After successfully completing our loop on our last ATV ride, we decided to head out on another adventure. This time we would find a way to get to Brian Head using just the ATV trails. Once in Brian Head Village, we would have a pizza and beer lunch. The trail we started out on seemed like it would be a real time saver, as it went straight up and over a mountain peak, and would seemingly save us time. As we neared the base of the mountain, though, we discovered that someone owned that mountain peak, and no trespassing signs were posted.
Of course, I always have to stop to photograph the flowers!
So, we headed back down the mountain, and started back up the trail we had used on our last ride.
This time the trees had finally put on their spring green leaves.
Eventually we got sprinkled on, but we had brought our rain gear, so it wasn't a big deal!
We saw about 8 buck deer along the way. Where were they when we were hunting in October?
We found another waterfall to photograph. This one is near the one we shot on the last ride, in the Dry Lakes Creek area. Last time it wasn't this pretty, though.
We finally reached our destination. Here is the view of Brian Head Peak from the Brian Head Ski Resort. We followed the trails into town, and had a delicious pizza and some ice cold beers. Since we still had the rest of the afternoon ahead of us, we decided to do some exploring on the way back.
Just outside the village, on the edge of the ski area, we found this overlook with a really great view into the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness. By this time is was clouded over and sprinkling rain, so most of my photos got washed out.
We also decided that the Twisted Forest Trail Head warranted some further investigation. Turns out the twisted aspen trees along the road just before the trail head had nothing to do with the Twisted Forest. It is made up of these little, twisted bristlecone pines living in an area that seems impossible for pine trees to grow. This little patch of desert isn't visible from the road, and the trail leading down to it was short and an easy walk (it would be much easier if we were more in shape!)
Our next exploration had us traveling a snowmobile trail. We found a bright green meadow and an awesome view of Cedar Breaks National Monument.
On the way back down the trail, toward Summit, I had Willie stop so I could snap a picture of these cliffs. I'm glad that I did, because the lighting was pretty cool!
On this trip we were a little better prepared. We remembered our camp shovel, an axe, and a tarp. We packed up all our necessities, which gave me the opportunity to dump out, inventory and reassemble my day pack. (That will be an upcoming post.) We made sure that we had some emergency food, and a means by which to cook it.
We've also got all the gear we need to go camping, should we ever want to ride the ATV out, find a spot to set up camp, and stay the night. Everything is just the right size to fit in our little dump bed and/or storage compartments. We didn't take it with us this time, but it may come in handy at some point.