Utah Backcountry Discovery Route

The Utah Backcountry Discovery Route, or UTBDR, is a scenic driving route across the state of Utah, from Arizona to Idaho, for dual-sport adventure motorcycles and 4x4 vehicles. This 871 mile long south-north route uses mostly un-paved backroads and will pass through a number of iconic locations including Moab, Valley of the Gods, the Abajo and La Sal Mountain Ranges, Nine Mile Canyon, and the northern Wasatch Mountains.

The Utah Backcoutry Discovery Route was produced and released by Curbsyde Productions with major support from Touratech-USA, KLiM Technical Riding Gear, Butler Motorcycle Maps, NEMO Tents, WARN Winches, Sidi Boots, and Noren Films. Additional support provided by Canyon Lands Jeep Rental, BMW Motorcycles of Utah and The Edge Powersports KTM.

For ride reports, route updates, and to join or organize BDR rides, please visit the UTBDR thread on www.ADVrider.com and the Americas thread on www.advrider.com

Traffic Cams on the UTBDR help you see snow levels along the route.


Route Updates

April 2, 2015 - LaSal Store/Gas stop had closed.

Sept 22, 2015 - LaSal Pass (North Side) has become extremely difficult and rocky due to recent rains.  It is to be considered an EXPERT only section at this time until repairs are made.

Nov 6, 2015 - LaSal Store/Gas stop reopens.

 

3 Step Hideaway

Great Rides Utah Motorcycle Rentals

UTBDR

CLOSE MAP

Backcountry Discovery Routes

Backcountry Discovery Routes Headquarters

Backwoods Brewing Company

An ideal location to celebrate either the beginning or the end of the WABDR.  The pub is open 7 days a week, and will soon be open 11:30 AM - 9 PM every day.  They have outdoor and indoor seating, are family friendly, dogs welcome, and they serve delicious pizza, salads, sandwiches and, of course, beer!

1162 B Wind River Hwy, Carson, WA 98610

Mon - Th 3-9 PM

Fri - Sun 11:30 AM-9 PM

Death Valley Desert Ride - 3rd Annual BDR Fundraiser - SOLD OUT

This event is sold out. Email us to get on the waiting list.
We look forward to exploring Death Valley with new and old friends!



Join the BDR Team, Members, Ambassadors, and other industry professionals and ADV enthusiasts for the third annual BDR Desert Fundraiser, and help raise funds required to create new routes and preserve riding opportunities for the ADV community.

 

BDR Fundraiser

 

THE THIRD ANNUAL BDR DESERT FUNDRAISER RIDE TO BE HELD IN DEATH VALLEY, CA 

Thursday, April 14 - Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Ranch at Furnace Creek

Highway 190, Death Valley, CA 92328

$785 per person (10% discount for BDR Members)

Limited to 50 Riders

Kick off the riding season by exploring the best backcountry trails of the world renowned Death Valley basin. Enjoy spectacular desert scenery, colorful geology, and breathtaking wilderness, while you learn the remarkable Western history, make new friends, and gaze at the stars in one of the largest Dark Sky Parks in the world!

The western-themed grounds of the Ranch at Furnace Creek in the heart of the Death Valley National Park is the base camp for this year's fundraiser.    

WHAT’S INCLUDED

*Note: A limited number of Tent Camping and full hook-up RV Sites is available on a first come first served basis. Please indicate your need for RV or dry camping at the time of the reservation.

All motorcycles must be licensed, street legal, and dual-sport or adventure type.

You’ll have a chance to win prizes from our sponsors KLIM, ExOfficio, Wolfman Motorcycle Luggage, Touratech-USA, Butler Motorcycle Maps, Trailmaster Adventure Gear, Colorado Motorcycle Adventures, DoubleTake Mirror, and other sponsors.

 

ATTENDING THE DEATH VALLEY DESERT RIDE

Tickets to attend the event are $785 per person, and space is limited to 50 guests.  A discounted price of $350 is offered to wives/partners of attending riders, covering all meals and camping/RV hook up. 

The deadline to book your tickets is March 15, 2016.

Reserve your tickets online.

Ticket Options

 

Call 206-383-6233 to make your reservation over the phone. 

Or send your check to: Backcountry Discovery Routes, 4021 Airport Way South, Seattle, WA 98108, USA.

For questions or more information, email info@backcountrydiscoveryroutes.com or call 206-383-6233.

 

BIKE RENTALS

For your convenience, Colorado Motorcycle Adventures is offering adventure motorcycle rentals on location. Simply call Colorado Motorcycle Adventures at 720.505.2030 to reserve your bike of choice for the event. They will bring the bike to the event for you free of charge and have it ready to ride.

Death Valley bike rental

Furnace Creek Ranch

Furnace Creek Ranch Pool

BDR Death Valley Ride

 

 

 

 

 

EL Farolito (El Rito, NM)

Cafe Abiquiu (Abiquiu, NM)

Bode's General Store (Abiquiu, NM)

EL Bruno's Restaurant & Cantina (Cuba, NM)

EL Cafecito (Grants, NM)

12th Street Coffee (Carrizozo, NM)

Ella's Cafe (Reserve, NM)

NMBDR Movie Premiere - Salt Lake City, UT

NMBDR Premiere in Salt Lake City, UT

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Brewvies Cinema Pub, 677 South 200 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84101.

7:00 pm - Doors open 
7:30 pm - Movie followed by Q&A

Guest Speakers: Kevin Woody, BDR Ambassador and NMBDR Expedition Member.

Tickets: $10 each or $15 for two.  Purchase tickets in advance in person at Harrison Eurosports, located at 339 W 9000 S in Sandy, Utah; or by calling (801) 562-0100.  No tickets will be avaialble at the door. 

