Backcountry Adventures Utah  by Peter Massey & Jeanne Wilson

Backcountry Adventures: Utah Guide Book

by Peter Massey & Jeanne Wilson (Adler Publishing )
Backcountry Adventures Utah  by Peter Massey & Jeanne Wilson
Backcountry Adventures Utah navigates 3,721 miles through the spectacular Canyonlands region, to the top of the Uinta Range, across vast salt flats, and along trails unchanged since the riders of the Pony Express sped from station to station and daring young outlaws wreaked havoc on newly established stage lines, railroads, and frontier towns. Trail history comes to life through the accounts of outlaws like Butch Cassidy; explorers and mountain men; and early Mormon settlers. Contains 175 trails, 544 pages, and 532 photos.

© 2006 Peter Massey and Jeanne Wilson/Adler Publishing . All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Backcountry Adventures: Utah" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 175.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 175.

If you only have time to take in one trail with a view over Lake Powell, this is the one! The short spur in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area travels on a sandy ungraded trail onto Alstrom Point, a mesa about 500 feet above Lake Powell. Special Attractions: Views of Gunsight Butte and Padre Bay and a high viewpoint over Lake Powell; Excellent photography point; Backcountry campsites. High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs.
Big Water, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 5.6
This easy trail follows a graded gravel road to the panoramic Anticline Overlook. The trail, which is suitable for passenger vehicles, gradually descends over the sagebrush benches of Hatch Point to the overlook. Special Attractions: Easy trail to spectacular viewpoint at the Anticline Overlook; Access to a number of 4WD trails and backcountry campsites; Wine Glass Arch. This trail is graded dirt but suitable for a normal passenger vehicle. It usually has gentle grades, is fairly wide, and has very shallow water crossings (if any).
La Sal, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 15.6
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According to the sign along US 191, the beginning of Argyle Canyon Trail is called Timber Lane. The maintained gravel road is used by logging trucks and is kept graded. The trail starts out through private forest land composed mainly of fir and aspen. Under normal circumstances, the road is not difficult; however, its claybased surface can become slippery when wet. Special Attractions: Links Nine Mile Canyon Trail with Reservation Ridge Trail. This trail is graded dirt but suitable for a normal passenger vehicle. It usually has gentle grades, is fairly wide, and has very shallow water crossings (if any).
Price, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 23.9
This exciting trail connects Escalante Summit Trail and Griffin Road with Powell Point Trail. The trail is a moderately difficult drive over a variety of surfaces and conditions, but in dry conditions it is suitable for most high-clearance 4WDs. Special Attractions: Moderately challenging trail with a variety of driving conditions; A wide range of backcountry campsites on Barney Top; Panoramic views east over the Upper Valley. High-clearance 4WDs are required. This trail has either a rough, rutted surface, rocks up to 9 inches, mud and deep sand that may be impassable for inexperienced drivers, or stream crossings up to 18 inches deep. Certain sections may be steep enough to cause traction problems, and you may encounter very narrow shelf roads with steep drop-offs and tight clearance between rocks or trees.
Escalante, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 8.3
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This short trail runs around the edge of the Bartlett Wash valley and then into one of the fingers of Hidden Canyon. There are several spur trails leading from it that go to viewpoints over the canyons, and there are fantastic views from the trail itself, especially along the northern end. Special Attractions: Panoramic views over The Needles and the Book Cliffs; Views down into Bartlett Wash; Short, moderate trail with many viewpoints. High-clearance 4WDs are recommended, though most stock SUVs are acceptable. Expect a rough road surface with rocks larger than 6 inches, but there will be a reasonable driving line available. Patches of mud are possible but can be readily negotiated; sand may be deep and require lower tire pressures. There may be stream crossings up to 12 inches deep, substantial sections of single-lane shelf road, moderate grades, and sections of moderately loose road surface.
Moab, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 7.1
Bartlett Wash Trail is a pleasant alternative to Southeast #10: Hidden Canyon Wash Trail for those not wanting to tackle the deep sand along Hidden Canyon. The trail is graded at the start and for much of its length, but it does have some moderately sandy sections, and toward the end where it joins Dubinky Well Road, there are some rocky ledges and slickrock sections. Special Attractions: Easy to moderate trail along wide, sandy valley; Access to the mountain bike slickrock play area; Shady picnicking under large cottonwoods alongside the wash. High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs.
