Utah - Day trips and overnighters - Help requested

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by sanluissound, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. sanluissound

    sanluissound Adventurer

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    Hello all!

    Here's the situation - My darling wife and I have Sunday to Friday (3/24 - 3/30) or so to explore Central UT. We'll be jumping out of Sandy (as that's where Grandma will be shepherding the kid/pet) then plan on heading south.

    My wife is a very solid street rider of many years but has limited off road experience (dirt roads in the mountains and a little bumpy single track). She's up for the task but I don't want to kill her so need to find some easier routes.

    We may spend a day or two at first in a hotel and take day rides but are fully outfitted for overnight camping and actually prefer as far away from civilization and as primitive as possible - we're very comfortable in remote areas.

    I was thinking about picking up the UTBDR at Soldier Summit then heading south and popping out somewhere around Moab. Via Google Earth the BDR looks pretty decent through that area. In the same general area is Goblin Valley and the San Rafael Swell (which are also enticing). We'd also be fine with bypassing all of that and heading down to St. George.

    Any suggestions for rides and/or camping areas that would fit our criteria are much appreciated! We're on a couple of WR250R's with 4.75 gal tanks so hopefully range is not a problem.

    Also, we're dragging the bikes out from Colorado on a trailer - could ride on slab from Sandy or trailer down to a jump off point if that was recommended (though we'd have to figure out where to leave the vehicle/trailer combo). My only GPS is on the iPhone but I've got maps loaded that don't rely on cel/wireless plus good old paper maps of the region.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts and directions - If I don't screw this up my wife will continue to think I'm moderately OK and want to continue this sort of pursuit during vacation time, if I blow it she'll be giving me crap about even the smallest bike purchase ("Do you really need and ADV sticker?") and I'll have to go back to work part time as a male stripper just to pay for gas..

    Joe
    #1
  2. ALinUTAH

    ALinUTAH Been here awhile

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    Are you aware of what the weather is doing right now? 10 deg F at my place this morning near Heber. Been snowing for 3 days. Southern Utah is where you want to go but getting there from Sandy will be interesting. The cool weather is supposed to last for a few more days. The swell is high elev, up to 7000ft so it will be a little chilly even there.

    For the next several days anyway, you might want to trailer down. I wouldn't have any qualms about leaving a truck and trailer in the swell somewhere.

    From Wellington or Green Rive you could head south on the UBDR thru the Moab area, but you will have to bypass the LaSal mtns and the Abajos, sticking close to 191. And that wouldn't be what I would call remote. You said you wanted remote.

    Here's another suggestion. Drive down and pick up the UBDR at Wellington and head south a ways. Unload in the northern part of the swell somewhere. There are tons of primitive campsites along Buckhorn Draw Rd where you could leave your rig. Then head south thru the swell to Goblin Valley and Hanksville. Spend a day in the Maze district of Canyonlands NP while you are in the area. Or jog west on 24 and pick up the Notom Rd, down to the Burr trail, to Boulder. Explore around the wolverine Rd area south of the Burr Trail. From Boulder you will have to slab it on 12 to Escalante. Then you can head south into the Grand Staircase/Escalante on Hole in the Rock or Smoky Mountain Rd or go further west to Kodachrome basin and go south.

    When you head back north, you could ride 12 over the mountain to Torrey and then ride dirt north thru Capitol Reef and Cathedral Valley which gets you to I-70/hwy10 and eventually back to your trailer.

    If they have been getting any weather down there be wary of muddy clay roads. If they have they dry out quickly so you should be good in a couple days.

    Gas in Hanksville, Boulder, Escalante, Torrey, Hite marina, Big Water if you get that far.

    Al
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  3. ALinUTAH

    ALinUTAH Been here awhile

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    Here's something different. You could just car camp around Hanksville area, Goblin valley if you want an actual campground, or anywhere around Temple Mtn in the SE swell or there are a bunch of primitive campsites over towards The Hans Flat ranger station on the west edge of the Maze. From there you could day ride in any direction. Explore the swell one day, the maze one day, do a Notom rd - Burr trail - hwy 12+24 loop one day.

    Al
    #3
  4. sanluissound

    sanluissound Adventurer

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    AL,

    Thanks for the great advice! Yes, the weather.. here, north of Denver, looking at a fresh foot in the yard. We decided to wait a day (leaving tomorrow AM) before shoving off for Sandy. I've been following the weather and as you said, it will be improving over the next few days.

    I booked Monday night at a hotel in Hanksville. Your idea of day tripping may be the best way to go and if we do end up back country camping it's not a top priority that we're in the middle of no where, just don't want to be at a campground with too many folks. (we're not anti social in the least but love our solitude and the opportunities are rare that the kids and dog are not involved:wink:)

    Goblin Valley is on our list and would not have minded camping there but from the UT parks site it appears all the spots are booked. It's good to know there are so many spots along Buckhorn Draw Rd. Exploring the Swell sounds like a great way to go. I'll let my wife set the pace..

    Thanks again, this is fantastic info (great to know about the fuel locations as well)!

    Joe
    #4
  5. ALinUTAH

    ALinUTAH Been here awhile

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    You won't have trouble finding camping anywhere that I described. Its all BLM so I mean boonies camping. The maze is national park of course so you would have to reserve a spot there. You know how NPs are. Otherwise just camp wherever. If you even end up camping. I think a room in Hanksville sounds like a good idea this week. And all the routes I described are decent dirt roads, with some sand around Hans Flat.

    Have fun. Al
    #5
  6. sanluissound

    sanluissound Adventurer

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    Al,
    You rock! Thanks and I'll be sure to report.
    Joe
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