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Discussion Starter #1
What got me interest in buying an atv was hearing about the trails in this part of Utah.

The primary trail, or trail system that attracted me was the Arapeen trail system, a series of trails accesible from my house. I have now lived here 2 years.

There are quite a few videos made about these trails.

The actual Arapeen trail was first an indian short cut from the central or nothern Utah area to the Santa Fe trail, which rant from Santa Fe toward Los Angeles.

So that shortcut went east and west, generally.

The gem of the Arapeen trail system is Skyline drive which runs from Interstate 70 in the south to highway 6 in the north. But not in a straight line, instead along the ridge of the mountains around the 10,000 ft level. Much of Skyline drive is along the Great Western Trail, which runs from the border with Mexico to the border with Canada.

10 days ago Skyline drive was still blocked with snow. The portion south of highway 31, known as Huntington Canyon road was still closed, no doubt due to snow.

These trails are all accessible from my house, which is at 5300 ft or so elevation.

So far I'm just close to 400 miles, much of which is repeat trails to get to the 10,000 ft level and explore new side trails.

There are a number of videos available about this trail system, none of which do the slightest bit of justice to the actual beauty and fun up there.

Here are two. There are more out there.

I feel especially blessed to be able to ride down the street an up into these mountains.
dc

 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was up on the mountain yesterday, as usual for a Saturday or Sunday. There were quite a few bow hunters out, but no deer to be seen.

There was a hunter in camo standing by his truck on the trail (Skyline Drive, more mountain trail than road). He had a nice truck and a nice camper on the back, not just a pick up shell, but a full size rv style pick up back.

And four flat tires. His tires were two weeks old and all four of them were bubbling and blowing. Some way to spend his hunting weekend.

The two tire seller trucks were going up with new tires for him as I came south.

I talked with a neighbor today. He had gone up bow hunting yesterday as well. But found no deer up there. There are enough of them down here in town, or out on the roads.
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My brother has ridden a lot up in Utah, I will have to see if he is familiar with the Arapeen Trail. From the videos, it looks like a fun ride. I may have to take a road trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My brother has ridden a lot up in Utah, I will have to see if he is familiar with the Arapeen Trail. From the videos, it looks like a fun ride. I may have to take a road trip.
I know there are people that come up from Arizona to ride the trails here. Arapeen consists of about 800 miles, they say. I have over 600 miles so far, some repeat, of course, and a long way to go before I have covered even half of it all.

There are a number of small towns around where the residents can go up onto the mountains, and go as far as they want, or as the gas holds out.

But there are people who come for the day with the atv on a trailer, and others that come from AZ, Idaho, etc.

Last week I talked to two from Washington (state I assume) who had planned for years (he said) and were out riding various loops back to their motel bases.

The difficulty varies from basis gravel road (curvy) to rock piles in a row. Some loose, some embedded in the dirt, and (curvy) but also either up or down hill.

So it's a lot of fun, and the Rancher 420 just eats it up.
dc
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well I have had the Rancher 420 for almost or about 5 months now.

I have been riding at least once a week up into the mountains here and along the ridge road, Skyline Drive, which is just a dirt trail, and some nice rocks and ruts in places, all either up or down and with beautiful scenery.

I have about 700 miles, some of it on basic gravel road, and some on rugged rock embedded and root embedded tracks in the dirt or just plain piles of rocks.

And a lot of bumps and always either up hill or down.

But the Rancher 420 with the IRS just eats it up. The rear floats nicely over all of it.

I did start to get a little lower back pain from the side to side sway, leaning into curves and angles but by slowing down some and probably just getting used to it that went away.

I still have no rust on anything under the cover from Cabelas.

From spring time my Rancher is covered with splattered mud and dirt.

I bolted Kolpin boxes on front and rear and they have been all I need. I can carry just about anything I need in there for day rides on the trails.

I have yet to need more than 2 gallons of gas on it, from my longest day ride which I think was 80 miles.

So I suppose the range on a tank is about 150 miles, which I could easily do on these trails. I'm in a small town in central Utah so I just drive down the street and directly up into the mountains and trails,either east or west.

But the Honda Rancher has been a great machine. Two oil changes, valve checks, filters and one nut and bolt from the side plastics was all the maintenance.

