Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Paiute Trail in the Snow!

 Come the end of September, most folks park their ATV in the garage under the boxes of christmas lights and ornaments, and curl up on the couch and watch past episodes of 24, the NFL, or (hopefully!) sit with their computer on their laps and read about ATVs!

Well let me tell you, just because the temperature drops and there's some snow on the ground doesn't mean you have to stop riding!

While much of the higher elevation trails are now covered with snow that's deep enough to keep you from comfortably exploring them, and others with many downed trees blocking the trail, there are still many, many miles of trails that are waiting to be enjoyed.

While I'm not a big fan of riding in the mud, there is unfortunately some to be found on the trails between the elevations of damp dirt and snow. But not all that much, and if you are one of those folks that know about the advantages of keeping your tires within the confines of the fenders of your machine it's not all that much of a problem ;-)

So right now there are still way more miles of trails than you have the time to ride, open and ready to be discovered. And I say 'discovered' because with a little bit of snow, every trail takes on a whole new character. There is nothing better than putting the first set of tracks on a trail. And every trail looks like a new one when there's snow on them. Plus, they take on a whole new feel - they are both smoother and more challenging.

Oh, and travel with a friend, because chances are you won't see another rider all day!

It's awesome! Maybe I'll see you out there.......

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dear Mr. Forest Service

Dear Mr. Service, et. al.

For years I have practiced riding behavior that I felt was the best for preserving the wonderful back country environment that I love so much. That meant riding quietly on the trails. It meant staying on the trails. It meant going so far as to not even run overly aggressive tires so not to overly damage the trails and create added erosion. Treading lightly!

For many years I have spent my time attempting to transfer these principles for treating our environment kindly as a duty - a service (so to speak). I hoped that as others realized how important it was to protect our wonderful back country we would see s difference.

I now question why I bothered with any of this.

Several weeks ago I rode one of the most incredible and pristine 2-track ATV trails I have come across in a very long time. It wandered for several miles through incredible country. Unfortunately at one point I came across a gate that stopped my travel by ATV. Although I couldn’t understand the reason for this closure, I obeyed. I even questioned the tactics of other trail users that attempted to show their disdain for the needless closure.

Today I look out and watch it all burn. Yes, it was a lightning strike, a natural cause, but your decision to let it burn has not only cost us taxpayers many MILLIONS of dollars more than if you had put it out when you had the opportunity, but it has now burned through many more acres of pristine wilderness, including the very trail you had closed off to me so I wouldn’t damage the environment. I now question your judgment, and wonder why I bothered not going ahead and riding onward. What difference would it have made in the end? I trusted your judgment and yet I now realize you didn’t have my interests at heart at all. It was merely control.

I more recently took a ride up to what had been a wonderful high country lake only to find it had been fenced off to use by ATVs. No longer could I ride to the shore of this small lake and park my ATV and have lunch with my (handicapped) daughter. It was crudely fenced and gated. And all quite ugly actually. Much uglier than the ATV tracks I’d seen on the shore before. Or even the trash I’d seen there left from campers. I can pick up the trash left by the idiot inbreeds and haul it out. I’m rather certain I can’t dismantle your fence and haul it out without spending some time in a small grey room with free meals. I question you again as to whose interests you had in mind when you made the decision to fence this lake. I’m rather certain if you had my daughter’s and my interest at heart, you wouldn’t have made it impossible for me to get her to the shore. We didn’t eat our lunch on that wonderful shore that day thanks to you. But I left wondering why I paid you to do something so against what I wanted?

I then rode further down the trail only to find several big pieces of machinery working through the forest. They were cutting down trees. Nice trees. Not the hundreds of trees dying to the bark beetle. Nope. These were healthy trees. And the machines went wherever they wanted, leaving tracks much more severe than my ATV ever could. Or all the ATVs I've seen on the trail as a matter of fact! They also left fuel and oil spills – something I know I have never done. I questioned you again. Is this what I wanted? Who wanted this? I rode on the existing trail, keeping the area clean all these times only so you could do this? 

Once again I set out to explore another wonderful 2-track trail I had ridden just last year. When I got to the trailhead, it had been, ah, changed. Once again, you had spent my hard-earned money to close this trail to my use. But you didn’t just set a gate to limit travel. Or even a 50" gate to limit the type of vehicles. Nope. You used a piece of heavy equipment and destroyed it. And scarred this beautiful area. Once again you spent my hard-earned tax dollars doing more damage to the environment to keep me out than I could have done in many years of riding the trail!

