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Ten Utah ATV rides you might never have heard of
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As the number of Utah ATV enthusiasts continue to increase, so do the number of public lands trails that can be enjoyed by riders.

"We can go head to head with anyone in the country," said Fred Hayes, off-highway vehicle program coordinator for the Utah State Parks. "When it comes to ATV activity, we win hands down. Public land managers have done a good job preserving that."

Most of the close to 200,000 off-highway vehicle owners in Utah know about popular spots such as Little Sahara Sand Dunes, the Great Western Trail or the Paiute ATV Trail. But there are dozens of smaller trail systems in Utah's deserts and forests that an increasing number of riders are discovering.

Take, for example, the Delta area.

Not only is it close to Little Sahara, but other smaller trail systems such as Amasa Basin, the Cricket Mountains, Cherry Creek, the Burbank Trail, Conger Mountain and Keg Mountain also offer good experiences.

"There are fun trails all over the area," said Kevin Bogue, a sales person at Delta Sports. "There is a lot of cool country out there. The desert is beautiful right now. It is green and lush with some water running. It's a good time to go in the next couple of months and then head to the mountains."

Frank White of Bountiful, an avid rider and motorcycle manufacturer, loves riding in northern Cache County in places such as Franklin Basin. He said that while Utah does a better job than Idaho with marking trails, he wishes land managers and state parks would do a better job marking trails as expert or beginner.

"We have the best [riding] in the country," said White, who goes trail riding almost every Saturday. "I meet people from all over the world. They always comment about how great the trail riding is. ... A lot of photo shoots are done in Utah."

Here are 10 less well-known public land riding areas and trails Hayes suggests for ATV enthusiasts looking for someplace new to explore:

1. Red Creek/Tabby Mountain Complex » Located partially on Utah school trust lands and partially in the Uinta National Forest, this mountain area should be opening up in the next few weeks. Pick up a travel plan from the national forest office in Heber City on the way up to riding to see what areas can be legally ridden. Much of the riding is near Currant Creek Reservoir on the north half of the Strawberry River system. Another trail starts at Red Creek Reservoir.

2. Conger Mountains » Located about 63 miles west off Delta just west of the summit of King's Canyon off U.S. 50-6, this complex includes 127 miles of recommended trails with loop rides of 25 to 60 miles. It includes easy, more difficult and most difficult trails. This is a good place to see wild horses.

3. Cricket Mountains » Located in the West Desert about 154 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, there are several access points off State Road 257 between Delta and Milford. One of the best is 16 miles south of the junction with U.S. 6-50 at milepost 53. The trail system offers great views of the old Sevier Lake bed and some interesting rock formations. There is a chance to see antelope on this trail.

4. Amasa Basin » This trail system is located about 175 miles from Salt Lake City. The trailhead exit is off U.S. 50-6 near mile post 51. Drive approximately 11 miles northwest to the trailhead. It contains easy, more difficult and most difficult trails at elevations of 5,400 feet to 9,000 feet. Trail length is about 33 miles. Located near Notch Peak, trailhead facilities include rest rooms.

5. Outlaw Adventure Trail » This high elevation 40-mile trail -- 8,000 to 9,500 feet -- is for visitors to the Flaming Gorge area. Access it via U.S. 191 on the East McKee or Highline Trailhead. It is rated as easy, more difficult and most difficult and provides the possibility of seeing elk, deer, eagles and hawks. It consists of a big loop that includes some fairly technical riding in spots. It is located near Spirit Lake.

6. Yellowstone Trail System » This small system of trails is located north of Altamont in Duchesne County in the Yellowstone River drainage just below Moon Lake on the Old Hells Canyon Road. It is built in two loops with some cutoffs and includes overlooks of Lake Fork Drainage, Hells Canyon and Moon Lake. It's a good place to be by yourself with good potential for wildlife viewing.

7. Western Washington County » Located in the extreme southwestern part of the state southwest of St. George, there are trail systems at Curly Hollow, Joshua Tree and Gold Strike. These are great winter rides when much of the rest of the state's trails are snowed in. One loop takes visitors to the "Three Corner Monument" where Arizona, Utah and Nevada meet.

8. Boulder Top » Located near the top of the Boulder Mountain and part of the Great Western Trail system, rides in this area offer an alpine experience and access into small alpine lakes that might include some fishing.

9. Thousand Lake Mountain » This misnamed area includes no lakes but instead offers beautiful views of Capitol Reef and the redrock country below in an alpine setting. There are plenty of little creeks. Don't miss one trail that leads to an ancient bristlecone pine forest and to some nice ridge overlooks.

10. Black Rock-Haycock Mountain » The staging area is on the north end of Panguitch Lake for this 34.6-mile trail system rated as easy and more difficult and ideal for family rides. Look for the Pass Creek Road 14 miles from Panguitch or 15 miles from hatch for this high-elevation trail that can reach heights of 9,000 feet. The experience includes a chance to view lava flows, even riding out over it in spots. This is a good ride for folks staying at Panguitch Lake.

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Ten ATV Safety Tips

1. Always wear a helmet and other protective gear.

2. Always ride with a buddy. Never ride alone.

3. Take an OHV safety class to enhance y skills. Training is available online at http://www.stateparks.utah.gov in the OHV section.

