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ATV Adventures: History and hoodoos at the 15th Annual Bryce ATV Rally

By Lynn Blamires - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Jun 13, 2024
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On the Limekiln Trail, one of the trails offered at the Bryce ATV Rally.
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On the Paunsagunt Rim Trail. This trail is a trail offered at the Bryce ATV Rally and features amazing views into Bryce Canyon.
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Casto Canyon is as close to being in the park without actually being in the park. It is one of the trails featured at the Bryce ATV Rally and has a 50-inch restriction.
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On the Casto Canyon Trail with a view of a stone formation that looks like an Easter Island head. This trail is offered at the Bryce ATV Rally and has a 50-inch restriction.
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Lynn Blamires

The summer is heating up with OHV jamborees that showcase Utah's unique variety of landscapes. Panguitch focuses on the matchless scenery found in the area of Bryce Canyon in hosting the 15th Annual Bryce ATV Rally. The dates are Aug. 13-17 and registration is open at brycerally.org.

The $125 registration is a bargain for what it includes: three breakfasts, two dinners, the choice of a rally T-shirt or hat, and a raffle ticket for a $5,000 cash prize. Passengers pay $100 and children 12 and under pay $75. A breakfast not covered in the registration will be held that Friday. It will be a fundraiser yet to be announced.

The Rally has a cap of 300. That refers to people and not machines. At this time, the Rally tally is at 200 and filling fast. It is important to register quickly because the cap was reached early last year and the fee goes to $135 on Aug. 1.

The rides offered at the Bryce Rally are limited to 25 machines, but riders may take self-guided rides in smaller groups.

Vendors are drawn to these events for the opportunity to show and answer questions about their products. You can take advantage of show specials that are often offered.

Aug. 13 is a travel day for riders with check-in at 3 p.m. and an opening social at 6 p.m. Jamboree headquarters are at the Garfield County Fair Building, 745 N. Main St., Panguitch. The social will also feature bingo at $1 per card.

Rides begin after a 6 a.m. breakfast on Thursday. Because of the large territory covered by this event, rides depart in two groups -- 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. The early departure is for the longer rides.

Thursday also features an ATV parade before dinner at 6 p.m. where all the participants ride through Panguitch to show off their machines. After dinner, a bonus night ride is offered. Night rides are fun because I have a reason to turn on all my lights.

The website includes pictures and descriptions of all the rides. There are trails on the Paunsaugunt Trails by the beautiful Tropic Reservoir, the Markagant Trails in the Dixie National Forest, and the Freemont Trails. Here are my top choices:

Trail No. 2 -- Circleville, Dog Valley

This is a quicker-paced ride along the Freemont trail on a gradual climb up the beautiful Mt. Dutton. Descending into Circleville, lunch will be at a restaurant in town. The return trip will be up into the Beaver Mountains and back into the Panguitch Valley. This a fun ride that has some Western history about Butch Cassidy, who was born in Circleville.

Trail No. 5 -- Pass Creek Loop

Experience trails above 9,000 feet through pine and aspen forests. Then drop down the famous goowiggle and travel through Rock Canyon. Goowiggle is not in the dictionary, but if you google it, Highway 12 pops up. It is a beautiful drive. A stop at Aunt Annie's Cheese House is also in the offing

Trail No. 8 -- Dave's Hollow/King's Creek

Riders trailer 25 miles to Tropic Reservoir. Traverse pink hills, green forests, hoodoos and big meadows while traveling in some of Utah's most picturesque countryside.

Trail No. 9 -- Paunsaugunt Rim/Straight Canyon Loop

Riders trailer 15 miles to Hatch south of Panguitch. The ride goes through Proctor Canyon down to Tropic Reservoir. A run down the East Fork Road brings you to Crawford Pass. Riders will experience a total high-mountain traveling experience as we move from peaks to rivers and Tropic Reservoir. The views of Bryce Canyon on this ride are spectacular.

Trail No. 11 -- Panguitch, Limekiln, West Hunt Loop

This ride has length, elevation, water, trees and sagebrush. From Panguitch, the trail goes through Limekiln to the Fremont Trail down into the West Hunt Creek drainage on a long ride.

Trail No. 14 -- Sanford Creek Loop

This is a leisurely ride of about 50 miles. Starting at Rally Headquarters, the trail goes through green-colored clay containing agate deposits. The trail connects with the Freemont Trail to Sanford Creek where it crosses the creek numerous times to an old lumber mill and a cave.

As I write this article, I see these trails in my mind. This is a favorite area to ride and I have had some great times riding these trails.

When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down, and this is an event I am sure you will enjoy.

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

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