Last winter I converted my son’s Suzuki DR-Z400E to a street legal dual-sport bike. With two street legal bikes in the fleet, it was time for an adventure. My daughter, Jamie, was up to the challenge, even though this bike is pretty big for her.
It was a beautiful day for a ride. We left home at about 10:45 AM and returned at about 5:30 PM after covering 125 miles of gorgeous country.
We rode up Big Cottonwood Canyon to Brighton (the purple GPS track indicates travel on paved roads). We stopped in briefly at the family cabin to visit my brother, Rick.
Our plan was to go over Guardsman Pass to Midway, but when we got to the junction, the road to Midway was closed due to the Ragnar race. We therefore had to alter our plans and go through Park City. It has probably been at least 30 years since I have been over that road. Things have certainly changed.
After passing through Park City, we had to take Hwy 40 to get to Midway. That was not very fun. 70 mph on a dirt bike with knobby tires is pretty scary – especially when the wind is blowing. Luckily, the traffic was light and we only had to go about 9 miles. When we arrived in Midway we had to detour to find a gas station since my Husaberg has a pretty small fuel tank. We were also driving along portions of the Ragnar race, so we saw lots of runners and support vehicles.
After refueling, we rode over to Wasatch State Park, and then up the canyon to the Mill Canyon trail-head. We stopped to use the restrooms and decided it was also time for lunch. Following lunch, we started the ‘dirt’ portion of ride by taking the road from Midway to Cascade Springs. This road has a few semi-rough spots, but it is basically a fast and easy cruise along a dirt and gravel road. I took the opportunity to test ride the DRZ in the dirt and let Jamie ride my Husaberg. We both preferred our original rides, so after a few miles, we switched back. We stopped periodically to take in the scenery and take some pictures.
We even spotted a large cow moose grazing in the grass. She seemed to be as fascinated by us as we were of her.
We turned west on the Cascade Springs road and rode about 5 miles up the pavement.
From here we diverted onto the southern portion of the South Fork Little Deer Creek single track trail (#252). This is one of my all-time favorite single track trails. Here is a more detailed map of our trail exploits near the Alpine Summit.
This trail takes you right to the Alpine Summit parking lot, and going out the other side is the fun downhill on the Willow Hollow single track trail (#159). This put our total single track experience at about 2 miles. It was fun, but riding narrow single track takes a little getting used to – especially after riding wide open roads for a few hours. Jamie did amazingly well on that big DRZ. In fact, we would have ridden more, but we were running behind schedule due to our detour through Park City. We decided to buzz down Hwy 92 to the Timpenooke trailhead and ride part way out on the Timpenooke Road which traverses the western slope of Mount Timpanogos. We only went far enough to snap a few photos of Utah Valley. We will have to go back some time and explore the rest of that dirt road.
After a brief stop, we zipped back to the highway, rode down American Fork Canyon, up over Traverse Mountain, and back home for a family barbeque. It was a beautiful ride on a beautiful day with beautiful scenery.
PS – in 2017 I did a similar ride with my youngest son. Read about it here.