Southwest Utah: Dual Sport Riding from St. George

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

  1. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    India Wharf (Harbor Towers?) and Patriot Nation. Boston waterfront??? We lived in Lewis Wharf for five years in the late 90s. During the time of the "Big Dig" -- still very nice. We faced the water!!! :rofl


    I was out again today with Dad. He'll see your greeting on the thread. Thanks. Pop is back in PA freezing his butt off, but he FINALLY going to retire (age 80) and shut down his business. Should eventually lead to more motorcycle time in Utah. :thumb

    Yeah, we are lovin' the little dual sports. They are really great for exploring and all except the TW can manage highway speeds. We definitely avoid I-15, the only interstate in the area, and all the other state highways just don't have that much traffic. Very easy to wave someone by if they come up on your tail. Generally, drivers are very respectful of motorbikes here. Frequently, I'll wave someone around, and they'll hang back and wait for a clear, wide-open passing zone. Utardia -- also known as land of the nice people!

    Lots of great riding out on the AZ Strip -- North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I haven't been to the South Rim for 20 years but remember it as crowded. It is just amazing to me that the isolated overlook points on the North Rim are so seldom visited. This is really awesome country just off of I-15 from Mesquite, NV and St. George, UT. The vastness is incredible. We are really spoiled.

    Enjoy to Yami WR250R. Let me know if your travels ever bring you through St. George again. Lots of great scenery and ridin' nearby. Thanks for checkin' in. :clap :clap :clap
  2. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Great day for a ride with Dad. About 100 miles total. Roughly 25 on pavement over the Utah Hill on Old Highway 91, then 25 on dirt (Eardley Rd) out to Beaver Dam Wash, and in to Nevada. Returned the same way. There are some big loops out there (all the way towards Caliente, NV). Once you cross Beaver Dam Wash and enter Nevada, this is really isolated territory. Don't run out of gas!

    Here's the map:

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    Just past Shivwitz, starting up the Utah Hill on Old 91. It will be cold, but we were ready for it. About 60 degrees in St. George today. Probably only 50 on the Utah Hill. Slightly warmer once in Nevada.

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    Nice new sign -- perhaps "stimulus" money -- on the backside of the Utah Hill. This is a very, very nice road for street bikes if you're inclined that way. :D

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    Dad turning off onto dirt / gravel at the Eardley Road, just past Castle Cliff.

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    Here's the sign to look for. There is a private game ranch at the "end" of this road near Beaver Dam Wash. Shown on the map.

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    Our road. Utah Hill in background.

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    This is the land of the Joshua Trees. Some of the best in the area. Slightly lower elevation. Lots of southern and western exposures. Just enough water.

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    Dad with older sign. We're going to Nevada! :thumbup

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    Desert plants.

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    There are a couple of intersections out here. Stay on the main road, heading west, slightly dropping elevation toward Beaver Dam Wash. Indian Canyon leads back east towards West Mountain Peak and Hellhole Pass, also a very good ride. :clap :clap :clap :clap

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    Dad cruisin' in Honda red! Nice contrast with green and brown. Makes the pic pop a little.

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    Follow signs to Lytle Ranch, even though it is closed to the public. (Doesn't appear to be much there.)

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    Entering the Beaver Dam Wash area. Somewhat popular with birdwatchers, hence the binoculars sign.

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    Definitely some old stuff around. Let's go take a look.

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    Ford -- missing the blue oval. :lol3

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    Old equipment.

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    Details. Slow changes with time and weather.

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    Found this old beauty.

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    Both Ford and GMC equipment. Door signage. Perhaps an old oil truck.

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    Rear of the GMC.

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    The whole scene. An abandoned desert oasis at Beaver Dam Wash . . .

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    Chillin' out! RVing in style!!! :beer

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    Outdoor kitchen. This place was ahead of its time! :lol3

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    Small nearby cottage.

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    Lets look inside. Oops, kinda messy. :eek1

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    Outdoor dining.

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    And outdoor sleeping.

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    You knew it was coming. Gotta check out the bed. Hope the lovely wife doesn't see this. She'll burn the clothes. :huh

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    View downstream in Beaver Dam Wash. Quite a bit of water running for this time of year.

