Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

May 2010 Utah Spectacular


  • Please log in to reply
50 replies to this topic

#1 DirtyDog

DirtyDog

    Captain Leisure

  • Site Team
  • 3,146 posts
  • LocationEugene, Oregon

Posted 25 May 2010 - 06:26 PM

The plan was to meet Simimike and Stew at the San Rafael Swell on Monday the 17th for some canyonlands exploration. I've driven to Utah many times and to break up the monotony of the drive I usually try to find a new route between Oregon and Utah. Jarbidge is an old mining town in a very remote mountain range near the border of Idaho and Nevada (on the Nevada side). The main access road is from the Idaho side - the road running south from Jarbidge is a high mountain road open in the summer only. I had hoped to make a loop through here but it's too early in the year so I decided to go ahead and do an out and back to Jarbidge on my way to Utah.

Stop one - Salmon Creek Falls Reservoir - there is a decent BLM campground here:

Posted Image

From here its down into the Owyhee Canyonlands - a place that warrants a lot more exploration

Posted Image

There are a lot of great campgrounds down here and I believe they were all free.
  • 0

#2 DirtyDog

DirtyDog

    Captain Leisure

  • Site Team
  • 3,146 posts
  • LocationEugene, Oregon

Posted 25 May 2010 - 06:30 PM

Then up the canyon to Jarbidge. Jarbidge is an old minin town turned popular hunter's outpost. These are some very remote mountains and I'm going to have to take a trip out here in the summer when the roads open up. The citizens of Jarbidge were very friendly. One guy opened an old historic building for me to check out and another invited me into his home and burned a CD for me that contained almost 100 historic images of the town. I even got free coffee out of the deal!

Posted Image


Posted Image
  • 0

#3 DirtyDog

DirtyDog

    Captain Leisure

  • Site Team
  • 3,146 posts
  • LocationEugene, Oregon

Posted 25 May 2010 - 06:39 PM

The next part of my trip was to be the Pony Express trail - over 100 miles of dirt roads in NW Utah just south of the Dugway Proving Grounds. As the name implies, this road follows the route of the old Pony Express trail. The PTE starts in the ghost town of Gold Hill, Utah. In the desert west of Gold Hill there is plenty of open space to set up camp:
Posted Image

Gold Hill:
Posted Image
  • 0

#4 DirtyDog

DirtyDog

    Captain Leisure

  • Site Team
  • 3,146 posts
  • LocationEugene, Oregon

Posted 25 May 2010 - 06:49 PM

The Pony Express Trail for the most part is a very easy (but long) dirt road. However, the west end of it is in the mountains and it was quite muddy when I was there. Clay mud - the bad kind. I almost didn't make it. The PTE has numerous trail markers and historic station remains.

Posted Image


Posted Image
  • 0

#5 DirtyDog

DirtyDog

    Captain Leisure

  • Site Team
  • 3,146 posts
  • LocationEugene, Oregon

Posted 25 May 2010 - 06:52 PM

Fish Springs NWR

Posted Image

Simpsons Spring Station
Posted Image
  • 0

#6 DirtyDog

DirtyDog

    Captain Leisure

  • Site Team
  • 3,146 posts
  • LocationEugene, Oregon

Posted 25 May 2010 - 07:00 PM

The campground at Simpson Springs is pretty nice but I was in for quite a surprise after I setup there. It turns out that the valley directly below the campground is an artillery range in the adjacent Dugway Proving grounds. They were shooting off rounds all afternoon until darkness set in at about 8:30. After I was surprised by the first few explosions, I realized that most of the campers had binoculars or telescopes with them. Apparently watching artillery rounds explode was THE activity at this campground :)

Posted Image


Posted Image
  • 0

#7 DirtyDog

DirtyDog

    Captain Leisure

  • Site Team
  • 3,146 posts
  • LocationEugene, Oregon

Posted 25 May 2010 - 07:09 PM

After PTE I dropped by my bro's place in Salt Lick City for a short visit, then off to San Rafael Swell! First stop is the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

Posted Image

5 or 6 miles beyond the quarry is a spot called The Jump which is a dead end in a box canyon that was used by ranchers to run cattle to the lower canyon. This is a fabulous primitive camping spot. On Saturday night I was the only one there and there is very little trash in the area.
Posted Image
  • 0

#8 DirtyDog

DirtyDog

    Captain Leisure

  • Site Team
  • 3,146 posts
  • LocationEugene, Oregon

Posted 25 May 2010 - 07:28 PM

On my way to meet the guys at exit 131 on I70, I drove the Buckhorn Wash trail. Wedge Overlook is a 6 mile side trip but is well worth the drive. There is developed and primitive camping at the Wedge (see Wedge page for more details on camping)

Posted Image
Buckhorn Wash Pictograph Panel

Posted Image

The pictographs were really neat but even after extensive restoration there was still visible evidence of graffiti and vandalism which is pretty infuriating. Friends don't let friends be rednecks.
  • 0

#9 DirtyDog

DirtyDog

    Captain Leisure

  • Site Team
  • 3,146 posts
  • LocationEugene, Oregon

Posted 25 May 2010 - 07:37 PM

I camped that night at San Rafael Bridge Campground - another good place to camp:


Posted Image

There are a lot of primitive sites in Buckhorn Draw to the west of this campground if you are looking to save a few bucks.


So I got myself into a bit of a pickle here. I found that I had left my awning extender thingy at my campsite in Idaho. I found that it was fairly easy to open the awning by turning the extender whatchemecalit by hand. BIG MISTAKE. Since the awning is spring loaded reversing this process by hand was virtually impossible. It seemed nothing would fit into the eye of the whatchemecalit in a way that would allow it to be turned adequately. I was stuck at the campground with my awning out.

Well lucky for me I had put nuts on my turnbuckles. I don't know what I would have done otherwise:
Posted Image
  • 0

#10 DirtyDog

DirtyDog

    Captain Leisure

  • Site Team
  • 3,146 posts
  • LocationEugene, Oregon

Posted 25 May 2010 - 07:54 PM

I successfully rendezvoused with Stew and the decision was made to head down to Capitol Reef to drive the Cathedral Valley loop. The loop consists of Hartnet Road and Caineville Wash Road. The Hartnet side of the loop starts with a ford of the Fremont River and we thought it a good idea to drive that first to verify the ford could be made.

Stew:
Posted Image
Mike:
Posted Image

Diego:
Posted Image
  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users