Moab, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 7.3
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This route leads off Cottonwood Canyon Trail and descends into the large bowl of Beef Basin. The trail is a mixture of sandy sections and rock, and conditions can change quickly depending on recent weather. Special Attractions: Many ruins and cliff dwellings in Beef Basin; Views over Butler Wash Wilderness Study Area. High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs.
Monticello, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 13.7
The Black Dragon Pictographs Trail is short but interesting and can serve as a quick side trip off of I-70 if you are just passing through. As the trail does not start from a proper exit off the interstate, use caution when slowing down to pull off the road. Do not stop until you are completely off I-70. Special Attractions: The famous Black Dragon pictographs; The scenic Black Dragon Canyon; Short spur trail can be combined with Three Fingers Petroglyphs Trail. High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs.
Green River, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 1.7
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The Black Dragon Wash Trail is a loop trail off Swasey’s Leap Trail, which connects to Buckhorn Wash Trail. The majority of the trail does not appear on any map as it runs through some very scenic but seldom traveled countryside. The main attractions of this trail are its two spurs, which branch off to dead-ends. Special Attractions: Provides an alternative return route from Swasey’s Leap; Scenic views from Jackass Benches; Varied scenery along a moderately difficult 4WD road; Little-used, mostly unmapped trail in the midst of many heavily used backcountry roads. High-clearance 4WDs are required. This trail has either a rough, rutted surface, rocks up to 9 inches, mud and deep sand that may be impassable for inexperienced drivers, or stream crossings up to 18 inches deep. Certain sections may be steep enough to cause traction problems, and you may encounter very narrow shelf roads with steep drop-offs and tight clearance between rocks or trees.
Green River, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 12.5
This long and varied trail travels almost wholly within the Monticello Ranger District of the Manti-La Sal National Forest. It leaves from the center of Monticello, off US 191, two blocks south of the junction with US 666. A sign points to the national forest campgrounds at Dalton Spring, Buckboard, Monticello Lake, and the Blue Mountains ski area. Special Attractions: Long trail with many varied views and brilliant scenery along its length; Natural features of Chippean Rocks and The Causeway; Access to a number of forest trails and backcountry camping areas; Aspen viewing in fall. High-clearance vehicles are preferred, but not necessary. This trail is dirt roads, but may have rocks, grades, water crossings, or ruts that make clearance a concern in a normal passenger vehicle. The trail is fairly wide, so that passing is possible at almost any point along the trail. Mud is not a concern under normal weather conditions.
Monticello, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 44
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This trail provides a connection between Elephant Hill Loop in the Needles district of Canyonlands National Park and Beef Basin Trail, which leads to Cottonwood Canyon Trail. However, although most of the trail is relatively easy, there is an extremely difficult, 7-rated climb out of Bobby’s Hole into Ruin Park that may be impassable. Special Attractions: 4WD trail within the Needles district of Canyonlands National Park; Ancient pictographs and Anasazi ruins in Ruin Park; Extremely challenging stretch of trail at Bobby’s Hole. Skilled, experienced four-wheel drivers only. This trail includes very challenging sections with extremely steep grades, loose surfaces, large rocks, deep ruts, and/or tight clearances. Mud or sand may necessitate winching.
Monticello, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 16.3
This is a very long and remote trail with no facilities along it. Whether you complete the loop or take one of its connecting trails, it is highly recommended that you fill up your tank with gasoline before starting. Special Attractions: Panoramic views from high elevations; An interesting, remote trail through one of America’s foremost hydrocarbon fields. This trail is graded dirt but suitable for a normal passenger vehicle. It usually has gentle grades, is fairly wide, and has very shallow water crossings (if any).
Green River, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 76.3
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This drive within the Dixie National Forest links Posey Lake Road with the network of more difficult 4WD trails on Boulder Mountain. It is a beautiful drive in its own right, and it provides vehicle access to three small natural lakes. As you ascend Aquarius Plateau, you pass from the sagebrush and juniper of the lower benches up to the higher elevation alpine settings. There are few trees on the plateau itself, which is mainly open meadow with scattered stands of aspens, but as you ascend the western side, you pass through a mix of spruce and aspen forest. Special Attractions: Provides access to a network of more-difficult 4WD trails on Boulder Tops; Access to three different lakes; Scenic drive across undulating country in the Dixie National Forest. This trail is graded dirt but suitable for a normal passenger vehicle. It usually has gentle grades, is fairly wide, and has very shallow water crossings (if any).
