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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    Preview shot from the summit of West Mountain Peak. TV towers. :clap :clap :clap

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    Had some time on Sunday. Short ride from St. George. West Mountain Peak with prominent TV towers is visible from western part of St. George. Here's the map:

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    Here's the turn to dirt, almost at the top of the Utah Hill on pavement (Old 91). No signs. Just a right turn.

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    TW200. Good for hill climbin'. West Peak Mountain in background.

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    First climb is to Hell Hole Pass. Sign at top.

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    View down from Hell Hole Pass.

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    Near summit. As always, road is steeper than it looks. In good condition right now.

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    On the summit looking north and west. Some snow. Elevation 7700 ft. Highest mountain in immediate area. Dramatic views to west and Nevada. Beaver Dam Wash area. :eek1

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    Lots of towers on the summit.

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    More towers.

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    Signs.

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    Tanks.

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    More towers on a subsidiary summit. Jarvis Peak in background. (Utah Hill.)

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    Equipment.

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    More signs.

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    Self portrait.

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    Shadow games. :lol3

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    Starting the descent. This small amount of snow wasn't a factor. Some caution is in order. This might not be the best spot for bigger bikes. Snow, mud, and loose rock can all be hazards. Up and over Hell Hole Pass is relatively easy.

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    Descending the back side of Hell Hole Pass into Indian Canyon. The view back up to West Mountain Peak with TV towers.

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    Indian Spring.

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    The Indian Spring Tank. Nice setting. Dispersed camping nearby.

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    Several roads intersect at the Indian Spring Tank. Lots more exploring to do.

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    Ride safe fellow inmates. Any other photos with bikes at the top of West Mountain Peak with the TV towers? :wink:
  2. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    You don't really want to stand in front of those microwave dishes. Not much power there but very concentrated! You were probably causing some fade there. :wink:

    I found your thread recently. I spent a few years in Page and always enjoy these red rock threads. I used to go to St. George pretty regularly to go shopping since it was about the same distance as Flagstaff away (the other closest "big city" at 120 miles away).

    I enjoyed the view of the Virgin Valley and I-15 from the top. That area has to be the coolest part of that interstate that I have driven on. I like how when you are headed toward St. George on 15 from Vegas and it looks like the road is just going straight into a box canyon. I remember wondering if it was just going to end there. Have you been out to the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre? How about the area SE of St. George toward the Grand Canyon. Those cliffs overlooking Colorado City with the towers on them were always calling to me as well. Have fun exploring that country. I will enjoy watching your adventures!
  3. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    St. George has changed a lot over the last 10 years -- shopping, amenities, etc. Still has all the great red rock, and nearby National Parks! :D Agree with your descriptions of I-15 and the Virgin River Gorge. Pretty amazing.

    I have ridden up to the Mountain Meadows Massacre site many times. Makes a nice road trip up Highway 18 from St. George. Good to combine with ride up to Pine Valley (historic church).

    I've ridden out by Colorado City some, but not as much. The cliffs are impressive. I'd like to explore the Gooseberry Mesa a bit more, and the Little Creek Mountain (Benchmark Map). Good views of Zion. The Cane Bed Road is sandy, but makes a nice connection to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. Very nice to have ATVs on the dunes. Scenic!

    Thanks for checkin' in. Enjoy your motorcycle time!
  4. quota

    quota Been here awhile

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    I thought about riding to West Mountain the same day, but didn't know what the snow might be like.

    I ended up doing a little exploring south of Gunlock. GPS topo maps didn't show any road here, but they were there.

    Have you been here? Late in the day, I didn't want to keep going to find out if the sand got deeper or not.

    Cross the river at about mile 15.3 on Gunlock Rd. and go west.
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    The sand wasn't making travel easy. Maybe it ended in another 300 yards. Maybe it got deeper. Your TW with the wider tires might be the ticket here. At least I didn't need a kickstand when I parked.
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    Fun to play around on the slickrock.
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    Done hijacking your thread. Just curious if you have any knowledge of this area. I'll pull it up on Google Earth when I get time and see what I can figure out.

    I'll be riding some next week and will give you more notice.
  5. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Hey Quota -- Yes, I've been to that spot and explored a bit also, but not much. Probably drove up about to the same place with the deep sand. Nice park job! :lol3 On the map this area is bound by the Manganese Wash Road which I've been on (probably will do with Dad again shortly). The Manganese Wash Road cuts north from the Motoqua Road then fords (easy) the Santa Clara River just above the Gunlock Reservoir and reconnects with pavement.

