Scott Barton invited us to go on a short ride from Mantua up to Willard Peak. Since Kim is recovering from a recent shoulder fracture, she was unable to come. Jason and I joined in the fun, along with Scott, Terri, and Allison Barton. It was a beautiful, but hot day.
We arrived in Mantua during their annual summer parade. The road to the trailhead was closed, so we enjoyed the parade for 15 minutes or so. Following the parade, we drove about 1.5 miles south of Mantua to Docs Flat – a popular ATV staging area. We were surprised at the crowds, and the lack of facilities for such a popular camping and staging area. We unloaded Scott’s trailer, and began our ride up the Willard Peak road. The Willard Peak road is not particularly challenging, although it is kind of slow going with all of the traffic and many, many tight blind corners.
Our destination was two-fold; Inspiration Point, with a gorgeous view overlooking the Great Salt Lake, and Willard Peak with its view of the Pineview Reservoir area. Unfortunately we never reached either destination as the trail was block by snow. Nevertheless, we enjoyed some nice views of the beautiful surroundings.
After watching others try to bypass the large snow bank, we went back to the pass near the Grizzly Peak trailhead. We walked along the trail for 50 yards or so and took some nice photographs.
Since the temperatures were more pleasant at 9300’ elevation, we enjoyed an early lunch.
Following lunch we went back down the road and turned east towards Devils Gate Valley. This was a nice road at first, and we were pleased to find much less traffic. The road leads to several church camps.
We turned off the main road and followed a smaller Jeep road to the south. This got rougher and rougher as we went, with a few nasty rocky sections and some very deep ruts that were a challenge for Terri on the ATV.
Then, heading basically to the east, we rode a fun trail through meadows and then a winding trail down through a forested area until we reached state road 192 along the South Fork of the Little Bear River. This was a nice gravel road. We thought we could head north and make a loop out of our ride (for Scott’s benefit), but unfortunately, all of the side roads were blocked with locked gates.
We reached the pavement just prior to the small town of Avon and decided we better go back the way we came. The trail back up through the forest was even more enjoyable going up, so we had a good time.
When we arrived back at Willard Peak Road we decided to try the trail that was signed as an ATV trail. Wow! What a trail. Not for the faint of heart. There were no markings indicating the difficulty of the trail, but it is certainly a black diamond trail. The trail was narrow with very tight switchbacks on extremely steep terrain. On the bikes the challenge was to keep from skidding out of control in the loose dirt. Kim would not have liked this trail!
The trail popped out (actually the beginning of the trail) right at the parking area where Scott’s car was parked. We quickly loaded up, drove to Brigham City for a milk shake, and then home for dinner.
It was a nice day spent in the mountains with some great scenery. The trails, for the most part, were not overly difficult. With the exception of the ATV trail it made a nice family ride, although I am not sure it is worth the long drive up there. Our total ride was about 57 miles in length.