TW will need to carry quite a bit of extra gas (and water) for those trips.

    Rack install was easy, except for coaxing one of the seat bolts to get started again. Painful waste of time. Today, the rack did fine on its initial shake-down ride.

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    Inmates and Lurkers -- if you get the chance to ride the Apex Mine Road and the area above Bloomington (Blakes Lambing Grounds), give it a chance. Nice variety of dirt and fantastic views. Very accessible from St. George.

    Thanks for checkin' in. Ride safe. :D
    #71
  12. quota

    quota Been here awhile

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    Location closed? Thanks for checking. Seems like they pop up in a new/different spot every few months. A Google review from June showed them in business then.
    I was going to ride that direction this weekend, but a 5-day weekend ride a few days ago has me a little behind on work. Still could happen, but more likely next week.
    #72
  13. dec181966

    dec181966 Dude on a motorcycle

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    Hey Redrock,

    Just found your thread today and am very glad I did!!

    I am planning a long ride in your area in the spring. Your posts have got me even more excited than I was before:clap

    Thanks for all the info!

    Michael
    #73
  14. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    Great thread, Redrock. I've been to Zion many times, but always ridden the East side around Kanab. I'll have to try the West side next time. Very interesting places. It's great to see you and your whole family enjoying the outdoors on bikes.It makes for a long enjoyable marriage.:clap
    #74
  15. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Hey Michael -- Glad the info is helping with the trip planning and adding to the anticipation. :clap :clap :clap Are you planning to ride the Ninja or XT250? Southwest Utah has great road and dual sport riding. Give me a heads up if you have any specific questions. Better yet, let me know when you are coming through. Always good to get away for a short ride, street or dirt!!!

    Ride safe, RedRockRider.
    #75
  16. dec181966

    dec181966 Dude on a motorcycle

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    Hey Redrock!

    This winter I will be looking to get a DR650 or 650GS single....still weighing the pros & cons of each. That will be my long haul adventure bike. Even if I get that bike I still might truck the XT250 to Utah as I LOVE it for exploring.
    I will look you up for sure when I firm up the dates and maybe we can try to get in a ride or 4 :D

    If you ever find yourself in the Nor Cal wine country let me know and I will show you some of my area!

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    #76
  17. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Yes, good advice as it relates to the family. Definitely, check out areas West of Zion. St. George has tons of very inexpensive (reasonable) hotels. Also, lots of good, easy (free) camping in the area on BLM land.

    Generally, drop to lower elevations in the winter and higher elevations in the summer. Makes for a 12-month riding season. Zion National Park itselft is great year round. Just wouldn't do the Narrows hike in winter . . . :lol3:lol3:lol3
    #77
  18. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    #78
  19. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Spent most of the day on bicycles with my wife -- fun! :raabia:raabia:raabia But, by late afternoon had a few hours of flex time. Perfect for a quick moto ride. Just enough time to check out the Diamond Valley loop up around the Grassy Knoll on the side of Pine Valley Mountain. This is forest service road 033.

    Here are a few pics from post 57 on page 4 of this thread.

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    Today I was solo, and moving along at a good clip. Not very many photos since it was late afternoon by the time I started. Total ride was almost 50 miles, not quite 2.5 hours. Finished the last bit of pavement back home in the dark. Here's the map.

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    A few notes:
    - In Diamond Valley, turn left just past the church onto a graded gravel road. Bear right after 1/2 mile. This systematically gains elevation and heads in the direction of Pine Valley Mtn. It becomes 033.
    - There are several little tracks to explore up by the Grassy Knoll, and at least one old cabin. Have to go back.
    - No sign at the pass, but there is a trailhead (for hikers). Climbs to summit.
    - The steepest bit of road is just over the pass with the large switchback. Overall ok, but steep grade with some loose gravel. Recent maintenance is pretty good.
    - Did not explore 322 yet. Running water in this wash. Another reason to go back.
    - 033 through the area marked Black Gulch is an easy descent. It is a long, gradual decline all the way back to St. George. The connection with pavement is near the MotoZoo store (East Red Hills Parkway).

    Additional:
    - Connection in red from Black Gulch area over the Diamond Valley is easy, but prone to mud. Makes a nice short loop.
    - Forest Service Road 031 extends east to Silver Reef, then easy to ascend to Oak Grove, maintained gravel. I've been on these roads a number of times, but no extra time (daylight) today. Just puttin' it out there so inmates will know these are good roads. Oak Grove is a nice camping area. High enough to be very cool in summer. Some good fall colors in the area.


    On to to pics :clap :clap :clap Here is a photo taken at about the same spot as the turnaround point with my Dad from our ride about 10 days ago. On the map this is about where the 033 is just to left of the Grassy Knoll.

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    View of Pine Valley Mountain (Signal Peak, 10,365), almost at pass. The pass climbs through a high meadow, scrub forest to the right of this picture. The pass itself is not dramatic.

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    One of the side roads to explore on a future ride, just before the pass.

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    Hiking trailhead at pass. 3,000+ ft of elevation gain to summit. Rocky trail, not recommended for horses.

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    One pic of a curve on the descent. Overall, road in good shape, but there are a few steep spots with some loose gravel. Light was fading and I still had 30 minutes of dirt in front of me, so it was time to go. Passed several hunters (all friendly). We shared info on the road, so I knew it was in good shape. (Plus I have been this way before.) :lol3

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    One more side road, worthy of exploring. This is 322 on the descent. Looks like year round water. Possible primitive campsites nearby. :D

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    Final pic of last sunlight, looking back high on southwest face of Pine Valley Mountain. The rest of the road is an easy decline back to St. George. A few spots are prone to mud, and there are some bumpy rocks, but all easy. Stopped to chat with a few hunters, also saw the local Sheriff. Kinda busy for a Sunday evening.

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    These are good rides. Nice to start in St. George and ride up the Black Gulch area on 033. Then turn right on 031 to Sliver Reef (no gas), then up to Oak Grove. Retrace same route back to St. George to avoid pavement.

    Thanks for checkin' in. Ride safe, inmates!
    #79
  20. bretedge

    bretedge Do Epic Shit

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    That last trip makes me miss my TW200. Looks like some rugged and beautiful country. If my desire to ride this winter overcomes my laziness I might just rent a trailer and head west to your neck of the woods. Thanks for the continued inspiration.
    #80