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Riding the Max Reid Trail on My ATV

I try to get out and ride my ATV at least twice a month so I can breathe some fresh air and clear my head after a couple of weeks of stress and tedium at work. Not that my work is all that hard, but I find that if I get away from it, even for a few hours, it re-energizes me.

Since I work and live very near to some of the best trails in the United States, it's fairly easy for me to just jump on the ATV and get my Maxxis Bighorn tires spinning up the trail. In fact, there are so many trails that I can ride a different one each time I go—all summer long. That being said, I do have a favorite – the Max Reid Trail  (aka Dry Creek Trail, Sergeant Mountain trail or Joe Lott Trail).

The Trailhead

This trail is located in central Utah at a convenient location along Interstate 70. The trailhead is at Fremont Indian State Park and offers a lot of amenities.

  • Restroom
  • Information kiosk
  • Shaded picnic tables
  • Firepit
  • Potable water

As far as trailheads go, this is a great one. It's easily accessible to trailer too, or you can ride your off-highway vehicle from any one of a couple dozen towns nearby that you may be staying at.

Fremont Indian State Park and Museum headquarters is only a quarter of a mile from the trailhead and offers world-class exhibits about early Native Americans in the area. You can also see thousands of petroglyphs.

There are two campgrounds and a picnic area within two miles of the trailhead. You can also camp on Forest Service lands that are abundant in the local vicinity. So get those ATV wheels spinning and enjoy a four-wheeler friendly area.

Naming the Trail

If you have an older map you might see this trail referred to as the “Sergeant Mountain trail,” the “Joe Lott trail,” or the “Dry Creek trail.” However, in 2009, officials of the United States Forest Service renamed it as the Max Reid Trail to honor a long time employee and one of the more energetic forces behind the development of the Paiute Trail system.

On a warm July day in 2009, a couple dozen people gathered for the dedication, including Max. He has been a friend of mine for nearly a decade and just about everyone who knows him and his efforts to develop a safe and exciting trail system are ishusiastic about honoring him with a trail.

Riding the Trail

The Max Reid Trail itself is only about 12 miles in length, but I like to ride loop trails, so this story includes a return trip on the Kimberly Road. It winds through a ghost town which was once the center of a thriving gold mining community.

Beginning at an elevation of about six thousand feet, the trail rises from sagebrush hills through sparse stands of juniper trees and finally into dense evergreens and aspens at ten thousand feet. A good set of ATV discount tires will easily climb the rocky sections of trail. The scenic vistas and views are stunning, reaching their peak of beauty in the fall.

Trail conditions are good, but due to a couple of steep slopes, it's best suited for riders at the intermediate skill level or higher. Many first time riders handle it just fine, but please, use caution.

NOTE: 5.2 miles up the trail there is a 50” wide restriction, so most side-by-sides will not be able to get through. There is a sign at the trailhead warning riders to take another route.

Silver King Mine

Founded by Brigham Darger in 1894, this gold mine was active for many years and home to Brigham and his wife, Pansy Permelia Brown.

Today, ATV riders can dismount and walk along a trail or go inside the cabin to get a close up look at what mining and living in the wilderness was like over a hundred years ago. Be respectful of the history and do not remove any objects you may find while exploring the site.

Kimberly Ghost Town

The most prominent part of the Gold Mountain Mining District (mostly located along this ride) is the ghost town of Kimberly. Once a thriving community where hundreds of gold miners lived, today all that remains are mine shafts, collapsed buildings, and rock foundations. There is one active gold mine still in the area, but it is on private land and not accessible to ATV riders.

Many of the ruins of Kimberly are accessible to four-wheelers; just keep an eye out for rusty nails so you don't puncture your all-terrain tires or whatever you happen to be riding on. It's best to park and walk so you don't damage or destroy the fragile artifacts that remain. Bring a camera because the only thing you can take from this historic place is memories.

Nearby Trails

Riding the entire loop of the Max Reid Trail and the Kimberly Road is only 22 miles. That may not be enough for everyone. You can also connect to a number of other ATV routes in the area.

  • Paiute Main Loop Trail #01
  • Paiute Side Trail #76
  • Paiute Side Trail #77 (Deer Creek Trail) to BigRockCandyMountain
  • Paiute Side Trail #13
  • SevierCanyon
  • And dozens of other roads that are open to riders

Whether you only have a couple of hours or several days, the Max Reid Trail is a great ride or even a base camp for excitement. Who knows, maybe you'll even run into Max along the trail; he still rides it frequently.

Ryan Richards

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