Monticello UT - Sunday - 110 miles

We were going to be staying in Moab on Sunday night so we decided to load the bikes up and trailer them south rather than riding the bikes down US 191 and back. I like the DRZ but it is not so comfortable on the road, and we didn’t want to have to gas up again. We went down to Blanding on went West on UT 95 to Cottonwood Road. We pulled up next to a ranger and asked if the truck would be ok parked there for the day, and he said it was no problem. So we got the bikes down and headed up Cottonwood Road. Our main target for the day was the back side of Natural Bridges Park where we had been on the street the year before. We stayed on W Water Rd and then jogged over to Elk Mountain Rd after making a quick picture stop at the edge of a cliff. After an hour or so we spotted a side road that took us a ridge overlooking Hammond Canyon where we stopped for pictures. We continued on Elk Ridge Rd, we were at about 8k feet along the ridgeline of Elk Canyon. We stopped once or twice to catch a glimpse of the canyon but there was nothing that great to see quite yet. Elk Mt Rd turned south where it intersects with Woodenshoe Rd. We took the latter and worked our way toward our goal. Woodenshoe then turns north and we veered left and south on Deer Flat Rd. I remember routing this area and that there were some differences between Google Earth and the Garmin mapping software, but we managed to take the correct route. We stopped along Deer Flat Rd to take some pictures and this would be about as close to our target as we were going to get. Had we veered to the right at the top of the ridge, staying on Deer Flat Rd we could have gone down further, but we decided to keep going. The road was now Burch Canyon Rd and we rode down 800 feet in a little over a mile and a half. Burch Canyon Rd runs on the West and North side of the Natural Bridges area and is very scenic. The roads continued to be well graded dirt and gave us no trouble. Soon we reached UT 275 which is part of the entrance road to the park. A quick jaunt to the East and we were back on Elk Mountain Rd headed North. In very short order we came upon a nice scenic overlook where stopped for pictures. We could see UT 95 from this vantage point. I had routed us down Arch Canyon Rd so we turned right and headed down. This was supposed to take us to Comb Ridge but we were not able to find the trail. It looked pretty sparse on Google Earth so it wasn’t a huge surprise. We backtracked the way we had come in on Elk Mountain Rd. We tried Whiskers RD thinking that would take us back to the truck but it was dead end. We reached the truck and decided to go to the spot where we would have come up on Arch Canyon Rd. This was a county road that was not marked. We went down a big hill with huge boulders and I knew we were going to have to come back and it would not be easy. We took some pictures and some deep breaths and headed back up. We stopped just before the boulders and gave a thumbs up. We both made it, but it was as serious a challenge as we would have the whole trip, WOW! Back up on top we went down Poseys Trail for a couple of miles and then called it day. We drove to Moab and set up our camp.



Day Four Sunday July 25th