San Rafeal Swells trail advice

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by rc51kid, Oct 30, 2019.

  1. rc51kid

    rc51kid Been here awhile

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    I am starting to plan a trip for San Rafeal Swells for mid April. I have been there once exploring in my Land Cruiser a few years ago. I camped at the wedge and headed south down the "main road" and camped near 70. Then went on something like Fix it pass and Devils Race Track. Camped back there some place and made my way to Moab. So i have a little bit of an idea of the place.

    This trip it will be me (intermediate rider) on a DRZ400, friend on XR400 (advanced intermediate) and my wife on a XT225 (beginner). I figure we will mostly stay together on some easy fun trails and roads focusing on the scenery and fun. Try to find stuff with out deep sand or gnarly loose rocks so my wife can enjoy. Then i figure one day my friend and i might venture off just the two of us for a longer harder ride. Still dont want anything insane but a good challenge is always fun.

    If you guys have any info, any map suggestions, trail suggestions or camping suggestions i would love to hear it.

    PS on side not i will be putting new tires on my DRZ400 and the XT225 and would love to hear what you guys suggest for that terrain. After this we head to Northern Wyoming/Montana area for 5 months. I am thinking of a gummy hybrid like the Motoz Arena Hybrid Gummy for the DRZ400 and maybe the new Tusk Hybrid for the XT225.
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  2. Proettermann

    Proettermann The Mule

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    I think you may be referring to the new Tusk Recon tire? I have the Tusk Recon on a 2006 Honda CRF450X. Have ridden little over 500 miles of trails to include some pavement connecting trails. All conditions: loose rock, sand, slick rock, gravel, you name it. I have not been gentle on the tire (racing MX usually) and it has held up extremely well. The center knobs are starting to round off, but I would estimate it lasting another 500 miles for trail work. Hope this helps. Great value IMO.
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  3. Merfman

    Merfman Cape truster... Supporter

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    One of the most popular areas is Temple Mountain. From Green River head towards Hanksville on UT24. At MM25, turn right towards Goblin Valley SP, bear straight at the SP turnoff and enter the Swell (singular BTW) Much dispersed camping can be found. Trail-wise, google Waterfall, Behind the Reef, Five Miles of Hell, Red/Orange/Green trails....

    This area on the south side of I70 and SE of Devils RT area...
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  4. Blakebird

    Blakebird r-u-n-n-o-f-t

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    and Rafael, not Rafeal :D
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  5. enduro-ince

    enduro-ince dirtslave

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    I agree with the above. There seems to be more options down by temple mountain for the kind of riding you are looking for. Plus it sounds like it'll be a new area for you to see. Check out behind the reef trail. As far as the colored trails go blue and green are the easiest followed by VJ, waterfall, orange, red, and the hardest being 5 miles of hell.
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  6. Merfman

    Merfman Cape truster... Supporter

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    BTW, VJ, of the VJ trail is on this board and is THE most knowledgeable person I know regarding SRS....
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  7. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Jockey

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    Look up an area called Chimney Rock or Woodside trails. It's just east of the wedge where you camped and on the road that you take from Green River to the Wedge. There's a whole OHV network, lots of trails, split between ATV and singletrack from as easy to as hard as you want to get. It's IMO it's some of the nicest riding in the swell and I've spent allot of time up there.
    The first half of this video is on one of fairly technical trails out there but later on you can see what it looks like in the easier areas.


    After a day at woodside I'd move west and camp on the south side of I-70 west of Temple Mountain road a few miles. It's pretty hard to avoid the rocks or the sand out in the swell but at both of those locations you can pick as easy or as hard as you want and they're totally different.
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  8. rc51kid

    rc51kid Been here awhile

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    Thanks i will look into this. The north end would be nice for me because i am heading to WY after. My riding budy is coming up from Tx so he would like being south. But it is splitting hairs. When i was there before there was always sand and rocks. But i figure sand is different for DEEP sand and rocks are different from huge loose rocks. That stuff is all more of a concern for trails with my wife. I think with her we will plan a few days on the main roads seeing the cliff art, historic stuff and scenery. Then maybe on "epic" ride with just me and my friend that is longer or more challenging. I dont really know yet if we will be 2-3 days or 5-8 days. My life is a little open ended. For all i know if i plan my work contracts wrong (or right:D) i could have several weeks free between contracts.

