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southern Utah september 2020

Discussion in 'Americas' started by ssilliman, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. ssilliman

    ssilliman Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
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    would like to ride Moki Dugway, Valley of the Gods , Shafer Trail and maybe others.
    Is it safe to do alone?
    Im riding a 2019 GSA and Im short. Is there a lot of complicated sections?
    I have years of street experience but only a handful of miles in the dirt as a senior citizen
    Looking for some good advice
    Thanks
    Steve
    #1
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  2. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I think you could do Moki Dugway. Sedans go up and down it.

    Shafer Trail could be more difficult. The road can get rocky and chewed up. The road at the bottom out past the Potash Mine has some primitive sections.
    The other way out is the White Rim Trail, ~80 miles with some hard spots.
    I had a nasty fall on Shafer on my KTM 450 several years ago. And I am tall. It was in pretty bad shape and I wasn't used to the new 450 brakes yet.

    I don't know about the valley of the gods
    #2
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  3. ssilliman

    ssilliman Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thank you for the honest reply
    I want to ride some good dirt but not end my riding career.
    Im not scared just don't want to be stupid
    #3
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  4. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

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    Ive done Shafer Trail and the entire White Rim alone, twice.. once on a 2014 GSA and once on 2016 GS... I'm 5'9 w/ 32 inseam.. grown up riding mainly street.. but had at least a year going off road before attempting it..

    85% of it seems doable for newer off- road riders but there are very challenging sand spots , up hill climbs / turns as well as hairy descents.. many spots that you could fall to your death if inexperienced or careless..

    And that GSA wide tank does play a mental part on what you think you CAN do on it..
    Which was why I took the GS 2nd time around .

    If you are set on doing it on the GSA.. look to upgrade your front wheel to 21".

    The key is to get comfortable enough on riding slowly without stopping. Once you stop in certain hairy spots.. it'll be extremely difficult to start up again.. both mentally and physically..

    Considering your inseam limitation... could be a challenge trying to start up again on a incline or decline..

    So yes, doable.. only you can tell if you're ready...

    Perhaps find a few spots and try them before going in so deep and not being able to get out...

    Even consider, doing a run on a 250 -600cc trial run.

    Whatever you decide, it is an amazing route and spectacular scenery/ terrain to ride.. many parts are so remote.. you'll be on the moon and over the moon all at the same time!!

    Cheers.
    #4
  5. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

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    Here's a cheesy movie I made of one of the run.

    My buddy John met me there but got hurt on his ktm 690 going down Pucker's Pass so had to do the Shafer / White Rim solo..

    If anything, will give you first hand views of the type of terrain you'll be dealing with.

    #5
  6. ssilliman

    ssilliman Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thank you good input
    #6
  7. 75bronco

    75bronco Long timer

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    Steve
    All those trails are great and very doable with your bike. But, you would be much better served by riding a small 250. My greatest concern on such bikes is being able to pick them up. Tip overs happen and those beast are too much to pick up with solid footing much less loss gravel.
    #7
  8. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Another great ride you might want to put on your list is the Burr Trail. It too has a series of steep gravel road switchbacks. I have been up and down this several times. The road has always been in good condition.

    At the bottom you can either take the Notam-Bullfrog road to Bullfrog marina on Lake Powell and then either the ferry or hiway back to civilization. Or take Notam-bullfrog north to UT 24. This is a wide gravel road that is generally very easy. But it can have a little sand in places and be washboarded.

    You get to the west end of the Burr Trail from Boulder UT. The first 20 miles are so are paved thru red sandstone canyons.
    #8
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  9. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter Supporter

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    Steve----here is a link to a ride I did with friends thru a lot of the areas you speak of.
    The first video is really awesome-----shot by a good friend of mine Bill Asher---it's the valley of the gods---moki dugway and Muley point all rolled into one---------we are were on small bikes.

    http://www.bigdogadventures.com/2-3-4Corners.htm
    #9
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  10. Oh2RideMore

    Oh2RideMore Long timer

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    Sand and mud are the enemies of big bikes. I have ridden utbdr and cobdr twice, and the silt sand and mud in utah is the worst. That light talcum powder silt will take you down if you hit a wash wrong on butler wash road. Rest of it is doable, want to go back and ride again, but like bigdog, was happy on a 250 sized bike. Always good to have someone help pick up the bike.
    #10
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  11. bomose

    bomose Long timer Supporter

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    Moki Dugway and Valley of the Gods are no problem. I did both with my wife on the back of my 990 when we were 63. I've seen reports of guys on Harleys doing them.
    #11
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  12. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer Supporter

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    I'd stay off Schafer.
    Other good stuff for big bike:
    Muley Point above Moki Dugway
    John's Canyon - below Moki Dugway - maybe too sandy, but there aren't any hills and the view at the back of the canyon is pretty spectacular
    Snow Flats Road head east towards the cliffs. Sand at the bottom, nothing too steep.
    Elk Ridge Road goes from Natural Bridges up into the Abajo Mountains. Nothing difficult, just dirt road. You can come out either further east along 95 towards Blanding, or head north towards Monticello or Beef Basin Road comes out along 211.
    #12
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  13. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

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    Video didn't work:loco for me. I'd sure like to see it!
    #13
  14. ExodusRider

    ExodusRider ExodusRider

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    ?
    #14
  15. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

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    I still get this....anybody else?

    Damn, I really want to see it in someone's eyes. I've ridden WRT 3 times and have done the Moab/Potash/Shafer/Moab loop many times.

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    Same, vid is blocked in USA. Sony Music copyright.
    #16
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  17. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer Supporter

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    I'm sure if you search in Rockies regional for videos by @RideFreak you'll find something.
    #17
  18. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    Every road noted in the OP is exceedingly easy... mini-van easy. (with obvious exception of Shafer)
    The one thing to keep in mind about Utah is mud... just stay off any dirt if it's been raining recently.
    The routes you mention do not typically have much sand to worry about either... but conditions do change.
    The routes you mention are pretty popular with visitors and the State of Utah tends to take good care of them.

    I also second wbbnm's note... Burr Trail and Notom Bullfrog are also easy routes.
    #18
  19. cmattina

    cmattina Been here awhile

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    It's funny, I've seen some pretty serious debate about "how easy WRT is". But, ultimately I agree with the consensus here. Do-able on a big bike for a good rider, but not recommended.
    #19
  20. bomose

    bomose Long timer Supporter

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    Yes, ultimately, it's a rider's skill. Even on a small bike.
    #20