I had a bunch of Honda snap tab plastic clips, but the Rancher has one hex head bolt and nut there on the side.
One had fallen out. But no other nuts or bolts loose, after some rugged riding.

Just a lot of fun.
dc
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't have any rust issues here as the climate is so completely dry.

However, the season is nearing an end. The weather is holding out and looking good and warm but usually somewhere near the end of October the winter sets in and the Rancher will have to be put up into the barn for the winter.

I suppose that may even mean putting it onto blocks to keep the tires from getting a lump in them.

The weather can get much worse on the mountain faster than in the valleys so it may be soon.

Any winterizing ideas would be appreciated.
dc
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I did get out for one last ride last weekend as the weather was beautiful. Warm and sunny.. There were intermittent patches of snow across the trail in some places, but still completely passable, and of course some tracks from others before me, though I didn't see anyone.

I have close to 900 miles this year on the Arapeen trails.

Here is another video for any who might consider a visit to this area. There is a little snow up there in places but it looks like just about everything is still open. It looks like a late winter in terms of snow so far.
dc

 

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Discussion Starter #9
I got out today for what has to be the last ride of the year. I went up one of the canyon roads or trails, gravel road initially and turns into two wheel tracks at higher elevation. I started from home in the city in the valley at about 5300 feet and went to the summit which is around 10,000 feet. It was nice at lower, but at the top there was a very cold wind blowing from the south so I put on my ski mast and snow mobile gloves and headed back down. 30 miles total, 15 up and 15 down.

There has been no snow in the valley (nor rain of late) but snow in higher elevation. So I had a bit of slipping and sliding mostly on ice caused by 10 or so tire tracks in the snow of those who had gone before. I did see no one out there tho'. The snow was intermittent. Not deep, just a lot of snow, then wide open dry trail.

There is a storm coming in tonight with rain and maybe snow by Thursday, which would be all snow in the mountains. It was basically a beautiful day but the sun did nothing against the cold wind at the mountain top.

The Rancher 420 performed perfectly, a bit of slippage on the snow at times with much speed. They don't plow the mountain trails, and there isn't yet enough snow for it if they did. And the Rancher 420 didn't come with snow tires. But there was not evidence of anyone going off the trail and I sure didn't come close at all. In places the drop off is at the edge of the trail and a thousand or two feet down a steep mountainside. But I had no problem, even tho' there are no guard rails. In fact, in most all the western states there are no guard rails. And states like Utah, Colorado and California have many areas where some might like a guard rail.

Part of the fun I have had riding a motorcycle around all the western states and Canada and Mexico is no guard rails. More visibility that way.

My plan is to get and mount a winch for next year. Tho' I feel I may well never need it.

I know a lot of you on this forum ride for work, mostly. I ride only for pleasure, adventure and exploration.
dc
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well I had a nice adventure today.

I was again going up one of the canyons to see if I could get to the top. Last week I got to 9200 feet before a snow drift and tree down turned me back.

Today it was opened past that. Maybe 9700 feet up.

But then I came to a large snow drift across the road. Several hundred feet up, and down, about 2 feet deep on the road. Tracks went across it, so I thought I could ...

In the middle of it I lost all traction, forward and reverse. My tires got snow in the tread and became like bald.

Jockeying back and forth only caused my back end to turn and slip down the low side off the road. When I got about 10 feet off the road I stopped to assess.

Fortunately I had spent the winter putting in a winch. I had two trees one close but far to my right. Which I pulled on to get my nose toward another tree 60 feet away.

Once I had the nose directed toward the further tree, I was able to make about 10 feet of forward progress. Then hook onto the further tree and pull up onto the road. It was about 3 feet up at that edge but the winch and forward gear just rolled me right up onto solid road.

At the time I was working on this, no one came by. But the sky was turned dark black with weather nearer the top, which probably is about 10,400 feet there.

It took me a while as I had not used the winch yet and this is only my second year on an atv.

But it didn't rain and I got myself out.

I had had inspiration to get a winch, and when I posted here about it, I was encouraged to get one,, for sure.

Who was it here that advised me to get a winch before I needed it?

I was about 12 miles up the canyon at the time. A long walk home, to avoid spending the night on the mountain. Turns out the winch helped me out. And the two trees. Trees aren't always in the right place when you need them.

Next time, before I try a large road hazzard like that, I'll plan my winching before I need it.
dc
 
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