Saturday, October 30, 2010

NEW: Lake Canyon Recreation Area - Utah

Quite some time ago a reader emailed that he was going to go ride in the Lake Canyon Recreation Area and wondered if I had any trails or advice. I didn't have the system digitized into a map at the time, but now do.   [For now a free Google Earth file of this route is available here Lake Canyon Recreation Area but it will probably be moved to the Utah Trails Master Map in the future.]

The whole area is at the north end of the Arapeen Trail System just east of the Skyline Drive trailhead on UT-31 between Huntington and Cleveland resevoirs.   As you already know the Arapeen Trail System is such an extensive riding area that it grew to demand its own map: Utah Arapeen Trails available over on the Offroading Home web site under the Utah tab.  And, the Utah Trails master map has a few tracks through the area as well.

The Lake Canyon Recreation Area is a fee camping area with thirteen or so riding trails which connect the several group camping spots, three resevoirs, the Arapeen Trail System and three "learner practice areas."  It sounds like an area designed for the whole family.  The "high dynamic range" (HDR) photograph at the top probably overstates the area a little, but not much – it's a beautiful area.

And, there are lots of things to do besides offroading.  The online reservation page
[Lake Canyon Rec Area]
The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both.”
James A. Michener
offers that you can: "canoe, fish, hike, hunt, mountain bike, sightsee, view wildlife and photograph" all the while you are doing your group camping – and, there are "vault toilets" in addition to the "pit restrooms."   However, there is NO water, electricity, sewer hookups, or garbage service.  So it is pretty much a "pack-it-in, pack-it-out" system with an on-site host.

Reservations are possible, and even first come first served walk-ins – although, you better view the web-site cause there are a whole lot of rules and proceedures beyond the scope, or capability, of this post to elucidate.   I've not seen stay "minimums" imposed anywhere else before, and I must say it smacks an awful lot of being some kind of commercial venture to me, not the kind you'd expect the government to run.   I'd be happy to hear some explanation in the comments.

The brochure calls it a "fishing and ATV paradise."   To me, from the maps and satellite images, it looks pretty much like mostly beginner and "sightseeing" type trails.  It is in Manti-La Sal forest so what could be better?

The fact that there is group camping and three dedicated areas to "learner practice" makes it an obvious family friendly offroad area.   The fact that there are three lakes, fishing and trees… well, that's just plain icing on the cake!

Learn A Little More

Google Earth has a "Hidden Program" inside it. To fly a flight simulator press: Control+Alt+A - all at the same time.

A flight simulator will open; which, believe me, is no piece of cake to fly.

Good Luck


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