Nearly 200 miles on Utah's Paiute Trails

Thursday , October 26, 2017 - 5:00 AM

LYNN R. BLAMIRES, special to the Standard-Examiner

Morning in the sleepy little town of Marysvale dawned clear and cool. I say “little” because during the off season there are only about 400 people who call it home. I say “sleepy” because there is no place to get breakfast in the morning. I say “clear” because there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and I say “cool” only if you were standing still in the sunshine, otherwise it was cold.

The smiles on our faces that you couldn’t wipe off the night before became grimaces as we headed west out of town on the North Beaver Creek Road. We were the Tres Aces and we were on the last day of a three-day ride on the Paiute trails.

Leaving Marysvale we made our way up the north side of Beaver Creek Canyon. More than halfway up the canyon we turned north onto the Kimberly Road (Paiute No. 01). Passing by the Silver King Mine, we came to a junction. The trail splits with trail No. 13 continuing on the Kimberly Road while trail No. 01 heads down the mountain toward the Fremont Indian Museum.

Named after a Forest Service employee who did much to contribute to the development of the Paiute ATV Trail System, the Max Reed Trail has a gate with a 50 inch restriction. The need for this gate becomes obvious as you ride down the mountain – turns are tight and so is the clearance between trees.

The trail was lush and green even on this last day of September. It is a favorite trail of mine as it passes through the beauty of the deep, dark woods. Cement blocks that look like piano keys have been placed at points where the trail crosses Dry Creek to reduce erosion during times when the water is high.

Another 50-inch gate marks the end of the Max Reed Trail at the bottom. From there the trail widens and continues to follow Dry Creek until it comes out at the rest area at the bottom of the canyon near Interstate 70. The day had warmed to a comfortable temperature as our grimaces faded back to grins.

Passing the Fremont Indian Museum on the frontage road, we crossed over Sam Stowe Creek. Passing through another 50-inch gate we began our climb out of the canyon on the Paiute No. 01.

The climb was steep, but the remarkable part of this trail was the strong contrast made as we crossed Interstate 70. We came down from 9,400 feet in elevation through a rich green forest. However, as we crossed the canyon and began our climb, the trail passed through barren rock dotted with the pinyon pines of the desert.

Listed on the map as a black diamond trail for this steep section, we passed Lion Peak and Skinner Hollow before the trail turned west onto Skunk Creek Road and the rating for the trail turned blue. The blue rating meant that the trail was not as difficult as the black diamond segment we had just negotiated.

We turned north at Pole Hill and passed through Chokecherry Hollow. Turning onto trail No. 06 at Indian Flat, the rating for the trail turned to green indicating that the ride would be less complicated.

We picked up speed as we rode down Kanosh Canyon and crossed Corn Creek. Coming out of the canyon, we passed through Kanosh. This is a great place to get gas and groceries.

Continuing through Meadow, we took the frontage road back to Fillmore finishing a ride of just under 65 miles. Our total for our three-day Paiute Trails adventure was 195 miles.

While many of the trails on the Paiute System will accommodate machines wider than 60 inches, the Polaris Aces we were driving qualified for the 50-inch restricted trails. I enjoy the challenge and beauty of the world open to narrower ATVs.

When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down, and plan to do your own discovery on the trails in the Paiute ATV Trail System.

You can email Lynn Blamires at quadmanone@gmail.com.

Sign up for e-mail news updates.

×