Discover Barney Lake on the Paiute ATV Trail

Thursday , August 24, 2017 - 5:00 AM

By LYNN BLAMIRES, ATV Adventures columnist

Each year in January, I review the ATV jamborees planned for the year in Utah. This year, the Paiute Trails Rally caught my attention for more than one reason.

I have attended several of these events and learned a lot about trails in Utah. This one is unique because it doesn’t have a registration fee and it does not feature guided rides. Riders are directed to trails they can explore on their own.

Why was I drawn to this rally when it doesn’t offer guided rides? The Paiute trails are some of my favorite. I have been riding them for years and have become very familiar with the well-marked trails in that system, but I wanted to find some new ones.

Marysvale is situated right in the middle of the Paiute system and is home to the Paiute Trails Rally, sponsored by the South Forty RV Park. Meals are available to purchase and raffle tickets can be bought on thousands of dollars in prizes. Jim and Terri Peterson, who own the RV Park, sponsor several events to bring riders together during the year — and this is one of them. Our little group of four machines made the situation just right for exploring.

Although I had heard of Barney Lake, I didn’t know how to get there. Jim sat down with me and explained why. He said, “There is a sign marking the trail to the lake, but it is only visible if you are riding south, away from Manning Meadow Reservoir. If you ride north toward the reservoir, you will miss it.”

Armed with that information, we turned east onto trail No. 77, headed for adventure. Turning left onto No. 35, we soon picked up No. 02 and began crossing the valley.

Reaching Dry Creek, the trail snaked its way up through a beautiful rock canyon. Climbing several thousand feet, we came out of the sagebrush flats and into the shade of Fishlake National Forest.

We were just less than 9,000 feet in elevation when we turned right onto the main Paiute trail marked No. 01. Turning left onto No. 86, we were headed north and on top of the world. Arriving at Upper Box Creek Reservoir, we stopped for a break, enjoying the quiet beauty of the lake. We were the only ones there.

After leaving the lake, we turned onto the Monroe Canyon Road and soon found ourselves in Manning Meadows. Before approaching the reservoir in the meadows, we stopped at a spring by the side of the trail. This is a place I look forward to every time I am on this trail. I have always found the spring running and the water coming out of the pipe is mountain sweet.

From the spring looking southeast, the roof of an old mountain cabin is visible. I was with a member of the family who owns the cabin several years ago. He took me across the meadow to the front door and told me a story about it.

It seems that Butch Cassidy and his gang spent a night in the cabin back in the day. When the sheriff learned about it, he formed a posse and went after the gang. There was a shootout that left bullet holes in the walls of the cabin. The band got away, but the bullet holes are still there. Is it true? I only have his word, and the bullet holes in the wall.

Making our way around Manning Meadow Reservoir, we found the sign marking the trail to Barney Lake. It was a short ride to a parking area, where we took our lunch and enjoyed a break near the water.

As we were eating, a dog came out of the woods to sniff us out. Protecting our food, we said, “Sorry, Charley.” We soon met his owner, who was fishing at the lake, and found out that the dog’s name really was Charley.

The lake is secluded, beautiful, and worth the side trip. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down, and enjoy the ride to Barney Lake from Marysvale.

Contact Lynn Blamires at

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