The John Jarvie Trail is part of the Outlaw Trail System in Vernal, Utah. This easy ride features mellow terrain and historical highlights from the Old West, including a stop at the John Jarvie Historic Ranch. This is a well preserved meeting place where famous outlaws and everyday western travelers once gathered to trade, shop and rest.
John Jarvie, Jingleheimer Schmidt, his trail is your trail too! Sorry if that’s stuck in your head now. Just sing something else — you’ll have plenty of time for it on this long, leisurely ride. With an easy rating and lots of terrain to explore, it’s a gentle daylong jaunt for Utah ATV and other OHV operators to enjoy.
The best place to start this ride is off of Walker Ranch Road, near Crouse Reservoir north of Vernal (40.716796, -109.198273). The ride travels up Mail Draw Road until it becomes Sears Canyon Road. The route then follows Sears Creek and Sears Canyon all the way up to the Green River and the John Jarvie Historic Ranch.
After visiting the site, hop back on the trail as it follows the Green before picking up Crouse Creek and Crouse Canyon back down to the trailhead. There is also an option to hop over the state line into Colorado if you want to spend a night at the Swinging Bridge Campground, or, more likely, just to say you rode through two states.
This isn’t just a great ride for easy-day revelers, it’s also the perfect ride for history buffs! At John Jarvie’s ranch, you’ll be treated to all kinds of stories about the area's rough and tumble past.
Jarvie’s impressive operation was a popular rest stop for pioneers traveling through the region and up to Fort Bridger. In fact, it was the only general store within 70 miles. And while plenty of salt of the earth travelers pass through, so did famous outlaws like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Jarvie actually met his untimely end at the hands of some still unknown bandits. If you want your picnic lunch with a side of history, there’s no better place.
Interactive Trail Map
Click on the icon for each of the obstacles.
Timestamps from video
John Jarvie Trailhead: This scenic ride is rated a 3 in terms of difficulty.
Jarvie Historic Ranch: Explore well-preserved buildings and learn about the wild-west past of the area!
Swallow Canyon Overlook: See the sparkling Green River from a red-rock overlook.
Swinging Bridge: This historic bridge was originally made of wooden planks that would sway as motorists passed.
Sears Canyon: A picturesque canyon where riders will make several crossings through the shallow Sears Creek.
- Dirt bikes
- Jeeps and 4x4s
How to Get There
The trailhead is located at 40.716796, -109.198273, near the Crouse Reservoir in Vernal. To get there, simply take Diamond Mountain Road out of Vernal, before turning left onto Crouse Canyon Road after 22 miles. Follow Crouse Canyon Road until you reach Mail Draw Road, where the ride begins.
Downloadable Maps here:
Nearby Places to Stay
If you choose to make this longer ride a two day affair, you can camp overnight at either the Bridge Hollow Campground or the Swinging Bridge Campground, both of which are around halfway through the ride along the Green River.
If you prefer a hot shower to a backcountry brush, you can also stay in a hotel in downtown Vernal. The John Jarvie Trail is also just under an hour outside of town.
The annual Outlaw ATV Jamboree! Riders from all over the Southwest bring their OHVs to Utah each year to get a taste of the Vernal region’s off-roading for the weekend. In addition to daily rides, there are cookouts, raffles, a night ride and lots of good times. It’s one of the best ways to explore Utah’s OHV trails and the Outlaw Trail System. So come on down, take in some of the best off-roading in Utah and make some new friends while you’re at it.
TRAVEL BUREAU INFORMATION
152 E. 100 N.
Vernal, UT 84078
Click here for more OHV trails in this area.