The first thing I wanted to do Wednesday was an ATV trail I had heard of called Casto Canyon. Had to backtrack a little bit on 89, then started on the famous State Route 12, finally cut off near Red Canyon for the Casto TH. The Casto trail is skinny ATV double track, sometimes crossing back and forth across a small creek, other times rolling right up the creek itself. It`s only a few miles long, but what makes it so special is that you get to Ride With The Hoodoos. That`s something like Swim With The Dolphins, but for a different target audience. Lots of fun.
Then back to Famous 12 and a short hop to Red Canyon. Pretty easy to see what the deal is there. It`s the paved version of Ride With The Hoodoos, haha!
Then cut off the to the south of 12 for a ride down to Tropic Reservoir. Very nice, but not up to the standard of the rest of the stuff down that way.
Bryce Canyon would have been next, but I decided to skip that one in order to spend more time up in the Grand Staircase area. A week isn`t enough time! So I had a piece of apple pie in Tropic instead of exploring the NP down the road.
Pretty sure the Red Canyon area doesn`t officially continue on the other side of Tropic/Bryce, but the road beyond is even better than it was west of the park. Highway 12 deserves its reputation as a gorgeous route and a good curvy moto ride.
Even the less colorful sections are curvy fun.
Before getting into the town of Escalante I passed Escalante SP, which is where I would be staying the next night with the group I planned to meet up with. I turned in and rode down to the park just to see how it looked. The lake as well as all the camp sites were full. Good thing I already had an offer to share a space.
Lunch stop in Escalante, just 5 miles up the road from the state park.
Hell`s Backbone Road was another route from my wish list, running from Escalante to Boulder. But I was told it was high elevation, so might not be open until full-on summer. Asking around at the restaurant, the word was that it was indeed open, so it became my next ride. Along with a side trip to Posey Lake, which is only a couple miles off the Backbone.
I guess I won`t be swimming in Posey Lake today.
Hells Backbone makes a loop around the Box Death Hollow Wilderness area, a maze of eroded box canyons that I wish I had time to hike a few of. The backbone gets up high enough that I was passing snow drifts off to the sides of the road, but the weather held out for me and I didn`t get snowed on for that leg. Aspens were just starting to leaf out for the spring.
Down a bit from the actual highest point on the route is the "moment I`d been waiting for" high point- Hells Backbone Bridge. Far out! It`s on top of a ridge overlooking boxed death on both sides.
I guess this is what a box of death looks like:
Last stop before I get off the computer (not quite the end of my riding day) was Boulder, UT at the other end of Hells Backbone. Boulder is just a tiny little town, spread around near the bottom of the cliff in this picture.
Signing out for today, be back over the weekend or early next week with the rest.