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ATV Adventures: Confusion on the Hobble Creek Trails

Thursday , July 19, 2018 - 10:49 AM

LYNN BLAMIRES, Standard-Examiner columnist

One of the goals in going as a group on an ATV ride is to come back with the same number of people who started together. Of course, there is safety in numbers — especially due to the nature of Utah trails, which lead riders out a long way from services needed.

A group of us had decided to explore the Hobble Creek Trails east of Springville. We got an early start and met in Pleasant Grove for breakfast.

Six vehicles left the restaurant with plans to meet in Springville. All went smoothly until we stopped at the fork in the road where the Left Hand Fork of Hobble Creek Road splits from the Right Hand Fork.

After discussing our options and coming to an agreement on a plan, two of the trucks went one way and four went the other. I think it was a case of too many leaders and not enough followers.

I was with the two trucks that went the wrong way. When we realized what had happened, we reversed course and followed after the other four.

We found where they had staged in a meadow near the top of the canyon and unloaded our machines. We left figuring that we would meet up with them on the trail.

That didn’t happen. We left after they got there and got back before they had returned. When we compared the two different GPS tracks we had created after meeting up later, we learned that one track overlaid part of the other. We just weren’t on that part of the trail together at the same time.

We left the staging area, picking up the Diamond Fork Road as we headed north. Two Tom Hill was directly east of us. We were following Chase Creek as we climbed in altitude from 6,700 feet. As warm as the temperatures had been in the valley, it was a welcome relief to be in the cool of the Uinta forest.

Crossing over to Halls Fork, we continued our ride. I love riding the mountain trails this time of year. The temperatures are pleasant, the wildflowers are in full bloom and the mountain rains keep the forest floor lush and green.

Leaving Halls Fork, we took a couple of switchbacks as we worked our way up the mountain. On our left we passed a pillar marking the Ruby Christiansen National Youth Forest. Information on the internet is sketchy, but across the country there are programs to get the next generation actively involved in preserving our national forests.

Continuing our climb, we passed Wadsworth Peak to the west and came upon the Left Hand Fork of Hobble Creek Road. That took us back to the east past one of the Strawberry Peaks.

Early in my riding experience, I learned that there are two Strawberry Peaks and it is good to know which one you are on, especially if you are in trouble and need to be rescued.

We were riding high at 9,400 feet as we passed Twin Peaks. This is a pretty trail. Aside from the wildflowers and mountain greenery, we were riding on the tops of the ridges through stands of quaking aspen and tall pines. The views into the valleys and across the ranks of mountain peaks made me glad to be alive.

We stopped for lunch near Buck Spring. It is inspiring to just sit and listen to the forest noises — the quiet punctuated by the chattering of a chipmunk, or the cry of a bird, or a breeze rustling the leaves. We had finished our lunch and it was time to move on.

We had tried to make a loop of the trail, but we kept running into dead ends so we headed back the way we had come, finishing a ride of about 34 miles.

This trail is suitable for ATVs and UTVs, and the summer is the best time to ride it. While the trail has some smooth parts, much of it was rough and rocky. There is much more to explore on the Hobble Creek Trails.

When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down and make sure everyone knows the plan.

You can email Lynn Blamires at quadmanone@gmail.com.

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