Written By Lynn “Quadman” Blamires
As 2021 opened, one of the questions on the minds of many in the ATV community was if there would be any jamborees slated for the year. I am happy to report that there will be. Riding in Utah’s scenic backcountry is one of the safest activities in which a rider can participate. It is next to impossible to break the six-foot rule while riding on the trail.
While the Tri-State Jamboree, normally the first jamboree event of the year, has been canceled, Kanab is gearing up for a full-blown event – the second annual Kane County Kanab Red Rock ATV Jamboree.
Formerly known as the UT/AZ ATV Fun Run, the event has been taken over by the Kane County Travel Council. Trail guides are provided by the Utah/Arizona ATV Club.
The dates have been set for April 28 – May 1 and registration is open. Fees are $150 per rider and include three breakfasts, two dinners, a fun welcome package, and three days of trail rides through Kanab’s beautiful red rock country. Each ride is limited to 21 machines so register early for good choices.
The jamboree opens on Wednesday allowing riders to check-in, pick up registration packets, and become more acquainted with the itinerary. Guides will also be available to talk about the trails offered. The day winds up at 6:30 pm with an ice cream social to open the jamboree.
2021 will be an interesting year. Sales of OHVs exploded under the restrictions of the pandemic. Now with all of these new owners, who knows where the trails are and how to get to them?
I went through this with my first ATV. The best way I found to learn about trails was to sign up for a jamboree. Not only do you ride with guides who know the trails, you learn more about the country through which you are riding including the history, geography, and the industry. I have always been fascinated about why people live where they do.
The trails in Kane County have been collectively named after Montezuma. I have ridden many of them and they are worth the trip.
For registration information, and descriptions of the rides visit visitsouthernutah.com/kanab-atv-jamboree/
One of them is the “Hoodoo Run.” This 45-mile ride starts at the Crocodile/Johnson Canyon staging area. These hoodoos are found in Brown Canyon. I love a good hoodoo, but I am even more interested in the Native American Water glyphs said to be found on this trail. I saw my first water glyph on Lost Spring Mesa east of Hurricane and became captivated by their history and purpose. Indians used them to communicate places to find water and good camping spots to fellow travelers.
One ride I can recommend is “Peekaboo.” Peekaboo is a two-part slot canyon that is accessible by ATV. It has all the features of a good slot canyon including tight places, logs and debris high overhead from previous flash floods, and Moqui Steps carved in the rock face for access to alcoves with granaries and other storage. I love the way that light can enhance these canyons. It is called a two-part slot canyon because after passing through the tight passages of the first canyon, the walls give way to a large open area before squeezing down into the second section.
Finding an arch on a trail is always a treat for me, but it is always better to have them pointed out by a guide than to find one on my own. For that reason, I would like to take the “Button Cabin Trail.” This trail starts at Nephi Pasture off the Johnson Canyon Road and goes right to the Inch Worm Arch. A hike down a slight hill gives a better view of this double arch. You will also see a well-preserved Indian granary. The ride continues through Nephi Pasture and Snake Canyon to view both Elephant Arches. Finally, the ride goes by Button Cabin after which the ride was named.
The Hog Canyon Trails are a part of the Montezuma Trail System and are also among the rides featured at this event. I have learned that rides through Hog Canyon go from wild to mild.
These are only three of the rides offered at this year’s jamboree. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down, and enjoy one of Utah’s jamborees.