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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    ATV ride to the top of West Mountain Peak. Check out the wind. :D

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    Family mugshot. The three adventurers! :clap :clap :clap

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  2. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Late afternoon with a little time -- just enough for a quick run on the TW out towards the Bloomington Cave.

    Road has been recently maintained. The lower part of this road by Bloomington (Navajo Drive) is in much better shape. The upper part by the cave has some ruts and loose rock, still very passable for any dual sport bike.

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    The map on page 2, post #17, shows the detail. Bloomington Cave itself is on Hollow Wash Road, just south of the word Hollow. This is about 2/3 of the elevation gain to the connection with the Mojave Desert Joshua Tree Scenic Backway (Apex Mine Road). There are several small cave signs from Navajo Drive in Bloomington so the route is easy to follow.


    A new sign kiosk at the cave site.

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    Details:

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    Be prepared:

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    Watch out:

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    Creepy crawlies:

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    One of the entrances. Caving has never been my thing, although I'm sure it could be great with the right group.

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    Pine Valley Mountain in fading light. No snow yet. Boomer Hill in foreground.

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    Spectacular post-sunset color from dirt trails behind Green Valley, very close to St. George. :clap

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    Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving weekend. Thanks for checkin' in. Ride safe!
  3. MSH

    MSH The Salt

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    How cool are the new cave signs! In high school we went with big groups of people (girls) through the cave... kind of to scare them so they would hold on to us tight. haha.

    Thanks for the pics!
  4. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Nice afternoon for a ride. High temp in St. George today was 65 degrees. Did a circumnavigation of West Mountain Peak. Left St. George and started out the Motoqua Road. Just short of Motoqua (Beaver Dam Wash) turned south onto Indian Springs Trail (also good dirt). Followed this to Jackson Well, then Indian Spring Tank, and finally to the Eardley Road. Back home on Old Highway 91 over the Utah Hill. About 80 miles total.

    For those following along, here's the map: :D

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    I'd been on all these roads (Indian Spring Trail, Jackson Well) about a year ago. Good to check back and see the conditions. Generally quite good. Any ADV bike could make this circuit. Overall, very scenic. Lots of dispersed camping throughout. Saw several large groups of deer (10-20) on the lower portion of Indian Springs Trail.


    On the Motoqua Road, just leaving the Shivwitz Indian Reservation. Started several rides on this road recently. Check out post 120 on page 8. Also, post 128 (Manganese Spring) and post 131 (Pahcoon Flat). :deal

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    Over 5,000 miles on the original rear tire. Tread isn't what it used to be. Getting time for new rubber for the WR.

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    When you get to this sign, you are close. This road heads north, eventually to the Enterprise Reservoir area. Lots of nice riding in this direction. Hopefully, I'll have the chance to get up here before significant snowfall. Some of this area is higher elevation and the "passes" can get blocked by snow.

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    Looking back in the mirror. Lots of the Motoqua Road is fast dirt, easy 50+ mph.

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    The key turn south onto Indian Springs Trail. Road isn't as fast now, but still very good.

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    Final look back at the Motoqua Road. This last stretch was 70 mph dirt. :rofl

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    Soon you see the first Joshua trees. Lots more to come. West Mountain Peak (with TV towers) in the distance.

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    Desert plants become more noticeable.

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    Desert plant with Beaver Dam Wash in background. Very impressive topography on display at this point. Beaver Dam Wash is a BIG wash. Worth a ride out if you haven't seen it. :clap

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    Looking west into the sun at Beaver Dam Wash. Steady stream of running water. Very modest at this point, but makes for a great reflection.

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    My bike, crossing a side wash (Jackson Wash). This drainage comes down from the Motoqua Road area.

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    The sign for the short spur road heading west to Jackson Well, actually down in Beaver Dam Wash.

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    The Jackson Well Road is lined with Joshua Trees.

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    The view back to West Mountain Peak (with TV towers on top, faintly visible in photo). Check out page 9, post 121. :thumb

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    Jackson Well area, on the valley floor of Beaver Dam Wash. One prominent tree, a shed, and an old windmill. Old cattle area. Some current activity on occasion.

