ATV Adventures Fish Creek Crossing

The spring runoff made the Fish Creek Crossings more challenging.

The plan was to take a night ride on the Paiute ATV Trail System. The problem was that we were unsure of the route.

Rather than getting lost in the dark with a bunch of people following the leader, we decided to go a week early and lay out the track during the day. It just makes the leader look like he knows what he is doing.

We started our night ride out of Richfield at nine in the morning. Passing the big pink water tower, we began our climb up the mountain on Paiute Trail #4.

It was one of those days where the deep blue sky was getting brighter as the sun was coming up. The wind that blew cool through our hair was just warming as the morning stretched out before us.

We reached the junction with Paiute Trail #01. Heading south, we passed through Burnt Hollow.

I was introduced to a trail that I had never ridden before. I always enjoy riding the old trails I am familiar with, but it is a treat to find a new one.

This one was going to the same place I wanted to go, but it went further up on the mountain. The track took us through beautiful stands of aspen and meadows that were bursting with wildflowers.

This side trail is marked #1661. It takes off from the #1 and rejoins it before you get to Mud Spring.

Near there, we turned onto Watts Mountain Road and continued south. This trail goes down into Joseph, but we were not ready for that. Our leader, Mike Brooks wanted to try another new trail.

Well, okay, I was excited about that. The problem was that it was not nearly as pretty as the other new trail we had been on this morning.

However, while the trail was not as fun, we were riding through Coyote Flat past Coyote Canyon. Now that was pretty cool. If it had been a name like Unremarkable Flat or Mediocre Springs, it would not have been so cool.

We came back out near the Millard and Sevier County lines. We had been on a loop that brought us back to the road into Joseph. This time we dropped down off the mountain and rode into town.

Stopping at the Flying U filling station and convenience store, we picked up a couple of orange sodas to go with lunch. Finding a picnic table in the shade we sat down to eat. I was curious about the name of the station. I am used to stopping at the Flying J.

With tempered tummies, we headed south out of Joseph. Following Old Highway 89, we passed through Graveyard Hollow and turned into Clear Creek Canyon.This is #76 and it goes by the Fremont Indian Museum.

Passing under Interstate 70 again, we turned west. This track runs next to the freeway for several miles and through an area that was devastated by a forest fire a few years ago. The trees were not harvested, which made for an eerie ride. The dead trees stood, stripped of bark with grey, boney fingers pointing to the sky.

We dropped down into the Fish Creek crossings. As I had suspected, the wet spring had changed the course of the stream. The track had changed a little, but it was not hard to follow. The stream was carrying a higher volume of water, which made the crossing that much more fun.

Making the final crossing, the trail makes a steep climb out of the river bottoms and heads north. This section is fun and fast. I always enjoy riding this trail.

The trail descending into Richfield passes a low ridge made up of a layer of whitish rock topped with a layer of reddish sandstone caps. As the light of the setting sun hit these caps, they took on gargoyle like shapes glaring with some kind of warning.

It wasn’t long before I figured it out. I have a packing list that I follow sometimes strictly follow in preparing for a trip.

On the last trip there was no rain in the forecast so I didn’t pack rain gear – it rained. This time I figured that we weren’t going that far so I didn’t pack extra gas – we ran out a mile away from the station. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down, and plan your night rides during the day.

Lynn Blamires can be reached at Quadmanone@gmail.com.

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