Rainbow and Watson Ghost Towns Trail

Bonanaza, Utah

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This trail heads northeast from Book Cliffs Loop, passing through the remote desert country of eastern Utah’s Uintah County. Keep your eye out for deer and elk, animals common to the area. Driving through the thick pinyon and juniper of the region’s desert landscape, it is hard to imagine how such towns as Rainbow and Watson once thrived along the Uintah Railway. Special Attractions: Extremely remote trail that when linked with Book Cliffs Loop forms a connection between Vernal and Green River, Moab, and Grand Junction; The historic ghost towns of Rainbow and Watson; Gilsonite mines at Rainbow. 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.
Backcountry Adventures: Utah

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Backcountry Adventures: Utah

by Peter Massey & Jeanne Wilson (Adler Publishing )

This trail heads northeast from Book Cliffs Loop, passing through the remote desert country of eastern Utah’s Uintah County. Keep your eye out for deer and elk, animals common to the area. Driving through the thick pinyon and juniper of the region’s desert landscape, it is hard to imagine how such towns as Rainbow and Watson once thrived along the Uintah Railway. Special Attractions: Extremely remote trail that when linked with Book Cliffs Loop forms a connection between Vernal and Green River, Moab, and Grand Junction; The historic ghost towns of Rainbow and Watson; Gilsonite mines at Rainbow. 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.

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

Activity Type: Off-Highway Drives
Nearby City: Bonanaza
Distance: 60.5
Trail Type: Shuttle
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 3 hours
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 5,000 feet
Top Elevation: 8,400 feet
Local Maps: USGS Bonanza, Southam Canyon, Weaver Ridge, Rainbow, Archy Bench SE, Cooper Canyon, Bates Knolls, Pine Spring Canyon, Seep Canyon, and more
Driving Directions: Directions to Rainbow and Watson Ghost Towns Trail

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Apr 2018