In Southern Utah on the way to Moab from SLC there is a stretch of lonely lumps that the highway passes. Interesting little piles of earth away from the Book Cliffs out in the middle of nowhere. Usually one passes them by at a high rate of speed for they are on I-70 between Green River and Crescent Junction and if you are going to Moab, well you are almost there, why stop. Same can be said of the return north from Moab, we just started the drive and have hours to go, why stop. Recently I had the opportunity to make the drive to Moab by myself and managed to make the 4 hour trip last 8 hours due to lots of stopping and looking around. Well worth it if you are so inclined. On a map the area pictured is called Floy. It’s not a small town or a ghost town it is a “no town” sometimes known as a Ranch Exit (no services).
The classic cliché photograph of the open road is one I’ll never tire of. Should you take the ranch exit at Floy this is the road you will be traveling on as you go west to Green River. After a few miles of rough road you will wonder why you are taking slow a desolate alternate route when a much smoother and nice road is just a mile to the South. For starters you can stop just about anywhere. The time I spent out there the only other vehicles I saw were a pair of adventure motorcyclist. Stop and look around, take pictures, think about stuff, look for animals, whatever. When these pictures were taken it was pushing 100 degrees and the place was like an oven. Sunscreen, wide brim hat and long sleeve linen shirt are all recommended. In the 30 minutes or so that I was out in the sun my aluminum tripod legs and camera became hot to the touch and I downed a liter of water. This two lane road with minimal upkeep reminded me of being a youth in the 1970’s and traveling great distances in a VW Bug with the windows down, arm hanging out and hot as heck. Traveling in the air-conditioned and window tinted vehicles of today sometimes feels like cheating. I can imagine what it was like traveling these roads in an old Packard or other late 40’s car would have been like. I have nothing against the modern highways but it is the roads less traveled (paved or dirt) that are the most enjoyable for me.
After a year living in Logan I had the opportunity to drive up to Logan Peak (elevation 9710) this past June with my friend Carston and wow, what a drive it is. As with most drives in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest all but a few sections can be handled with a normal all wheel drive car and competent driver. In this case we passed a Honda Element (not high clearance vehicle) a mile or so from the top and it really was not until the last 100 yard that I had to put the Xterra into 4-wheel low. If you live in the area you should give it a visit sometime. The fastest route is via Logan Canyon and Right Hand Fork. From there go up Crowley Canyon (Forest Route 047) at the junction go west on 052. The next major turn is at White Bedground Camp with the way to Logan Peak well marked (Forest Route 168). This stretch of road goes through a really nice and well developed Aspen grove, has some fun switchbacks and a nice climb at the end where there is a parking area. At this point you will stay left on a nicely graded section of road, not the steep and rocky side trail to the right. The trail stays relatively flat until the last turn onto Forest Route 042. A mile or so later you will be there. This last section I would not attempt in a normal street clearance vehicle as there is a short rocky section that may stop you and the last section before the radio tower that will stop you for sure, plus it would be a pain in the ass to back out. The roads in the area close November 15 or earlier depending on winter weather.
Above: View from the top looking East. The road is Forest Route 042. As a side note the day we drove up there was a race and the road was packed with runners and mountain bikers.
Above: Last bits of snow hanging on.
Above: Looking North West from Logan Peak June 2012. These photos give an idea of the place and I would consider them location scout shots. The views would really be stunning on a cool fall morning at first light. I guess that means I have a return trip in the coming months. Yeah! One final note, access to Logan Peak via Providence Canyon was closed as of June 2012 to vehicles (Impassable). If you plan on visiting via that route check with the ranger station to confirm that Forest Route 090 is open.