As always, we wanted to run a BDR this summer, and I'd had my eye on Colorado or Utah as both are always beautiful states through which to travel. With record snowfall across the west, we realized a few weeks before our departure date that Colorado was completely out of the question, and even portions of the Utah route could still be blocked by snow.
Still, the Utah BDR is an iconic route. Meandering 871-miles through the Valley of Gods, climbing the Moki Dugway, picking the perfect route through the rough roads of Lockhart Basin, and winding through four mountain ranges along the eastern edge of the state (Abajo, La Sal, Uinta, and Wasach), there's no doubting the spectacular scenery along the entire route.
And so, on the evening of July 3, as we walked out of the Las Vegas airport to 111°F temps, we were both eager and hesitant to start this amazing journey. One that was - most certainly - more technical than any we'd done before, but also took us through terrain - and to a plethora of places - that we'll never forget.
As usual, BDR routes can be found on the RideBDR web site. I always find there's a little work to get them into tip-top shape, but that just gets you a little more familiar with the route before you embark yourself!
We Arrive and it is Hot | UTBDR Prologue - As always, we wanted to run a Backcountry Discovery Route (BDR) this summer, and I'd had my eye on Colorado or Utah as both are always beautiful states through which to travel. This would be our seventh BDR in as many years, the original Oregon BDR being one of the very… Mexican Hat to Monticello - Back in Time | UTBDR Stage 1 - The first stage of the UTBDR meanders - like the San Juan River - through some of Utah's most recognizable landscape. It's hard to say that it was way too early when my alarm went off at the base of Mexican Hat, but it's safe to say that we'd gotten way too… Lockhart Basin - Edge of the Needles | UTBDR Stage 2 (Expert Alt) - Before running the official stage 2 route, we were headed to the alternate (red), a more difficult trail through Lockhart Basin. Of all the stages on the Utah BDR, I was most looking forward to the expert route through Lockhart Basin. This stretch of road piqued my interest for a… Monticello to Dewey Bridge - Blocked by Snow | UTBDR Stage 2 - Lockhart Basin in our rearview mirror, it was time for the main Stage 2 route through the La Sal Mountains. Having wrapped up our brief time in town with a quick meal and a refreshingly cold Coke - kept icy cold in my favorite stainless steel vacuum cup - and… Currant Creek to Evanston - Finishing Wyoming's BDR | UTBDR Stage 5 - Stage 5 of the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route was the greenest of them all, through the Uinta Mountains. It took us longer to find a lunch spot than we expected, swarms of mosquitoes attacking us as soon as we ventured into the shade along the side of Currant Creek. While… Evanston to Garden City - Almost to Idaho | UTBDR Stage 6 - The final stage of the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route. Doesn't start in Utah; doesn't reach the Idaho border. It was a balmy 83°F as we wrapped up lunch under a shady tree in Evanston, Wyoming, ready to start the last stage of the Utah BDR. As we did, a rider… Gotta Love Utah | UTBDR Epilogue - After completing the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route, we're up to seven BDRs since we started running them seven years ago in 2016. Through the running of each one, @mrs.turbodb and I are - as you can imagine - regularly comparing the current BDR to the past ones. I finally started…
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