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Thread: Where to ride during thanksgiving

  1. #1
    Senior Member cpit's Avatar
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    Where to ride during thanksgiving

    Hi all,

    My boyfriend and I are looking to do an off-road trip for the entire week of thanksgiving. We do plenty of riding in northern California and want to try OHV areas in some other states. Any western states are fair game. We're thinking Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, or Nevada. We generally like forests and cooler areas in the mountains, not so much sand and desert.

    A lot of the OHV trail systems I found on the internet are "closed" after October, presumably due to snow. We don't mind a little snow and cold, but don't want to show up to a campground behind a locked gate. Even in northern California some OHV campsites are closed for the season.

    Any recommendations for OHV parks that are open late November? November is such an awkward time... it's somewhere between the end of dirt biking season and the beginning of snowmobiling season.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    I know you said trees but consider Moab, if you haven't been there you won't regret it!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member tuna's Avatar
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    While in Utah try the Escalante area, Burr trail, and many other rides.
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    Senior Member bad luck's Avatar
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    There are a lot of trees up in the La Sal mountains very close to Moab, but it does snow up there.
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    Senior Member SanDue's Avatar
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    Sue and I are taking our Turkey to the warmest place you can find in November,--------- THE VALLEY OF FIRE. Sounds warm and toasty to us. I was there back in the seventies for a college field trip. Wasn't a lot of fun with paper and pencil. This time I've got a fast women and a slow bike! Ha TheValley of Fire is a Nevada State Park 40 miles north east of Vegas. Dirts a Flyen SanDue
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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Woods, open campgrounds and a designated ORV area make for a difficult trifecta to satisfy in late November. The northern states mentioned will likely be not only "cooler", but rather downright cold.
    Personally I do not go to official ORV areas so I am no help recommending a good one.
    I would suggest warmer more southern open riding areas like Alabama Hills outside of Lone Pine,CA or Torroweep on the rim of Grand Canyon overlooking Lava Falls. Not many trees but rather memorable scenery and riding with both free primative camping as well as simple campgrounds with pit toilets, fire rings and tables. Death Valley,Ca can also be pleasant in late November but also possibly crowded.

    Alabama Hills from Dec.2014:

    P1000918.JPG
    Torroweep is stunning, not too sandy, and back away from the rim are roads through piñon pine forests with petroglyphs. Doesn't feel like you are in a park.grand-canyon.jpg
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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Valley of Fire is rather pretty but state park status precludes any wheeled vehicle off-road forays. There are a few short wheelchair permissible handicap trails but the TWs would have to stay on the asphault. Camp reservations are required and due to proximity to SoCal and Vegas might be already fully booked for Thanksgiving week. dscf4134.jpg
    If one is willing to forgo the amenities of the official campgrounds then there are ample opportunities for primitive camping outside the park on BLM land. Personally with a week available I would travel farther from population centers and experience something uniquely different from the Bay Area. Possibly do a casual loop through SW Utah spending a day or two sampling Zion, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Torroweep (AZ), Great Basin (NV), etc and free ride in the un-regulated surrounding public lands. It will all still be cold with short days but any trip should make for good memories.
    Internet research and a few phone calls might help determine availability of open campgrounds, showers as well as reservation requirements if you folks really want a campground.
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    Senior Member SanDue's Avatar
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    We are considering alternative rides, but in our defense Valley of Fire accepts no reservations. First come first served! Being Thanksgiving and all that, should be a vacancy. We have trouble camping where reservations are required, they know we're coming and close the gates. I think we are the reason why all the State Parks have gates at there points of access. But, with no reservations, we can show up unannounced and it would be to late to run us off. Just like we did at your house Fred during the "Fred's Cruise and Bruise". Ha. Dirts a Flyen SanDue

  10. #9
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    My mistake Dan. You are right in that it is only the Group Camping Sites @ Valley of Fire that requires reservations with a $25 application fee. Thanks for the correction. You and Sue heading to Valley of Fire?
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  11. #10
    Senior Member cpit's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the tips!

    We decided it's time to take a trip to MOAB!!! That will be the primary destination, but I'm still doing research on the other riding areas nearby that several of you mentioned. Some of them are on the way as we meander back home (if we take the southern route).

    The Moab threads on this forums are hundreds and hundreds of pages; it will take me a long time to dig through them.

    Can anyone give me the lowdown on your favorite Moab campsites (I've read about archview and north camp), and your favorite trails? If there is a specific page of another thread that covers this information, feel free to add a link.

    Background info:
    - We camp in a self-contained pick-up setup with a trailer. We might want a shower every couple days, but other than that we don't need luxuries or hook-ups.
    - We'd enjoy a mix of beginner and intermediate trails. We could pack lunch and go all day long.
    - We are both street legal

    Thanks in advance!

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