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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Last year I rode the Hole in the Rock trail with the intent to ride the White Rim Trail, too. Unfortunately I ran out of time before getting to the WRT. On the way home I tried to ride over the Henry and Boulder Mountains, but was foiled by rain. So, this year I plotted my course, and last Monday set out to get it done.

I headed east through the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, just because it's one of my favorite places. The flowers were in bloom, so I rode up to the dunes and got a picture or two.





From there I rode south to Kanab, then to Johnson's Canyon. Kanab is often called "Little Hollywood" because it's quite scenic and a lot of movies and TV shows were shot there, or in surrounding areas. The Gunsmoke set, unfortunately is looking pretty sad nowadays.





It appears from this rock art that Johnson's Canyon used to be part of a major route between Cannonville, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona.



I turned from the Johnson's Canyon road onto the Skutumpah Road, and before long came to the Bull Valley Gorge. The Bull Valley Gorge is a slot canyon.



The road is wide and well gravelled now, but there was a time when the gorge was spanned by a narrow little bridge. I've been over it, and it was a little hair raising. Years ago there were some guys who made the mistake of driving the Skutumpah road after having a few too many drinks. They missed the bridge and ended up in the gorge. Unfortunately, by the time they were found it was too late.



Not like the stream crossings they have in NorCal, but an honest, by golly stream crossing!



I hit the Cottonwood Canyon road about a mile or so south of Cannonville. I decided to run into Cannonville to top up with gas. On the way in I spotted this old sheep wagon in someone's backyard. Judging from the wire wheels it was probably made from a Model A chassis, or something similar. Anyway, I thought it was cool.



This isn't the pump where I got gas!

 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
In planning my trip I found a dirt road between Cannonville and Escalante. I wanted to ride it, even though it meant riding south on the Cottonwood Canyon road for a little ways. The road heads east from the Grosvenor Arch. When I was there last year I just got a quick shot of the arch from the parking lot, and later wished I had walked up a little closer and got another shot. So, I did that this year.



As I headed east on the road I was going to follow to Escalante i ran into this:



Hmmm. I wondered just how impassable it was, but didn't want to make the 24 mile trip to find out. I got a late start, and by now the sun was getting low. So, I started looking for a campsite. I rode up the road aways to the top of a ridge where there was a turnout. Looking from the turnout there was a small trail leading down to what looked like the perfect campsite. Nice view, anyway. So I rode the TW down the trail and set up camp.



End of Day 1. More to come.
 

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Thanks for that. Quite possibly my favorite part of the planet and every time you file a ride report I'm reminded just how little of it I've explored.
 

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Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo nice..... It's so different than what I am used to..... Just love those rock formations.. Here in my neck of the woods we have trees=trea
es and a few more trees... Oh, and 11,000 lakes.... Keep those great shots coming please. OMM.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great pictures! looking forward to the rest of the ride.....
Thanks! There's more coming right up.

Thanks for that. Quite possibly my favorite part of the planet and every time you file a ride report I'm reminded just how little of it I've explored.
You're welcome. I took you up on your suggestion to get some bean pie in Bicknell. Right tasty! Reminds me some of pecan pie, but with enough difference to make it unique. Like you I'm looking forward to the ride report on the UTBDR cause I would also like to ride that some day. I'm not sure I'll be up for the Lockhart Basin part again, though. That about kicked my butt! Rough, rocky, and technical in places.

Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo nice..... It's so different than what I am used to..... Just love those rock formations.. Here in my neck of the woods we have trees=trea
es and a few more trees... Oh, and 11,000 lakes.... Keep those great shots coming please. OMM.
I'm glad you're enjoying it. On with the report.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Day 2.

So, instead of trying my luck at the impassable part of the road ahead I turned around and headed up the road to Cannonville. Looks like they have some patriotic folks in this area.



Kind of hard to see, but there's also a flag on top of this butte west of Henrieville. Don't ask me how they got it up there.