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    View up the wash. Impressive bluff, more impressive in person.

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    Vehicle carnage by the side of the wash. Looks like a smaller school bus.

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    Animal tracks.

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    Dried mud. At times in the year, this wash is uncrossable. It has taken out houses downstream in Beaver Dam, Arizona.

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    Old ranch stuff around, some still in use.

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    Lytle Ranch itself is closed.

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    The road crosses the wash and continues towards Nevada. :thumb

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    Dad gettin' ready . . .

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    And drivin' right on though! Right on Dad.

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    Actually, it was easy for him. :clap :clap :clap

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    And keeps on going!

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    Climbing out of Beaver Dam Wash. The view back down where we just were. And in the distance (eastward) West Mountain Peak.

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    Soon, the Utah - Nevada state line.

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    Some Nevada destinations. Lots and lots of exploring to do. I haven't been out here on dirt much, only on the paved roads of eastern Nevada. Rugged and remote.

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    Road is still good, just not quite as substantial. Utah must have more money. :lol3

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    After a few more miles, we descended into a second major wash, Bull Valley Wash. We made this our turnaround point.

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    Windmill pumping water for cattle nearby.

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    King-size Joshua Trees. Lots of healthy specimens. No fire damage this far west.

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    Heading back towards Utah.

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    Dad havin' fun, blastin' back through Beaver Dam Wash.

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    Last look at the bluffs of Beaver Dam Wash. Afternoon light now.

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    On the Eardley Road, back out towards Old Highway 91. Utah Hill in distance.

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    Back to pavement. This is the sign to look for. This is the easiest access point to Beaver Dam Wash. Enjoy!

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    Thanks for ridin' along. Stay safe.

    Road ride to Springdale on Thursday with a few guys. Any ADVers welcome to join. Leaving St. George just after 1 pm. Let me know if interested. Cheers!
  3. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Paul and I rode to Zion today. I got the chance to ride Paul's Goldwing for a few miles from Virgin to Springdale. Very, very sweet. First time for me to pilot a Goldwing. One smooth bike. Surprisingly agile for a big bike. Very fun. Thanks, Paul.

    Paul also had a smile after kickin' back on the Vulcan 900 for a few miles. Paul has some very nice motorcycles ($$$) plus some other motorized things that go fast, and the Vulcan was a bit of a "retro" throwback for him. All in the spirit of the day.

    A couple of other guys had either work conflicts or a bike problem. Have to get them going soon. Paul and I will definitely be doing more rides. I owe him lunch.

    Not many pics -- today was mostly about riding. Here are a few.

    Our first real stop is the Checkerboard Mesa Viewpoint in Zion National Park, after climbing the switchbacks and going through the tunnels. By the way, for inmates and lurkers in the area -- the fall colors in Zion at lower elevations are still striking. Check it out if you can, preferably on moto.

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    The light wasn't right for Checkerboard Mesa, but I still snapped a pic.

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    In Zion, there are great views in every direction, so I point the camera the other way.

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    Paul and I had fun hangin' out, talking with strangers who pull into the overlook. Lots of Europeans, all amazed with our scenery. We are lucky. This stuff is easy within 2 hours drive of our houses. Someone wanted to take a picture of "badass" American bikers. We comply, then they take a photo with my camera as well. Here we are. Paul with his Goldwing.

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    All is good, so we decide to exit Zion to the east and make the run down to Mt. Carmel Junction for some food. This gives us the chance to ride briskly on the open road east of Zion. Fun. My Vulcan 900 can keep the Goldwing in sight, but only because Paul is takin' it easy, in sightseeing mode. :lol3 Great rider, great guy.

    Thunderbird -- signs just don't come any better than this! :wink: Good food also. Thanks, Paul. Next time I buy.

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    We thought about going south to Kanab and back to Hurricane via Colorado City (Polygamy Central), but opted to make the run back through Zion since this would be a little quicker, even with the tunnels and switchbacks.

    We cruise back towards Zion in late afternoon light. Paul is leading. We are slowing as we approach the east entrance. BAM! From the right side of the road a deer jumps out and hits the front right of the Goldwing. Paul keeps the bike upright (nice!), and the deer's body spins from impact and SLAMS the back corner of the bike. I see all this from behind. The deer slowly stumbles to his feet and limps off the side of the road and into the brush. Gone.

