By Lynn Blamires Content Writer for My Local Utah
I was at the Salt Lake Off-Road Expo when I learned about the First Annual Swell Jamboree. I was excited to learn more about this event.
Let me explain my excitement. I attended the Arapeen ATV Jamboree back in 2005. It was a five-day event starting on Labor Day. It was a great jamboree with some of the rides being in the San Rafael Swell, but September is too hot for the Swell.
The San Rafael Swell is one of my favorite places to ride because of its other world kind of scenery. The rock canyons with their towering walls and sheer cliffs, the Indian rock art, the arches, the immense rock monuments, and the pioneer history wrapped up in this rock wonderland are a joy to explore.
The best part is that it is scheduled for April 21 through 22. I laud the decision to split the Arapeen Jamboree putting the rides on trails in the Swell in April and the rides on the Arapeen Mountain trails in September. More information will be forthcoming in a future article on the September jamboree.
Registration fees for the jamboree are $87 and include two days of guided rides, a jamboree hoodie, and two gourmet dinners. Sack lunches are available for $8 each and there is a small processing fee for the registration. No breakfasts are served for this event so plan accordingly.
Registration Packets will be available at 5:00 p.m. at the new Buckhorn RV Resort in Huntington, Utah on Wednesday the 20th. An ice breaker meeting will be held at 8:00 p.m. to brief riders on details of the schedule.
Two rides are available on Thursday:
- Buckhorn Indian Panel & Little Grand Canyon – Leaving the Buckhorn RV Resort this trail goes to the Wedge Overlook for a view of the ‘Little Grand Canyon.’ Then back down into Buckhorn Draw to view a dinosaur track, the Buckhorn Panel, and the Swinging Bridge that spans the San Rafael River. From there, you will travel out of Buckhorn Wash and head to Furniture Draw to the Historic Chinese Railroad before returning to base. This is rated as an easy ride.
- The Merry Go Round – This is a 70-mile loop that goes through the heart of the San Rafael Wilderness area, traveling south to the San Rafael River and Crossing at Fullers Bottom. The trail then follows the West rim of Salt Wash, which is the west boundary of the Wilderness Area, then drops into Cole Wash traveling to Slipper Arch and Fix it Pass. From there it goes through Saddle Horse Canyon over the pass into Cane Wash. Cane Wash is the east boundary of the Wilderness Area and goes through a sandy wash to the main road near the Swinging Bridge. The main Buckhorn road then goes back to the Buckhorn well. This ride is rated intermediate.
Friday offers these two trails:
- Big Hole – Beginning on Box Flats approximately 27 miles from base camp, this ride travels on parts of the ‘Old Spanish Trail.’ Where you will see an old-time Cowboy cave along with a beautiful arch. From there the trail goes to the Big Hole where the Spanish travelers watered their cattle. We will then ride north into the Summerville area, visiting some old brick dwellings, then on to Chimney Rock along the base of Cedar Mountain. While on this trail you will negotiate several washes along with roller coaster terrain. This trail is rated moderate.
- Humbug/Dinosaur Quarry/Cedar Mountain – The Humbug area is the home of the Jurassic National Monument (or formerly known as “Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry). There are Indian writings on this trail, but there is a hike of about 75 yards to see them. From there the ride goes to the Jurassic National Monument for a 30 to 60 minute stop. The trail then travels up the north face of Cedar Mountain to a recreation area/picnic grounds. The overlooks from various spots along the mountain trail are spectacular.
- Swell Ride for Cabin Fever Poker Run – A bonus ride on Saturday, this self-guided ride on a marked trail that follows the rim of the Buckhorn Draw. Poker hands are $10 for the first hand and $5 for each additional hand purchased. This is another favorite trail of mine.
Many of these trails are new to me and I am going to enjoy experiencing them. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down, and enjoy exploring the trails in the San Rafael Swell.