Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ride 9: 3-Corners/Lytle Ranch Loop

This is a great ride over widely-varied and historic terrain and is both a destination and scenic type of trail.   [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Ride 9: 3-Corners/Lytle Loop]

BJ and I trailered up to the
Mormon Wagon Road Trailhead , Utah USA
[37.010423, -113.912540]
  on Old Highway-91 in Utah. We got a bit later start than we usually do but… still made it around the loop with plenty of time to stop and see what we wanted.

We've been to 3-Corners before but it's always nice to see "how things are." It's nice to know that the "lowest point in Utah" is still there and low; and, that the Sand Hollow Wash trail is still a fun ride even if you feel like a dog who chases its tail most of the time.

However, 3-Corners wasn't the same. Some dumb fart has made off with both the flag AND the ammo box geo-cache! That cache had over 50-years worth of entries! Some self-centered adolescent needed a case?

This trip we decided to keep going West over to the power line road. Once we turned North on that road, the geography changed. For one thing there were a lot more cattle this year than last and the stock tanks were all full of water.

The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.”
Mark Twain

For another thing the fact that nowhere on the whole ride had we seen any Mojave Yucca plants. The plants are all Joshua Trees and there's a lot of them. In fact they were pretty much as thick as I remember them being as a kid driving from Utah to LA to visit grandma.

There is the familiar "buzz" under the power line; but, wow, when you run up upon where the pipeline comes to the Beaver Dam Wash chasm it kinda makes you stop and look!

I tried to get some photos but, as usual, they don't do the sight justice. It's really cool and at least I'm greatful that they built the pipeline if for no other reason than then made a really nice road up and down the canyon.

Once back up on the plateau on the other side, we turned east again at Lytle Ranch Road. That was a fairly quick ride up to where we looped back southward to the trailhead. Coming up and over into an enclosed valley we were greeted by a literal Joshua Tree forest. What a site.

The nice thing about this ride is that it is a good day trip from both St George and Mesquite and can be taken on both ATVs and SUVs (not to wide.) In the climate controlled environment of the latter it could even be ridden in the summer.


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