Shame on you! I hired you to manage this great backcountry area for my kids, and myself and even paid you well to do it. Let me also remind you that while I may someday get older and have to stop working, when you stop working for me (us), we will continue to pay you! How can this be?

How can I have hired someone who works so against me rather than for me?

I question you. Why is it that I’m such a bad person that you must close trails to my use, only so you can then let then burn, bulldoze them over, rape them, or let dying cattle lay on them and rot? Oh, that’s right! I struggled to get to the fencing I paid to have you install, having had to ride past a rotting, maggot-infested carcass of a dead cow. Don’t remove that. Nor the trash. Just spend thousands of my tax dollars building an ugly fence to keep me out!

So let me get this straight. I pay you, but you tell me what I can and cannot do? I pay you and yet you do not protect the riding areas that I want preserved? I pay you, but yet you call me bad on the environment? All this while you destroy trails with bull dozers rather than let me ride on them, let fires burn through pristine trails, all the while costing me more money than I wanted to spend had you put it out when it started, rather than let me ride on them? I pay you to build fences around lakes rather than let me ride to them? And this while knowing full well that cleaning up the trash would cost less, and look better than what you did?

I didn’t hire you for this! How long would Home Depot remain in business if you went in and paid for the material to rebuild your kitchen and although they took your money, they said all you could do was have new dishtowels? Or worse yet, hired a contractor to remodel your kitchen and they put up barricades to keep you out. They tore down your kitchen while you ate TV dinners in the family room? I say not long.

So let me get this straight one last time – I can’t ride there, but you can bulldoze it, fence it, cut it down, let rotting carcasses lay, and burn it all down, and that’s okay?

And through all this, you want me to pay you? How do you sleep at night?


Maybe two!

Yes, two!

Monday, July 19, 2010

EV's - The future of the Trails

If you haven't read the ATV Television Blog entitled, "I've seen the future" please do. That way you'll understand this one much better.

I now have sitting here outside my office, a new Polaris Ranger EV (Electric Vehicle). And guess what? It is quiet! So quiet that I can here my passenger talking to me. And I can answer back without ending up hoarse. In fact it's so quiet I can here the stream flowing beside me as I drive along. I can also here those dastardly fossil fuel powered wheelers coming long before I can even see them.

I can also here the wind in the trees, the deer running up the bank, and the sound of thunder off in the distance. I hear the birds singing and the rocks from the tires flipping up into the air.

I can also see the smiles on the faces of all (okay most) of those that pass by. I see wildlife startled at not hearing me coming from far away.

And I see the future of back country travel where peace and love abound. Okay, whoa, that went a bit far, but I do see a future where vehicle travel disrupts the forrest and the community around the forrest far less than now.

Of course there's a lot of things that just don't work on the EV, for one, it's slow. For another, it doesn't go very far.

But what I do see is the advantages of the quiet operation of a UTV. Perhaps we need to mandate electric vehicles for operation on all our trails?

Or maybe all we need to do is ride more responsibly on what we have.

Slower, quieter trail use is an amazingly wonderful experience I can assure you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Treading Lightly on our Trails

"We ride to have a great time, not to make great time." (An adaptation of a comment from Sally, in the movie Cars!)

When it comes to the promotion of trail systems there seems to be endless amounts of energy and resources spent getting people to come see it and ride it and far less thought given to who exactly is being invited to experience that particular paradise. It seems more than short-sighted, perhaps even irresponsible to promote an area without giving due thought to the impact that promotion has on the environment.

Whoa, what's this(?), an off roader that's worried about the environment? Ha! Now there's an oxymoron! Well, it shouldn't be. Us so-called 'off-roaders' should be very concerned about the environment we enjoy. We need to be increasingly careful in our use of the great back country that we love to explore so that we can continue to enjoy it into the future - the future where our kids and grandkids will be able to enjoy it too! The key word here is 'sustainability!'

It seems rather obvious that some trail users are considerably more harmful on the trails, to the trails, to the surrounding areas, and therefore most especially to our desire to keep our wonderful trail systems open! Who you ask are these harmful users? It seems so obvious it shouldn't need to be said.

