ATV Adventures: Travel the trail to Cedar Point | News, Sports, Jobs

Lynn Blamires, special for the standard examiner

Overlooking Poison Spring Canyon from Cedar Point.

Garfield County is one of the least populated counties in the state, but it is also one of the most picturesque. Two of the most scenic roads in the country pass through this county.

Scenic Byway 12 – Utah’s All-American Road – is ranked in the Top 10 Scenic Byway in America by Car and Driver magazine. This unique route winds through slippery rock canyons, red rock cliffs, alpine mountains, national and state parks, and quaint rural towns.

Scenic Byway 143, nicknamed Utah’s Patchwork Parkway, follows the historic migration route used by the ancient Anasazi. In 1864, the pioneers took this road to Parowan, forced to walk on quilts to avoid sinking into the deep snow at the start of winter. Their goal was to obtain the flour they so badly needed to save their colony from starvation. The now famous Quilt Walk is an annual celebration in Panguitch and is the reason for the ring road’s nickname. This county also includes the famous Hole-in-the-Rock Pioneer Trail and the beautiful Burr Trail.

The landscape is so rugged that it is amazing that we have roads that touch the heart of this spectacular hinterland. One is tempted to take one of the many dirt roads that branch off from these highways. You can go to a remarkable viewpoint or a narrow canyon, but they should not be taken on a whim. The news is full of people who had not planned a particular adventure in the backcountry.

No less scenic are Highways 95 to Blanding and 276 to Bullfrog Valley. We disembarked at kilometer 20 of Highway 95 south of Hanksville to get to Cedar Point. This is the same location we organized to hike the Poison Springs Canyon Trail to the Dirty Devil River.

Lynn Blamires, special for the standard examiner

Looking down on the Dirty Devil River from Cedar Point.

Our starting point was on the west side of the highway. Riding east, we crossed and passed Lone Cedar Reservoir – a run-of-the-mill pond that I might have missed if I hadn’t seen it on the map.

Our drive to the point was pretty flat, but it carved a trail through a cedar forest which was anything but boring. We came across a lot of dead cedars scattered grotesquely on the ground. This is the kind of place that would be scary to walk through late at night, lit only by the light of a full moon.

Interestingly, this area is officially recognized as an International Dark Sky Park. This means that there is no light pollution you need to mitigate to see what the sky really looks like at night. I would like to see the starry splendor of a moonless night sky.

We continued our journey to the point, which was only 900 feet higher than where we started. However, nothing we saw along our way to the point prepared us for the panorama that opened up before us when we reached our destination.

It was the end of the course because we couldn’t go any further. The point we stopped at gradually fell to the edge of a cliff with a view of the Dirty Devil River far below. We didn’t want to ride to the edge as there was no trail.

Lynn Blamires, special for the standard examiner

Looking north into Poison Spring Canyon from Cedar Point.

We walked to the edge for a better view. Standing where we were at 6,000 feet, we looked at 2,000 feet into Poison Spring Canyon. We were at a point downstream from where we had crossed the river when we crossed the same canyon earlier.

There is a phenomenon that occurs when riding on trails like this. Our perspective was limited to negotiating the nuances of the trail and the things we could sometimes see through the trees. Then, upon arriving at the point, our view was suddenly limitless to where we could see for miles.

Looking into the canyon we could see the trail of the Dirty Devil River as it meandered through Lake Powell, sinking deeper into the canyon floor and carving and shaping the canyon walls as it went. ‘she was sinking. Even from here, the Dirty Devil is dirty.

Our guide, Ray Golden, pointed out the features of the terrain until our Panorama Palaces were satisfied. Taking one last look, we returned to where we had come from, completing a journey of about 28 miles.

This trail is suitable for side-to-side vehicles and jeeps and is available for riding when mountain trails are out of season. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side, and enjoy this spectacular view of Poison Spring Canyon.

Contact Lynn R. Blamires at [email protected]

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