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 Post subject: Southwestern Utah Trails
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:49 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:16 am
Posts: 56
Location: Salt Lake Valley
BLUF: I've been to 49 states and 17 countries in my short life of 44 years and only but a hand full rival the scenic value of what I have experienced this past weekend.

The Moquith Mountain Loop Trail: If there is one must do trail this season, it would be this trail. The trail head is not marked, but easy to get to. If you are GPS savy you'll have no problem. I found the Peter Massey guide to be a bit lacking on this trail because he really didn't cover at all the best parts. Once at the trail head head out the trail. It's a really easy to find trail once on it. Staying straight you will pass a fairly large sand hill and open area, go straight through it. Continue on until you reach a 4 way intersection. You want to take a right here on to a spur trail that leads to an overlook. Follow the trail until you get to a steep down hill section of slickrock with stairs. You need to turn back here due to the width of the trail. Retrace your steps back to the intersection and then go straight through. This will lead you to three more spur canyons, all with spectacular views and unlike nearly all the trails that I have been on the scenery is completely different at each one. Once finished with the spurs continue north and drop down into Water Canyon. If it's raining I would most definitely be aware of flashfoods. The trail eventually loops back on itself. This trail is not paint friendly at all. You will get back country pinstriping. Pinstriping that may or may not be easily removed. This trail has no challenging obstacles for the extreme rock crawlers but still is a must do. I would rate it a 3.5 that being only Water Canyon. Thanks to Don Black for being such a great local host.

Smithsonian Butte and Grafton Mesa: WOW! If you're looking for the perfect camping spot to wake up to an Ansel Adams Photograph this is the place. The Smithsonian Butte Trail is nothing more than a graded road but if run at dawn or dusk the color changes bouncing off the Butte is a sight to be seen. Halfway through the trail you'll run into the junction of Grafton Mesa. This trail runs for nearly 2 miles north towards the ghost twon of Grafton where such films as Butch Cassidy and the SUndance Kid have been filmed. Many of those buildings are still standing. This trail as well as a few camping spots one of which sets on the edge of the mesa overlooking Zions National Park. Camp here, wake up in the morning, put the coffee on the fire and get ready for the light show as the sun comes up. This trail would be rated a 2.5. Use extreme caution running this trail late at night due to the fact it ends abruptly at a 20 foot or so poor off that leads to about a 80 degree talus field that goes a long, long, way down. No warning signs either. The trail is just wide enough as well that you don't have to worry about that shine on your new paint. O'yeah, bring a well rated sleeping bag because you're going to need it. Once that sun goes down that temps really drop like a rock.

Milt's Mile: Man o man, Moab has nothing on this state park. Milt's mile has multiple lines anywhere from 4.0 to off the charts, and it's none stop as well. Simple to find the trail head, not so simple to stay on it. At the staging area go through the tunnel, hang a right, go about 1/4 mile and it's the first wash on your left. Go up maybe 100 yards and take the left fork. After that your on your own. Once you finish the trail you can either go up to the top of the dunes or head towards the bottom. This is the only place that I have been to lately where horsepower is going to be your friend. While John was tearing it up in his 350 ci high flowing head Datsun????????????????/////// Yep a Datsun (Dare to be different) I was having to keep it at 4,000 rpm from becoming a statistic. I come to find out there is limitations to a Rubicon..................SAND.........lots of SAND!!!! Don't miss the views at the top of these dunes they are absolutely unbelievable. Thanks to John for showing me the gems of Sand Hollow and keeping me entertained with one of the best engineered vehicles that I have seen in my time. Nice seeing something that wasn't cookie cutter and bolt on.

All in all folks this is what four wheeling is about to me, not running the same two trails over and over and over again but to get out venture to unknown territories, link up with the locals to see new places and meet new people. I'm looking forward to Logandale Thrusday through Saturday this week to meet some new challneges and new trails so if you're sick and tired of the same old stuff come out and join John, N2Deep, Jack and I at Logandale OHV. Later

Owner/Operater: US Army (Retired)
Spouse: US Army (Pending Retirement)
Freedom isn't Free
What's your excuse!

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