First let me say it's not necessarily always a 'who' that's bad for the trails, but more often a 'what'. And like in so many cases, these are generalities. That means that there are exceptions to each. So if you're reading this and you're the 'exception' don't tell me, tell all the others that you are the exception from!

* Speed is bad. Speed of course is a relative term, but there is a point where too much speed is not only extremely dangerous to other trail users but also to the trail itself, as the spinning and sliding tires dig up the trails causing more dust, more ruts, and more erosion. Speed and dust is also known to be a rather unpleasant greeting to other trail users.

* Which means that sport quads are bad. Although it's not impossible to enjoy scenic trails on a sport machine, the typical sport ATV rider is usually more concerned with enjoying the thrill of riding than being thrilled, enjoying the ride.

* So too are most motorcycles. They necessarily require more speed to ride and their single rear tire spins most of the time leaving a smaller and more pronounced rut. Someone once mentioned that the fewer driven wheels a vehicle has, the more damage it does to the terrain. It may also be said that the fewer driven wheels a vehicle has, the less the operator is looking around enjoying the scenery.

* Aggressive tires are also destructive to the trails. We've tested plenty of different tires and types of tires over the years and the outcome was always that deep-lugged mud and snow tires were not only unnecessary for regular trail riding but not even necessary for mild mud or snow conditions. Of course non-spinning aggressive tires may well do less damage than the mad spinning of more regular treaded tires.

* Noise. Loud machines are irritating to everyone from other campers nearby, home and property owners you pass along the way, and of course the wildlife. And let's not forget to mention the interruption to the serenity of anyone stopped along the trail enjoying the scenery.

* Trash. It never ceases to amaze me how selfish or just plain ignorant many people are concerning trash along the trails. Do they not see it or do they just not care about seeing it. So I'll assume that those not concerned with the beauty of our trails are not concerned with riding beautiful trails. In which case I say stay home.

Did I sound mean, or selfish? Let me just say one more time that the key to being able to continue to ride our trails is sustainability. Keep them clean, keep them environmentally friendly, and keep the other trail users happy.

Of course I imagine if you are reading this I'm preaching to the choir - so-to-speak.

Happy trails -

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Paiute Trail Guides

Well, we did it! We finally made the leap and decided to offer our services as guides on the Paiute Trail system.

We'll keep you up to date as we get more information ready.

Until then —

Monday, July 5, 2010

"Secret Trails"

There are few experiences that I enjoy more than exploring new areas, finding new trails, and seeing new sights! Although it's true that the changing weather and the passing of time can change often-used trails enough to make them a new experience, there is just nothing like traveling over a trail that hasn't been ridden by the crowds!

And so it was that I rode a trail that was not only new to me, but was trackless and most likely had not been ridden by anyone since at least last summer.

A secret trail!

Like many, the 'secret' part of the trail dead ends after just a couple miles, but when put together with the trails to and from can still make a 25 mile loop and a wonderful way to spend 6 hours.

We'll keep you informed as things develop, but we continue to work on a plan to offer a guide service so that those of you that want to explore the same Paiute area trails you've seen us ride, can. We hope to not only be able to take a few riders up to some of the best trails we've found, but also some of those 'secret' trails we've discovered.

Stay tuned —

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Paiute Trails are Opening UP!!!!

We've been spending more time on the trails now that things are warming up!

And that also means that if you have tires that extend out past your 'protective' fenders you're gonna get dirty!

But there are also a lot of the trails that are 'mostly' dry and beautiful as only Springtime in the mountains can be.

But be careful as with the trails very wet they are easy to tear up with aggressive tires and aggressive riding. So please TREAD LIGHTLY.

There are great things about every season on the high country trails. While Fall is overwhelming in its beautiful colors, and Summer is the chance to get up out of the heat of the lower elevations, Spring is the season for budding trees and grasses, and the runoff, which means water everywhere and oftentimes quite challenging stream crossings!

Stay tuned as we prepare some more trail pictures...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Deer Creek Trail Conditions

The snow is finally melting at the lower elevations. If these pictures don't make you want to ride, you should sell your ATV!

But it's leaving plenty of downed trees that need to be removed.

Fortunately there are plenty of 'early explorers' willing and eager to put the first tracks of the season on the trail. (Same spot with the tree removed)
But why is it that the snow lingers the longest on the trail?