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    The old windmill. The solar panel halfway up now provides the pumping power.

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    The tank. Inflow pipe.

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    Close up of the inflow trigger. My son would say "just like a toilet." :lol3

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    Crappy photo, but the tank is packed full of goldfish! Quite the stunt. Someone put a few fish in the tank, and they have multiplied, big-time. Might have been here for years now. Interesting little ecosystem! :huh

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    Abandoned shed.

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    Went out and crossed Beaver Dam Wash. Did some exploring on the other side (west, close to Nevada). Map isn't clear, but reasonable road continues. Never been here before. Always more to look into. This pic is heading back across the wash. There has been recent maintenance here. This road has not been underwater since grading.

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    Re-crossing the wash. Very attractive in late afternoon light.

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    WRR with Joshua Trees in route back to Indian Springs Trail.

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    Healthy trees.

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    Close-up.

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    Power Line road heads back north to Motoqua Road. I continued south on Indian Springs Trail.

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    Late afternoon shadow. That might be the ADV salute. I'll get this clearer next time. :lol3

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    At the Indian Spring Tank. This is one end of the Hell Hole Pass Road which climbs West Mountain Peak. Several other roads / tracks diverge south / west (towards Lytle Ranch at Beaver Dam Wash) from this point.

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    Similar photo of my TW200 from ride a few weeks ago (Hell Hole Pass, post 121 page 9).

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    Light was fading for the last part of the ride on Indian Springs Trail. I drove slowly since there were several large herds of deer in the area. This was partly out of deference to my friend Paul who had a deer run into his bike near Zion (post 103).

    The connection back to the Eardley Road (post 102, page 7) and out to Old Highway 91 was uneventful. Here's the final pic at the junction back onto pavement.

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    Ride safe, inmates. If you can, ride often! Good for the spirit! :wink:
  5. westerlywinds

    westerlywinds Two Wheels-Ride it

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    I ride often if you count to work and back. not as scenic as your Utah photos.but every day.Last sunday was hunting for rumored dead volcano in eastern New Mexico, Got chased back 25 miles to El Paso by the black hail storm.it caught me just as I got to the pavement.wet legs because I didn't want to stop to put on my dry pants. wet long enough to be an adventure not long enough to get cold.:lol3
  6. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Hey inmates -- a lurker friend of mine said I should post up a list of rides -- so here it is. More to follow. Enjoy!

    Post #2: Virgin River Gorge - AZ Strip (South Side)
    Post #3: Virgin River Gorge - Utah (North Side)
    Post #10: Brian Head Peak
    Post #14: Cedar Breaks & Zion via North Fork Road
    Post #17: Apex Mine Road. Mojave Desert Joshua Tree Scenic Backway
    Post #22: Little Black Mountain Petroglyph Site
    Post #36: Duck Creek
    Post #44: Virgin River Gorge (Utah) and Mojave Desert Joshua Tree Scenic Backway
    Post #49: Snow Canyon State Park and Sand Cove Road
    Post #50: Sand Cove Road and Gunlock Reservoir
    Post #56: Enterprise Reservoir (Veyo Shoal Creek Rd / Goldstrike Rd)
    Post #57: Diamond Valley
    Post #61: Mammoth Creek, Duck Creek, Cedar Breaks
    Post #62: Brian Head - High Mountain Meadow
    Post #79: Diamond Valley - Pine Valley Mountain, Rt. 033
    Post #92: Toroweap via Mount Trumbull Schoolhouse
    Post #95: Mohave Desert Joshua Tree Scenic Backway
    Post #96: Leeds / Silver Reef and Oak Grove
    Post #102: Eardley Road (Beaver Dam Wash at Lytle Ranch)
    Post #117: Gold Butte Road (near Mesquite, Nevada)
    Post #120: Motoqua Road
    Post #121: Hell Hole Pass, West Mountain Peak, Indian Canyon
    Post #128: Manganese Spring Road
    Post #131: Pahcoon Flat (south side of Motoqua Rd.)
    Post #142: Bloomington Cave
    Post #144: Indian Springs Trail

    Thanks again to everyone for all the positive comments. Ride safe!
  7. goran e

    goran e Been here awhile

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  8. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface 30-125

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    Edit that into the first post, so we can find it again!