    Paul stops his bike and we assess. No serious damage to Paul, just a bruise on his right hand. The Goldwing has deer fur stuck in the creases on the rear luggage compartment, and one small cargo door is missing. Front brake lever is bent. A few other tweaks to the back part of the bike which took the biggest hit as the deer spun and smacked . . . ouch!

    Sorry, no pics of any of this. Maybe it is time for a GoPro Helmet cam. Very similar to this insane YouTube clip of a mountain biker in Africa getting taken out by a buck. Enjoy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2oymHHyV1M

    Glad Paul kept the bike up and was fine. Rode home without further incident. Paul says next time he goes "hunting" with his Goldwing he's going to go after smaller animals, perhaps a rabbit.

    Thanks for checkin' in. Ride safe, my friends. Ride safe.
  4. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    No kidding? Well, you wouldn't recognize the waterfront now. The Rose Kennedy Greenway replaced the elevated freeway so the city is finally reconnected to the waterfront. It's beautiful and busy with locals and tourists all the time now. The 'Harbor Walk' runs from South Station all the way past Lewis Wharf to the Coast Guard base. Spectacular! My condo tower is about 200 yards inland from Harbor Towers on what was called India Wharf some 100 years ago. I don't have a harbor view, though. Still, I feel like my yard is a national monument, just like you do out there.

    Thanks for those maps you post too. I'll definitely get up there to take a few of those loops. Cheers
  5. warp9man

    warp9man Gravel in my Travel

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    Hey Redrock, thanks for sharing the pics and the maps. looks like a St George ride is close future.

    have a good weekend!
  6. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I just discovered this thread a few days ago. Your rides look fantastic.

    We went thru some of this area on a loop from Abq to Death Valley in May 2010. We had to skip Toroweap because of mud.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=587761

    We tried to go back in September but never got past Canyon de Chelly and Chinle AZ again because of mud. This time we destroyed or damaged 3 clutches.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=727309

    We are going to try again next year. We were originally planning to go from Mesquite down to Moapa and then into the DNWR and loop up to Alamo. But it looks like the Alamo rd is now seriously closed due to washouts.

    So for now I think we will reroute and use some of your tracks thru and around St. George. Looks like the ride will be spectacular.

    Looks like you use Benchmark maps for much of your ride planning. I do to and use them to augment creating GPS tracks.
  7. Superhawk

    Superhawk Been here awhile

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    great photos and report again Redrock ! keep up the good work.
  8. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Hey Warp9man -- checked out your Utah ride reports again. Good stuff. :thumb So much great riding here. Give me a heads up if/when you come through St. George. I'm usually up for a mid-week ride if you want company for a few hours. Lots of inexpensive (reasonable) hotels in St. George if you're lookin' to do things that way.

    Let me know if you have any "local" ride questions. I know most areas, gives me a reason to go check out something also. As it gets colder, best suggestion is to stick to lower elevations.

    Sounds like you know all of Utah. Have a great ride when the time comes.

    Also, guys in Kawasaki KTM store (ProCycle) are very helpful, should the need arise. Hopefully not. Did I mention that you've got some nice lookin' KTM bikes there? :D

    Best, RRR.
  9. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Read through your ride reports. You and the guys had some weather, serious weather. Personally, I have only experienced "wheel stopping" mud only one time, near Enterprise Reservoir. It stopped my dad's Honda 230L cold. My WRR has a bit more room under the back fender and didn't grind to a halt. We had the special "stick tool" also and dug out the tire every hundred yards. Luckily, we were able to retreat relatively easily and didn't have to call in reinforcments or sleep on the ground. You guys toughed it out, complete with pics. Nice job!

    Yeah, I like Benchmark. My Dad messes with his Garmin, but often it just doesn't help. A simple map plus lots a daylight and gas seem to work best.

    Your KLR should do great on the AZ strip. That bike has the right tank capacity (range) for the territory. Give me a heads up as you plan, and definitely if you are riding in the St. George area for a day or two. Ride safe, RRR.
  10. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Thanks for your posts / encouragement. Hope you are gettin' out and enjoying some rides (unless it is too cold . . . )
  11. DirtyJohnny

    DirtyJohnny BR 549

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    Great thread! I ride the St. Geaorge area occasionally. Mostly Sand Hollow and Washington Dam the last few years with my son, nephews, and friends.

