Skunks and rattlesnakes are also present in the area. If
you encounter one in the middle of the trail, common sense should
tell you to stay your distance until it decides to leave or
you can find a safe route around. Then you can use the encounter
to spice up the description of the trip to the folks back home.
Some wildlife is only wild to those unfamiliar with the area.
One group of ATVers was stopped by a herd of cows on the trail;
they turned around and returned to town. Trail riders must realize
that most of the trail system is on public lands where ranchers
have permits to graze their cattle. Consequently, you may see
cattle on practically any part of the trail. They are completely
harmless. When encountering cows on the trail, simply reduce
your speed and continue driving. They will get out of your way.
Some cows may even think you are there to herd them and stay
on the trail ahead of you for some time. Be patient, they will
eventually get out of your way. On the other hand, remember
that these cows are someone's property, so do not harass then
Because there is grazing, there are gates along the trail
separating pastures or land ownerships. Always leave these gates
as you find them; open if you find them so, or closed if they
were closed when you arrived. On many parts of the trail gates
are being replaced by cattle guards, some especially designed
for ATV's, to make your trip easier.
At places the Paiute Trail passes through private land. All
of the main loop and some of the side loops follow legal rights-of-way
across these parcels of private land. The travel management
map for the Fishlake National Forest shows the location of these
rights-of-way. It also shows areas of the Forest that are closed
or restricted to motorized travel to protect wildlife habitat,
watershed condition, or recreation opportunities. When crossing
private land on a right-of-way, remember not to trespass on
someone else's property.
There are several factors that should be considered that
are due to the high elevation of the trail. As pointed out above,
elevations along the trail range from 5,000 to 11,500 feet above
sea level. The factor of the late summer riding season has been
discussed above. A second factor caused by the elevation is
the rare atmosphere and low oxygen levels. People with respiratory
problems or a heart condition should consult a doctor before
leaving home. Also people coming directly from near sea level
must be aware that their physical stamina will be limited until
they become acclimatized.
A third factor caused by the rare atmosphere at the trail's
high elevations is temperature fluctuations. First, with over
a mile of relief between high and low points of the trail, there
can be a 20 to 30 degree temperature difference along the trail.
Second, it is common to have a 40 degree temperature change
from morning to night. This diurnal fluctuation especially must
be considered by those planning to camp along the trail. Along
with these temperature fluctuations is the fact that it never
really gets too warm at 11,000 feet. As a result you should
always carry warm clothing even if the weather appears mild
at the start of a ride.
Pre planning is the key to a successful trip. Once you embark
on the trail, you are in a different world with few support
services. It is important that you have everything that you
might need. This includes having enough fuel to get from one
filling station to the next. The trail system is so extensive
that even though there may be hundreds of people riding the
trail at the same time, you may go for hours or even all day
without meeting anyone.
If you are planning to camp, you will need tents, stoves,
sleeping bags, lanterns, food, etc. There are plenty of camping
spots along the trail. Campfires are permitted except during
periods of extreme fire danger. Burn only dead and down wood,
make sure the fire is completely out before you leave, and clean
the campsite so it looks as if no one has been there.
If you are planning to stay in motels, plan how far you in
tend to travel each day and then make reservations. Most of
the towns along the trail are small and motel accommodations
are extremely limited. Eating establishments are also limited
in the smaller towns. Learn the hours of operation of local
cafes ahead of time. You also might want to learn ahead of time
where ATV's can be repaired should you have trouble.
If this booklet does not answer all of your questions you
should contact the Fishlake National Forest, the Richfield office
of the BLM, a local chamber of commerce, or travel council.
They will be able to give you additional information, answer
specific questions, or direct you to the pro per source. Government
agencies, such as the Forest Service or the BLM, cannot recommend
individual private businesses. To get advice on motels, ATV
rentals, etc., you should contact a local chamber of commerce
or travel council.
continued next page
Thursday, December 09, 2010