    I just watched your video. I would say the more technical stuff is over my head. or at least over my head when combined with a full day of riding. Fatigue would quickly kill me riding that type of stuff for more than short distance and make me worthless for the rest of the day. But the 2nd half of the video looks great.
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  9. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Jockey

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    There's lots of riding out at woodside like what's shown in the 2nd half of the video.
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  10. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    Hi

    A few map suggestion.

    For online mapping nothing I have found works as good as caltopo.com ...it's free, easy and powerful, has USGS, USFS, Google, satellite and their own maps .

    For paper National Geographic makes a very good map of the area.

    Latitude 40 also makes a great map of the Moab area ... but not much coverage north of I-70 as I recall

    Enjoy

    Scott
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  11. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Jockey

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    Also stop in the museum in Green River on the east side of the River, they have Emery County maps that include all the marked trails in the swell, very nice map and it's free.
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  12. Blakebird

    Blakebird r-u-n-n-o-f-t

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    there are two Latitude 40 maps to cover the Moab area, a Moab East and Moab West - I have and use both, great maps :nod
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  13. Pariahtize

    Pariahtize Miscategorized

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    Yes, there is a lot of sand and rock. North or south, plenty to see and ride (from geology to archaeology, and recent history). . . I'd keep to the roads for a beginner though.
    If it's wet or was recently, the roads can be pretty-near impossible to ride/drive thru (April could have some good moisture).
    Shinko 525/505 and 546. . . 525 better for sand.
    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?...DBF69353A851BD7F85AADBF69353A851BD7&FORM=VIRE
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  14. UtahGuido

    UtahGuido Long timer Supporter

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    I second these maps. I’ve usually gotten mine at the BLM office in Hanksville. And I usually pick up 2 or 3 at a time because they are not particularly sturdy and don’t last all that long.
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  15. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Are there any good pdf maps that one could make Garmin custom maps out of?
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  16. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Jockey

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    I have the Emery county map, would it work if I laid it out, took a good quality picture of it and saved it as a PDF?

    I'd like to have a custom map of the swell. We recently discovered the Wedge overlook. That's a really nice place that I'll be heading back to.

    [​IMG]
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  17. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Thanks. I will pass on the picture for now. Actually a jpg is a little more useful than a nongeospatial pdf since it is possible to georerence it in Google Earth. But it is tedious and if the scale is not constant over the image, it does not work well.

    I checked and there is not yet a BLM Travel Management map for the area, but one is due out this month.
    I will give it a while and check back.

    The BLM TM maps for other Utah areas are excellent and can easily be converted into Garmin compatible Custom kmz maps with MAPC2MAPC.
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  18. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Jockey

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    I read up a little on the map conversion/creation process a few years ago and decided it looked like allot of work. We know the MN winter is coming so can we expect a finished product come spring? :D

    The swell is such a great riding area surrounded by other great riding areas.
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  19. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    The conversion process using MAPC2MAPC is easy and straightforward, but not intuitive. They have pretty good instructions on their web site. If you want to try it, I would be happy to walk you thru it. I have made some cheat-sheet notes.

    You might want to try it on one of the local MVUMs.

    If I remember to check and BLM does publish a Swell Travel Management pdf map, I will convert it and make it available. Since it is not a GPX file I would have to email it to people.
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  20. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    :thumb

    And then what pronunciation is everyone using?

    The original Spanish way
    Rahf-eh-L
    It's along the old Spanish Trail, ie this land use to be Mexico/New Spain.
    Saint Raphael.

    Or the later English/Explorer - Rah-fell
    #20