By Lynn Blamires Content Writer for My Local Utah
After being shut down for two years due to the pandemic, the Tri-State Jamboree is back and open for registration. The dates have been shifted forward a week to March 16 – 19 in hopes of better weather.
This first jamboree of the year is popular because the early spring in Washington County brings people out of winter. People who have been cooped up looking at snow-covered trails are ready to get out and ride. I have enjoyed going to this jamboree for several years because I get cabin fever with the best of them.
Fees for the jamboree are $150 and include three days of guided rides, three breakfasts, an ice cream social, two dinners, a T-Shirt, and tickets for thousands of dollars in prizes. Children under six are not required to register. Shirts for them are available for purchase at the jamboree. Those fees are reduced to $120 for those who join the Tri-State ATV Club. Club dues are $20 for a single and $30 for a family membership.
In order to cover liability concerns, all riders under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet. Young people ages 8 – 15 need to carry an OHV Educational Certificate for riding on public lands.
The Tri-State Jamboree offers a variety of mountain and desert trails to give new trail experiences to both seasoned and novice riders. I have always maintained that one of the best ways to learn about where to ride is to sign up for a jamboree. Experienced guides will not only take you on the trails but will talk about something of the history in the country you are riding.
With the change in dates, two of the trails had to be dropped from the agenda because they travel through desert tortoise habitat and the turtles are scheduled to come out of hibernation on March 15. These are the Castle Cliffs and the Joshua Forest trails. However, two new trails have been added that are very fun to ride. These are #21 Toquerville Falls and #2 Nephi Pasture rides.
I would go down south to ride the Toquerville Falls trail even without going to the jamboree. The ride leaves right from jamboree headquarters without the need to trailer to the trailhead. It takes you up on a ridge that overlooks Quail Creek Reservoir and then down to the frontage road to Leeds. The trail continues to Babylon. I know, I was curious to learn what Babylon was all about and you will be too. It is a ghost town now and has been since 1877 when the Stormont Mine closed.
The sandy trails will take you from there through some beautiful red rock country to Toquerville where you will skirt the north side of town on the edge of a canyon. Finally, the trail drops down to La Verkin Creek where you will cross at the top of Toquerville Falls. This place was designed for perfect Kodak moments. The ride is fun, easy, and the country is spectacular.
It really isn’t fair to pick just one ride because there are so many other great ones showcased on this jamboree. One my wife loves to go on is #15 The Barracks. The twisty sandy trails have consecutively banked turns that are so fun to ride that you can’t help grinning. We specifically enjoyed the panoramic views of Zion National Park, The Blocks, Canaan Mountain, and Elephant Butte.
Another favorite is #2 Nephi Pasture. This trail made up one of the segments of the five-day ride from Kanab to Kamas I rode in 2020. The Inch Worm Arch and the Pink Cliffs are highlights of this ride.
#7 Peek-A-Boo is a fun ride. It is named for the slot canyon that is visited early in the ride. The trail leads right up to it giving riders the opportunity to squeeze through and explore. One unique feature of this slot canyon is the steps that have been carved into one of the walls used by the ancient ones to access points high above. You will also notice driftwood lodged high in the canyon – a reminder of how dangerous a slot canyon can be in a flood.
Two other slot canyons are featured on this ride that is a little bit off the trail but worth exploring. These are some of the fun rides to choose from at this jamboree. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down, and find out details at https://www.thetristateatvclub.com/jamboree.