Las Vegas or St. George Ut to Ouray Co Off-Road Route

Discussion in 'Americas' started by SprungDave, Nov 10, 2020.

  1. SprungDave

    SprungDave n00b

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    I'm trying to plan a multi week round trip dual sport ride for a buddy and me and need some routing help.

    We were going to start in, ideally, Las Vegas,, or the St. George area and want to do Zion, Bryce, Escalante, Moab, and the many passes in the Silverton/Telluride/Ouray areas of CO.

    I will be riding a plated 2015 WR450F with a gas range of 120-150 miles. We intend to camp and ride as little pavement as possible, but will need to get near gas and groceries every day or two because there's only so much gear we can carry on light dual sport bikes.

    Has anyone done or planned a loop that goes to these places primarily off road? I could use some route planning assistance for any/all sections you might be familiar with.

    We would be happy to have folks join for any part of (or all) of the ride. The date range for the ride start is probably late August to early September 2021 to have the best chance for good weather, or so I have read. We want to have the least possibility of rain, lowest heat in the hot parts while least likely to have snow at the high elevations. It's a tough compromise.

    Any/ all advice is greatly appreciated!!

    Thanks in advance for your help!!

    Ride safe!
    #1
  2. FFLTR

    FFLTR nandesuka Supporter

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  3. SprungDave

    SprungDave n00b

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    Thank you. That can help a lot with that leg of the ride.
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  4. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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  5. SprungDave

    SprungDave n00b

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    Thank you! Those tracks will help a lot!
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  6. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    I have a lot of tracks between Saint George and Green River.

    Weather - August is going to be Monsoon season and it's gonna be hot. Early September begins the cool down, Aspens will start to change color in the high mountains. If it's still hot, you can generally find relief by routing through the higher elevations. With regard to rain... you need to take mud very seriously in Utah. Utah mud is a nightmare. If it rains significantly, you'll either need to take a day or two off and hope it dries up, or re-route onto paved roads if you need to keep moving.
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  7. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    Zion is a nice ride through, but if you want to hit dirt, you have two easy options.
    Ride Kolob Plateau or North Fork County Road. Both run South to North between Hwy 9 and Hwy 14. Kolob is West of Zion and North Fork is East of Zion.
    Both come out onto Hwy 14 at the North end.
    Kolob is high altitude, lot's of private ranch land, not many options to get off route... tons of Aspen groves.
    Once you hit 14, there are some Forest Service roads if you want to freelance your route... Make your way down to Hatch along Hwy 89 for gas.

    For some real fun, continue North to Hwy 12 and turn right (East). You can also get gas at Red Canyon Village. The store is currently closed, but the pumps are still active via card-reader. Continue East to Dump Rd, then North to Casto Canyon... ride Casto Cyn West to East. Fun riding through Bryce-like rocks and wash. A little more challenging than fireroad, but nothing too crazy. Once you come out of the canyon, there are various Forest Service routes to John's Valley road or down to Hwy 12. From here, it's easy to hit Bryce proper.

    Attached Files:

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  8. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    From Bryce/John's Valley... here's a cool route to Escalante that takes you to Powell Point (Short hike from a trailhead). Hit this on a clear day, amazing views. The riding is easy fireroad with the exception of the ridge-line between Powell Point and Barney Top, this section varies wildly from year to year... some rocks, one steep rocky drop with exposure and sometimes a few mud holes. All in all, not really too bad, should be easy on a 450.

    Attached Files:

    #8
  9. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Thanks for the Powell Point track. I have always wanted to explore the more primitive roads off of FR-17, but there has been too much snow the times we have been thru.
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  10. SprungDave

    SprungDave n00b

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    Thank you so much for the information and guidance. I'm going to have to develop the global route that gets us from start to finish. Each of these points looks really great. Seems like beginning to mid September start is the safest bet.
    #10
  11. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    I have more tracks between Escalante and Hanksville. I also know a few camping spots and hotels. Just let me know what route you're thinking about and I can provide more info.

    A few thoughts:
    • Highway 12 between Escalante and Boulder is beautiful, even if paved.
    • From Boulder - Burr Trail and over the Henry Mountains to Hanksville is a nice run. You could also drop down Burr Trail, down to the Lake at Hite and up into Canyonlands via NP633 and out via Poision Springs Road. (this route is more challenging, very remote and the epic scenery will blow your mind).
    • From Boulder -you could continue North to Capital Reef, maybe loop through Cathedral Valley and out to Hanksville.

    If any of this interests you, let me know and I can send more tracks.

    I ride this area every year in mid October. Here's a Trip Report from 2017 that passes through some of the aforementioned areas.
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/a-5-day-solo-spin-through-southern-utah.1261845/#post-33450565
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  12. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    The first time I went up there, it was Hot in the valley... when got off the bike to hike out to the point, it started to snow! 10,000 feet up there!
    #12
  13. SprungDave

    SprungDave n00b

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    Thank you again for your generosity. I'm putting the route together over the coming months. As I get closer, I'll reach out again. I too an originally from LA (4th generation LA native). Perhaps if you're schedule permits, you can join us. My buddy from Tuscon (also a LA native) will be meeting up with me in Las Vegas to start the trip.

    Ride Safe!
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  14. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    Thanks for the invite... every year I end up in that area in mid October... and every year I swear I'm going to do it in mid-Sept next time. Who knows, our schedules just might align.
    #14
  15. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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  16. sierrastone

    sierrastone Adventurer

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    I’ve got options routes and places to stay. Helioadventures.com

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  17. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Start in St George!
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