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ATV Adventures: An ATV adventure on the Paiute ATV Trail System – Part 1

By Lynn Blamires - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Nov 30, 2023
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David Meents of Ogden on his ATV at the overlook on the Sand Rock Ridge Trail.
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Taking a break on the Fillmore Loop Trail.
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Lynn Blamires

Last week, I recounted my longest day on an ATV on the Paiute ATV Trail System. There are two kinds of rides — one where you see a lot of a little scenery and the other where you see a little of a lot of scenery. That ride falls into the latter kind.

I took a ride on this same trail system last September. The ride was 43 miles longer, but it was spread over four days, which was more enjoyable.

This ride was born from a challenge my friend, Wayne Pahl gave me. Wayne lives in Cleveland on the edge of the San Rafael Swell. While there is great riding there, he wanted me to lay out a track for a multiple-day ride. My 270-mile ride on the Paiute came to mind, so I got out my map.

We chose the third week of September. I have a list of people who have responded to my articles I call my riding buddies. These are readers who have expressed an interest in going on rides with me. I sent out an invitation and 12 UTVs and ATVs joined me.

We met in Fillmore in the evening. Anxious for the adventure to begin, we headed out for a night ride to the Meadow Hot Springs. This round-trip made up the first 26 miles of our quest.

We went west over the Interstate 15 overpass and took the frontage road to Meadow. We came back under I-15 as we entered town. Taking the back streets on the west side put us on a dirt road that came to a “T.” Turning right, we followed a dirt road back over I-15 about 5 miles to the hot springs.

Three pools make up these hot pots — evidence of extensive volcanic activity that occurred in this area. Geothermal activity is still present. Of the three, one is hot enough to enjoy year-round while the other two are cool enough to support tropical fish. We enjoyed some time in these pools before going back.

The next morning, we lined up outside our motel to begin the second segment of the trail. The Quality Inn offers a large parking area where we left our trucks for the next three days.

We headed east on 500 South to a “T” where we turned right to go up Sand Rock Ridge on trail No. 03. This is the south leg of the Fillmore Loop.

About halfway up, we stopped to enjoy a view to the west. An information plaque pointed out four extinct volcanos. We could see the extent of their activity.

We joined trail No. 01 where there is a vault toilet. I have learned not to pass a toilet without stopping for a break.

Trail No. 01 makes up the east leg of the Fillmore Loop. The elevation of this section is about 9,000 feet.

I enjoy this leg because the trail dips down through a section of woods and then breaks out onto the ridge where you can see for miles. There are trails along this route that drop down off this ridge that are not on the map. It is just another reason to come back.

I stopped at the junction where trail No. 03 drops back down to Fillmore to make up the north leg of the loop. The view to the east is across Bean Canyon to Beehive Peak. This is the only side of the peak that looks like a Beehive.

With the group together, we started down the third leg. After this trail drops off the ridge, it follows the mountain’s contour. It is cut out of the side of the mountain so you can see deep into the canyon.

At the bottom, the trail follows the beautiful Chalk Creek as it flows toward Fillmore. Along this creek are four campgrounds that make this canyon a destination spot.

The first campground was Pistol Rock where there is a vault toilet. I value my life, so we stopped.

At Copley’s Cove, the trail splits — the 50-inch machines went down a trail with some great water crossings on Chalk Creek. The rest of us took the road and joined them where the trails converged.

We made it into town and stopped at the Maverik where they have non-ethanol gas. We had added another 47 miles to our trip and we still had to get to Marysvale. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down and plan your own trip on the Paiute.

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


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