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.
Rector/Dragon Trail | Photo Gallery
Rector Dragon YouTube
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.
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’ …
Interactive Trail Map
Click on the icon for each of the obstacles.
Timestamps from video
Rector Dragon Trailhead - You can start the Rector/Dragon Trail here. This video will walk you through each step.
Greek Bread Oven - No, that's not the name of a rock formation. There is actually a Greek bread oven a short walk from here. This video has more details.
Dragon - See what's leftover from the of the old mining town, Dragon. Remember to take only pictures!
Dragon City Gilsonite Mine - These mines can be over 1000 feet deep. They're definitely worth the stop!
Rector Mining Town - The last stop of the ride is Rector.
- Dirt bikes
- 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.
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.
TRAVEL BUREAU INFORMATION
152 E. 100 N.
Vernal, UT 84078
Click here for more OHV trails in this area.
FREE OHV COURSE
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.
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