    There are some sandy off-shoots from the Manganese Wash Road. It is very possible that some connect with spot you were at. Sand riding might be easier (firmer) as the temps drop. :wink:

    Yeah, give me a heads up if/when you'd like to ride. I'll likely have flexibility on the long Thanksgiving weekend. Hopefully the weather will be cooperative. Thanks for posting up a few pics. Ride safe, ride often. RRR.
  6. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Cut loose with 3 TWs for a 75 mile loop on the AZ strip today. Mostly in the area of Seegmiller Mountain, directly south from St. George. Ken and Bo were good riding partners. More TW rides in the future. :clap

    Here are the three bikes.

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    Ken and Bo and bikes at Quail Hill overlook.

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    Break in a wash. TWs are like little billie goats on the rocky twisty double track.

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    View down towards Yellowstone Flat and Dutchman Draw. Sand Mountain in background.

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    Three TWs. Bo's new one has the white fender.

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    Back in cell range. Checkin' messages before headin' back into town.

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    Fun ride, thanks guys. Bo is usually on his KTM but likes the TW enough for some future rides -- "It has a seat like a couch!" Also noted: TWs aren't going to set any speed records. And carry extra gas if going far! :lol3
  7. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    This is getting ridiculous. You are just having too much fun out there. I'm retired and my main hobby is riding like this, but I find it hard to get out more than once every two weeks or so.
  8. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Manganese Spring Road is a scenic little connection between the Motoqua Road and the north end of Gunlock Reservoir. You have to ford the Santa Clara River to reconnect to pavement, but it is an easy crossing. Here's the map of my recent ride with Dad.

    We started out the Motoqua Rd. then turned right onto the Manganese Spring Rd, crossed the Santa Clara river, travelled briefly on pavement to Gunlock. At the southern edge (bridge) of Gunlock we turned right onto the Sand Cove Rd, past the two small reservoirs, and out to Highway 18 just north of Dameron Valley. We came home via Snow Canyon State Park. About 60 miles total. Lots of variations possible.

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    The TW200 on the Motoqua Road.

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    Our turn-off to the Manganese Spring Road. Well marked. Fun road, check in out! :clap Square Top Mountain in background.

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    Quite a few side tracks for exploring. We stayed on the main road -- Manganese Spring / Wash.

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    Some easy sand, and pretty red rock. Photo time.

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    Powerlines in the area.

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    Recent side road improvements. Also lots of dispersed camping, some quite nice. :D

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    At one point, the road gently parallels the wash. Still some remnant of fall color.

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    You see this sign looking back over your shoulder. We've come 9 miles from the Motoqua Road. The Tobin Wash area connects to a vast set of roads / trails extending all the way to Enterprise Reservoir (post #56).

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    Our bikes at the end of the Manganese Spring Road, at the Santa Clara River ford, just before pavement, north of reservoir but south of Gunlock.

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    Easy crossing. Way to go, Dad! :clap :clap :clap

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    Small gravel operation just as you reconnect with pavement. Look for this. Easy to spot. Santa Clara River ford is just south of this.

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    Just before entering Gunlock (before bridge) turn right onto gravel road parallel to river.

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    Here's Dad taking the lead.

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    The road quickly leaves the riverbank and gains elevation. View looking down on a small farming operation.

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    Soon the road is passing through desert terrain.

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    Looking down on Lower Sand Cove Reservoir. Check out post #49 and #50 for more detail on Sand Cove Road (travelled from the other direction). Dispersed camping and a very nice hike (Camel's Hump) in this area.

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    The Veyo Volcano. The source of lots of the black lava rock in Snow Canyon State Park. Veyo Volcano is very prominent from Highway 18 and the small town of Veyo (gas and food).

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    Dad with his Honda at the Upper Sand Cove Reservoir. :thumb Veyo Volcano in background.

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    Snack. An important part of almost every ride. :wink: I'll have to do a better job with my food pics!

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    We came back to St. George via Snow Canyon State Park. This avoids a stretch of Highway 18 and is more scenic! Snow Canyon is a real treasure, right in St. George's backyard.

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    Snow Canyon's muli-colored cliffs.

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    Desert tortoise artwork.

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    Final shot in the mirror as we exit and head for home on Snow Canyon Parkway.