Just west of Henrieville I had stopped to look at some roadside signs telling about the country when lo and behold a TW goes ripping by. I waved, and the TW rider slowed and came back. Sorry, I'm terrible with remembering names unless I get to use them a little bit, but a nice young man was heading for Silverton, Colorado. He was going to participate at the aid stations for a marathon taking place around there. He said he would be doing several of the passes around Silverton, and was going to post a ride report on this forum when he was done. I'm looking forward to seeing his report. His bike was set up very well, and he had already covered a significant distance on his trip.



We rode together into Escalante. From there we split up. He was going east to Boulder, then down the Burr Trail. I was headed north up over the Boulder Mountains. It was nice to meet him.

There are actually quite a few lakes on the top of the Boulders, with some good fishing. This is Posey Lake.



It was pretty open on top of the Boulders. I saw a lone buck antelope, and a couple of graders blading the road. Before I knew it I was in Bicknell, where I got a bit to eat and some gas for the bike. On down the road to the east I went, headed for the Henry Mountains.

I passed through Capitol Reef National Park. This formation is called The Castle.



This old pioneer cabin is located on the east end of Capitol Reef, not far from the road.



I turned south on the Notom-Bullfrog road, headed for the cutoff to the Henry Mountains. I followed the tracks I had prepared, and making a left turn I ran into this:



As I started backtracking it became evident I had overshot my turn. So, making the correct turn I headed for the Henrys. The Henry Mountains are impressive because there isn't much in the way of foothills. They jut up to over 11,500 feet, which is significantly higher than the surrounding landscape. The Henrys were the last mountain range to be added to the map of the 48 contiguous United States. Also, the Henry Mountains are the home to about 500 buffalo. I didn't get to see any, though. It's quite a climb up the side of the mountain. I saw only one other person on my whole ride over the mountain.





As I crossed over to the east side of the mountain I could see lots of red rock. That's where I was headed.


 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
As I neared the bottom of the mountain there was some evidence of mining activity. I saw a couple of old cabins.



Somebody cared enough about this one to provide some support to prevent the roof from collapsing.





There appeared to be some mine shafts over there, but I didn't take time to check them out.



This is what it looked like last year when I tried to cross the Henrys east to west.



This year there were some clouds that I was keeping an eye on, but I made it over no problem.




After hitting the pavement I headed for Hite to gas up. When I stopped at the overlook above Lake Powell I was shocked how low it was. Last year:




This year:




 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I pulled into Hite to find the little store closed up. Fortunately the gas pump is available 24 hours a day, so I topped up the bike as I wouldn't be seeing gas again until Moab. Just a short distance up the road from Hite is the turn off to the Wooden Shoe road. I made the turn and headed up the road. The road was good, but the further I went the more remote it felt. I saw just one campsite on this whole stretch of road, and no other people.



Eventually I started climbing up Elk Mountain toward the Wooden Shoe buttes. This canyon was quite colorful in the late afternoon light.



By the time I got on top the sun was getting low, and I started looking for a campsite. I was cruising up the road when I saw 3 buck deer in the road. One of them was pretty good sized. I slowed down as 2 of the bucks walked into the brush. The 3rd just stared at me for a few seconds more, then he too disappeared into the brush. I tried to get pics, but they didn't turn out well enough to see much. It was fun to see them, though.



I found a campsite and set up the tent just as the sun was going down. Here's the campsite the following morning. I noticed a Timber Cruiser had been through here and tagged a number of trees for removal.



End of Day 2. More to come.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Great pics and report!! Any camping pics?
Thanks. Not much in the way of camping pics. On a ride like this I prefer riding to sitting around twiddling my thumbs. So, I usually end up traveling until the sun gets low, then set up camp. In the morning I'm usually up early, break camp, and head up the road. Some day I hope to wise up a little and slow down and smell the roses.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Day 3.

One thing about it, when I ride long days I normally sleep well at night.

In the morning I loaded up and hit the road. I passed the Bear's Ears where I headed off the mountain last year rather than risk riding muddy roads. I decided to ride that fork a short distance to get a picture of the Bear's Ears. Once again I spotted some deer on the road. This time just a small buck with some does. They weren't too nervous. At one point I was just about 25 feet adjacent to one of the does, and she just looked at me like she was trying to figure out what I was. It was obvious the mighty roar of the TW wasn't spooking them much. I got it on video, hopefully I can post that later on. The Bear's Ears are prominent landmarks and can be seen for many miles to the south and west.



