2017 ATV Club Rides and camp-outs reports
Escalante overnight ride June 2 and 3, 2017
ATV Club Had 13 OHV's and 19 people do this ride.
JUNE 2 to 3, 2017
ATV Club OHV Overnight Ride: Friday and Saturday, to Escalante overnight and return.
We departed promptly at 7:30 AM. Trailered the rigs to Big Water. The Day was clear and still cool and we unloaded our machines. Bain and Arlene were leading us out of our staging area and everyone was full of anticipation to get going.
The Ride: Friday: Driving down the Smokey Mtn. road from Big Water, the beauty of the morning was uplifting. We had some guest riders from Provo who had two young boys and they were fun to watch. Their excitement of the adventure was contagious. The winds were favorable and cleared the dust as we traveled east along the Smokey Mountain road. Also with us was Darrel and Kristen, members from Kanab who were sharing this adventure for the first time. This ride is a favorite of the Club. Across the northern side of Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon NRA, we continue onto the Croton, Fifty Mile bench road marked Road 340. At the Croton turn to the north a strenuous and lengthy climb begins. We were suprised to find the road was recently graded, so not as difficult as in previous years. The views in all directions were spectacular and it is evident why this area is known as the burning hills. Some of the geology of the rock formation are red as if they were on fire. This ride was now at the 40 mile mark, and all is evident that it is for veteran riders due to the very steep grades, heights. The weather conditions were favorable, with scattered clouds and it was warming up. The Cedar gnats appeared when we stopped for breaks. Reaching the top of the 50 mile bench we proceded to the parking area of the Anasazi Cliff Dwelling. At the higher altitudes it remained cooler. Some Cedar gnats to bother us. I guess it depended on location. Many were slathering bug spray on themselves. Another effort to find the Indian Sites that elude us was made before we continued to Left Hand Collet Canyon. It was; as always, a beautiful ride down this narrow canyon and wash. A few riders were experiencing mechanical issues with their OHV's and they proceeded on to Escalante. The remainder of the riders were not far behind. To the Hole in the Rock road, turning at Cedar Wash it was a fast track into Escalante. Around 110 miles traveled. Folks fueled up OHV's and were soon checked into the Prospector Inn. We were all grouped close together. The weather was pleasant on the shaded side of the Motel where many of the riders gathered and visited before dinner. At 6:30 we all went to dinner. Then visited some more as some drifted off to shower and retire for the evening.
Saturday Morning: After a group breakfast at the Circle D, we start rallying at around 8:30 AM next to the parking lot of the Prospector Inn Motel. We are fueled up, got our lunch, and are ready to depart at 9:00 AM sharp. To the turn off to the Smokey Mountain Road, #300. We enter a colorful canyonlands, passing the turn-off to Death Ridge. The road is fast paced with stops to look at a few Anasazi granaries. Once we reach Smokey Mountain it becomes rougher and rockier. The Cedar gnats were particulary bad as it seems to be much warmer. Out on the mesa we pass ‘Heads of the Creeks’ road and Pilot Knoll. Soon we will pass a turn off to the namesake of Smokey Mtn. the coal seam holes which the very pungent smoke of these ancient fires exit the earth. We reach the Kelly Grade, such a dugway which defies imagination. Once down this 8-mile grade we are back to the long and usually hot ride back to Big Water, and our staging area via the previous day’s route in reverse. Reaching our staging area Joe Orman said it was 103 degrees there. It did not take long for everyone to load up and get going with the A/C on full and head home. It was a fun experience, maybe however, we should plan it a little earlier in the year. What you think?
Ride Description: Upon leaving Big Water on the Smokey Mtn. Road, we will be heading NE, the scenery becomes immediately outstanding with views across Lake Powell, Navajo Mountain to the south into Arizona. We continue below the stark cliffs, gray clays and gold sandstone with unusual beauty used as the background in numerous movies. Turning off the Smokey Mtn. road we go onto the Croton Road #340 going towards 50 Mile Mtn. After a long ride, we reach the turn off to the north. The long climb up the Croton Road begins and goes through some of Utah’s most interesting geological areas, called the burning hills. On top, (50 Mile Mountain) we will stop at a Cliff House Anasazi pueblo before dropping off into Left Hand Collet Canyon. Taking this route out to the Hole in the Rock road and turning north towards Escalante. The ride along the Hole in the Rock road is fast paced. Look for Devils Garden to the left. Watch the traffic of the tourists along this stretch. We soon reach the Cedar Wash road taking it to Escalante, passing Cedar Wash Arch and Covered Wagon Natural Arch.
Upon reaching Escalante, fuel up your OHV, buy your snacks, there is a Subway there in Escalante at the Phillips 66 Station. The group usually goes to dinner at 6:30PM driving our OHV’s to the Cowboy Blues up the street from the Prospector Inn. (There was once a restaurant at the Prospector Inn, closed last year). Just across the street is the Circle D Eatery which is also a nice restaurant where we generally eat our breakfast.
Contact person: SR ‘Sam’ Smith
Utah/Arizona ATV Club
January 2016 Death Valley Road Trip