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Jul 14, 2009

Our Utah Top 10, Camping/Off-Road Locations

Caineville Utah, aka Swingarm CityLocation, Location, Location...So what's in a location anyways? We've seen all kinds of different ways to rate off roading and camping destinations. Most have a scale system with different categories like "scenery", "accommodations", "amenities", "LOCATION" etc. Of course all these categories are subjective. What some people find great scenery, location etc. may not be to others. Some may want accommodations and amenities, some may try to avoid them. I haven't really attempted to rate the off roading locations we frequent in Utah until now, but it has occurred to me that for people to really appreciate a description of a "good area", it might be helpful to know why we prefer them, and why we tend to avoid other areas that some others might actually prefer. Keep in mind, I am not talking about trails here, but actual area's we go to camp and ride. I may do something similar to individual trails in the future, but not here in this post. Also keep in mind that we are a family of five with younger kids so we tend to like areas with a wide variety of riding with easy access from our camp.


Caineville Utah, aka Swingarm CityAs I thought about what makes a good location good to us, I kind of had to come up with a new category for my rating system...I think I'll call it "let-loose-ability". When we go on one of our outings, we have a few things we like to do when we are there..basically we want to let loose a bit, unwind etc. this usually includes riding, room to roam, certain activities at camp including a camp fire, sometimes rockets, hiking, general hanging out etc. We don't drink, we don't cause a ruckus, make too much noise, we follow the law/rules etc. as much as possible, but we don't particularly like being confined to a camp area or camp park with additional rules, fees, neighbors etc. Occasionally we may have a slightly under-aged rider among us so it's important that the local authorities either understand that, or simply cease to be a presence if you know what I mean. Ok, so let's start the scale with what is currently our favorite place, Caineville otherwise known as "Swingarm City". This will sort of be the standard that many of the others will have to be compared to although I can't even give it a perfect rating because of the recent closures and regulations. Other areas may have equal or better scenery, some may be better places to visit in the summer/winter etc. but it is our favorite place, so we'll call it #1.

The second thing to consider is when some places rank amenities, accommodations, and close proximity as a good thing, it's generally going to be a bad thing here. So a place that's very remote, has zero amenities and zero accommodations will receive a perfect(highest) score in those areas. Once when I was describing to someone how to get to Swingarm City(Caineville), I said "there will be a pretty good road on your right..Don't take this!" That might sum up some of these areas as good as anything, they can be remote and out of the way...and that's good! Hopefully, they won't be "improved" too much! Please, if you chose to go to these places please, respect the areas for what they are, tread lightly where law and/or common sense requires, don't attempt to "improve" them in any way, leave the area as it was apart from cleaning up trash etc. that others may have left behind, and be considerate to others who may be in the area! There are less and less of these types of locations every day with more and more regulation..let's not give the enemy any ammunition! And, let's try to leave these area's untamed, beautiful, and ass kicking for our future..please! We've had very good luck with the individuals and/or groups that use these areas. There is an obvious "code of conduct" between those who really respect the land. We help each other when duty calls, and have mutual respect for each other and the land we enjoy. Ok, here's our ratings. Our overall favs are on top and ranked from 1 to 10. These ratings don't take into account travel time/proximity to our home and current weather/climate conditions! These are simply 1 to 10 places we would go on this scale, all else being equal. Click the links for more information on each area.

  1. Caineville(Swingarm City)
  2. White Wash Dunes(Moab)
  3. Moab
  4. Little Moab
  5. Blue Lake
  6. Providence Canyon
  7. Five Mile Pass
  8. Skyline Drive Area
  9. Bountiful Canyon
  10. Knolls

20 comments:

  1. Why do you only give Blue Lake a seven for scenery?

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  2. I don't know, like I said it's all kind of subjective, but I guess I had to give it a 7 for the same reason I did Prov and Bountiful Canyon...I love the scenery of course, but there's nothing there that really inspires me quite like the others rated higher. I don't really stand at the side of the lake and say WOW!..you know? I think maybe I gave skyline a little too high actually looking at it now, but I considered the view mostly from camp..skyline has some pretty sweet views, but not like Moab or Caineville...for me.;) I like open space and huge open views with towering, ominous, glorious features..it just does something in me...especially if I can go out and put a knobby to it;)

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  3. Yea, skyline should be a 7 or an 8..sorry. I think I would leave the others the same though.

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  4. How do you think you would rate these area's scenery?..the ones you've been to.

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  5. Sorry, I just had to change skyline..it feels better to me now:)

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  6. Well, I am a tree and lake person. I would give Blue Lake 8.5and Skyline an eight. I also like the scenery of Moab so I would give that a nine. I would definitely give Sedro Woolley Canyon a ten(Mt. Baker).

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  7. Cool, do you have a link to some pictures of Sedro Woolley Canyon.? Are there any places in Utah you would give a 10?

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/mbs/photo_gallery/index.php?spgmGal=Baker_Lake&spgmPage=1&spgmFilters= Not a lot of off roading there but there are sure a lot of hiking trails!

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  10. Awesome! Thanks, it looks beautiful.

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  11. Looks pretty. I need to go there sometime. The good thing about Uintas that it doesn't rain so much like Washington.

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  12. I don't know what place in Utah I would give a ten. It's hard to decide really, I haven't been everywhere. Oh, I can think of one place, it's on wilderness or private land, do you know where you go through Vivian Park in Provo Canyon? Turn off into Vivian Park Road and then drive on the narrowed paved road until you get to a park. I got out of the car and walked through somebody's private land as quick as I could then I got on an abandoned road with lot's of moss, trees, and stream crossings. Then you could see this canyon and look at the back of Cascade Peak with snow on it. Very green and crisp. I walked up the canyon with no trail or road quite aways until I got pretty close to Cascade Peak. Very pretty.

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  13. Sundance Resort with a view of Timponogus Mountain is another place I would give a ten. Look at my facebook picture.

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  14. Since I live in Ephraim, I better give Ephraim Canyon a ten too, I spend half of my life up there.

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  15. Camping is one of my best favorites to do on a vacation
    on any good place

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  16. Camping is a form of self catering which benefits from minimal cost, yet maximum flexibility, go where you want when you want, without much restriction.

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  17. Your writing style is marvellous and you have given a good book. Keep your work

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  18. Great port, always looking for cool new locations. I do love go camping and have a good ride.

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