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John Taylor OHV Trail

Tall trees, meadows and an old copper mine. There’s no shortage of scenery along the John Taylor OHV trail, just minutes outside of Vernal.



This popular Uintah County OHV trail climbs to 10,180 feet as you meander along Taylor Mountain in Ashley National Forest. You’ll ride along Ashley Gorge, Anderson Creek, Dyer Mountain, Iron Springs and Big Bush Creek Cave.

Interactive Trail Map

Click on the icon for each of the obstacles.

Trail Overview

The John Taylor OHV trail is a 38-mile loop, with plenty of potential sightseeing stops along the way. The road is generally mild, but it gets a bit gnarly for a mile stretch littered with small boulders and logs. You’ll cross a creek and possibly some sizable puddles, as well. Extend your ride by adding the Dyer Mine Loop. Along it, you’ll come across a copper smelter and a mine that produced copper and a bit of gold. 

Keep your eyes out for wildlife, lakes of lily pads, quaking aspens and lodge pole pines. There are even a few places for Insta pics, including a mostly intact — albeit rusty — Rio Grande car. Stop at Leidy Peak, one of the highest in the Uinta Mountains, for a snack break and some breathtaking views.

Trail Details

Timestamps from video

Ashley Gorge Overlook #1: This overlook provides the best vantage point to look directly down the gorge! (If you dare, that is.)

Ashley Gorge Overlook #2: Leaving the thick pines, you'll notice you've been driving alongside a steep gorge.

Accessible By: 

  • Dirtbikes
  • ATVs
  • Side by Sides
  • UTVs
  • Jeeps and 4x4s

Distance: 38 miles
Rating: Easy to difficult
Technical rating: 5/10 (one short, steep section 7/10) 
Time to Ride: 6 to 8 hours
Seasonal: Late spring to fall

How to Get There

Taylor Mountain is located at 40.7202349°N, -109.6418106°W. You can stage your vehicle from the Doc’s Beach parking area, about 15 minutes north of downtown Vernal — just off 2500 W St. This is a shared lot for multiple OHV trails in Vernal, so remember to be courteous when unloading and parking. 

Need to Know

Most of the trail is easy to moderate, but the extra loop portion near Dyer Mountain is rated difficult. If you’re not prepared for a fairly rough ride, best to skip that portion and stay on the main loop. Download a copy of the map so you won’t need to rely on patchy cell service to find your way.

Downloadable Maps:

Nearby Places to Stay



Nearby Rentals

Don’t have your own ride? Rent one.

Nearby Events

Every spring and fall, thousands of birds — red-winged blackbirds, mallards, American goldfinches, Canada geese — can be seen at the Ouray National Wildlife Refuge. Also in the fall, you’ll likely see elk and mule deer. You can take a driving tour of wetland habitat anytime of year to catch glimpses of porcupines, great horned owls and bald eagles. The refuge is about 30 miles southwest of Vernal.


152 E. 100 N.
Vernal, UT 84078
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Click here for more OHV trails in this area.


Utah requires all OHV operators to complete the free Utah Off-Highway Vehicle Education Course. Operators under the age of 18 shall possess a youth OHV education certificate in order to operate an OHV on public land, road or trail. Operators 18 years of age or older may operate an OHV if they possess an approved adult OHV education certificate. The once-in-a-lifetime course is expected to take less than 30 minutes to complete. 

Take the free course

Under the Notch Map
OHV Trails
Things to Do
Hiking Trails
  • All Year: checkmark
Suitable For
  • Couples: checkmark
  • Families: checkmark
  • Friends: checkmark
  • Large Groups: checkmark
Accessible By
  • Dirt Bike: checkmark
  • ATV: checkmark
  • SxS (Side by Side): checkmark
  • High-Clearance 4x4 (Jeep): checkmark
Best Seasons to Ride
  • Spring: checkmark
  • Summer: checkmark
  • Fall: checkmark
  • Winter: checkmark
  • Year-round: checkmark
OHV Trail Difficulty
  • More Difficult: checkmark
Route Type
  • Loop: checkmark
Services & Nearby Facilities
  • Restrooms: checkmark
  • Facilities: Steinaker State Park
Technical Rating
  • 7 to 10: checkmark
Trail Distance
  • 10 to 30 miles: checkmark
  • Historic Sites: checkmark
  • Outdoor Activities: checkmark
  • Summer Tours: checkmark
  • Vehicle Tour: checkmark
  • Dog Friendly: checkmark
To Do
  • ATV: checkmark
  • Camping: checkmark
  • Dirt Bikes: checkmark
  • OHV/Off Road Driving: checkmark
  • Scenic Driving: checkmark
  • UTV: checkmark
Trail Features
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Distance (mi.): 20
  • Parking Type: Parking Lot
  • Route Type: Loop
  • Trail Traffic: Light
Trail Length
  • 11 - 20 Miles: checkmark

Vernal Weather

Nearby Attractions
Closest National/State Park
Red Fleet State Park 5
Dinosaur National Monument 10
Steinaker Reservoir 5
map pin 40.511061, -109.574655
Vernal, UT 84078 See Map
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