Thursday, January 28, 2021

A Ride and Drive across the North Snake Range

One of our go-to places to visit during the pandemic is the North Snake Range. The roads are rough, a lot of it is Wilderness, and most people tend to go to the more popular South Snake Range, where Great Basin National Park is located. That means we often have it all to ourselves and it feels so wild.

One weekend we decided we would do a combination of motorcycle/drive across the northern end of the range, going up Eight Mile Road on the Spring Valley side and then figuring out how to get down the other side. I had both Earthmate and Avenza (map applications that show you where you are via your phone GPS) in my phone so we could look at the maps as we drove.

But first, we sent Desert Girl off running with the dogs.

Desert Boy is a pretty good dirt bike rider. He was ready for  anew riding challenge.

I had never been up Eight-Mile road, so I stopped a few times to take photos. I enjoyed seeing the cliffs.

The views out to Spring Valley and the Egan Range on the other side were great. A long time ago a shallow lake filled the bottom of the valley. Now we see a playa, or dry lake bed. Very little grows on it. In some places you can even see the old lake shorelines.

Our trusty 2004 Dodge Ram truck was a trooper going up the rough road. It's manual transmission, manual roll down your windows, manual lock your doors by pushing down the locks. It's great, because it's so basic so there's less to break. And it has been very dependable.

We came across this cabin.


We saw several Eldridge initials on the doorstep.

It would be a cool place to hang out.

We even found some cows in this old corral. 

Then it was time to continue on. My husband used to do desert racing on his dirt bike and was top in the state. He took a long break from it while the kids were young but is getting back into it again as a way to exercise and as a hobby he enjoys. He makes it look really easy.

I liked this twisted juniper.

We pondered which roads to take down to the Snake Valley side, and since we didn't know anything about any of them, ended up with a random choice. There are a bunch of small drainages. My husband and Desert Boy went ahead on their motorcycles. If they found something the truck couldn't make, they would come back and tell me. Meanwhile Desert Girl and I listened to the soundtrack of Hamilton as we drove on.

We got down into the canyons, and it was beautiful, with small cliffs and twisting roads.

We ended up in a drainage I recognized from the spring, when I had gone out with some friends to look for new caves (we didn't find any). 

 We followed along this big wash and then came out near Gandy, Utah. It was a fun day exploring and getting to know our "big backyard" better. I'm grateful that we have such beautiful mountains to visit. There's still so much more to explore!

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