I've really been looking forward to laying some tracks on segment 4 of the Dixie route.  I had planned to do it next weekend but it worked out best over Memorial weekend.  This area is rough, rugged, remote...unbelievable though is the quantity of rideable trail, something I honesty didn't expect to find.

It starts up Casto Canyon, ATV track giving way to singletrack, gently gaining elevation amonst killer views.

There's a hidden/unmarked trail veering N called the Hancock trail.  It ascends to well over 9k and is nearly all rideable!

Then it gets interesting...

There is no trail that I could see for the next ~1/2 mile. Riding an open ridge is the scenic way to go.

With some scouting about I found the trail that descends to West Hunt creek, yet more sweet trail.

New carsonite signs, let's hope this means the NFS has blowdown clearing trail maintenance on the books - cause there is plenty of that.

Up towards Adam's Head the route goes.

Most of the world comes into view at one point or another on the way up to the top of the Seviers. TU riders will recognize this landmark.

The area around Adam's head ain't easy. Damn hard actually and I'm still feeling the effects. There is some HAB, and some tree hopping involved. Truth be told, by the time I hit a jeep trail segment I was darn ready for it. At about 10,200' I finally got into some deep snow. Luckily it was early enough in the day it was still frozen - and rideable! No pugs required.

There was less than 2 miles of that before heading off the edge of the plateau down the Snowbank Trail (yes, appropriately named).

Segment 4 is difficult and remote. It stands as mapped. I will encourage any 311 riders to opt to stick to the Fremont trail (really nice ATV route with zero hike a bike) instead of bailing if this stage seems over the top at this stage of the game. If the NFS or me and some volunteers (ahem!) can get up there with chainsaws prior to the event it will be much more enjoyable.

The other piece I wanted to get a read on was the climb out of Circleville (hello Chad, this is for you). I mapped it to go right up the Piute ATV trail. Well, I've had a few close calls with motos out there so the thought of having riders push their bikes up a steep canyon while motos come ripping down didn't sit right, so I found another way. It's in the map below. It's still challenging, but all rideable. You may need to take rest stops though, it's a long ways to climb from Circleville to the Tushars...I'm trying to make that 5k' ascent as direct and rideable as possible.

More pics here in geotagged format

3 Responses to “Sevier Plateau and beyond”
  1. Dave Kirk says:

    Hey Dave,
    Nice scouting trip. Wish I were closer to help with the trail maintenance. One All Wood Trail in southern Utah is enough! Do you think the Tushars will be melted out come ride date? It looked like a fair amount of snow above 10k facing south. At least that’s what it looked like from the pictures. At any rate, I’m looking foward to the challenge.
    Later,
    Dave

  2. Dave says:

    Dave! I didn’t think you were going to be able to make it, glad to hear you’ll make the trip. It won’t disappoint!

    The snow you see in the above pics will be long gone at race time – probably clear in 2 weeks. It is heating up fast right now. The Tushars are a different story though, and we just won’t know until about a week prior. If things are looking too snow laden I’ll have a re-route around the skyline section. The western part of the Tushar section should be fine. Late June might be pushing it for skyline though as it goes over 11k. The Piute that goes over 12.4k doesn’t normally open to ATVs until friggin July 20! The Tushars really hold snow a long time for some reason.

    Here are some image overlays of snow conditions (go here, Dixie Snow, select your date and click redraw to get the latest).

    The Markagunt section:

    From 2-epic web event images

    The Tushars:

    From 2-epic web event images

    I think the Markagunt will be fine by race time, but those Tushars, hmmmmmmmm. Time will tell. FYI the little bit of snow on course SE of the Tushars is where the pics of the post were shot.

  3. Dave Kirk says:

    How could I miss the inaugural ride? I’m as usual cut short on time, but will give it my best. The picture I was referring to was #36, it kind of looked as if it was taken in the direction of the Tushars. You’ve really done a nice job with the web site.

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