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Friday, February 26, 2010

Adventures of a lifetime

Being in this business since 1995 and maybe more importantly being an off road enthusiast all my life has given me the opportunity to ride some pretty good adventures. I’m a lucky man for sure!

I loved the years I spent riding the sand dunes, and of course the years I spent racing across the desert as well, but when it comes to my fondest memories, great adventures are the best. For ATVs, two incredible adventures stick out in my memory.

One is the trip up Surprise Canyon. I first heard of this adventure back in the October 18th issue of Autoweek. Yes, as odd as that sounds, Autoweek, a predominately race-oriented weekly car magazine had a feature by Mark Vaughn as he followed Rick Russell and a rag tag group of off roaders up an incredibly amazing canyon to the ghost town of Panamint. It was an incredible adventure. The Jeeps had to be winched up the slippery waterfalls along a trail that continued to be washed out. The Surprise Canyon ball quickly started rolling. The next month’s issue of 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility had another article by Phil Howell going up the trail with Rick.

Well I, unfortunately never had the opportunity to take a Jeep-type rig up there, but I was certainly way more fortunate to be the first to take an ATV up the canyon in 1995. At that time I was writing for several magazines including ATV Magazine. But I no doubt am giving you more information than you desire here ;-) What you want to know about is the trail!

The approximately 10-mile long trail up Surprise Canyon is highlighted by the ½ mile section of the canyon that was steep, narrow, rocky, and flowing with water. Very slippery water. Well, actually it was the rocks that were slippery from the year-round water flow. And that was one of the highlights of the adventure – getting up the falls. The second part of the adventure was the remote town of Panamint at the top. Because the town couldn’t be reached by any other way than this extremely difficult trail, it remained very well preserved.
It was an incredible adventure of a lifetime, and one that we captured on video for ATV Television when we found out that the trail would be closed down. We just uploaded that video to our website and you can watch it right here: Surprise Canyon – An Ultimate Adventure!

The other great “Adventure of a Lifetime” was my first circumnavigation of the Paiute Trail. This was also done in 1995 for a feature article in ATV Magazine. We later did it all again for ATV Television. It took us a whooping 7 days and rode over 700 miles! We explored side trails and camped under the stars every night.

These two trips started a love affair with the Utah mountains that started almost yearly trips to the area to ride and to film. You can watch many of those trips on the Adventure section of our website. It’s the Paiute Trail and nearby Moab Utah that helped me to coin the phrases, “the adventure of a lifetime”, and “once you ride here, once won’t be enough!”

The Paiute Trail is an approximately 250 miles in length and goes from around 5000 feet in elevation in the lower plains, all the way over 11,000 feet at the highest passes. It is an incredible trail, and better yet, part of an even more incredible system of trails in Utah where you can literally ride thousands and thousands of miles on your ATV. Some of the towns along the trails even allow you to ride into town to fuel up and get supplies.

One reason I bring these two adventures up is that I'm considering taking some time off from 'work' this summer and guiding a few trips exploring this area. Perhaps another loop of the Paiute Trail and perhaps maybe some day rides along some of my favorite trails.

I'll keep you posted as to the possibilities. Keep an eye out on the website as well for an invitation!

Happy trails,


  1. Without a doubt the Paiute Trial with you out front would be “the adventure of a lifetime”.

    Please do keep us posted.

  2. For sure. I would take you up on that invite


  3. Please keep us posted. I would love an invite.