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Rector/Dragon Trail

Looking to adventure on your OHV in Utah? Check out Utah.com’s guide to the Rector / Dragon Trail for a ghost town themed ride.

Overview
Location
Weather
Amenities

Overview

The Rector/Dragon Trail is part of the Outlaw Trail System in Vernal, Utah. This trail features easy to moderate terrain while passing through two ghost towns and several abandoned mines.

Trail Overview

Not to fear, there are no dragons along the Rector/Dragon Trail, just a whole lot of scenery, easygoing terrain and a few ghost towns. And that’s just an expression — no ghosts either. 

This easy to moderate trail begins just near the Colorado border, traveling south through Dragon Canyon before turning back north along Rector Ridge. Utah ATV and other OHV operators love this region for its remote backcountry terrain and abundance of lesser known historical sites. 

Throughout the ride, you’ll see the remains of both ghost towns and cavernous mines, long since abandoned after the area’s boom in the early 1900s. The town of Dragon in particular prospered during this era as the final stop of the Uintah Railway. A generous mining stash of Gilsonite nearby didn’t hurt its prospects either. It’s not much to look at today, but a few plaques, monuments, buildings and even graves remain. It’s a good place to stop and squabble over the last scraps of your picnic lunch — that ham sandwich ain’t big enough for the two of ye’ …

Trail Details

Accessible By:

  • Dirt bikes

  • ATVs

  • UTVs

  • Jeeps and 4x4s

How to Get There

The trailhead is located at the mouth of Dragon Canyon (39.785655, -109.073476), just a few miles west of the Colorado border. To get there, travel down State Route 45 south out of town for about 40 minutes. When you reach Dragon Road, turn left and follow it until you reach Dragon Canyon Road.

Nearby Places to Stay

The Rector / Dragon Trail is about an hour and a half outside of downtown Vernal, which features several comfortable options for overnight stays. 

Nearby Events

The annual Outlaw ATV Jamboree! Riders from all over the Southwest gather in early June each year to get a taste of Utah 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 OHV trails in Utah and make some new friends while you’re at it.

 

Under the Notch Map
General
OHV Trails
Things to Do
Hiking Trails
Seasonal
  • 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
General
  • Historic Sites: checkmark
  • Outdoor Activities: checkmark
  • Summer Tours: checkmark
  • Vehicle Tour: checkmark
Sustainability
  • 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 at the mouth of Dragon Canyon (39.785655, -109.073476)
Vernal, UT 84078 See Map
Under the Notch Map