Elk Mountain was a treat. It was very green and well populated with trees and wildlife. In addition to deer I saw a hen turkey with about 8 or 10 babies cross the road. I tried to get a pic, but no luck. Further down the road a spike bull elk ran across the road in front of me. I tried to get a pic, but again no luck. Do you see a recurring theme here? I stink at taking wildlife pics. I need to be much faster on the draw. Near the end of this trip I got to see something very special, and try as I might I was again too late to get a pic. I'll tell you more about that later. I swear before next year's trip I will be better set up to get those pics.

I started to drop off Elk Mountain into Beef Basin. There was a lot of haze from all the forest fires burning, and the pics didn't turn out real well.






I think that butte is giving me the ADV salute :p.




I dropped off the east side of Beef Basin and headed north towards the paved road that penetrates Canyonlands National Park. Approaching the pavement.



Those look like pyramids in the distance.



I hit the pavement and rode northwest for a few miles to intersect the Lockhart Basin trail. I had a little uneasy feeling about taking this trail, for some reason. But I had watched YouTube videos of other guys riding it, and it didn't look too bad. It's also on the UTBDR. I decided to give it a shot.

Hurrah Pass, that's at the other end of the Lockhart Basin Trail. 48 miles. Let's see, even if it's kind of rough at 15 or 20 mph that should only be a little over 2 hours. Not too bad, right? Wrong!!!! It's named Hurrah Pass for a reason. Hurrah is what everyone yells when they get through with that rocky, rough road! I don't know, maybe I'm just getting to be a wimp in my old age.



Some of the sights along the way:





Now that's what I call an optimistic little pine tree.






 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
The road was kind of technical in places. I'm sure if I had practiced my wheelying technique I could've popped the front wheel right up over this ledge. But, no, instead this is the site of my first drop on this trip. Well, I didn't really drop it, but it did get laid over on it's side and wouldn't start after I got it picked up.



I thought my best shot was to unload the bike. So I did, the bike then started and I maneuvered the bike from alongside to get it up and over. It wasn't terribly bad, but it wasn't quite as easy as the picture makes it out to be.



Some of the descents were kind of steep, too.



I think it was someone on this forum who passed this riding technique along to me, so I'll pay it forward. It's too awkward when descending a steep hill slowly to keep your right foot on the brake pedal and maintain balance, so kill the engine and use the clutch lever as your brake pedal. The engine compression will do a great job controlling your descent along with a judicious amount of front brake, and you have both feet to maintain your balance.

Yes, I yelled Hurrah, yeehaw, and a few other things, too.



Unfortunately, this was not the end of the trail. There were still a few miles to go, but the road did improve and eventually turned to pavement. I found myself alongside the Colorado River, then on into Moab.



After getting gas and a bite to eat I started looking for a campsite. There were a couple alongside the Colorado, but they were too humid and buggy for my likes. It was late enough in the day I didn't want to travel up to the cutoff for the WRT, so I settled for an RV park near the north end of town. It was still plenty hot and humid, but did cool off some after the sun went down.

End of Day 3.
 

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Wow B-dub, you're riding through some jaw-droppingly beautiful country up there. Your pictures are nothing short of amazing.
 

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Dude, you rule!! Wow, what a report. My report threads cower in shame next to this. Nice ride man. I shall remember this in my "someday I hope to ride with" brain file.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Day 4.

I jumped up and packed up. Today was going to be the day I had waited for. I was going to ride the White Rim Trail! The WRT is a pretty popular trail. You see it in a lot of YouTube videos and ride reports, but I wanted to do it myself. So, I headed up the highway north from Moab until I hit Highway 313 into Canyonlands National Park.

Except for the mountain biking crowd most people recommend going in on Mineral Bottoms road and riding the WRT counter clockwise. I turned off at Mineral Bottom road and was met with a sign saying a fee was required, and could be paid a few miles ahead at the entrance to Canyonlands. It said there was also access to the WRT at that point. So, I rode up the pavement to pay the fee ($5.00 for a motorcycle). After paying the fee I saw the entrance to the WRT nearby and recognized if I took this one I would be doing the trail clockwise. I didn't have strong feelings one way or the other, so just headed down the trail rather than riding back to the Mineral Bottoms road. Later on I would regret that decision.

