Welcome to South-Central Utah's 900+ mile long Paiute ATV
trail System, a trail system that has no beginning and no end!
It passes through multiple towns and has side trails leading
into others. Dirt Wheels magazine rated the Paiute ATV Trail
as one of the top 10 trail systems in the country. It has been
rated as one of the top 5 trails in the country by ATV Illustrated
magazine. Many riders consider the Paiute Trial to be the TOP
US trail system. This website is intended as a guide to
acquaint you with the trail and to help make your ride an enjoyable
event you will long remember. You should read it before you
embark on your journey, so you will know what to expect.
Or better yet buy the book. A
trail map, part of the Utah Map Series published by Trails
Illustrated provides excellent guidance while on the trail.
The trail is designed to provide an enjoyable recreation
ride through some fantastic scenery. The trail was formed by
connecting old roads and trails crossing the Fishlake National
Forest and intervening BLM-administered land. Several narrow
sections of trail were constructed to complete the interconnecting
#01 loop. The main #01 trail is 238 miles long, with over 800
miles of marked side trails and an estimated 1900+ miles of
additional side forest roads and trails that are open to ATVs
and other recreational vehicles thus making the Paiute ATV Trail
System the largest in the country.
It is intended for leisurely, family-type riding. It is for
those who wish to get out on an ATV to smell the woods, view
the scenery, photograph wild flowers, fish, camp, or just get
away from the daily hassles of life. The main #01 trail alone
is estimated take at least 25 hours of riding time to complete.
For comfort and full enjoyment this time should probably be
spread out over three or four days. However, riders choosing
to explore the thousands of miles of marked and unmarked side
forest roads and trails may find themselves riding for weeks.
This trail is not intended for those wishing to race across
the countryside to see how fast they can get from here to there.
That type of use would cause unacceptable resource damage and
poses safety hazards to those using the trail for its intended
Although this website attempts to describe the experience
of riding the Paiute ATV Trail, it is truly impossible to put
in writing how people must feel as they sit on a ridge at 11,000
feet looking a hundred miles into the distance, or maneuver
their machine through a dense forest on a four-foot-wide trail.
The surge of joy and wonder when people see a free-roaming herd
of deer or elk is hard to describe. While taking a break on
a beautiful canyon trail, one would have to think, "It would
be impossible to describe this place - you have to be here!"
The Paiute ATV Trail is a joint venture administered by the
Fishlake National Forest, the Sevier River Resource Area of
the BLM, and the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation. A committee
of private individuals, and representatives of City, County,
State, and Federal organizations guides trail development and
Those wishing to comment on their experiences on the trail,
or give suggestions for improvement should contact:
Paiute ATV Trail Committee
c/o Fishlake National Forest
115 E. 900 North
Richfield, Utah 84701
· WHEN TO RIDE
September and October provide some of the best riding weather
on the Paiute Trail.
At this time of year the days are brisk, the nights cool, the
trees colorful, and the chances of precipitation generally low.
After October storms may close the trail or make riding unpleasant.
Spring riding is possible on the lower portions of the trail,
but snow drifts usually close the trail over the Pahvants and
the Sevier Plateau until early July and persist in the higher
portions of the Tushars until mid to late July. August is also
a good time for the high country, although the lower portions
of the trail can be hot.
Every year in April, May, or June, when temperatures begin
to rise, people start thinking seriously about the fun of getting
out on the trail. They remember the grand times they had on
the Paiute, or they dream wistfully about what they have heard
or read about the trail. Generally they're astounded to find
out that portions are still closed by large snow drifts. So
elevations are an important consideration. All told there are
6,360 feet (1.2 miles) of relief between the highest and the
lowest points on the trail.
At its highest point, in the Tushar Mountains, the Paiute
ATV Trail is 11,500 feet (3,300 meters) above sea level. This
is over a mile higher than the towns in Utah's valleys, and
over two miles higher than the cities along the east and west
coasts, where most of the U.S. population lives. At such elevations
summer is short, and several months later than where many of
In addition to the Tushars, the trail crosses two other mountain
ranges: the Pahvant Range and the Sevier Plateau, ranging up
to 10,000 feet (2,800 meters). Here too, snow drifts close the
trail until about a month after summer is in full swing at lower
Between these mountain ranges the trail crosses the valleys
of the Sevier River. Elevations in these valleys range from
5.000 to 6,000 feet (1,575 to 1,850 meters). Here the weather
is conducive to spring and fall riding, but temperatures in
June, July, and August can be scorching.
An added weather feature of importance to those interested
in riding the Paiute Trail are the monsoonal thunderstorms prevalent
over the southern and eastern portions of the trail from mid
July to the end of August. These storms can come quite suddenly
in the afternoon after what was a cloud free morning. They produce
a lot of lightning which can be frightening and dangerous if
a rider is caught on an exposed ridge.
continued next page
Thursday, December 09, 2010