Wolf Creek Pass and Provo Canyon

Wolf Creek Pass and Provo CanyonAfter a couple of weeks without a ride, 214 miles and four hours really hit the spot. I wanted to see how the road over Wolf Creek has fared since our trip a few weeks ago with snow still on the road, so I headed over the pass to see if spring has made it to the summit yet. The road was bone dry, but there was still snow on the north-facing slopes and in the shade.

I could feel the temperature drop as I approached the summit and was glad I had my jacket on—even though it was pushing 70 degrees in the valley. It’s easy to forget what the difference in altitude can do to the temperature, so it’s a good practice to be prepared for big swings in temperature this time of year. In fact, I was sprinkled with a little bit of rain as I neared the top.

050215 WC#3The town of Tabiona was named for the Ute Chief Tabiuna-To-Kwanah, Child of the Sun, and Ute warrior. Following the Black Hawk War, the Utes signed a treaty and were settled in the Uintah Basin in eastern Utah, but as what appears to be common practice at the time, the government didn’t honor the treaty and the indian agent responsible for supplying the Utes seems to have kept the supplies for himself. Starving, Tabiuna-To-Kwanah was the Chief that Dan Jones convinced to settle in Thistle Valley. You can read about the Thistle Valley and the Dan Jones story here. Eventually, the Utes wound up back on the reservation in the “Basin” as the locals call it.

050215 WC#2I’ve said before, the ride over Wolf Creek Pass is one of my favorites and one of the first rides my brother-in-law, Paul, introduced me to a week or so after I started riding several years ago.

One of the first passes to open up in the spring, it’s also a beautiful ride in the fall when the leaves are changing. I usually see several bikes on this ride, but today it felt like I had the road to myself.

I had originally planned on taking Indian Canyon from Duchesne to Helper and then home via Spanish Fork Canyon, but the weather started to look sketchy to the southeast so I opted to take 050215 WC#1Highway 208 to the junction with U.S. 40 and scoot home before weather in the high country turned wet. I’d like to put a Wolf Creek-Indian Canyon-Fairview Canyon ride together this year, but it might have to wait until the weather is a little more predictable. That said, it will be an epic ride.

By the time I hit Heber I wasn’t quite ready to jump on the Interstate, so I hung a left and headed for Provo Canyon. The ride through Provo Canyon was a great way to cap of a fun day in the saddle.

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