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Take 1 Utah DNR Trail Host Video

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Utah DNR Trail Video

Video taken in ~12F atop the Barracks trail near Kanab Utah.

Trail Map found here: Kanab_Area_OHV.pdf

GPSr tracks found here: Fillmore-to-Salina-Richfield.gdb

On 10 June, my friend Aaron and I took off at 0630 AM en route to the Fillmore KOA. Our objective was to run the PST03 (Chalk Creek), up and over the mountain, dropping down into Aurora, then proceeding into Salina for lunch.


At elevation, temps were easily 55-60F, while in the low land of Salina, temps were low 90's. What a contrast in temperatures.


While up top, we decided to check out a little side trail named: Bear Hallow. What a nice run through wild flowers to a cattle pond at the base.



In March of 2017, my friend Aaron (known as the "Moose") and I decided to stage in Green River for a trek to the old ghost town of Sego via Thompson Springs. We approached from the West and ran some cow-rutted trail until we crossed a cattle gate and thankfully got out of that decimated trail.


A few photos and GPSr tracks from this run!



GPSr tracks here:


GPSr tracks for the entire 5Mile & Eureka area found  here:

It's New Years weekend and its 10F outside with much snow on the ground. I've been cooped up for 5-6 weeks due to work, then illness.

The sun will be out (sort of), but temps will be cold. I decide that a ride (solo) from 5 Mile Pass to Eureka is in order. The Polaris has new Elka Stage 4 shocks, new gnarly tires and I'm ready to get outside.

The ride starts off with trails that have been run many times and the snow has turned to ice, so staying in a straight line is tough.

Once I get toward 12 Mile Pass, however - its a whole new ball game and the snow is virgin. No tire tracks at all. Somewhere along the route from 12 Mile Pass to the West of Allen Ranch Road, I slide just enough to hit a rock. I didn't realize my tire had gone flat for a few miles because this tire is TOUGH (despite the sidewall gash).  I pull over, retrieve the air compressor and proceed to inflate the tire in hopes of finding the leak.. it didn't take long to see and hear the air escaping from the massive gash. Bummer. Literally, BRAND NEW tires. 


After 30 minutes of trying to get 5 plugs to hold, I proceed through deep snow via Chilius Pass and down into the West side of Eureka.

It's not near 1pm and I'm ready for lunch. HWY6 Diner is in order. The food and view are both nice.

The return route was uneventful.

Whats the lesson to be learned? At 10F and in deep and frozen snow, even the best tires can fail. Always be prepared to address the issue.



Circleville to Panguitch and Back

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On Friday, 14 August and immediately after ending the work day, my youngest son (Nick, age 17) and I departed for Big Rock Candy Mountain in central Utah.

I had that very morning reserved a room at the BRCM Motel; a place I will likely not stay again. We had an outstanding supper at Hoovers (me: 18 oz Prime Rib, Nick: Burger w/Hoover fries).

While sitting outside the motel enjoying a cigar, I approach a large group a few rooms over and we began discussing trails and riding options. It would seem at least one member of their group recognized me as he had my Facebook profile photo up on his phone.

The following morning, we departed at 0730 to enjoy a quiet breakfast at Butch Cassidys in Circleville. We got there at exactly 0800 when the establishment opened. The waitress, a very nice lady with a thick New York accent went above and beyond, giving me two maps for the Markagunt and Panguitch Loop areas. Score! The drive into Circleville was  spectacular, with the sun just coming up over the mountains. With nobody on HWY89, I pulled to the side to take a few photos:


After concluding breakfast, we went straight up the mountain via the Paiute 01, destination: Panguitch!

Trails covered were as follows:

Paiute 01 --> Paiute 88 South --> Paiute 67 --> Paiute 68 West --> Markagunt trail system South --> cross HWY20 --> Markagunt 02 Trail East --> Unknown trails South and into Panguitch --> Casto Canyon --> Fremont 01 --> Fremont 02 --> Horse Valley/Canyon trail --> Circleville and back to the truck.

Total mileage for the loop was just under 150 miles!