    We purchased a 2nd home in Santa Clara last Feb. so I have been exploring the area around Utah Hill for the last few months. Usually go through Santa Clara City, cross the bridge over the Santa Clara River and head to the Southwest. Lots of 2-track and washes to ride. As I ride solo (not by choice) I usually stay fairly close to roads and less difficult areas since I only have a 30" inseam and my bike I leave in St.Geo is a KTM 950SE. I usually return home by way of Navajo or remote control airstrip near Blommington. Although I tell my wife I will be about 1.5 hrs, I always end up calling or texting her to add more time. BTW I do carry a SPOT and cell phones.

    The pics of the north views of the Virgin River Gorge are great. I will definitely have to venture a bit further to the south.

    Thanks for starting this thread. It is very helpful to me and others.

    PM me if you ever need a riding partner. Headed to the Vegas endurocross on 11-19. May spend a few days either before or after though.
  12. quota

    quota Been here awhile

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    RRR,

    Did your area get hit with any snow in the high country the last couple of days? If so, any idea of what elevation?

    Just planning my next trip there.
  13. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Hey Quota,

    Nothing in St. George of course. Traces of snow on Utah Hill. Probably at roughly 6,000 ft. Also visible from St. George is Pine Valley Mountain. Some recent snow high on mountain. My guess is 8,000 ft, but doesn't look like much. For some reason the weather seems to have hit the Utah Hill harder. I was in Silver Reef/Leeds area last night and through Zion a few days ago. No snow, not cold enough.

    Weather does not look good for today and Monday. Some rain in forecast so could be snow at higher elevations. Don't think it will be much of an issue below 5,000 ft, not sure above that. Could be muddy???

    Weather looks better by mid-week. :D
  14. TwoShots

    TwoShots Vagabond

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    We had +/- 3" in town Cedar City (about 5800 feet). Hasn't all melted yet, but the roads are clear n' wet.
  15. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Congrats on the second home purchase in Santa Clara. Looks like your timing may have been pretty good, at least better than 3-4 years ago! :thumb

    I'm familiar with the bridge in Santa Clara over to dirt and your exit points in Bloomington, including the remote control airport. Lots of territory in between, some off-limits, but some fences are down. Keep an eye out and avoid obvious mountain bike only areas. Do venture up higher towards the Virgin River Gorge overlook. Kind of cool this is only about 15 miles from our houses. :clap:clap:clap

    Yeah, we'll have to get a group of inmates together for the occasional ride. Seems like there is at least some interest. Enjoy the Las Vegas endurocross. Some, no all, of those guys are incredible riders. Amazing!

    Glad the thread is useful. Take care, RRR.
  16. DirtyJohnny

    DirtyJohnny BR 549

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    Thanks for the reply. Mt. Bike trails look tempting, but they are pretty well marked and easy to avoid the areas.

    Let me know when you are planning a ride. I would be most interested.

    Ride often. Be safe.

    DJ
  17. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Good weather in St. George yesterday. Time for a ride. Temperature was in the mid 50s, slightly warmer towards Nevada. Plan was to get out the Vulcan 900 and drive south on I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge to Mesquite, NV. Easy run on the cruiser.

    Had time and decided to check out Gold Butte Road. Amazingly, this is paved, albeit a bit beat up, all the way to Whitney Pockets. Interesting way to access the AZ strip.

    For those not familiar with the area, Mesquite NV as lots of gas, food and hotels. Everything you might need/want. But, no bike shops.

    Here's the map. Benchmark Nevada.

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    First stop was the Cedar Pockets exit in the Virgin River Gorge. There is one dirt road which leaves here heading north, then turns west to Old 91. Good ride, but I haven't been on it for a year. Will detail up at some point. Not the right road for the Vulcan.

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    Looking south down I-15, further into the gorge, from the overpass.

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    Sign and scenery in the gorge. For dirt rides to the top of the AZ side see post #2, for the UT side post #3. :clap

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    Wanted to find this road (access point). Turns to dirt quickly. Just on south side of bridge over Virgin River in Mesquite. The Lime Kiln Canyon Road promises to be an interesting route to the high country of the AZ strip. Future ride.

