Utah's ATV Country Region
Sanpete, Sevier and Piute counties make up Utah’s ATV Country. Richfield — a small town in Sevier where rodeos and ranches are still a way of life — is smack dab in the middle of it all. But you don’t have to wear boots, chaps and cowboy hats to fit in here. Don your helmet and harness a different kind of horsepower. ATVs are allowed to drive on city streets, making it easy to refuel your ride or get your fill of fresh fare from local eateries after a dusty day of outdoor adventure. Marysvale and Salina also offer easy town-to-trail access.
Stop streamside and quiet that two-stroke engine when it’s solitude you seek. There are plenty of unpopulated places to enjoy along the trail. (Introverts, rejoice!) Elk and mule deer can often be seen in these parts. But there’s also a social side to ATV Country for all the extroverts out there. Every September, hundreds of ATV and SxS enthusiasts visit the area for the Rocky Mountain ATV/UTV Jamboree. Hosted rides vary in terrain and difficulty and guides usually include interesting tidbits about the region’s geology and history.
Speaking of the past, Fremont Indian State Park and Museum in Sevier has ancient relics and rock art on display. Butch Cassidy’s boyhood home is a quick, leg-stretching stop on Highway 89. In Sanpete, the Manti Utah Temple’s architecture is also worth a look-see. Construction on the temple, which sits high on a hill, was completed in 1888. An even older structure, the Fairview Museum of History and Art was built in 1859 and is located in a pastoral valley. It houses hundreds of bronze sculptures, pictures and other artwork, as well as a full-scale replica of a Columbian mammoth (tusk, tusk … not tsk, tsk) unearthed from the Wasatch Plateau.
Views to Expect in Utah's ATV Country
Fish Lake offers very good trout and perch fishing in a spectacular, high mountain setting. It is one of the better places in the Western US to catch large lake trout (up to 30 pounds) and splake (a lake trout/brook trout hybrid that is fairly easy to catch and often reaches 4-6 pounds in the lake). Rainbows are also...
This state park is a testament to the ingenuity and art of the ancient Fremont people who lived and worked here and left their mark in the form of petroglyphs. Step back in time in the museum to learn about how they lived and then walk up the nearby trails to see the rock art, then camp at Castle Rock Campground.
Planning Your Trip to ATV Country
Driving Directions to Richfield
FROM THE NORTH
Richfield is about 2½ hours (162 miles) from Salt Lake City. Taking I-15 S to U.S. Route 50 W, then turning on to SR-118 S is the fastest course.
If you prefer a more leisurely drive, get off I-15 S at exit 257 in Spanish Fork and follow the signs toward U.S. Route 6 to Historic Highway 89 and make your way to the Sevier Valley. This adds another 20 minutes (6 miles).
Map & Directions to Richfield, UtahDirections
FROM THE SOUTH
Sin City citizens: It’s a 4-hour drive (285 miles) from Las Vegas to Richfield via I-15 N and I-70 E.
FROM THE EAST
Richfield is an easy 3-hour drive (191 miles) from Grand Junction, Colorado. Make sure you have a full tank of gas before coming or going because services are 100 miles apart on this section of I-70 and cell phone service is spottier than a dalmatian.
Things to Do
Though ATV Country is most famous for its wide swaths of dirt paths — including 275 miles on the primary loop of the Paiute Trail (not to mention hundreds more on its side trails) and 600+ miles on the famed Arapeen Trail — there are also plenty of singletracks that are hikeable, bikeable and totally likable.
Some trails remain open for snowshoeing, including Fifth Water Hot Springs. This footpath is popular year-round (parking is strictly enforced!), but it’s especially enjoyable to soak in the turquoise-tinted mineral water when you can see the steam rising into the chilly air.
Prefer a cool shower to a warm bath? Freshwater inevitably splashes your body as you raft down the Sevier River. It’s a refreshing way to spend a sweltering summer day. In addition to whitewater rafting, other activities in ATV Country include:
- Horseback riding
- Mountain biking
- Wildlife watching
- Rock climbing
There are also a couple of ghost towns in the area. Connect your neutrino wand to your proton pack (or just bring your camera) and check out the deserted dwellings in Kimberly (near Richfield) or Bullion City (near Marysvale).
Before you can ride off into the sunset on the Skyline Drive section of the Arapeen Trail, you need something to ride. There are several companies in Sanpete, Sevier and Piute counties where you can rent machines for riders of every age and ability — from dirtbikes to four-wheelers and quads.
You don’t always need the biggest and baddest machine to have an epic adventure, just enough power to push your limits as a driver. Staff members can help you select the best equipment for your needs, as well as the rest of your riding party.