Bicknell, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 12.5
This meandering trail provides a moderately challenging drive, some beautiful scenery, the opportunity to relax by some tranquil mountain lakes, and finally a panoramic view east from Bowns Point. Special Attractions: Panoramic viewpoint from Bowns Point; Moderately challenging trail for a stock SUV; Many small, natural lakes on the Boulder Tops that offer fishing and secluded camping. High-clearance 4WDs are recommended, though most stock SUVs are acceptable. Expect a rough road surface with rocks larger than 6 inches, but there will be a reasonable driving line available. Patches of mud are possible but can be readily negotiated; sand may be deep and require lower tire pressures. There may be stream crossings up to 12 inches deep, substantial sections of single-lane shelf road, moderate grades, and sections of moderately loose road surface.
Boulder, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 14.5
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Special Attractions: Historic location along the old Outlaw Trail; John Jarvie homestead; The swinging bridge across the Green River; Scenic Crouse Canyon. This trail is graded dirt but suitable for a normal passenger vehicle. It usually has gentle grades, is fairly wide, and has very shallow water crossings (if any).
Vernal, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 32.9
The Buckhorn Wash Trail begins as a well-maintained, two-lane country road, which leaves I-70 at exit 129, and remains an easy, 1-rated trail throughout; navigation is straightforward. Initially, it parallels I-70 through the typical pinyon and juniper of this high desert country. In good weather, this graded gravel road can be traveled by a passenger car. Special Attractions: Panels of petroglyphs; Dinosaur footprint; Matt Warner rock inscription; Easy, scenic canyon road that serves as the backbone to other trails. This trail is graded dirt but suitable for a normal passenger vehicle. It usually has gentle grades, is fairly wide, and has very shallow water crossings (if any).
Green River, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 43
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These two interesting side trips make a wonderful addition to Gemini Bridges Trail. They add an enjoyable perspective of the canyons that few people see. They are generally much quieter than the popular Gemini Bridges Trail along the canyon rim. Special Attractions: Different perspective of the canyon country; Unusual view of Gemini Bridges; Towering red canyon walls and scenery. High-clearance 4WDs are recommended, though most stock SUVs are acceptable. Expect a rough road surface with rocks larger than 6 inches, but there will be a reasonable driving line available. Patches of mud are possible but can be readily negotiated; sand may be deep and require lower tire pressures. There may be stream crossings up to 12 inches deep, substantial sections of single-lane shelf road, moderate grades, and sections of moderately loose road surface.
Moab, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 5.4
This trail is entirely on BLM land and is a designated scenic backcountry byway. The trail turns off Utah 95, 21 miles south of Hanksville. Special Attractions: Long, remote backcountry byway with varied scenery and elevation changes; Bull Creek Pass at 10,485 feet; Rare chance to see a wild bison herd. High-clearance vehicles are preferred, but not necessary. This trail is dirt roads, but may have rocks, grades, water crossings, or ruts that make clearance a concern in a normal passenger vehicle. The trail is fairly wide, so that passing is possible at almost any point along the trail. Mud is not a concern under normal weather conditions.
Ticaboo, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 52.3
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There are many trails in the Robbers Roost area, but most of them peter out before long. This trail is a graded dirt road that goes to an overlook over the Dirty Devil River Canyon. It is an easy trail that’s suitable for passenger vehicles in dry weather. Short sections of the trail run in a creek wash. There are side trails that lead down to overlooks at Poison Spring Canyon and Adobe Swale. Special Attractions: Panoramic view over Dirty Devil River Canyon; Access to a network of graded roads and trails to viewpoints; Historic Robbers Roost region. This trail is graded dirt but suitable for a normal passenger vehicle. It usually has gentle grades, is fairly wide, and has very shallow water crossings (if any).
Hanksville, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 10
This long and easy route offers a great variety of scenery. Although it is now predominantly paved road, there are rough sections through Capitol Reef National Park on which lowslung vehicles will need to exercise care. Special Attractions: Long and historic pioneer route; Capitol Reef National Park; Wide variety of canyon and desert scenery. This trail is graded dirt but suitable for a normal passenger vehicle. It usually has gentle grades, is fairly wide, and has very shallow water crossings (if any).
Boulder, UT - Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 62.6
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