Although currently only open about 5 miles up, Deer Creek is still a beautiful ride!
Please remember that if you are riding beyond the last rider's tracks, please stay on the existing trail!

All these wonderful photos are courtesy of the Lone Rider.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Paiute Trail Picture(s) of the Day

Another picture from the Lone rider's exploration of the Dry Creek Trail. We are so thankful that some people take time out of their busy schedule to explore the trail conditions so that others can sit around and wait for the absolute 'perfect' trail conditions thereby not having to ride one day more, or one mile longer than absolutely necessary ;-)

This is a waterfall from the heavy snow run off. Gee, it's too bad more of us aren't needed to check out trail conditions. . .

Paiute Trail Picture of the Day

Here's a picture from the trail heading up Dry Creek. It's approximately a mile from the 02 and 01 trail intersection. With temperatures in the upper 60's in the lower towns, the snow is receding fast. But there's still enough snow at the higer elevations to keep all the really good high country trails closed. At least to everyone without 'TRACKS!'

We're gonna have some very serious stream crossings this season!

Picture courtesy once again from the Lone rider.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Paiute Trail Picture of the Day

Spring is in the air in the Paiute Trail country! Temperatures in the upper 60s and the snow and mud off of the lower elevation trails. Let the riding begin!
Picture courtesy of the Lone rider.

2010 Events on Utah's ATV & UTV Trails

2010 Events on Utah's ATV & UTV Trails:

Information on each event is available on the Internet. The following is a list planned for 2010 in order of their occurrence:
The Rally on the Rocks, May 12-15: The fourth annual Rally on the Rocks is the premier UTV event is held in Moab, Utah. MORE INFO

The National ATV Jamboree, June 21-26: The oldest jamboree in the nation is held in Fillmore. The $130 fee includes a hot breakfasts and dinners every day, maps and a jamboree T-shirt. Trails on the Paiute ATV Trail system are featured as well as some desert destinations. Registration is limited to 500 riders and discounts are available to couples and groups. MORE INFO
The Paiute UTV Jamboree, Aug. 12-14: The second annual Marysvale jamboree primarily for UTVs is staged in Marysvale. A unique feature of this event is that no registration fees are charged. You can choose to order a shirt and meals, or not. MORE INFO
The Manti Mountain ATV Tour, Aug. 13-14: This event includes a T-shirt, dinner, two lunches, and two days of riding on the Arapeen trails above Manti for $50. MORE INFO
The Arapeen ATV Jamboree, Sept. 6-10: This event featuring trails in the San Rafael Swell and on the east side of the Arapeen Trail system is staged from Ferron. The $120 fee includes continental breakfasts each day, two dinners and a T-shirt. Two additional dinners are available at $10 each. MORE INFO
The San Juan ATV Safari, Sept. 16-18: Blanding is the host for this festival featuring trails in the Blue Mountains and surrounding canyons. Fees are $100 per rider with special rates for groups. MORE INFO
The Rocky Mountain ATV Jamboree, Sept. 20-24: The largest ATV festival is sponsored by Richfield. Registration is $150 per rider and is limited to 650 participants. Fees include daily continental breakfasts, two dinners and a T-shirt. This jamboree features trails in the Paiute trail system and others in Central Utah. MORE INFO

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Call Someplace Paradise and Kiss it Goodbye. Eagles, The Last Resort.

Call Someplace Paradise and Kiss it Goodbye. Eagles, The Last Resort.

Let me introduce you to someone I met last summer in a small Utah town. You see, Kenny has the enviable lifestyle of actually living right on the Paiute Trail! I mean it, right on it! Okay, actually he stays at one of the resorts that borders the actual trail so he has to ride a side trail to reach the actual Paiute Trail. But he still can jump on his ATV in the morning and ride it to breakfast, or to the gas station, or just about anywhere for that matter. Maybe that’s why his Rubicon has somewhere over 11,000 miles on it!

Other than living on the Paiute Trail and riding all the time, he’s really a lot like the rest of us. But I get ahead of myself. I don’t really think that applies here, but I like the way it sounded. But I get ahead…..whoops, I guess we’ve already covered that.