    John
  9. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Done! Good call John. St. George is great for riding. Also, lots of cheap hotels (and inexpensive restaurants). Nearby access to Zion, Bryce, North Rim of Grand Canyon (remote), and lots of state parks. Give me a heads up if you're ever in the area. Ride safe! :D
  10. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Been busy with work and family. Not much on the motos in the last few weeks. Quite a bit of hiking and early season skiing. Hope all inmates are enjoying the holidays!

    Needed to get a safety inspection for the Vulcan.

    Here's the place:

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    Wall of credentials:

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    Crazy little gadget. Utah has a new requirement. Windshield has to allow a specific amount of light to pass through -- nothing too smokey or opaque. The Vulcan's stock shield is translucent -- passed no problem. :D

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    Gotta include a photo from a recent hike to "the wave" -- south central Utah on the border (actually in) Arizona!

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    Highly recommend hiking "the wave" if you ever get the chance. Permit required, even for dayhike. Spectacular! :clap
  11. byways

    byways byways

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    Awesome! Great country down there ... Thanks so much for posting your ride to remind me!
  12. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    When you are checking out the Wave and Coyote Buttes next time, take a look at the Paria Movie Set which is north of 89a. The road takes off heading north from a large gravel lot located on the north side of 89a just where the highway curves to the left after climbing up the hill from House Rock Road (which is where you would turn off 89a to go to the Wave) while you are heading west. I am not sure of the mile marker but I am sure you could find it with some Google searching. There are (were) some old movie set buildings down there that were used in various westerns including "The Outlaw Jesse Wales". I think the old buildings are gone now but it still is a very cool area. There is a dry campground down there. Also just north of the campground is a old graveyard. Across the river are some ruins of buildings from when there used to be a town there. It is a beautiful area!:D
  13. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Merry Christmas to all ADVers! :wave
  14. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Yeah! That area is definitely on my list. :D My dad has been there photographing once or twice. He reports that it's very beautiful. I was on the nearby Cottonwood Canyon Rd (From 89 to Bryce via Grosvenor Arch and Kodachrome Basin State Park) many years ago.

    Doing a few multi-day rides (camping or cheap hotels) in this area is definitely on my list. I might start the trip from the Brian Head area -- Mammoth Rd to Long Valley Junction on 89, Alton Amphitheater Scenic Backway, south on Johnson Canyon Scenic Backway, then further east to the Paria River area. Endless variations (dirt and pavement). Most likely head north to Bryce, then eventually back to Brian Head area. Realistically, this will have to wait until summer, although lots of the lower elevation stuff will be great by mid-Spring.

    We have some family friends we go (ATV) camping with. The Paria River area is often discussed (lots of water crossings), but Coral Pink Sand Dunes is closer to St. George, and a huge hit with kids. Also very scenic. Coral Pink may be our next destination.

    Thanks again for the details and good suggestion! :thumb
  15. bump

    bump COLOR ME GONE

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    Great job, thanks!

    I've been in that area a bit but far too little. A kid I grew up with had a grandfather retire to the St George area. And I went camping up there a bit during college. We've taken a boat up into Grand Canyon from Mead a couple of times. The last time was about 14 years ago when they had that huge discharge of water to clean out the GC. We took a larger boat up there that time, a 26' Scarab. We went way past the National Park Buoy. Perhaps turned around about Toroweap Overlook or a bit father. We put on ski racing gear and skied out all the way to Pierce Ferry. Every time we are on Mead up that way I want to ride that area north of the GC and east of Overton Arm.

    Your photos are great and I'm glad to see so much scenery and so few food images. Just my opinion...

    I gotta get a group together to spend about five days there riding fo sho.