Similarly, there are watercraft rentals near Yuba Lake and other bodies of water. Get whatever you want for a day on the lake — including paddleboards, kayaks, jet skis, boats and life jackets — from one of these outfitters.
Where to Camp in ATV Country
There are far too many places to camp in ATV Country to name each individually. Nearly 30 developed campgrounds are found in Fishlake National Forest alone, many of which are reservable through Recreation.gov. If solitude makes you a happier camper, disperse yourself in the diverse landscape known as the Manti-La Sal National Forest. Its backcountry has high plateaus, deep canyons, massive boulder fields, alpine trees and glassy lakes. You can also camp at any of the state parks in the area.
FREMONT INDIAN STATE PARK
Each of the sites in FISP has a firepit, grill and picnic table. Other amenities include clean, modern restrooms, coin-operated showers and direct access to the Paiute ATV trail. An added bonus? Your camping fee includes entrance to the park’s museum and interpretive rock art trails. Make your reservations through ReserveAmerica.
- Castle Rock: Choose from 29 primitive sites here, many of which are streamside. Or you can pretend a giant dropped his ice cream cone on your head in either of the two spots designated for teepees.
- Sam Stowe: A lone tent-only site sits at the end of the RV loop with 7 full-hookup sites. There are also two cabins available — handy if you’re already towing a trailer full of ATVs or don’t like roughing it too much.
YUBA STATE PARK
Yuba Lake is one of the few places that allows boat-in beach camping in Utah. In addition to soft sand and warm water, the park also boasts two zip lines and a 3D archery range. During the summer months, ice is available at park headquarters (translation: cold drinks for days).
Pro tip: Get on ReserveAmerica early to snatch a prime spot because beach spaces are limited.
- North Beach: Waterfront sites and soft sand make this a popular place for families and fishers. Bring your own water and a canopy to throw some shade on the sunny shores — you won’t find either at this campground. Shared amenities include vault toilets and firepits.
- Painted Rocks: Three tent sites and 38 spots with partial hookups are located around two loops in this campground. Each has a covered picnic table, firepit and grill. Painted Rocks also has a boat launch.
- Eagle View: This campground is only accessible by boat or 4X4. Several vault toilets are located throughout the 19 sites. Shaded picnic tables are also available.
- Oasis: Bathrooms and showers are centrally located among 25 campsites with RV hookups. Many are shaded, making this a nice place to hang out without overheating. Two cabins and a group site are also available.
PALISADE STATE PARK
Inviting blue water and perfectly manicured greens make Palisade State Park a desert oasis. After playing a round on the golf course or paddling around the lake, you can camp any which way you like. Each site has trailer parking and a tent pad, along with a picnic table, fire ring and grill. Log cabins and tent cabins are also reservable.
- Arapeen: Pull-through paradise is an apt description of this campground. There’s no need to channel your inner Gwen Stefani and back it up in any of the 15 trailer spots. Eight of the campsites are also lakeside, while four cabins are located along the golf course.
- Sanpitch: This loop includes 10 standard campsites, eight with full hookups and four tent cabins. A central shower allows you to freshen up after a sweaty, sandy day.
- Pioneer: Nine lakeside spots and a boat launch make this a desirable campground.
- Wakara: This campground resembles a half-eaten lollipop, with a few sites on the stick and more on the loop; all nine have full hookups. Four cabins are also available here.
OTTER CREEK STATE PARK
Boaters, birders, anglers and ATVers all love Otter Creek Reservoir for its quiet yet convenient location. It has direct access to the Paiute Trail system and a boat launch. The 54-site campground is located on the east side of the water along the Pacific Migratory Bird Flyway. The campground is open year-round; reservations are recommended during peak months
FISH LAKE CABIN RENTALS
Long for the log life? Cabins ranging in size from one to six bedrooms are available for rent through Fish Lake Resort. Bowery Haven Resort also offers lakeside lodging, with cabins in a variety of sizes accommodating up to as many as 18 guests. Both resorts also have an on-site RV park.
Other Lodging Options
There are several ATV-friendly hotels and motels in Richfield and Salina. One of the most unique lodging options is at Big Rock Candy Mountain Resort in Marysvale. Here you can sleep in one of a dozen train cars, park your RV or stick with a traditional inn suite.
Or, live the cowboy life in a western-themed room at Rockin’ R Ranch in Antimony. Meals and activities (think horseback riding, archery and line dancing) are also included in the price. A soupcon of small RV parks and private vacation home rentals can be found throughout the area to boot.
Start planning your trip to Utah’s ATV Country and brace yourself for an unforgettable ride — whether rambunctious or relaxing.
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ATV Country Region
Utah's ATV Country Region