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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Anyone is welcome to join us.

Edited 22 March 2018:

This is who I have on the list. People tell me things and I sometimes forget them so if I left you off by accident let me know and I'll add you on the list.

In list

Admiral's (2)
Fred
Tweaker
Dirtluvr
Bodi (partial)
Bad luck (maybe)
Commandog (planning stages)
TrialRun-Arriving 26/27th
LuvNot
Plumbstraight 23/24th ish
Alberta Darrel
BillPacific (p.m. 26th)
Allanb
Wandering Larry plus 1 (idmccain)
Donovan Schmidt
krismarc
White Elephant Crew- 90%
Idaho Larry
TW Shell

Tuna

Out list
-Rider21 (can't make it now. Has audition for Dancing with the Stars). I may have made that up.:p

-SanDue's (can't make it now. Lost their matches in a class V rapid on Cry Me a River and decided if they can't star a fire it wasn't worth going). We told them we had 'em covered on the whole lighter and match thing but they have strict guidelines to follow so without matches, they are out. :D[SUB][SUP]
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Mrs. Admiral and I are planning on going to San Rafael Swell 24 March - 1 April 18. We would arrive the morning of the 24th and leave on 1 April.

We most likely will not go over to Moab this year though it's not that far. We've been to Moab 3 years in a row and want to see and explore some other areas. There is still a ton we have not seen in Moab so there is plenty explore for a future Moab, just not this year for us.

I've got some GPS tracks of trails for San Rafael Swell from Larry and another www link if anyone is interested.

Our proposed camp area is in the area on Temple Mt. Road here: (TBD). Looking at the map it looks like it's a fair distance to gas so you would probably want to bring some gas with you as well.

This SRS area is rather large and it's possible we may move camp further north off the interstate to ride the northern roads and trails. Fred has mentioned and has camped in Buckhorn Wash as I recall so that is a possibility. If
we end up riding all the trails here early, we may move to another area of Utah but we'll wing that when the time comes.

Camp Location (TBD-Working on this with others)


Helpful Links (if anyone has any more helpful links, send them to me and I'll add them here.

**http://www.sanrafaelcountry.com/maps/motorizedvehiclemap.pdf This is the main map I printed off for use. It lists trail names, difficulty and some other info I can't understand yet.

https://www.castlecountry.com/media/uploads/files/Emery-County-OHV-Trail-Map.pdf (List Trail & road numbers, trail difficulty color code, and nice relief map) This is the one I've printed off and made several copies.

**https://www.blm.gov/sites/blm.gov/files/uploads/BLMUtahTempleMtRec.pdf (This is the map Trialrun provided which lists some of the same things as above and can also be loaded into Avenza Map program on your phone)

Trial GPX files can be found and downloaded from this link:Scroll down the page to find San Rafael Swell GPX Tracks; Utah GPS Tracks // ADVENTR.co

Buy and find Utah maps: Bureau of Land Management: Statewide Index
 

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Sounds like Fun. I will be there sometime but cant make the entire week. I'm sure you know but these dates are during Jeep Safari and Spring Break for many Utah Schools. Assume you plan to ride the Red, Green, Blue Trails North of camp and Waterfall Trail and Behind the Reef Jeep Road along the Reef to the South. I think there are some Slot Canyons like Ding & Dang to Hike in the area and also Goblin Valley. If you move I suggest to camp near Swayze cabin area South of I70 this will give you great access to Eagle Canyon, Coal Wash, Fix It Pass and the Devils Racetrack and some POI like Dutchmen Arch and the Head of Sinbad.
 

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Dirtluvr and I plan on joining this group. That spot is one my brother and I talked about when he was here. Not too far to the West we camped at Torrey outside Capital Reef and did Noatom Rd down to waterpocket fold and up the Burr trail to bolder and back to Torrey. I would do that ride again because I took very little pics. Wanted to do Cathedral valley too but didn’t cross the river because is was kinda deep for Dirtluvr.
 

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I am game to join you folks!
Now if I can only find Swayze Cabin on my maps.
I discovered one can call the park and get an automated report of Fremont River water depth at he river crossing into western approach to Cathedral Valley. Very helpful, when I called ahead the report of 14" had me check carefully before deciding to chicken out and ride in from the east. The stream velocity and standing waves at the reported 14" was just too intimidating.
 