What Kenny and I, and hopefully the rest of us all have in common is that we love this country - and we love to explore the back roads and trails of this great country. When I blogged about trail abusers, Kenny quickly let me know his pet peeve.

So in his own words:

First Doug, thanks for allowing me the opportunity to voice my opinion and express my feelings here in your blog.

I am very fortunate to live in a state that allows me to drive my 4wd truck and ride my ATV on thousands and thousands of miles through some of the most breathtaking country anywhere.

I also consider myself to be very, very fortunate to live right in the center of the greatest ATV trail system in North America — the Paiute Trail.

Without question, the single most appalling, offensive, and disturbing thing that I come across while enjoying some of mother nature’s most spectacular scenery and the greatest ATV trails is all the garbage that’s left behind by what must be the biggest ingrates there are! What makes it even worse is that we are forced to share our oxygen supply with them!

Barney Lake is one of the most scenic and picturesque places on the Paiute Trail system.  Last October my wife and I took a ride over Marysvale Peak to view this spectacular high-country lake while being surrounded by the brilliant fall color; truly a slice of heaven!

While we were at the lake’s edge eating our lunch I was just looking around. I was appalled by the amount of trash that was left behind by others.  Someone even took the time and effort to hide their empty beer bottles under some low-lying pine branches as if that made it okay.  How much more or LESS effort would it have taken to just toss the bottles in a bag and take them back home with them?

One more thing while I'm venting. I smoked for over 30 years and I always doused my butts and put them in my pocket, I carried them in, so I carried them out. I’m not dissing smokers, but PLEASE be considerate enough to take your butts home 
with you!

What is it with these people who disrespect our most sacred public lands?

Can anyone help me understand this type of behavior?

Now it’s my turn to thank you Kenny! Thanks for picking up behind the losers in this world that don’t care enough to ‘care enough.’

My own story goes like this; I was on a very little used trail high in the mountains where I often take my daughter. We call it God’s Place for it’s unbelievable beauty and incredible views. One day we headed up this small trail only to discover a couple hunters off of their ATVs and scoping for game. I’m not sure what season it was and it really doesn’t matter I guess. We rode on to a different spot with a lesser view. On our return, we noticed that the hunters were gone so we rode up to the top of the hill only to find their trash they left behind. Pudding cups, juice drinks, and a few other items were strewn about. It was disgusting. It was thoughtless. It was a crime. And it was just another example of why we should close down the backcountry to these idiots.

But wait! How do we tell the difference between those idiots and the rest of use? How can we distinguish between those of us in the choir and those dwelling in the dark alleys of morality?

I was talking to a good friend a few years back. He was a CHP (California Highway Patrolman). I don’t remember the exact subject we were talking about other than it being about idiot drivers. He commented to me that unfortunately it’s not against the law to be an idiot. It’s a sad commentary but regrettably the truth. It’s why our country is in the problem it’s in. Nobody cares. You can’t see it from my house. What’s it to you? Mind your own business! Deal with it!

While being an idiot isn’t against the law, it is against the law to shoot them. Go figure!

So here’s my solution. It’s based on a principle put forth by the comedian Gallagher a few years back. His idea for dealing with idiot drivers was to issue everyone a dart gun that shot little flags. When you saw an idiot driver you shot them with your little flag gun. When they got three flags the police would pull them over and give them a ticket.

My idea is similar. First, there has to be a responsible group to do the policing. That’s us. Then, when we see idiot behavior, or just idiots, we shoot them………………I know that part sounds great, but I was thinking maybe it should just be with a paint gun. With permanent and irremovable paint of course! When they get back to civilization, if they have more than two colors on them (or their machine), they lose their right to ride for a year.

Or how about this? What if those of us in the choir all get issued cards, red cards that show us as responsible trail users. And that gives us the right to disable any off road vehicle that we see damaging the environment or harming our privilege to ride the backcountry.

Okay, perhaps all I’ve done is use more words to get back to Kenny’s original question, “Does anyone understand what’s going on here?”