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    Virgin River, looking upstream from bridge near Riverside, NV. There is nothing (no town) at Riverside except the bridge. :lol3

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    Welcome sign, just a few miles in.

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    Typical scenery. Virgin Mountains in distance. Traces of snow. Peak elevation about 8,000 ft. Photo taken about 2,000 ft.

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    Road surface. It's paved, but it's rough. Only one or two low spots would be prone to water. Overall, a surprisingly good road.

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    Sign. More interesting sign to follow.

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    The Vulcan on the road.

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    This sign caught my eye. :eek1

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    And the reverse side. I gave it the proper salute! Somebody did have a sense of humor. :rofl

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    V-twin. Perhaps not the best for smaller roads, but it would get me home (back up I-15) quickly. :thumbup

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    Fisherman's Cove is on Lake Mead which could be seen in the distance. This road isn't paved and the afternoon light was fading, so I stayed on the paved road to Whitney Pockets.

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    Moonrise above Whitney Pockets, at the end of the paved road. Lots of high quality dirt from here. Future rides!

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    Last pic, retracing path back to Mesquite, then home to St. George.

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    Ride safe. Thanks for followin' along!
  18. mknight

    mknight Been here awhile

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    RedRockRider...I've been enjoying your reports and pictures.

    I rode Lime Kiln Canyon in March, and took it over to Toroweap. I highly recommend it. It was one of the surprises of our trip and turned out be a really fun canyon.

    Here's some pictures from my ride report in the same area earlier this year:

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=670999

    Also, since I've been to Mt. Trumbull schoolhouse and the Toroweap area, I read a book called "Far From Cactus Flat". It's really a very interesting history of the Bundy's and other families that homesteaded that area and how they scraped out a living off that land up until the 60's. Now it makes me want to go back again and explore it even more that I have a better appreciation for the history.

    Keep up the good work!
  19. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Hey Mike, thanks. Read your AZ strip ride report -- :clap :clap :clap Looks like you encountered a bit of snow/mud since it was early in the year. All part of the adventure.

    Really enjoyed your write-up. Also looked through your trip to Yellowstone Country!!!

    Give me a "heads up" next time you plan a riding trip to the St. George area. Perhaps I can help, or ride along. BTW, I like your style in avoiding the "trailer queen" route. Too many good roads to explore.

    Ride often. Ride safe.
  20. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    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. :deal

    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:

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    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.

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    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.

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    Look for the cattle gate and the tire.

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    Especially the tire.

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    The view looking back down Old 91 towards the red cliffs of Ivins.

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    There's Dad, my favorite riding partner, always ready to go! Great photographer, too. I'm going to "steal" some of his pics soon. :evil

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    The first stretch of the Motoqua Road is on the Indian Reservation. No trespassing on either side.

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    Common desert scenery.

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    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.

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    Leaving the Shivwitz Indian Reservation. Once past the reservation, there is lots of dispersed camping and lots of smaller side roads / tracks to explore! :clap :clap :clap

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    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.

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    The road west towards Motoqua, Beaver Dam Wash, and Nevada.

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    Side roads. All good. Motoqua only 4 miles ahead.

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    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.

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    Horse pasture in Beaver Dam Wash. Broad leaf trees in the desert, seems like an oasis. Very interesting little micro environment.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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!

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    Soon, the Nevada state line. :clap :clap :clap

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    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.

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    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.


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    Our road south. Almost 5,000 ft elevation at this point. High enough for some light residual snow on the northern exposures.

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    My WRR with uniquely colored Nevada rock. Some mining history in this area.

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    Washout. This one was easily avoided. Thoughtfully marked with plastic containers. Helpful warning if you happen to be zipping along. :lol3

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    Dad. Cruising in Honda red!

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    Mirror shot. Gotta have it. :wink:

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    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.

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    Dad can appreciate the old names more than I can. The advantages of age, right Dad? :lol3 :lol3 :lol3

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    One more shot of the vastness.

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    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.

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    Thanks, inmates and lurkers. Hope you are enjoying our travels. Have fun out there. Ride safe! :D