Within just seconds of coming off the Markagunt trail system and hitting asphalt into Panguitch, the sky opened up with rain, lightning & thunder. Our original plan was to fuel up and head into Casto Canyon to make camp (tent) there. Instead, we rolled across the street to "Church's Blue Pine Motel". On the outside, it looked sketchy, but to our delight, the rooms (we had 3 bed, 2 room + bathroom) was totally awesome and clean. It was now near 5pm and time for supper. Usually we'd go to the Cowboy smoke/steak house, but this time we walked next door to Foy's Country Corner restaurant. Nick was brave (or stupid) and ordered Teriyaki stir fry, while I just got a turkey sandwich.

Across the street, we saw the movie theater / ice cream store. Watch a movie while eating Ice Cream. Unfortunately, they only had two movies and neither was appealing, so we opted for ice cream alone.

After a fine cigar sitting outside the Motel room, we watched the sky light up with thunder, lightning and rain. We watched the tourists run about taking photos of virtually everything on Main street.

The following morning (Sunday), we decided to depart by around 0800. Not a cloud in the sky, the day was going to be perfect!

We ran main street / HWY89 to the Casto Canyon trailhead/turn-off and hit the dirt.

Not too far into Casto Canyon, we decided to stop and make breakfast. I broke out my backpacking stove, old canteen cup and our favorite breakfast stuff + some awesome instant Filipino coffee.

20150816_084649.jpgThe rising sun and the reflection against the red/orange Hoodo's was breaktaking!


Slightly more than halfway through, I let Nick take point. I'm thinking he thought it was a race, he tore up the canyon so fast. At one point, he almost got his machine sideways:

At the 2:56 mark, you can see Nick almost get sideways!

Sadly, Casto Canyon is only ~5 miles long. It is interesting to note that to enter, you must go through a super small 50" gate, but to exit at the North end, you have a ~60 inch or so wide gate. I'm wondering how many have entered from the North, only to find they can't exit the south side.

Onto the Fremont trail we continued. With the sky clear and cloudless, the scenery was just amazing.


Somewhere along the trail, we encountered a slightly steep, loose gravel section that required me to tow Nick up. I tossed the winch cable underneath the machine, hooked up, put in 4WD/Low gear and up we went..


What a fantastic weekend to share with my youngest son, Nick. It's looking favorable I'll do this trip again in late September when its a bit cooler out.

Garmin tracks for this trip found here:

3 Months of ATV Follies

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Caution: Some language and gestural profanity involved in this movie.

This is a compilation of at least 3 rides that took place from Aug-November 2013, where the best goof-ups and oopsies occurred. 

ATV Follies III 2013 from Midnight Rider on Vimeo.

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Garmin tracks found here:

128-605 Trails by Bountiful.gdb 


The weather was calling for low 90's, so where else to ride than up at elevation, around 10,000'. I loaded up the Kawi BF 750 and set off for the "B" above Bountiful.


From the staging area, I proceeded due East and straight up the mountain and the 605 trail. Going straight up the mountain on some seriously narrow 2-track, my machine was really working hard. In my location, the trail was so washed out, that I was nearly sideways, having to partially walk with my legs while pushing the machine upright.

A few photos from the 606, 218 and 605 trails:




If you decide to hit these trails, use caution as the downhill's are VERY steep, off-camber and narrow.

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5Mile-Skyline-Ophir-Stockton.jpgOn Saturday, my friend Russ and I decided to pre-ride a route I was contemplating taking my team on. Somewhere along the route, we decided to go way off plan and hit every rugged section we could find.

We staged at the far NE corner of 5Mile pass, then proceeded north to the Skyline drive, then dropped down into Sunshine Canyon before heading toward the MercOphir (yes, I named it that) trail to the top and South of Ophir Canyon. From there, we dropped into Ophir Canyon and rode East to see if the fence was still intact. Sadly, the fence is still there, so we had to run the pavement back toward Hwy73 before heading toward Jacob City. From the top of Jacob City, we continued North down into Soldier Canyon, via the bus and then into Stockton for fuel/drinks.

A few photos from the South side and top of MercOphir, overlooking the Mercur mine:


Running 95 miles in the 5Mile Pass area was quite an undertaking, but it was a blast - especially the last few wicked climbs. As Russ stated so plainly: I'll have to clean out my shorts later"..

After returning to 5Mile Pass, we rode across Hwy73 to hit the challenging sections on the South side. The stair steps, the Boulderdash (yes, I named this too) and a few other good climbs.