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Another great-looking trail North of the Paiute Trail system

Here's yet another ride north of the Paiute Trail in Sanpete County that looks like a great one to explore:
Click on the page to enlarge —

Friday, April 2, 2010

Log Maple Canyon Loop

Here's a ride north of the Paiute Trail in Sanpete County that looks interesting:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Paiute Trail Overview

The Paiute Trail —

Located in South-Central Utah, the Paiute Trail connects the towns of Salina, Richfield, Aurora, Elsinore, Monroe, Joseph, Koosharem, Marysvale, Junction, Circleville, Beaver, and others. These small towns make a great place to use as an access point to explore the trail. The towns all cater to the recreational crowd so there are many RV parks, small motels, Bed & Breakfasts, and in a couple of the larger towns large motels. ATV's are allowed on many designated city streets that will allow access to the trail. With plenty of Camping, Hotels, Restaurants, Services, and ATV rentals available. 

The Paiute Trail system was designed to provide an enjoyable and scenic ride through scenery of unimaginable beauty. The trail system was formed by connecting old roads and trails that cross the Fishlake National Forest along with additional BLM-administered land. Additional sections of trail were constructed to complete the interconnecting main #01 trail loop. The main #01 trail is approximately 250 miles long, with well over 1000 miles of marked side trails and with more than 8000 miles of additional side forest roads and trails that are open to ATV, UTV, and other recreational vehicle use.

 The Paiute Trail was developed in an effort to provide miles of scenic recreational, family-oriented riding through the beautiful Utah mountains. The main loop of the Paiute Trail, the #01, could typically will take about 25 riding hours to complete - and that's without stopping to take in the scenery or exploring any of the many incredible side trails. It's best to plan to take a minimum of three to four days, but even several weeks may not be enough to satisfy your desire to explore this incredible country completely.

The Riding Season —
The weather in the area around the Paiute Trail system begins to warm up in April but the higher elevations may not be free enough of snow to ride until LAte June or even July. Sometimes the amount of snow in the highest elevations will keep those trails impassible as late as August. September and October will provide some of the best riding weather on the Paiute Trail. At this time of year the days and nights can be cool, but the chance of precipitation is less than the earlier months. Another big plus to the fall months are the trees turning color. After October storms may begin to close some of the upper portions of the trail or at least make riding unpleasant for all but the most prepared riders.

Things to Consider Before Heading to the Paiute Trail —
Most visitors are astonished at the massive nature of the trail system and the remoteness of some of the areas that the trail passes through. Because of this, some folks have expressed their concern about the dangers of encountering bears and mountain lions, along the trail. Although there are some of these animals in the area, they are typically wary of humans so unless they are protecting their young they should be of little concern. This doesn't mean you shouldn't show the proper precautions, but with the practice of keeping your food supplies inaccessible to wildlife. Without using a guide, your chances of seeing a bear or lion are extremely small. In fact, many locals who spend much of their time in the Utah mountains would love to sight either animal.

Many other species of wildlife however, are much more common and encountering these can actually enhance your experience on the Paiute Trail. Mule deer are common to the area and can be seen on any part of the trail, particularly at dusk. The Fishlake National Forest is also home to large herds of elk. At times the deer will stand and watch you long enough for you to get your camera out for pictures. Elk are more wary, so when you spot them it's best to already have the camera ready. To view or photograph these animals, stop your ATV but leave the engine running and remain on the vehicle. Some animals will be curious and may watch you for several minutes. However, changes in sound or sudden movement will startle the animals. 

Some areas around the Paiute Trail are popular wintering areas for both golden and bald eagles. Some remain year-long so it's quite possible to see one of these incredible birds as you travel along the trail. Other animals often seen along the trail include coyotes, ground squirrels, chipmunks, and numerous species of birds. There are also areas where you can witness beaver dams and woodchuck communities. 

Skunks and rattlesnakes are also present in the area. If you encounter one in the middle of the trail, common sense should tell you to stay your distance until it decides to leave or you can find a safe route around. Then you can use the encounter to spice up the description of the trip to the folks back home.
Some wildlife is only wild to those unfamiliar with the area. There are many grazing cattle throughout the area the Paiute Trail passes. Trail riders must realize that most of the trail system is on public lands where ranchers have permits to graze their cattle. Consequently, you may see cattle on practically any part of the trail. When encountering cattles on the trail, simply reduce your speed and continue driving. They will get out of your way. Some cows may even think you are there to herd them and stay on the trail ahead of you for some time. Be patient, they will eventually get out of your way. On the other hand, remember that these cows are someone's property, so do not harass then unnecessarily.