4. Plan ahead. Let others know where you are going and when you will return.

5. Ride within your abilities and within the capabilities of your machine.

6. Always take plenty of water and snacks on a ride.

7. Only ride until your fuel gauge shows "12 full" and then head back to your vehicle.

8. Always have a map of the area where you will be riding that shows the designated trails.

9. Never consume alcohol or drugs while riding.

10. Join a club, or several, that promotes safe and responsible OHV riding.

Source: Utah State Parks

--

Ten ATV Safety Tips

1. Always wear a helmet and other protective gear.

2. Always ride with a buddy. Never ride alone.

3. Take an OHV safety class to enhance y our skills. Training is available online at http://www.stateparks.utah.gov. Go to the OHV section.

4. Plan ahead. Let others know where you are going and when you will return.

5. Ride within your abilities and within the capabilities of your machine.

6. Always take plenty of water and snacks on a ride.

7. Only ride until your fuel gauge shows "1/2 full" and then head back to your vehicle.

8. Always have a map of the area where you will be riding that shows the designated trails.

9. Never consume alcohol or drugs while riding.

10. Join a club, or several, that promotes safe and responsible OHV riding.

Source: Utah State Parks

--

Ten ATV Safety Tips

1. Always wear a helmet and other protective gear.

2. Always ride with a buddy. Never ride alone.

3. Take an OHV safety class to enhance y our skills. Training is available online at http://www.stateparks.utah.gov. Go to the OHV section.

4. Plan ahead. Let others know where you are going and when you will return.

5. Ride within your abilities and within the capabilities of your machine.

6. Always take plenty of water and snacks on a ride.

7. Only ride until your fuel gauge shows "1/2 full" and then head back to your vehicle.

8. Always have a map of the area where you will be riding that shows the designated trails.

9. Never consume alcohol or drugs while riding.

10. Join a club, or several, that promotes safe and responsible OHV riding.

Source: Utah State Parks

Top Utah Organized ATV Rides

» Paiute Trail UTV-ATV Jamboree, Aug. 12-14, Marysville, http://www.UTVjam.com.

» National ATV Jamboree, June 21-26, Fillmore, www.atvutah/fillmore/, 800-441-4288

» Arapeen ATV Jamboree, Sept. 6-10, Ferron, http://www.arapeenatvjam.org.

» San Juan ATV Safari, Sept. 16-18, Blanding, http://www.sanjuansafari.com, 888-728-2885

» Manti Scenic Mountain ATV Run, Aug. 13-14, Manti, http://www.mantivrun.com, 435-364-0099.

» Rocky Mountain aTV-UTV Jamboree, Sept. 20-25, Richfield, http://www.ATVjam.com, 435-893-0457

Source: ATVUtah.com

Top Utah Organized ATV Rides

Paiute Trail UTV-ATV Jamboree » Aug. 12-14, Marysville, http://www.UTVjam.com.

National ATV Jamboree » June 21-26, Fillmore, www.atvutah

fillmore/, 800-441-4288

Arapeen ATV Jamboree » Sept. 6-10, Ferron, http://www.arapeenatvjam.org.

San Juan ATV Safari » Sept. 16-18, Blanding, http://www.sanjuansafari.com, 888-728-2885

Manti Scenic Mountain ATV Run » Aug. 13-14, Manti, http://www.mantivrun.com, 435-364-0099.

Rocky Mountain aTV-UTV Jamboree » Sept. 20-25, Richfield, http://www.ATVjam.com, 435-893-0457

Source: ATVUtah.com

Top Utah Organized ATV Rides

Paiute Trail UTV-ATV Jamboree » Aug. 12-14, Marysville, http://www.UTVjam.com.

National ATV Jamboree » June 21-26, Fillmore, www.atvutah

fillmore/, 800-441-4288

Arapeen ATV Jamboree » Sept. 6-10, Ferron, http://www.arapeenatvjam.org.

San Juan ATV Safari » Sept. 16-18, Blanding, http://www.sanjuansafari.com, 888-728-2885

Manti Scenic Mountain ATV Run » Aug. 13-14, Manti, http://www.mantivrun.com, 435-364-0099.

Rocky Mountain aTV-UTV Jamboree » Sept. 20-25, Richfield, http://www.ATVjam.com, 435-893-0457

Source: ATVUtah.com

Where to find ATV information

» Youth off-highway vehicle education is now online. Students may take the online course at their own pace. Parents are responsible for teaching hands-on skills. Go to http://www.stateparks.utah.gov.

» Utah State Parks has free OHV map CDs with riding maps of all areas around the state. Request a copy at ohveducation@utah.gov or call 800-648-7433.

» OHV riding maps, along with safety information, are also available online at http://www.stateparks.utah.govohv/maps-publications.

ATV Information

» Youth off-highway vehicle education is now online. Students may take the online course at their own pace. Parents are responsible for teaching hands-on skills. Go to http://www.stateparks.utah.gov.

» Utah State Parks has free OHV map CDs with riding maps of all areas around the state. Request a copy at ohveducation@utah.gov or call 800-648-7433.

» OHV riding maps, along with safety information, are also available online at http://www.stateparks.utah.gov/ohv/maps-publications.

ATV Information

» Youth off-highway vehicle education is now online. Students may take the online course at their own pace. Parents are responsible for teaching hands-on skills. Go to http://www.stateparks.utah.gov.

» Utah State Parks has free OHV map CDs with riding maps of all areas around the state. Request a copy at ohveducation@utah.gov or call 800-648-7433.

» OHV riding maps, along with safety information, are also available online at http://www.stateparks.utah.gov/ohv/maps-publications.

Utah destinations » Some you've probably heard about, but others might be worth a try.
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