GPS Tracks: WhiteSandsWash.gdb

In October, my brother-in-law Ken and I departed for the Green River, Utah area. Our destination was the White Sands wash area - approximately 15 miles South/East of Green River. Our intent was to stay almost two weeks while boondock camping and ride/explore all the nearby trails and areas.


I was told that due to the size of my 5th wheel (43'), that it would be best if I came in via Blue Hills Road, just south of the Moab airport and HWY191; what a mistake. The wash-outs and dips on that graded dirt road caused the rear-end of my 5th wheel to make contact at least 12 times during the ~25 mile drive in. The easier route would have been Floy Wash road, just off I-70. Floy Wash road was only 10 miles to White Sands, with only 3-4 deep wash-outs.


At any rate, after a grueling 2 hours running the ~25 miles down Blue Hills, I finally arrived in advance of my brother-in-law, drove to the top of a mesa overlooking the sand dunes and set up camp.



The weather, other than some wind was holding up quite nicely. I dug a nice deep fire pit, surrounded it with rocks found on the mesa and got my first fire underway.



The following morning, it was clear that a decent breakfast with grill made bacon was in order, so I prepared everything and ate breakfast as the sun came up.




By the next day, many in our group were starting to arrive, including a dually towing a monster Jeep rock-crawler. Sadly, I never got to see the rock crawler leave the trailer or head into the dunes. The others that joined were locals from Moab and knew these trails and the trails around Moab very well.

That afternoon, we saw in the distance a large and very fast moving vehicle. As it turned out, it was a couple from Austria in a global expeditionary vehicle; they were travelling through from Canada to South America on a year-long adventure.




They were so intrigued with Utah, that most of our discussions in German and some broken English revolved around how they could possibly relocate from Austria to Moab and open a German themed restaurant. Fast forward to late December 2012 and I received an email from the couple indicating how much they dislike Mexico and want to come back to Utah.

Day 3 (or 4, I don't recall) and our group loads up to ride the trails to the South of White Sands. In our group are 2x Jeeps, a SxS, a few motorcycles and a few ATV's. We travel about 40 miles that day before returning to camp.




The following morning, we pack up again with our destination being "The Pickle" with the trailhead starting at N 38 42.606 W 109 47.675


According to, the trail is rated an 8 out of 10 for technical challenge and is a favorite for extreme rock crawlers, which made it even more interesting for a short wheel based ATV (mine!).


Just as we entered the trail head, we noticed two guys on ATV following us in. It was apparent they were in above their pay grade the minute we hit our first descent. We helped them as much as possible until the last HUGE drop-off, at which point, we helped them "walk" their ATV's down the descent.




A brief video showing the walk-down..



Shortly after returning from this ride, most of our party departed to head back to Moab or their respective homes, leaving Ken (my brother-in-law) and I on the mesa. By this time, winds were approaching 40-60mph sustained, eliminating further potential for fires or outdoor BBQ'ing. Our plan for the following day was to head north, explore the Green River, then see if we could find the Green River Missile Complex and the "Crystal Geyser" along the Green River.

We took off late morning and found many trails that took us to the Green River, but no option to cross. We then decided to find the Missile Complex (which we did). What an interesting relic from the 60's and 70's and the cold war.





After riding to the edge of the Green River, it was off to the Missile Complex:





After thoroughly checking this location out, we took off to the West to find the Geyser. Sadly, the Geyser never erupted during our ~30 minute visit.




We contemplated riding into Green River for a beer and snacks, but thought perhaps our non-street legal machines would get us in trouble, so instead we turned around and made the ~15 mile ride back to camp.

The following morning, despite the winds and rapidly dropping temperatures, we decided to ride into 10 Mile Wash toward the Green River. The wash is narrow and deep, with the walls towering overhead in some spots as high as 100+ feet.

About 3/4 of the way through the wash, we came to a deep "pond" that we decided to traverse. Little did we know just how deep this "pond" was. Ken went in first on his Yamaha and laid it down for a fraction of a second.. just long enough to allow the bike to ingest over a gallon of water; his machine was flooded out.