Because there is grazing, there are gates along the trail separating pastures or land ownerships. Always leave these gates as you find them; open if you find them so, or closed if they were closed when you arrived. On many parts of the trail gates are being replaced by cattle guards, some especially designed for ATV's, to make your trip easier.

At places, the Paiute Trail passes through sections of private land. All of the main loop and some of the side loops follow legal rights-of-way across these parcels of private land. When crossing private land on a right-of-way, remember not to trespass on someone else's property.

There are several factors that should be considered in planning a trip to the Paiute Trail. The elevations along the trail range from around 5,000 feet to passes at around 11,500 feet above sea level. An important factor caused by the high elevation is the rare atmosphere and low oxygen levels. People with respiratory problems or heart conditions should be aware of the potential for difficulties because of this thin air. People coming directly from near sea level must be aware that their physical stamina will be limited until they become acclimatized.
Another very important factor that's caused by the thin air at the trail's high elevations is the fluctuations in the temperature. With over a mile of difference between the high and low points of the trail, there can be as much as a 20 to 30 degree temperature difference along the trail. Secondly, it is not uncommon for there to be a 40 degree temperature change from morning to night. This fluctuation in temperature is very important for those planning to camp along the trail to consider. Along with these temperature fluctuations is the fact that it never really gets all that warm at 11,000 feet. As a result you should always carry warm clothing even if the weather appears mild at the start of a ride.

Pre-planning is the key to a successful trip. Once you embark on the trail, you are in a different world with few support services. It is important that you have everything along with you that you might need. This includes having enough fuel to get from one  service station to the next. It is important to remember that although there may be a thousand other people riding the trail at the same time as you, the trail system is so extensive that you may go for hours or even all day without ever meeting anyone.

If you are planning to camp along the trail, you'll need to be able to carry everything you'll need to camp on your vehicle. There are plenty of great camping spots along the trail. Campfires are permitted except during periods of extreme fire danger. Remember to only burn dead and downed wood. Make sure that the fire is completely out before you leave. And it's important that you clean the campsite so it looks as if though no one has been there. Always leave it better than you found it.

If you are planning to stay in motels it is important to plan ahead and make reservations. Most of the towns along the trail are small and motel accommodations are extremely limited. Eating establishments are also limited in the smaller towns. You also might also want to find out ahead of time where ATV's can be repaired in case you have trouble on the trail.

OHV Regulations on the Paiute Trail — The State of Utah and local towns have laws that regulate OHV use. All OHVs owned by residents of Utah must be registered yearly with the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation. Non-residents must purchase Utah's non-resident registration permit to ride on public lands in Utah (unless they're currently registered in a state that offers reciprocity with Utah). A list of states that we reciprocate with are listed on Utah State Park's website. There are a number of locations throughout Utah (and even in a few cities just outside of Utah) that can sell these permits. That information can be found at their website.

The State of Utah recognizes three age classes with respect to driving OHV's. No one under eight years old may operate an OHV on public roads, trails, or lands. Drivers age eight through sixteen years old must possess an OHV education certificate issued by the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation. All drivers 18 and under must wear a helmet and be accompanied and supervised by an adult driving an OHV.  OHV drivers sixteen and older must possess a valid drivers license or an OHV education certificate. Education certificates are issued to anyone eight years or older who completes the Utah Department of Parks and Recreation OHV education course. All OHV's must be equipped with mufflers to prevent sparks which might start fires and to prevent the disturbance of others. ATV's must stop at all stop and yield signs and must travel with headlights on. Operators must travel on the right-hand side of the road, on the pavement in single file.

Most towns along the Paiute Trail have ordinances that permit OHV travel on their streets so that you can access the needed supplies and services in that town. These ordinances designate which streets are open to OHV travel and under what conditions. Streets open to OHV's are typically signed in the towns, and are shown on the Paiute ATV Trail map. In many towns, and trails that lead into the towns, the speed limit for OHV's is posted. It is very important to remember that there are many local residents living along the trail that must put up with the increased OHV traffic during the season. Please respect them and their rights.

We will have more specific information on the best trails, best places to stay, and other important things you'll need to know to make your trip to the Paiute Trail a true "Adventure of a lifetime!"

In the meantime check out our Paiute Trail videos!

And our Adventure Preparation Series!
Adventure Prep

Until then - plan your trip carefully!