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ATV Adventures: 2nd Annual Arapeen UTV Sunset Ride set for after dark

By Lynn Blamires - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Apr 14, 2022

Lynn Blamires, Special to the Standard-Examiner

A visit to Snow Lake on the Arapeen Trails sits at about 10,000 feet.

After a successful inaugural Sunset Ride last year, the dates for this year’s event have been set for June 24. Among the most beautiful OHV trails to be found anywhere, this ride is designed to appeal to those who ride UTVs with bling and who like to show them off.

The ride begins in Ephraim Canyon from the city of Ephraim at 6:15 p.m. after signing in and feasting on pizza at Roy’s Pizza. The ride will be split into two groups based on machine widths. Those machines with widths of 66 inches or less will be in the Dusterburgs Ride and those exceeding that width will be in the New Canyon Ride.

The Arapeen Trail System has over 600 miles of trail to ride. The trails have three width designations — 50-inch, 66-inch and trails without restrictions.

The New Canyon Trail is a favorite of mine. Leaving Ephraim and climbing the highway is OK, but the adventure begins when you reach the junction and turn down onto the New Canyon Trail.

Starting at that time gives you enough daylight to enjoy the beauties of the canyon before witnessing the peaceful transition to the dark of night. This transition will feature a spectacular sunset and the glories of a starry night — something city folks rarely see. Anyway, that is the plan, weather permitting.

Lynn Blamires, Special to the Standard-Examiner

Crossing a bridge on the Patton Trail, one of the trails in the Arapeen Trail System.

This is when the lights come on. The tall light sticks, while not required, are encouraged. I have seen machines that are impossible to miss because of their bright and colorful light arrays. They are like rolling Christmas trees.

Because of the machine size differences, the two groups will split in the canyon and take different routes through the same amazing mountain scenery. Both groups travel nearly the same route, except for a short 3-plus mile divergent.

At about 9:15 p.m., the riders will stop at a bonfire and enjoy a selection of refreshments and a chance to socialize with the other riders. After leaving the bonfire, riders will turn on their bling and join in a dazzling light parade down the canyon and back into town.

This event is sponsored by Sanpete County and the city of Ephraim. The total cost for this amazing experience is only $20 per person. The New Canyon ride group is already full, but there is still room in the Dusterburg’s group. Registration information is available at utvevents.weebly.com/june-ride.

This is one jamboree that I regrettably will not be able to attend, but look for an article on the Manti Mountain ATV/UTV Run in July — I will be attending that one.

Photo supplied

Lynn Blamires

Those participating are encouraged to stay overnight and enjoy a second day of riding on the Arapeen trails of their choice. Each rider will be issued a paper map of the trail system to use in mapping out their selected routes. A more durable water-proof map is available for $10.

The Arapeen Trail Map is one of the best ATV trail maps I have seen. The trails are well-marked so that you are always able to easily know where you are in relation to the map and understand the degree of difficulty of the trails you plan to take. In addition, the map lays out information on the following:

  • Four routes for day rides that include trail numbers to make a loop back to the starting point and the total miles you will travel.
  • Two overnight rides that will start you in one town and take you to another to spend the night before returning the next day.
  • GPS locations for 52 fishing holes and symbols on the map for a great fishing experience.
  • Suggestions for a photo scavenger hunt to enhance your experience on the trail and to post those pictures on social media.
  • Places to get ethanol-free gas for your machines.
  • Information on where to stay — motels, bed and breakfasts, and RV parks with cabins. Some of these offer discount codes for riders.
  • RV dump and water locations.
  • Forest Service campground reservation information.
  • Information on four geocache locations.
  • Information on historical stops on the trail.
  • Best times to ride the trails.
  • A color-coded trail legend highlighting the restrictions of each type of trail.

It is shaping up to be a summer of fun with these jamborees opening back up. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down and if you stay home, you will miss the fun.

Contact Lynn R. Blamires at quadmanone@gmail.com.

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