I started out on a shelf road with views to the Colorado River below.



Pretty soon I was at the Shafer Switchbacks.





From there the road continued east, then south.



There are views of the Colorado River in places.



Next up, Musselman's Arch.



Plenty wide enough to walk across, or even ride the TW across.....



if not for the 40 or 50 foot drop off each side. I'm chicken, you are not going to find me out there!

There were quite a few spires like this:



There were campgrounds with bathrooms spaced around the 100 miles of the WRT. The day started out a little overcast, but after awhile it warmed right up. Any spot that offered a little shade made for a good rest area. No bathrooms at this one, though.



Somebody drilled for a core sample right in the middle of the road. I dropped a small rock into it to see how deep it was. I'm guessing about 10 feet, but who knows how many rocks have been dropped into the hole for the same purpose. Eventually, I'm sure, the hole will be filled up.


 

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Discussion Starter #17
What in the world are camp robber jays doing clear out here?



The pictures really don't do justice to the views. These looked like soldiers to me.



At some of the steeper hills the 4 wheel drive vehicles had really torn up the dirt trying to get up. It was just like flour. When I first saw this I thought, "How am I going to get up that?" The old Ceros on the back with a lot of weight right above it did the trick. The TW chugged right up like it was no problem at all.



Murphy's Hogback. Straight up



(Looking back down)




Then right back down again.





It's only like 50 yards across the top of Murphy's Hogback, but there is a little campground with a toilet there. When I got to the top I got off the bike to take some pictures and just then a mountain biker rode by. He must've been resting at the top and heard me come up. He didn't stop to say Hi, or anything. He wasn't carrying much, must've had a support vehicle at one of the campgrounds I passed.

Some views:







The uphill climbs don't look that steep in the pictures, but they were pretty steep. This one switchbacked up the hill, and at each turn the dirt was like flour because of the vehicles trying to get traction.



The views were worth the climb, though.




 

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Discussion Starter #18
Don't hang a louie here, or you'll be in the drink!



I guess this means I'm at the end of the WRT, and beginning on the Mineral Bottoms road.



The road was quite sandy in the bottom, then turned and started to climb up and out. If you look closely you can see a white vehicle on the grade ahead of and to the left of the TW.







Once on top it was good dirt road for about 5 miles or so back to pavement. Thunderheads were building. The wind picked up some, and I got hit with a few drops of rain. It became a race to beat the thunderstorm, but as I rode on it became evident that a thunderstorm had already passed through, leaving the roads wet. I hit the pavement and rode down to Highway 191 north of Moab. At the junction I spotted a gas station just up the road a short distance. I rode up there to get gas, and something cold to drink. Once there I could see there was an adjacent campground. It was obviously raining in Moab, so even though there were a few hours of daylight left I called it a day and got a tent site.



End of Day 4.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wow B-dub, you're riding through some jaw-droppingly beautiful country up there. Your pictures are nothing short of amazing.
With the variety of colors and formations it is quite beautiful in places. I'm glad you like the pictures, but they don't really do it justice. It has to be seen in person to truly appreciate it.

Dude, you rule!! Wow, what a report. My report threads cower in shame next to this. Nice ride man. I shall remember this in my "someday I hope to ride with" brain file.
Yeah, I've been aware of the WRT, and had a desire to ride it for quite some time. I finally got it done, and it didn't disappoint. I'm sure it would be more pleasant, and even more beautiful in the spring or fall. I'm glad you're enjoying the report.
 

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You sir are a true adventurer and are hereby presented the Admiral's Adventure Award (AAA)

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I want to quit my job and come ride down there, I agree with Lizrdbrth. I can't even imagine what a great adventure that was. So many great things to see and smell. Sensory overload! The switchbacks looked really scary (for me) and alluring at the same time. Truely awesome B-dub! Just awesome!!
 
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