Last Thursday I went for a short ride to Fish Creek Canyon in the Book Cliffs. Two years ago I rode in the same area and turned back after seeing a lot of bear scat on the road. This time I was determined to continue to the end of the road. I would normally have ridden straight out of Price into the area, but there’s no legal way to get there without riding a long stretch of pavement on Soldier Creek Road. So, I loaded the ATV into the truck and drove up Dugout Canyon Road and parked just off a dirt road, then began the ride. This time, there was no bear scat to be seen, and I made it to what I thought was the end of the dirt road that parallels Fish Creek into the Book Cliffs. I parked the ATV there and began hiking up the canyon to find that the old mining track continued north, but had apparently been badly washed out where I parked. I hiked around and followed one mining track that branched off to the west, then backtracked and followed the main track up the canyon to its end. The road ended about half a mile beyond where I’d left the ATV. I expected to find some evidence of coal mining or prospecting, but there really wasn’t much to see there. I hiked back to the ATV and rode out of the canyon and around the bend to the next canyon to the east.
At the bottom of that canyon there were some boulders across the road where somebody had obviously tried blocking the road, but one of the boulders had been moved, which allowed smaller vehicles to get through. Just over half a mile past the road block, a natural rock fall blocked the road where it traversed a steep slope. I left the ATV there and once again began hiking. Past the steep slope, the road was in great shape and would have been easily driveable, but it didn’t look like there had been a vehicle on it in decades. It was almost exactly one mile past the rock fall until the road ended. I still didn’t see any sign of coal mining or prospecting, and there was really nothing of interest there. It seems unusual for a road to be built for no apparent reason, and I’m still left wondering why these two roads were created. I returned to the ATV and rode it back to the truck, ending an uneventful and uninteresting ride. I’d ridden the ATV for about 10 miles and hiked 2.5 miles. Although I didn’t see much on the trip, it was nice to satisfy my curiosity about the two canyons.
GPS Tracklog and Photo Waypoints (Google Earth .KMZ Format)
GPS Tracklog and Photo Waypoints (Google Maps)