A Geological Road Lined With Ancient History
Capitol Reef National Park has no end to curiosities.
South-Central Utah's 275-mile long Paiute ATV Trail is a loop with no beginning and no end. It passes through several towns and has side trails leading to others. Dirt Wheels magazine rated the Paiute ATV Trail as one of the 15 best trails in the country. It has been rated as one of the top five trails in the country by ATV Illustrated Magazine. Read more...
The trail is designed to provide an enjoyable recreational ride through fantastic scenery. The trail was formed by connecting old roads and trails crossing the Fishlake National Forest with intervening BLM-administered land. Several narrow sections of trail were eventually constructed to complete the loop. The main trail is 275 miles long, with over 1000 miles of marked side trails and 1500+ estimated miles of side forest roads and trails. Due to its vast size, the Paiute ATV Trail is best explored in segments.
The Paiute ATV Trail caters to relaxing and family-type riding. Many riders along the four-foot wide trails enjoy the scenery and atmosphere of a deeply dense forest, as well as popular activities such as fishing or camping near the path. Panoramic scenes along ridges allow riders to see over hundred miles in the distance (and 11,000 below!), which makes the ATV Trail a popular photographic destination. Wildlife is commonly spotted close by, including occasional glimpses of free-roaming herds of deer and elk.
The main loop of the trail takes approximately 25 riding hours to complete - but that doesn't leave much time for stopping or taking pictures. For comfort and full enjoyment of the trail, the time should be spread out over three to four days. However, riders choosing to explore the thousands of miles of marked and unmarked side forest roads and trails may find themselves riding for weeks.
Spring through fall offers riding opportunities, though each season brings its own experiences and adventures. While spring riding is possible on the lower portions of the trail, snowdrifts usually close the trail over the Pahvants and the Sevier Plateau until early July. This part of the trail traditionally remains closed until mid-to-late July. September and October provide some of the best riding weather on the Paiute Trail. At this time of year the days are brisk, the nights cool, the trees colorful, and the chance of precipitation is low. August is also a good time for the high country, although the lower portions of the trail can be hot. After October, storms may close the upper portions of the trail or make riding slightly unpleasant, but not unbearable.
Riders are able to access the Paiute ATV Trail from a number of small towns throughout central Utah including Marysvale, Richfield, Beaver, Fillmore and Salina. Each of these towns give riders the opportunity to get a good meal, gas up or stay the night at a local hotel or bed and breakfast. ATVs are allowed on designated streets in each town along the trail allowing easy access to necessary services. Riders can even spend a full week on the trail - riding from town to town accessing services and getting a good night's rest.