For the last community ride of the season, depending on weather and road conditions, riders will visit either the Hook and Ladder trail or the Orange Trail, said trail leader Clif Koontz of Ride with Respect. The decision will be made later this week. For final details about where and when to meet and which trail will be featured, contact Koontz at 435-259-8334 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All machines must be currently registered and minors must be accompanied by an adult and have their OHV safety certificate. Everyone must bring water, snacks, raincoats, and safety gear, including helmets.
Hook and Ladder
The Hook and Ladder trail gives an historical glimpse into the nearby trading, ranching, mining, and recreation areas. Today, the trail system accommodates all kinds of off-highway vehicles (OHV’s), although a few of the routes are limited to vehicles less than 52 inches wide.
Lying to the east of U.S. 191, 30 miles south of Moab, a highway sign stating “OHV Trail” points up Steen’s Road. One mile up, on the left side, there is a parking area developed by San Juan County and the OHV Program of Utah State Parks.
An intermediate loop follows Old Mail Route north to Agate and Wilson points, and returns along Cameo Ridge. Expert riders can add an easterly loop up El Diablo and down Top Notch, plus some old mining roads farther east. Although the slickrock is tractable, it’s also quite steep in several places. The trail system is only 40 miles long, but the trails are twisty. For many groups, Hook and Ladder is an all-day ride.
The Orange Trail
Historic buildings, sand dunes, geysers, and possibly even dinosaur bones await riders on The Orange Trail, 20 miles northwest of Moab.
This 70-mile loop reaches the town of Green River from Levi Well, which is just off Blue Hills Road. Consisting of both graded and primitive roads, the trail is generally suitable for any four-wheel-drive vehicle with a driver of intermediate skill. It passes other trails that are limited to vehicles less than 50 inches (such as ATV’s) or 40 inches (such as motorcycles). Staying on designated routes will help to protect the trails, and to protect vehicles.
The Orange Trail is located about 7.5 miles up Blue Hills Road. There are a couple small spots to park, but most groups should park near the highway. The trail can be ridden in either direction. To go clockwise, turn left and head west past two water sources that are valuable to wildlife and livestock.
The Orange Trail heads north to White Wash, where motorized travel is allowed on the sand dunes and the slickrock east of the dunes. North of White Wash, the route crosses Salt Wash, and then passes a few geysers that periodically spray cold water up to 100 feet above ground. Dissolved minerals have formed colorful deposits of travertine around each geyser, especially Crystal Geyser.
North of Crystal Geyser, the Orange Trail reaches Interstate 70. Vehicles licensed for street use may cross the interstate to refuel in Green River.
Back on the trail, bear left to follow it clockwise – southeast. Primitive roads wind through hills of the Morrison and Cedar Mountain formations. These rock layers bear many dinosaur fossils across western North America.
Further southeast, the trail goes through Dee Pass, passing a couple of small, stone buildings which were abandoned by uranium miners many decades ago.