Buckhorn Wash & Gordon Creek – May 2014

May 9-10, 2014

A few months ago we tried to plan a spring break ride with the Bradley family since we both have kids attending the University of Utah. We were not able to arrange a time that worked, so we decided to do a trip as soon as the semester ended, in early May. In the end, it turned out that Kevin and Jamie could not come, but Sarah and Lauren wanted to ride badly enough that they would put up with us old folks.

We decided to stay fairly close to home, and decided to ride some trails near Price, Utah. The weather the week before the trip was quite rainy, so some of our higher elevation plans didn’t pan out.

Friday, May 9: Buckhorn Wash

It was raining most of the way to Price, so we decide to keep moving south, and ended up near the Wedge Overlook in the San Rafael Swell. Both families rode out to the Wedge Overlook a few years earlier (and got caught in a hail storm), so we decided to ride places we hadn’t been before.

We parked at the new staging area near Red Knoll, ate lunch, and rode down Buckhorn Wash.

Buckhorn Wash and Mexican Mountain

Buckhorn Wash and Mexican Mountain

Paul tried to find a dinosaur footprint along the way, but we were unsuccessful. We did, however, stop and view the pictographs.

Somewhere along Buckhorn Wash

Buckhorn Wash pictographs

When we reached the old bridge across the San Rafael River, we decided to ride the 14 mile spur out to Mexican Mountain.

The San Rafael Bridge

This was a scenic ride, but I was surprised that we really didn’t get any good views of the river. There are some hiking trailheads along the road giving you access to the narrow gorge that the river flows through.

Heading towards Mexican Mountain

Riding through gorgeous scenery

On the return trip, Paul found a great photo location and took some great photographs of everyone.

Photo courtesy of Paul Bradley

This was an easy and scenic ride, and our wives really enjoyed it on their ATVs.

Saturday, May 10: Gordon Creek

I previously stumbled upon a trip report posted by Desert Woodrat talking about some waterfalls along Gordon Creek, just west of Price. It looked like an interesting destination, so we thought we would give it a try.

Gordon Creek GPS track

Gordon Creek GPS track

We parked near a gun range and made our way up to Trestle Road. We followed Trestle Road north until the trail dropped and went under a huge train trestle. I am pretty sure this rail line is no longer in service, but it looked like a very scary bridge to cross.

Old train trestle

There was a small stream under the trestle, which turned out to be deeper than expected. Lauren and Sarah got soaked.

Kim crossing the stream

Shortly after the trestle, the Gordon Creek spur forks off on the left. This trail had some fun sections, but it also had some really rocky hill climbs.

We arrived at the lower falls and took a lot of pictures.

Lower Gordon Creek Falls

From here, the road turns to an ATV trail, but it quickly became more technical than our families wanted to tackle. So we never made it to the upper falls or the historic cabin.

Kim starting down the rocky section

My planned loop was to continue north to Consumer Road, and then ride along the foothills on Bench Road. But to our surprise, Consumer Road was paved, so we had to turn back.

Lauren getting wet again

We had a little extra time, so we explored a few of the many dirt roads in the area. There are numerous dirt roads leading to oil or gas pumps scattered all over.

We finished up mid-afternoon, packed up, and returned home in time for dinner.


About gardinerfamilyadventures

A really great family!
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6 Responses to Buckhorn Wash & Gordon Creek – May 2014

  1. girlonahike says:

    This looks awesome! I’m hoping to hike to these falls this weekend. Can you send me specific directions to get to them? -Alicia @ http://www.girlonahike.com

    • I can’t respond that quickly because I am out of town through the weekend. But you should be able to find the info you need with a Google search. The web contains the data – which is how I found it in the first place. Have fun!

  2. girlonahike says:

    I wasn’t able to find very good directions to this place, but was able to use Google Earth and see where the falls were. We ended up hiking down the wrong canyon at first, and hiked 3 miles before we realized the falls were in the canyon just to the south of where we were. Ended up hiking 5 miles by the time we were done. It’s a pretty cool waterfall though! Here’s my blog post on it: http://www.girlonahike.com/2016/04/gordon-creek-waterfalls.html
    Alicia @ http://www.girlonahike.com

  3. Julian Kaiser says:

    Hello, I know I’m a bit late to this post but I know that the Rail Line and Trestle are not in service! They used to go to the Arkins/Buckhorn Quarries that were started by the Union Pacific in 1884. The quarries dwindled out of major business but still run today. I know this because there is a very large stretch of land just south of where I live that head to the Mainline. It’s cool.

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