Polyoutdoor Utah

Alex and I have been bouncing trip ideas around for a while. Tuesday schedules coincided.

Alex picked me up before dawn and we drove to Castle Dale then 20 miles on an excellent dirt road to The Wedge to ride the Good Water Rim trail. The view into Little Grand Canyon is spectacular.

That's the San Rafael River down there.

The trail hugs the rim of Good Water Canyon and it's several forks. It's 15 miles of mostly flat with lots of turns (think slaloming). It's a nice middle ring cruise. Some rocks to bump over, but nothing technical.

It was cold-ish but with layers we were comfortable.

We went from the south trail head to the north end and back for a 30 mile ride. The views are always changing and often dramatic, and it's nice to stretch the legs, but I wish it had more technical stuff to spice it up. Riding a new trail is always fun, but I doubt I'll return to this one since it's off the main travel routes and there isn't much else to ride in the area.

After the ride we drove down Buckhorn Wash to check out the rock art. It was impressive and well worth the short 10 mile drive.

Then we drove to Price to ride Luke's trail. We had just enough daylight for an out-n-back ride. Neither of us had done any of the Price trails and we were both impressed with Luke's. It also winds along a rim, but has more technical features which made the trail more fun to ride.

I'd like to go back to Price and ride more of the trails in the area. The word is, if a storm comes from the north it usually doesn't snow in Price, so it's like a mini St. George with half the drive.

(This is the top of Luke's and isn't a good representation of the trail. It's much more interesting.)

Today I went skiing at Brighton with Mark. The $20 lift ticket (if you bring a donation for the food bank) is irresistible. And 8 inches of fresh powder made it a no-brainer.

We got first tracks over on the south boundary. Delightfully fluffy powder. Like skiing on a cloud.

And it was my first time with my Salomon Foil skis and new boots. The boots were comfortable all day and the right amount of flex. The Foils were fun, fun, fun. The moderately wide skis floated in the powder, the short length made turning easier and quicker, and they carve through chop way better than any skis I've ever had (which is nice because I struggle skiing chop).

The Foils are twin tips and I thought about trying to ski backwards, but we were too busy skiing the fresh snow. Maybe next time.

With 40 miles of mountain biking the day before I was concerned my legs would die fast. But skiing must use different muscles because my legs did OK.

We skied all over the resort and I had a great time.

So many places have a more limited climate, terrain, etc. But Utah has lots of desert for dirt sports, a fair amount of lakes and rivers for water sports, and good mountains for snow sports. And it's all close enough to do what I did: mountain bike one day, ski the next. (It would even be possible to do both, or even all three, in the same day.) What a pretty, great state! I love living here. Forget polygamy, the many outdoor sports and recreation is the real poly in Utah.


Nate said...

Thats a pretty good way to spend a few days. Jealous of the riding, I got some skiing in yesterday as well.

Anonymous said...

Nice pics! What a way to spend a couple of days. I now have added Price to my places to check out (my list keeps getting bigger and bigger!)

Good way to use polyoutdoor Utah, taking an established term and redefining it. Maybe it'll catch on. You gotta love a place where you can go kayaking, mtn biking and skiing all in one day (though it wouldn't be easy, but fun).

mtb w

KanyonKris said...

Nate - Glad you got out. I want to try AT some day but the cost of the gear is an issue.

mtb w - I may be going down to Price after Christmas, if the trails are dry. Will be fun to explore some new trails in the middle of Winter, and a relatively short drive.