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Paiute ATV Trail Information

 
       

Paiute ATV Trail page 14

 

 
 
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At Burrville, named for the Burr family, the trail turns sharply to the east to cross a low pinyon and juniper covered ridge, which is the southern end of Mormon Mountain. At the east edge of the ridge the trail crosses Utah Highway 24 where caution is necessary because of fast traffic.

On the east side of Highway 24 the trail crosses the dam of Koosharem Reservoir. This reservoir provides irrigation water for Grass Valley to the south and good trout fishing for those wishing to take time out from the trail. Fishing from the dam is prohibited, but most people favor the western shores anyway.

After crossing the Koosharem Reservoir dam, the trail turns northward along the east side of Plateau Valley. At the southern end of the valley the trail is along dirt roads that serve a series of summer homes and hunting cabins. Throughout this stretch vandals have proved their worth by shooting out the red figure in the trail signs.

The east side of Plateau Valley is marked by the straight slopes of Boobe Hole Mountain. Here pinyon-juniper woodlands on the lower slopes give way to aspen in the mid elevations that in turn lead to spruce fir forests near the top. The trail through the northern end of the valley is indistinct in places. About halfway through the valley the graded road turns west to Highway 24 while the trail continues north along fence lines, primitive wheel tracks, and horse trails to Forest Road 053. Despite the trail's indistinct marking, it is hard to get lost because the country is open sagebrush and grassland where you can see your destination for many miles. The first portion of Road 053 is smoothly graveled allowing for rapid travel.

Near the entrance to the Fishlake National Forest a split in the trail has caused some confusion for travelers. The first edition of the Paiute ATV Trail Map shows the trail following Forest Road 052 down Little Lost Creek to Forest Road 047 across Scorups Meadow and over to Soldier Canyon. Trail markings on the ground, and subsequent editions of the map, show the trail following Forest Road 053 to Rex Reservoir and then Forest Road 050 to Soldier Canyon.

The route shown on the first edition of the map goes down Little Lost Creek, a lovely little canyon with steep sandstone walls. On a hot day the streamside vegetation of cottonwood and willow provide cool relief. The quiet murmur of the creek adds to the tranquillity of the canyon. There are several good camping spots; using the ones on the side of the road away from the stream helps protect the streamside environment. At Scorups Meadow there are views of the White Rim and Musina Peak on the north side of Salina Canyon.

The main route crosses Coonah Bench on the way to Rex Reservoir Along this route, sagebrush openings soon give way to patches of pinyon and juniper which alternate with patches of scrub oak. The section of road between the Forest boundary and Soldier Canyon can be deeply rutted because of the soils here and the penchant of inconsiderate travelers to see who can be the first out in the spring when the roads are muddy. From south to north there are good views of the Tushar Mountains, the Pahvant Range, and the Valley Mountains.

Rex Reservoir, located about in the middle of this branch, is a favorite fishing spot. There are several good camping spots around the north, west, and south sides of the reservoir. However, the land east of the road is privately owned and should be avoided.

North of Rex Reservoir the trail crosses the divide between the Lost Creek drainage and the Salina Creek drainage. At the divide there are views of the Gooseberry Valley to the east, Salina Canyon to the north, and the White Rim and Musina Peak farther north. This portion of the trail can be rutty until it reaches Soldier Canyon.

The trail down Soldier Canyon follows a generally good road, which can be rutty in places. The sandstone cliffs rising on the sides of the canyon are remnants of sand beaches around a saline lake, much like today's Great Salt Lake, that existed here fifty million years ago. The deep arroyo of Soldier Creek is reported to have started around the turn of the century. Measurements at Scorups Meadow show that it is still headcutting. There are several rock check dams along this stream. They were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the depression to halt erosion and restore the canyon to its presettlement condition. They have held up well over the years and remain monuments to that era of conservation work.

At the mouth of Soldier Canyon the trail crosses Salina Creek and passes beneath Interstate 70 in a tunnel. From the north side of the interstate the trail follows a paved road into Salina. Because ATV's handle more poorly on paved roads than on dirt, extreme caution must be exercised. From the mouth of the canyon, riders get a panoramic view across the Sevier River Valley to the Pahvant Range; Beehive Peak is the prominent red pyramid standing above the general ridgeline.

After the trail exits the mouth of Salina Canyon it enters the valley of the Sevier River The town of Salina is strategically located here because both the Sevier Valley and Salina Canyon have been important transportation routes. In addition to Interstate 70, a railway line once passed through the town on its way to Richfield and Marysvale. A spur line also extended up Salina Canyon to serve the coal mines there. The Paiute Trail passes beside irrigated fields and then the outskirts of Salina. This is one of four towns that are directly on the trail.




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