We decided that since I had ample tools that we'd dismantle the bike and get as much water out as possible, then figure out next steps. After over an hour of wrenching, we got as much water out as possible and limped the bike out another mile or so, before reaching dry trail. The decision was made that I'd drive the ~20 miles back to camp and return with a gallon of oil and other supplies to do an in-the-field oil change. Sadly, even after putting a full gallon of oil through the machine, the oil was still white and milky. We still decided to ride the machine out and wildly, the machine survived the trek. Just after getting out of the wash, the sky went dark, rain started and the winds whipped up to at least 60mph. What a day!



So now with my Kawasaki broken and Ken's bike no longer rideable, we decided the next morning, we'd pack up and head for home. We will be back..


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3+ Weeks on the trails

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For the entire 2nd half of September and first half of October, I was fortunate enough to get in some camping, fishing, hiking and ATV'ing.


GPSr tracks found here:




05 Oct 2012-Jacob City-Soldier Creek Ride.gdb




I spent the first 7 days between Koosharem, Utah and Marysvale, Utah. My goal was to ride as many "new-to-me" trails as possible while in those areas, with an emphasis on filming and riding the much-touted Barney Lake trail.


The first four days were spent at the Koosharem RV park; a small park that can host approximately 10 RV's. I was quite surprised that I was able to get my massive rolling Marriot into their park.


Day 1, I found myself wanting to go fishing at Otter Creek reservoir. Sadly, the lake was at 50% of its normal water capacity, and I was able to drive my truck across a sand bar that placed me about where the middle of the lake used to be.




With the water as low as it was, I was unsuccessful, but I did still manage to net about a dozen crayfish and boiled them up for dinner that evening (along with a great steak!).


Day 2, and my friend Gary Elias (and wife) arrived to join me. After getting his camp setup, we thought we'd make the ~80 mile round trip to Otter Creek and back. Unfortunately, Gary's diabetes were acting up and we changed course, instead heading toward Monroe.




While leaving Monroe and heading back toward the trails, we saw a couple towing the most interesting camper (with their ATV) that I've ever seen.




Day 3, we decided that we'd make a run at the Barney Lake trail. This trail was known for being brutally steep, rock covered and for advanced riders; it really didn't seem to be any of those (to me), but did have a few decent technical sections.


Barney Lake trail



My favorite trail though had to be the PST65 coming off Monroe Mountain and into the town of Monroe. This trail had tight switchbacks, some interesting terrain and a descent of over 7000' in elevation.




On Day 4, I said my goodbyes to Gary and his wife and departed for Marysvale. I had already phoned ahead and reserved a spot at Lizzie -n- Charlies RV park (easily my favorite RV park in central Utah).


From this location, I rode the Deer Creek 74 trail, the 606, Barney Lake (yet again) and the PST 65 (yet again).




After ~7 days, it was time to return home. Fortunately, for me, another friend contacted me and asked if I wanted to join him in riding from Kanosh to Marysvale (as a day trip). This ride is easily my annual favorite, so I gladly accepted and we departed for the Adelaide campground.




The PST97 "Al Gay" trail and Paiute 01 were our primary destination trails, and neither disappointed.




Sam Stowe


What a great time on the Paiute in September!


So, I'm back home, interviewing for new jobs and trying to find additional trails to ride. Again, the phone rings and my brother-in-law is wondering if I'd take him and his wife riding from Five Mile Pass to Eureka. Sure, I reply - so we head off to the Five Mile Pass area and enjoy a day of riding. Sadly, somewhere en route to / from Eureka, I managed to lose the keys to my truck. Fortunately, I have an awesome wife and she agreed to drive the 45 minutes to drop off my spare (and only remaining) set of keys.


The Snake Charmer trail @ Five Mile Pass


A week or so passes and I again get invited to ride the Jacob City Loop (Ophir, Utah area) with a new friend. We stage on Mercur Canyon road and depart for my secret trail on the south side of Ophir Canyon.


Jacob City Loop


Now, its almost mid-October and again I meet up with another new friend and we ride Little Moab to Eureka. We ride through (from East to West) Black Rock Canyon, then through Chilius Pass and into Eureka for lunch at the HWY6 Deli.




The best section of trail riding in this area is the Dry Lake, Mill Canyon trail. This trail is easily the most technical ride in the entire area.


Mill Canyon


So, its now the 12th of October and I'm prepping for 10 days in the San Rafael Swell, White Sands and Moab. That trip report will be posted later.

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 Where is James King?


Language Translation


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