Article by Lynn Blamires feature writer for My Local Utah
The Arapeen OHV Trails are situated in some of the most beautiful parts of the state. Recently I wrote about five jamborees scheduled for the west side of the mountain – this article is about one on the east side.
Two Jamborees Instead of One
This is the second year that the Arapeen Jamboree has been split off from the old jamboree that ran trails both in the Swell and on the Arapeen Trails. It was so successful that Emery County will continue offering the two jamborees in separate seasons of the year – The Swell Jamboree in the spring and the Arapeen Jamboree in the fall.
The dates for the Arapeen Jamboree are set for September 5 – 8 with Ferron being the host city. Sponsored by the Big Mountain Lodge, Steadman’s Recreation, and Emery County, fees are $185 per person and include three days of guided rides, lunch and dinner each of the three days, and a custom hoodie. Breakfast is available in the convenience store including true sausage gravy and biscuits – one of the few places left to find this delectable dish.
Big Mountain Lodge Outfitted to Host the Jamboree
The Big Mountain Lodge is outfitted to take care of your backcountry needs. They offer a full restaurant, a gas station with non-ethanol gas, a convenience store, a coffee shop, and an ice cream parlor. If you need a UTV for the jamboree, Brad Benson at the lodge can rent one to you.
Accommodations are available in rooms and cabins at the Big Mountain Lodge on a first-come first-serve basis. If you’re pulling an RV, hookups are available nearby at Millsite State Park. Reservations can also be made at Singleton’s Trailer Court.
Jamboree to Feature “The Big Mountain Fishing Expo”
Organizers are taking advantage of one of the Arapeen Trail System’s best features. There are over 50 GPS coordinates on the Arapeen Trail map for beautiful fishing holes. This year’s jamboree will feature The Big Mountain Fishing Expo. Three of the best lakes have been chosen for this event – Wrigley, Willow, and Ferron Reservoirs. Each participant will have an hour and a half to concentrate on catching the biggest fish at each lake – prizes will be awarded for each reservoir.
A jamboree is all about camaraderie, making new friends, and reconnecting with old ones. Registration is available at BigMountainLodgeUtah.com.
Some of the Rides Featured
Now that you know how much fun there is to be had at jamboree headquarters, let’s talk about the beautiful trails scheduled for the Arapeen Jamboree:
Six Mile Ponds
This ride goes past Willow and Ferron Reservoirs, to Duck Fork Reservoir. From Duck Fork the trail goes up to the famous Skyline Trail, down to Sand Ridge, and on to Six Mile Ponds for a lunch break.
Continuing the ride, the trail goes toward Mt. Baldy, down to 12 Mile Flat, to Ferron Reservoir, and back to the lodge. This will give you a real taste of the beauty of the Arapeen Trails.
There is a point above Duck Fork that restricts machines to 66 inches so there is another trail for larger UTVs that will bring the group together at the top. The ride is 70 miles long and leaves from the lodge. This ride is rated intermediate to advanced.
I just like the name of this trail. I have ridden it from Joe’s Valley to Ferron and it is a fun trail to ride. The Black Dragon Trail starts from the campground up Ferron Canyon and crosses a bridge with a 66-inch restriction and then on to Horn Mountain. There is a beautiful viewpoint on this trail that overlooks Castle Valley and the San Rafael Swell. The trail makes a loop around Horn Mountain and back to Ferron. The ride is rated beginner to intermediate. It is 50 miles long, has a 66-inch restriction, and leaves from the lodge.
This ride requires trailering for 30 miles up to Joe’s Valley. The trail goes up a dugway to Grassy Lake, then connects to the Little’s Creek Trail toward Skyline Drive. Heading south, the trail goes to the historic Sealy Guard Station to review some interesting history. Leaving the guard station, the trail goes to Pete’s Hole and the Soup Bowl for some amazing views and then back to the lodge. The ride is 60 miles long and is rated from beginner to intermediate with a 70-inch width restriction on machines.
When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down, and I will see you in Ferron.