Early Spring in Skull Valley

Skull Valley.jpg

Before the passes are clear in the early spring, if you want to put in a few miles, the west desert is the ticket for an afternoon ride. It’s not the most scenic riding, but there’s something about the lonely roads on the open range that is relaxing.

The weather was nice as I headed southwest toward Eagle Mountain and Cedar Ft. If you dress right and layer for the weather, you be ready for spending a couple of hours on the road.

The road to Rush Valley is along part of the old Pony Express route and I can’t help but think of what it must have been like galloping through the sage brush headed to California. I’m cruising along at 65 or 70 mph in relative comfort compared to what they experienced. I’m sure they could appreciate just how vast the desert landscape from Utah to California really was (and still is) on horseback.

Once you climb over the pass at Rush Valley and drop into the valley, other than the Dugway Proving Grounds, there's not much on the lonely road back to the Interstate. There's a fairly big cattle enterprise as you get nearer to the freeway, but other than that you'll be pretty much on your own if you break down or run out of gas.

NOTE: Even if you don't think you need any fuel, any time anyone needs to gas up it's a good idea to top of the tank. Never pass up an opportunity to top off your tank. If you're lucky enough to have a friend with a syphon hose with you, you won't be stranded, but the ridicule you'll take from that friend will be never ending.

I can't help but think of what it must have been like to have settled in this part of the world 100 or more years ago. There are remnants of those settlements in Skull Valley. It must have been a lonely place.

The pass out of Rush Valley doesn't climb too much, so if the weather cooperates, this is a great ride to break the monotony of the winter (check the road conditions before you try to climb over the top).

Once you're back on the Interstate you still have a few miles before there's a fuel stop at Lake Point where you can top off the tank and choose to either take the Interstate into Salt Lake or hang right and head into Tooele and loop around to Cedar Fort and home via the way you started.