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    Thanks for checkin' in. Ride safe -- rubber side down!
  9. Pitster

    Pitster miniac

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    Great area, great report!!
  10. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    I love riding in the forest as much as the next person, but also love riding in the desert (when the temp's not to high). The area you live and ride, looks so rich in history, and has so many interesting places for one to visit. Maybe someday I'll take the time and do some riding in the St. George area. It looks like a great place. Thanks so much for sharing your rides.
  11. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Short solo ride today. Went out the Motoqua Rd planning to do a little exploring. The Motoqua Rd. is detailed with map in post #120 on page 8. Lots of territory to the south side of the Motoqua Rd on the northern flanks of West Mountain Peak. Today I was primarily in the area on the map called Pahcoon Flat. Lots of cattle.

    Only a few pics. Overcast skies, never got sunny. :(: Here's the TW on the Motoqua Rd, immediately after leaving the Shivwitz Indian Reservation. All BLM land. Let the exploring begin.

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    Climbing a simple dirt road (up the hill) to the left (south side) of the Motoqua Rd.

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    Newly constructed water catchment system for cattle. Not yet operational.

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    Small rock quarry. This road dead-ended.

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    Equipment. Plenty big enough to lift the TW if necessary. :lol3

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    A different set of roads in the same area (Pahcoon Flat) was less well maintained. Lots of wash crossings with minimal maintenance. Not much activity up here.

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    On the western flanks of the Pahcoon Flat area. Looking west towards the Beaver Dam Wash area (Motoqua and Nevada). Many signs of forest fire from long ago.

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    Dead-ended at this larger scale water catchment and cistern. This area drains westward to Jackson Wash and eventually Beaver Dam Wash. Didn't appear to be any thru route. Always more exploring to do. Vast area with very few people!

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  12. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

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    Over 10,000 views...:thumb

    Speaks volumes of your presentation of beautiful SW UT.
  13. MSH

    MSH The Salt

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    Nice... I've gone deer hunting with my dad a few times around the Pahcoon Flats area.
  14. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Thanks inmates and lurkers! :clap :clap :clap Safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving to all.

    Appreciate the positive comments:

    Unlikely Cowboy
    David13
    Superhawk
    Signal
    TheAdmiral
    samthg
    Bob
    MSH
    azwheelin
    BeezaBoy
    tgregg
    Scribe
    quota
    DirtReeper
    Benwiggin2
    4PawsHacienda
    DBrentMiller
    Cat
    StuckinUtah
    Fredster
    Westerlywinds
    dec181966
    bomose
    bretedge
    tompee
    havocdog
    Pantah
    Warp9man
    wbbnm
    DirtyJohnny
    TwoShots
    mknight
    MasterMarine
    Pitster
  15. havocdog

    havocdog Been here awhile

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    RRR: I've caged it on I-15 through that area a couple dozen times and often wondered what the off-highway riding would be like... now I know thanks to you!! Now I've just got to get out there on a bike.
  16. westerlywinds

    westerlywinds Two Wheels-Ride it

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    Hi R.R.R. just wondering if you have seen the thread by Macadam Drifter? "A solo TW travels eastbound WA." His TW 200 and trailer are great looking. Another machine for the someday list.I enjoy your thread and many photos.:clap
  17. DirtyJohnny

    DirtyJohnny BR 549

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    RRR,

    I know that curiosity killed the cat, but I must ask. Is that river pic of you and your family on the Middle Fork of the Salmon?

    Have a happy Thanksgiving!
  18. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Yes, I've read Macadam Drifter's wonderful thread: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=470415

    His catch phrase: "The TW200 is slow but the earth is patient :clap"

    Photo of Mkd's rig. Wishing him the best on future travels!

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  19. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Thanks, DirtyJohnny. The family photo on the river sand (page #1, post #1) is on the Main Salmon in Idaho two summers ago. We rafted with ARTA (arta.org) from Salmon, ID (Corn Creek) to McCall, ID (Carey Creek). The River of No Return. It was a spectacular 6-day trip. Lots of class 2 & 3 whitewater. Very fun in inflatable kayaks and paddle rafts.

    This past summer we did a similar trip with ARTA on the Rogue River in southwestern Oregon. Beautiful country although not as remote. Great river, perhaps even more family oriented. Here is a pic of the Rogue River.

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    This next summer we will raft / kayak on the San Juan River in southeastern Utah (Bluff). ARTA doesn't cover the San Juan, so we'll be with a different company. The whitewater will be a bit tamer, but it should still be a great family vacation. We have inflatable kayaks so perhaps we'll do the San Juan River only with friends on a future trip.

    Rafting trips -- highly recommended as a family vacation! :clap :clap :clap
  20. Superhawk

    Superhawk Been here awhile

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    Keep posting - Im enjoying following along with you and your Dad !