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Are you guys talking about this crossing on Hartnet Road? The Cathedral Valley is a must-do in my opinion. The loop is great and takes a half day to do it right, but you can get in and out from Caineville Wash Road without having to do this river crossing. This stuff is not really do-able from this Swell area camping though. Going to, or coming from, as extra stops though, for sure.

 

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What is do-able, and I would submit for consideration, is a run from Admiral's proposed camp out to Panorama Point in the Maze District. As its name foretells, Panorama Point should offer amazing views of the canyons and buttes below, as well as Island in the Sky in the distance. That, combined with a quick out and back to Cleopatra's Chair are part of Trail #71 in the Moab 4x4 book. This these upper destinations are ones that we did not make it to on our ride in the Maze District last year.

It is 46 miles from Hwy 24 to Hans Flat Ranger Station. From there it is another 11 miles to Panorama Point and another 4 mile round trip to Cleopatra's Chair. If riding out from camp, fuel may be a factor, but it shouldn't be hard to bring some. Another option would be to load up some bikes on a trailer to drive down near the ranger station to unload.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am game to join you folks!
Now if I can only find Swayze Cabin on my maps.
I discovered one can call the park and get an automated report of San Rafael's water depth at he river crossing into western approach to Cathedral Valley. Very helpful, when I called ahead the report of 14" had me check carefully before deciding to chicken out and ride in from the east. The stream velocity and standing waves at the reported 14" was just too intimidating.
For reference, here is one of the Jeep Routes from the Temple Mtn. Rd. Staging area (my proposed 1st Camp) to Swasey's Cabin. It's about 20 miles on this route. If we move camp up there at some point it's about 57 miles by pavement until it's time to get off the interstate. I'm guessing the shorter route is not friendly to campers and Wa Larry (sorry Larry it's shorter to write Wa Larry than Leisure Time Larry) can tell us if this is true since he's ridden here.


It's about 10 miles from the I-70 exit to Swasey's Cabin
 

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Swasey cabin, eagle canyon rd. (38.8355983,-110.8100367)
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Sounds like Fun. I will be there sometime but cant make the entire week. I'm sure you know but these dates are during Jeep Safari and Spring Break for many Utah Schools. Assume you plan to ride the Red, Green, Blue Trails North of camp and Waterfall Trail and Behind the Reef Jeep Road along the Reef to the South. I think there are some Slot Canyons like Ding & Dang to Hike in the area and also Goblin Valley. If you move I suggest to camp near Swayze cabin area South of I70 this will give you great access to Eagle Canyon, Coal Wash, Fix It Pass and the Devils Racetrack and some POI like Dutchmen Arch and the Head of Sinbad.
The Swasey's Cabin Loop looks fun.

Not my video.
 

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From Admiral's Temple Mountain staging area there seems to be much more riding than I first thought. Multiple names for same roads gets confusing.
One loop with multiple options I had considered used the Wildhorse Road system from Goblin Valley heading SW until it hits the Factory Butte/ Temple Junction/Hidden Splendor Road. Smooth cruising at least in the southern reaches with lots of the bentonite sediments which can turn nasty when wet. wildhorse road.jpg

Certainly I enjoyed Cathedral Valley even though high water prevented me from attempting the full loop. I would be willing to return to see other half. Nice Cathedral Valley Campground at northern end is suitable for bike-in camping. Dispersed camping is permitted along BLM land on eastern approaches and has smooth access as does the Swing Arm City ORV park a few miles further east on HWY 24. Capitol Reef map.jpg cathedral.jpg
 

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It all looks like fun and less death defying than Moab's do-or-die trails so I am happy to join & follow any of you anywhere. More riding than time or fuel permits. At one to two gallons per day per bike hauling in adequate gas will be an issue. Same for water and all other provisions if a week long stay is proposed for a single base camp.
 

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I think the I70 Exit I'm thinking is 131. As you follow the road you have highlighted towards Swayze Cabin there are some side roads with good Camping in the Junipers. Also West of the Exit there are two different Jeep roads that cross under the Freeway between Exit 131 and Eagle canyon. We have been into these areas with large trailers but that said if it rains large trailers wont come out until it dry's out for a day.

The Maze area is on my Bucket list also and planned to explore it with the Cruiser last year after Safari but it didn't work out.
 

