August 31, 2016

Time travel, buried treasure & exploration thrive in Utah's arid core

When was the last time you actually did something about your time travel goals? How long since you followed Balzac’s lead and “plunged into the immensity of space and time?” (Reliving the ’90s on VH1 doesn’t count.) The age of exploration has dawned once more, and our generation is called to (re)discover the west.

Bring your mountain bike.

TIME TRAVEL: Geologic Monuments of the Earth

Utah’s Grand Canyon | The Wedge Overlook

Located in the San Rafael Swell, this little grand canyon continues to erode as the San Rafael River runs through its depths. Have a gander at geology past, present and future.

There aren’t any established hiking trails leading from the overlook down into the canyon. However, there are some designated roads and trails in the area perfect for mountain biking or off-roading. Be warned: Road conditions can be miserable during and after storms.

FLASH FLOODS: They’re real. And scary. And powerful. Check with local BLM experts before you travel any slot canyons in the area.

SURVIVAL: The area is remote. Bring everything you’ll need: water, food, maps, GPS, and a friend to saw off any appendages that get trapped under a rock with a pocket knife. Or to just go get help. Up to you.

UNSOLVED MYSTERIES: Baffling Paleontological Boneyard & Ancient Rock Art Panel

The Mystery of Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

Over 12,000 bones from 74 dinosaur specimens makes this the densest concentration of Jurassic era dinosaur bones ever found. What happened? Why did so many of the brutes die in this one pit? And why are almost all of them meat-eaters? Tsunami? Rabies outbreak? Plague?

We don’t know, to be terribly honest, and neither do paleontologists for sure. Spend a day observing these sites and add your own theory to the pile:

• Visit one of the Butler Buildings that shrouds a paleontological dig site

• Explore the museum’s interactive exhibits that help you create your own hypothesis

• Walk the trails around the quarry

• Rock Walk Trail (1.4-mile loop) • Raptor Point Trail (0.3-mile trail to viewpoint) • Rim Walk (1 mile one way)

Ancient Rainbows, Horsies & Humanoids | Rochester Creek Art Panel

The marks on this panel range from prehistoric Fremont culture to modern day graffiti. You can guess which is more valuable. Please don’t add your own art to the panel; you’re not nearly as interesting as the people who visited here a thousand years ago.


  1. Head south on Hwy 10. (10.9 miles)
  2. Take a left heading east onto CO RD 801 between mile markers 16 & 17.
  3. Take Co Rd 801 to Co Rd 805. (0.6 miles)
  4. Arrive at parking lot. (3.7 miles)


Mountain biking, off-roading, water skiing, fishing, boating, camping, golfing & crawdad catching

Goodwater Rim Trail | The best biking in Utah?

This 15-mile singletrack is one of the best bike rides in Utah. It’ll introduce even lifelong residents to some new, awesome features. The trail is for upper-intermediate riders, and is full of delicious little dips and twisty little turns. Nothing too crazy, but consistently interesting. And views. Views that you’ll want to keep all to yourself, and you’ll start an email campaign telling us to stop talking about it because it’s your secret favorite spot.

Huntington State Park | Outdoorists rejoice

Locals love this park because it’s just right for everything: water skiing, camping, fishing & crawdad catching. And every July, crazy people compete in the San Rafael Classic Triathlon: swim 0.93 miles, bike 25 miles, run 6.2 miles.

Millsite State Park | Mini Lake Powell with benefits

Camping and boating mixed with a little golfing and mountain biking makes a pretty darn good getaway for just about anyone. Add some towering sandstone cliffs and colorful talus slopes, and your sunsets are about to get surreal. Bonus: campground jackpot.