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ATV Adventures: Riding in dinosaur country at the Ticaboo Rally

By Lynn Blamires - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Sep 15, 2022
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Riding in the red rock country at Lake Powell.
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Riding among the red rocks near the slot canyon at Lake Powell.
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Dropping down into a wash on the Mount Hillers Loop ride.
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Lynn Blamires

Building on the success of last year’s Ticaboo Fall Rally, the 2022 Fourth Annual Rally is even bigger. Scheduled for Nov. 4-6, this extended jamboree will feature new trails including the Poison Springs Trail. This time of year is the best time to ride the red rock canyons near Lake Powell and the Henry Mountains.

Deluxe rooms are available at the Ticaboo Lodge for the rally. If you would rather rough it, tent camping is available on location. If you want to bring an RV, you can get a site with full hookups. Special rates are being offered for this event, so book ASAP.

Registration is only $50 and includes three days of guided rides and a neck gaiter printed with a map of the Ticaboo Trails. You can take it off to see where you are or just follow the guide. I would just follow the guide. A small donation is included in the registration that goes to the Prehistoric Museum in Price.

Why the donation? Because the rides will include commentary and information from Utah’s own paleontologist, Josh Lively, curator for the Prehistoric Museum in Price. He will be on the rides to give interpretive discussions about the area’s geology and dinosaur history. It adds to the fun of the ride to have his expertise and knowledge.

The schedule for the rally starts on Thursday, Nov. 3. Arrival and check-in will occur throughout the day because of time and distance to make the trip from points north. Depending on the time you arrive, there is a trail you can take on your own to a slot canyon you can drive through. Also there are trails to overlooks of Lake Powell that are worth taking.

Because Ticaboo is in a designated Dark Sky location, a night ride will give you a look at the sky that you won’t see in the city. That is an experience you won’t soon forget.

Meal tickets are available for purchase when you register, they won’t be available at the rally because they need a count. The meals are all catered. You can bring your own lunch for the trail or buy a box lunch for each of the rides on line. At 5 p.m., a spaghetti dinner will open the jamboree.

Friday starts with a catered breakfast at 7 a.m., with guided rides beginning at 9. The Mount Hillers Loop is on tap for one of the rides. I was on this ride last year and it is packed with adventure. The trail follows Shitamaring creek. I did not make that name up. Anyway, at the base of Mount Hillers is the Historic Star Ranch. You will learn about its interesting history on this ride.

Mount Hillers is the third highest of five peaks that make up the Henry Mountains. It was named after John Karl Hillers, chief expedition photographer for John Wesley Powell on his western exploration.

The rock hounding opportunities on this ride are fun. You will find colorful specimens of coprolite, which is also known as dinosaur dung. You will also find gastroliths — dinosaur stomach stones. You will know these by their greasy, smooth feel. There are also fields of petrified wood to discover. After the ride, you will be served a prepurchased barbecue dinner.

Breakfast is served at 7 a.m. Saturday and rides begin at 9 a.m. I was excited to learn that the Poison Springs Trail is included this year. I rode this trail last year and loved riding through the canyon. It has petroglyphs, the name Butch Cassidy carved on a rock, and the source of the Poison Springs. A highlight of this ride is crossing the Dirty Devil River. The name alone is worth the trip. I wanted to ride this trail just to say I crossed the Dirty Devil.

Riders are encouraged to make their UTVs up like dinosaurs again this year. The award will be free lodging at the Ticaboo Resort and to be featured on an AYL broadcast.

Capt. Ray Golden told me last week that the number of registrants was up to 91. The Rally has no cap because the rides are kept to groups of 30. There are three trails planned and three days to ride them so everyone will get to experience the full agenda.

When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down and ride the red rock canyons of Ticaboo when the rocks have cooled down from the summer heat.

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

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