Spring riding in the Uintah Mountains

06/06/14: It is the 1st of June and I want to go for a ride on my Polaris. It is time to test my new wheels and ITP tires.

With this set up I am now back to the 50” machine, so I can drive through all the gates the forest service has put up in the high mountains.

I called my friend, Dan, to see if he would take a ride with me up toward the areas our dads took us bow hunting many years ago. He said, “ Yes”, quickly, telling me he needs to get out of the concrete jungle!

So Sunday morning we load up the machine, grab a cooler with ice and drinks, stop and pick up a 6-piece chicken, and head to the mountains. The mountains we are headed to are about ten minutes from where my dad lived in Oakley Utah. Probably why we went there often.

Part way up the dirt road we pull over and unload the Polaris RZR. The morning is cool -about 63 degrees and the air is as clear as ever. There is not another truck on the mountain…this is going to be a great day!

We hop in and belt up. Start up the trails winding back and forth – a little rockier than I remember, but it is no big deal in the Polaris 800 RZR. Dan and I are telling each other memories of when we were up here with our dads. They were friends, and this is how I know Dan.

We got to a really steep part that had boulders everywhere. Dan tells me this is where my dad was pulling the horse trailer up the hill when it rolled down the mountain. Luckily the horses were already taken out of the trailer, knowing that the only way they were getting up this hill would be with it empty.

At the top of the hill is the gate that closes the mountain for the winter. We were hoping it would be open for the summer. We get to the top and the gate is locked with a big sign stating it is open from June 14th – September 7th.

We can see where there have been some ATV’s going up on the mountainside and bypassing the gate. I am a firm believer in treading lightly and not making roads where you are not supposed to.

There are some other trails lower we want to check out, along with one of my dad’s favorite bow hunting spots. He had built a tree stand down in the bottom, sitting just next to a nice game trail. One of my favorite hunting stories comes from this exact spot. Another day…..

We start heading on the trail toward the tree stand area. Dan spent some time here so he remembers this area better than I do. We come upon about four trees blocking the entire road.

We see a road that is headed downhill, one that did not used to be here. So we head that way and end up on the exact spot where we used to park our trucks and then had to walk in the rest of the way.

After spending a few minutes talking about the past memories, we decide to load the Polaris up and head over to another favorite mountain spot. It’s only about 30 minutes away.

We head up Mirror Lake Highway and reach our destination. Unload the Polaris RZR and head out again. It is about 1:00 in the afternoon.

Driving around and “getting a lay of the land” as my brother-in-law, Tim, always says.

Admiring the spring run-off. The streams are fast and clear. I tell Dan that I don’t remember this mountain having much water ever. Then realizing that we spent most of our time up here starting from the end of August. By this time the spring run-off had melted, and the ponds were dry. This was a great and different time of year. Snow, rivers, ponds, and everything very green, with mountain flowers starting to bloom.

We stop and admire the rushing stream coming down from the mountaintop; it looks almost like pure ice melting.

Spring runoff in Utah

Dan takes us to the jeep road where we used to hunt with my dad. It starts heading deep up through the mountain, and before long we were in the snow. It has made part of the road into the stream bed.

This road is getting fun to drive with more obstacles the farther in we get. We soon get to a spot where the trees have fallen down and completely blocked the road.

Here comes another Polaris 800 S up the hill toward us. They had come up from the bottom of the mountain, and told us there were a few rough spots but just follow their tracks and we will make it down.

We headed down the road dodging trees, running through two feet of snow at times. And having a blast, laughing all the way down. No wonder we didn’t see any animals.

We met up with our new found friends and decided we would run that trail together – so, off we went for another ride. It was like Disneyland in the wilderness!

The more we take out the Polaris RZR 800, the more impressed I am about what it will do and how much fun it can be.

After every weekend ride I perform some kind of maintenance on my side x side. I remove the air filter and clean the box, shake out the filter and clean the filter sock. I check fluids to make sure they are clean and full. No water in the fluids. And give it a complete bath. This is one of the neat things about a UTV – just get the hose and go to town.

With my maintenance routine, I believe there will be many years of enjoyment from my Polaris RZR. This is one of the biggest problems I see coming into the shop. The UTV’s have had very poor maintenance and now they have bigger problems.

Well, I am off to explore the Paiute trails this summer and check out the 50” trails that makeup so much controversy.

Till we ride again.