The Epic Paiute ATV Trail: A Wild Ride Through Utah’s Backcountry

Eight adventurous riders embark on a grueling 250-mile journey through the rugged Paiute ATV Trail System, pushing the limits of endurance and exploring the breathtaking beauty of Utah’s backcountry.

In 2006, a group of friends set out on an audacious adventure – to conquer the Paiute ATV Trail System in a single day. This 250-mile loop, marked by the iconic Anasazi symbol known as “The Taz,” winds through the picturesque landscapes of Utah, offering both challenges and rewards for those brave enough to tackle it. Armed with their trusty ATVs and a shared sense of adventure, these riders embarked on a journey that would test their limits and leave them with unforgettable memories.

The Origins of the Paiute ATV Trail System

The Paiute ATV Trail System, renowned for its scenic beauty and challenging terrain, has become a mecca for off-road enthusiasts from around the world. Marked by the distinctive red Taz symbol, the trail takes riders on a 275-mile loop between Salina and Circleville. Its origins can be traced back to the early 1990s when local ATV enthusiasts saw the potential for creating a vast network of trails that would showcase the natural wonders of Utah.

Planning the Epic Ride

For our group of riders, the idea of completing the Paiute ATV Trail in a single day seemed like the ultimate challenge. With the help of shortcuts and careful planning, a 250-mile route was mapped out, ensuring that we would experience the best of what the trail had to offer. July 6 was chosen as the date, providing us with ample daylight to navigate the rugged terrain.

The Start of the Adventure

On the morning of July 6, eight riders dressed in Taz shirts lined up outside the Paiute Trails Inn in Marysvale, ready to embark on their daring journey. The excitement was palpable as we set off, heading southbound towards the unknown. Our first leg took us along a dirt road that hugged the western side of Piute Reservoir, setting the tone for the adventure that lay ahead.

Conquering Rocky Ford Creek and Forshea Mountain

As we made our way through Circleville, we encountered the first of many challenges – crossing Rocky Ford Creek on an ATV bridge. The narrow washes of the desert tested our riding skills, but the reward was worth it as we ascended into the cool air of Forshea Mountain. Riding past Manning Meadow Reservoir, we paused to take in the breathtaking views before continuing towards Koosharem for a well-deserved lunch break.

Water Crossings and Mountain Peaks

Leaving Koosharem, we had 150 miles left to cover. The Lost Creek Trail took us through Burrville and up Bear Valley, where we encountered thrilling water crossings that added an extra element of excitement to our journey. As we climbed higher into the Pavant Mountains, the views became even more awe-inspiring, with peaks reaching up to 9,000 feet. Richfield provided a much-needed gas stop before we embarked on the final leg of our adventure.

Overcoming Challenges and Embracing the Night

With 200 miles under our belts, darkness began to descend, and a storm loomed on the horizon. A flat tire threatened to dampen our spirits, but with quick thinking and teamwork, we repaired it just in time to avoid the approaching storm. The trail led us back into the mountains, navigating ridges and hollows until we reached the valley near Fremont Indian State Park. Opting for a shortcut, we made our way to Lower Kimberly, riding under the pitch-black night sky.

Triumph at Big Rock Candy Mountain

The final stretch of our journey took us to Big Rock Candy Mountain, where we called ahead to the restaurant and arrived just in time for a well-deserved dinner. Exhausted but elated, we celebrated our accomplishment and reflected on the incredible feat we had achieved. With only a few miles remaining, we made our way back to Marysvale, arriving at our rooms at midnight. The odometer read 270 miles, and though our bodies were weary, the smiles on our faces spoke volumes.


The epic Paiute ATV Trail ride was a testament to the spirit of adventure and camaraderie among off-road enthusiasts. It showcased the stunning landscapes and rugged beauty of Utah’s backcountry, while pushing the limits of endurance for those brave enough to tackle it. This unforgettable journey serves as a reminder to all adventurers to take the time to appreciate the scenery, stay hydrated, and never underestimate the power of teamwork. The Paiute ATV Trail awaits, ready to challenge and inspire the next generation of riders.






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