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Beaver Canyon s(u) -1

Ut153 between Beaver and Junction is an enigma. At least part of the upper portion of the eastern approach from Junction is deep gravel - so deep, that is so difficult to ride in ... so deep, it makes you ask "why is this kind of biking so popular anyway " ? It is a kind of UDOT  counterpart to their famously dangerous rumble strips on paved roads.

On the other hand, the western approach from Beaver is a paved road perfect for cycling, with little to no traffic, great surface, scenery that is not bad for super-high Utah standards. And ... the only reason that is so - is because of the bad surface on the other side, which keeps traffic away.

Beaver Canyon first reaches an signed summit on pavement, and then continues to this second unpaved highest point on the road between Beaver and Junction. There are many other gravel road turnoffs along the way to explore, including an even higher gravel loop summit on FR123.

1.START-END WEST:jct Main Street - Ut153, Beaver
2.jct with Kent's Lake Rd on right
3.jct with PST005 on left
4.jct with road to Tom's Flat on left
5.Beaver Canyon s(u)-2, 10000ft
6.low point between summit, 9680ft
7.Beaver Canyon s(u)-1,10250ft
8.jct with Kent's Lake Rd on left
9.START-END EAST:jct Main Street - Ut153, Junction


From East.
An excellent traffic-free road leads up from Beaver into a green plateau landscape. At one  point the road engages in a big roundabout swing to gain elevation into a higher hanging valley. Otherwise it stays on the bottom of a green canyon.

Approaching the ski area the road crosses high meadows and large rounded peaks with snow remaining in the beginning of June. This high valley is a chance to relax a little bit after the steep grades before and ahead. The road reaches a paved summit, marked with a Summit sign, stating 10000ft. Coincidence ? Checking this on the map, the road does actually touch the 10000ft contour line.

The decent before the profile starts climbing again is less than 500ft. But if you take a right, near the signed junction to Puffer Lake on the other side, then the approach size on this side becomes larger than the required 500ft. I am calling that summit Beaver Canyon Summit-1

At the junction the pavement also ends and the road promptly climbs to a higher elevation surrounded by forest. However approaching the rolling top section, the road crosses miles of expansive alpine meadows with alpine peaks showing up all around - by far the most scenic section of the ride.

From West. Unfortunately the road becomes deep coarse gravel on this side, very difficult to climb on. Even downhill it is a royal pain in the butt. Traversing forest, the road crosses a high valley at the jct with FR137. This makes a comfortable day loop via Kent's Lake Rd s(u) possible. The surface continues as deep gravel with relatively large rocks - difficult to ride. But these things change over time. So far I got to mileage marker 31 at ~9150ft.

cLiCk on image , arrows , or thumbnails to advance slideshow

Dayrides with this point as intermediate summit:

( < Silver State Trail: section Bristol Lake - Bennett Pass | same page > )


Beaver Canyon s(u)-2 x2 : a short distance up FR122 several miles from Beaver <> down FR122 <> up Ut153 <> Beaver Canyon summit s(u) x2 << turnaround point at jct with FR137 to Kent Lake: 50.7miles with 6220ft of climbing in 6:29hrs (garmin etrex30 m3:22.5.27).
Notes: late start because of a lost dog and a broken propane tank bracket on the camper.

( < same page | PST005 s(u) > )

Beaver Canyon s(u)-2 , Kent's Lake Rd s(u) : a short distance up FR122 several miles from Beaver > down FR122 > up Ut153  > up Kent's Lake Rd > Kent's Lake Rd s(u) > Ut153 east << turnaround point at mile marker 31 at ~9100ft > Ut153  west > Beaver Canyon s(u) >  back to starting point on FR122: 52.1miles with  6100ft of climbing in 6:29hrs (garmin etrex30 m3:22.5.31)
Notes: a cold last day of May. But not nearly as cold as two days earlier. I started on this route then and had to turn around at 9200ft because of snow and cold. Luckily I found a going campfire at the campground at 8200ft to get some feeling back into my fingers. A shivering decent followed.