Ticaboo, Utah

Lake Powell without a boat

Published in the June 2018 Issue June 2018 Feature

For years we have driven past the small town of Ticaboo, UT, on our way to Lake Powell. Little did we know that some great side-by-side riding was hiding in the surrounding canyons.

When Gary Winterton, the host of the Hooked on Utah outdoor TV show, told us about how good the riding in the area is, we were a bit skeptical. After spending several days riding the Ticaboo trails we are now believers.

Winterton hooked us up with his friend, Captain Ray Golden, at the Ticaboo Lodge (www.ticaboo.com), who gave us a great deal on accommodations and offered to show us the trails in the area. The lodge is a good value during the off-season and offers a pool and volleyball court. The lodge has an onsite restaurant although it was closed for the off-season during our visit. There is a little grocery store/restaurant just across the road at the Offshore Marina. RV pads with hookups are also available. 

It was noon by the time all of our group arrived and were ready to go. The first few hours of our ride took us through narrow slot canyons that towered hundreds of feet above us. It was a tight fit in several areas and the Wildcat 4 vehicles in our group barely cleared and anything wider would have been relegated to waiting until we returned an hour later.

The next part of our ride took us to Hope Bay Lookout. From here you can see Lake Powell with a great view of the majestic surrounding landscape. The trails travel through scenic terrain and are passable by even novice riders. We returned to the lodge shortly before dinner time. The Lodge offers gas BBQs for guests, which some of us used to cook our meal. Others drove the short distance to the restaurant at Bullfrog Marina.

Next Day’s Ride

After a good night’s sleep everyone gathered in the parking lot to see what Captain Ray had in store for the day’s ride. One of our favorite areas to ride is Moab and although the terrain was nowhere near as challenging as Moab, the scenery would rival anywhere we have ridden. The trail we traveled on that day crossed the river numerous times and snaked through beautiful canyons en route to one of the most beautiful lookouts we have ever seen.

Later we traveled through a petrified forest where travelers are allowed to take up to 25 lbs. of petrified wood with them. Our guide called the area Poison Springs although we never saw any springs and no one was poisoned. The area reminded me of going to the Grand Canyon without the hike or visiting Lake Powell without a boat. The ride for the day took 4-5 hours and left time to relax afterwards. 

Once back at the Lodge, Captain Ray told us about many other rides available in the area. He told of one which crossed the river 40-50 times and even traveled in the river at times. He told of another that would eventually reach Moab if you wanted to spend several days on the trail.

Our visit was during early March and it was a little cool but comfortable. June through August would likely be pretty hot so spring or fall would be the time to go.

This was our first trip to the area but will not be our last. We are already planning another trip this fall. Join us and see Lake Powell from a different vantage point; just leave the boat and water skis behind.

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