    Thanks again!
  16. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Nice note. Thanks. Sounds like you've been to Lake Mead and the AZ Strip area a fair bit. It's great riding. :thumb

    In addition to Toroweap again, I'd like to get to some of the other overlook points (further west) -- Twin Point, Kelly Point, Whitmore Canyon, etc. Easier when the days get longer, and it gets a bit warmer. Probably, these will be overnight camping trips. :wink:

    Mesquite is a great staging area for exploring east of the Overton Arm. Mesquite has inexpensive everything and relatively easy access to Lime Kiln Canyon Road, Elbow Canyon Road, and Gold Butte Road. I'd like to follow Gold Butte Road south to Grand Gulch Road and Grand Wash on the shore of Lake Mead. Could connect eastward through the Grand Wash Wilderness to the Mount Trumbull Schoolhouse area. Lots of exploring to do. Might need a bike with a bigger gas tank . . . :lol3

    Best wishes for lots of riding in 2012!
  17. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Speaking of Mesquite we had planned a long ride thru there and we were going to go over and do Mormon Wells road in the Desert Wildlife National Refuge. Then we were going to take the Alamo road thru DWNR up to Alamo.

    (We didn't do the trip because we had a mud disaster in Chinle AZ and destroyed our clutches. Had to spend an unplanned night on the mountain and be rescued by the Navajo Police in pickup trucks the next day.)

    Anyway I read a trip report where some guys had planned to ride the Alamo road but it looked seriously closed. I rode it many years ago and there were signs saying it was closed, but they didn't look too serious. And we rode it anyway with no problems. I think the signs were to discourage people in sedans from trying it.

    Anyway2 do you know anything about this road and do you have any plans to try it in the near future? We are planning to retry our ride again maybe this fall.

    We did do Mormon Wells road two years ago come April and it was great except for the 2-3 inches of snow we had to slug thru.
  18. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Hey Wbbnm,

    No, I don't know anything about the Alamo Road. Sorry. All of my riding in Nevada has been east of highway 93, mostly around Caliente, Panaca, and Pioche. Some dirt, some pavement.

    A while back I did read about some of your adventures. Nice. I grabbed this pic as an enticement for other inmates to take a look at some of your threads. The mud adventure on the Navajo Reservation looked especially fun. :rofl


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    For what it's worth, there are several ways to get from the St. George area west on dirt to Panaca and Caliente, NV. Both have gas. Caliente is an old railroad town with a small collection of inexpensive hotels and restaurants. About 5 small state parks in eastern Nevada, all worth exploring, especially Cathedral Gorge State Park. http://parks.nv.gov/cg.htm

    Good luck with your ride planning. Lots of territory out there.
  19. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I have two backup plans for the DWNR.

    First is to just take Mormon Wells (MW) road over to the Alamo road and if it is really closed to take MW back to 93 and just ride 93 up to Alamo. It would still be a really nice ride. MW is an absolute blast.

    The other is to use some of your tracks and loop northwest then northeast out of Mesquite up to Cedar City. Our plan was to ride from Alamo to Cedar City. I did kind of want to see the Delamar town/mine site, but it is probably too far west for this option.
  20. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Wbbnm -- if you end up doing the loop from Mesquite to Cedar City, there is great territory around Enterprise Reservoir. Lots of dirt roads (very moto friendly) in Dixie National Forest -- especially the area southwest from the reservoir towards Motoqua (nothing there - polygamy outpost). There is nice camping on the larger, upper lake. Also an "official" state campground, Honeycomb Rocks. Small town of Enterprise has gas, and simple food. One cheap hotel. Post 56 on page 4 shows some of this area.

    Generally, the best riding is west of Utah highway 18 (St. George to Enterprise) and south of Utah highway 56 (Cedar City - Newcastle - Beryl Junction - Modena). In Utah, north of 56 is somewhat agricultural (and flat). Once in Nevada, highway 56 becomes Nevada highway 319 (Uvada - Panaca). Very interesting terrain both north and south of 319 in Nevada.

    Let me know if you ever plan to come through St. George. :clap :clap :clap


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