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I am tempted to drive partially into the Maze, set up base , unload and then do several rides over a two or three day period while better managing gas, stamina and other resources.
This has been on my Bucket List for decades since reading Edward Abby's Monkey Wrench Gang​.
The remoteness of the Maze makes it less forgiving of any rider mistakes than some of our more frequently visited routes.
 

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Last year was a heavy snow year and roads above Hartnet Junction were closed when I was there, snow level was just above the Upper Cathedral Valley Campground and it spitting snow when I had my lunch break there March 2017.
A check with local agencies as to current conditions might be wise before counting on the 8,000 ft plus elevation shortcut from HWY 72 to Upper Cathedral Valley to be passable this coming March.
 

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With all the input from various folks varied research & experiences this might have the makings of a great "You Show Me Yours and I'll Show You Mine" extended group ride. It can be good when one rider can take pride in guiding/sharing something they are familiar with while balance of other riders can relax and tag along knowing the logistics and navigation have been taken care of by the guide. Next day we then follow someone else's dream or previous experience. No one-upmanship or competition, just fun times Turtle Wrangling together. Nice and casual, join a group if you like, or follow your own heart's delight and pace.
 

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I think Fred has the right Idea regarding the Maze District. You can cover a lot more country on a bike than a Jeep but there is still 2 full days of exploring at the minimum. If you plan to explore it from Temple Mtn or Swayze Cabin I would truck or trailer bikes which with a 70 tooth rear I would be doing anyway.....
 

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Larry and Chad seemed to have a grand time on a Maze day's in-and-out approaching from the south and crossing the Dirty Devil River. Too bad none of us have adoring girlfriends who don't ride but want to drop us off on one end then drive around and pick us up at other end with truck and trailer.( And if you do just don't tell your wives). Anyways that would allow us to ride through much of The Maze, maybe bivouac overnight.
I say this because I had a kayaking buddy who had an adoring girlfriend who would drop him off at put-ins, then follow to eventually pick him up downstream while occasionally stopping at overlooks to sigh and gaze lovingly upstream waiting for him to appear. She was the kind of girl who came equipped with a 12v Margarita Blender and a camper van...a river rat's dream girl.


EDIT: The Maze remains an iffy option as it could conceivably eat into a lot of the planned week's limited time. As a inherently solo camper/rider I would not expect, but would appreciate the company as well as the safety in having a fellow rider. However Maze will not be empty that week.
 

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We didn't go in on the road where you have to cross the Dirty Devil, we came in from the south, on Orange Cliffs road from Hite. We went to the Dollhouse Campground in and out from the main road, then north to the Maze Overlook. Both places offered wonderful views. We saw a lot of what the Maze District offers at the lower elevation. That was a long day, with a pretty fast pace to ride it all and get back to camp at Hite before dark.

Another note, when we went to the Dollhouse camp, campsites #1 & #2 were empty. You really need access to these two sites in my opinion to make the trip really worth it. It is amazing as you come upon the rock formations, but in those sites, you are IN them and on the back sides of them the views open up and you can see the La Sal mountains in the far background with formations in between, which makes for super awesome photos.

Panorama Point and Cleopatra's Chair are on the upper elevation level. The Flint Trail switchbacks separate the upper and lower levels.
 

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Fred I did check ahead on the river depth and I actually crossed it twice but couldn’t get dirtluvr to try it. After her last spill in water at the sweet water ride she would do it now she is not as intimidated by water. So instead we went down Notom rd to the Burr trail and had a very windy 140 mile ride.

I am game to join you folks!
Now if I can only find Swayze Cabin on my maps.
I discovered one can call the park and get an automated report of Fremont River water depth at he river crossing into western approach to Cathedral Valley. Very helpful, when I called ahead the report of 14" had me check carefully before deciding to chicken out and ride in from the east. The stream velocity and standing waves at the reported 14" was just too intimidating.
 
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Glad dirtluvr is now becoming a water lover. She looked rather cold with her TW parked on top of her in the sweet but chilly waters of the Sweetwater's Desert Creek. It was not like she was blowing bubbles but she looked like she'd be happier back on dry ground as a dust lover.:p
If we wish to cross the Fremont and it looks deep we can ferry her, then her bike across with two other riders to assist. I will put passenger pegs back my bike so as to be prepared for contingencies.
 
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