For more information: Call (801) 562-0100 or visit the Facebook Event Page.

This event is presented by Harrison Eurosports.

Experience challenging riding on remote backcountry roads covering 1,200 miles through the beautiful state of New Mexico.  Discover New Mexico’s scenic terrain including high-elevation forests, mountains, deserts and canyons. You will experience the unique culture and history of New Mexico’s rural towns, native reservations, historic locations & more.



NMBDR Movie Premiere - Albuquerque, NM

NMBDR Premiere in Albuquerque, NM 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Kimo Theatre423 Central Ave N.W. Albuquerque, NM 87102.

2:00 pm - Doors open 
2:30 pm - Movie followed by Q&A 

Sandia BMW Motorcycles, the Presenting Sponsor of the NMBDR, is organizing a ride to the event from their dealership. The group gathers at Sandia at 11:00 am and leaves for the theatre around 12:30 pm.

Guest Speakers: Rob Watt, NMBDR route architect and BDR Board Member; Roger Pattison, NMBDR scouting and expedition team member.

Tickets: $12. Purchase your tickets at http://www.kimotickets.com/event/233137.  

Parking: Free Sunday meter parking is available on Central Avenue.  There is a paid parking garage behind the KiMo Theatre on 5th Street and Copper, as well as a surface parking lot on 6thStreet and Central. (Note, the theatre does not validate parking).

For more information: Call (888) 898-9985 or visit http://www.sandiabmwmotorcycles.com

This event is presented by Sandia BMW Motorcycles.

Experience challenging riding on remote backcountry roads covering 1,200 miles through the beautiful state of New Mexico.  Discover New Mexico’s scenic terrain including high-elevation forests, mountains, deserts and canyons. You will experience the unique culture and history of New Mexico’s rural towns, native reservations, historic locations & more.


Albuquerque NMBDR premiere

 


NMBDR Movie Premiere - New York, NY

World Premiere of the NMBDR Movie Documentary, New York, NY 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

BMW of Manhattan Motorcycles, 555 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019.

Motorcycle parking will be available on site for the event at 555 West 57th Street.

7:00 pm - Doors open
7:30 pm - Movie followed by Q&A

Guest Speakers: Sterling Noren, Film Director; Kevin Woody, NMBDR expedition team member and BDR Ambassador.

Admission:  Admission is free with your RSVP.  RSVP at http://goo.gl/forms/5UYpAmJdfD

For more information: Call (212) 373-7863 or visit the Facebook Event Page.

This event is presented by BMW of Manhattan Motorcycles.

Experience challenging riding on remote backcountry roads covering 1,200 miles through the beautiful state of New Mexico.  Discover New Mexico’s scenic terrain including high-elevation forests, mountains, deserts and canyons. You will experience the unique culture and history of New Mexico’s rural towns, native reservations, historic locations & more.

NYC NMBDR Premiere

Rocky Mountain ATV/MC

Built by a team of riders as passionate about adventure motorcycling as you are, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC has become the go-to source for adventure riders everywhere. With dedicated categories for riding gear, adventure tires, luggage/panniers, camping gear and motorcycle parts, Rocky Mountain ATV/MC is your online stop for adventure.

MotoDiscovery

Since 1981, MotoDiscovery has been riding the often overlooked roads of the world seeking authentic destinations off the beaten path.   With their unique selection of motorcycle tours in over 40 countries, including Cuba, Myanmar and Turkey, MotoDiscovery has found its way into the hearts of many spirited men and women.  In addition to guiding tours around the world, MotoDiscovery can design a custom tour of a lifetime for you and your friends.  With over three decades of serving the adventure motorcycling community, you can count on MotoDiscovery to Experience Authentic Adventure.™

Pine Barrens Adventure Camp Riding School & Seven Mountains Adventure Resort New Jersey and Pennsylvania

The East Coast's most popular adventure motorcycle touring and training company. Sponsored by BMW of Manhattan, they specialize in GS and Big Bike training for off-pavement riding and eco-touring, and feature enduro champion and veteran adventure instructors.  The adventure camp also offers weekend tours of the Pinelands National Reserve, and their new Seven Mountains Adventure Resort will feature world class quality accommodations, touring and instruction.  For more than 10 years, the people behind the Pine Barrens School have organized one of the best attended AMA National Adventure rides, the Pine Barrens 500.  They are also the preferred supplier of adventure routes and training classes for the Touratech Rally East event.

Can't Stop Smokin BBQ (Ruidosa, NM)

Cooper's Cafe & General Store (Ardenvoir, WA)

Gas station, cafe and a general store.

The Pony Expresso (Dolores, CO)

Rodeway Inn (Stevenson, WA)

Nestled in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest off Highway 14 and Interstate 84 near the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

Rivermist Mountain Top Estate B&B (Stevenson, WA)

Nestled on five wooded acres catering to those seeking relaxation surrounded by natural beauty and spectacular views of the Columbia River Gorge. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Columbia River from the cedar lodge with over 5,000 square feet and a 23-foot ceiling.

Columbia Gorge Riverside Lodge (Stevenson, WA)

The Lodge offers eight themed studios in four modern log cabins. No TVs or in-room phones. Cell service and free Wi-Fi are available in guest rooms as well as around the city.  Fully-oufitted kitchenettes, gas fireplaces, shared and private heated soaking pools, outdoor decks facing the river, and low rates ( $89, $109, and $219.)

Colorado Motorcycle Adventures

Ride in comfort and style with Colorado's premiere adventure motorcycling and rental company, located in Denver, CO.  Colorado Motorcycle Adventures is a BMW Motorrad partner and the only BMW certified touring company in the USA. They offer late model dual-sport motorcycles, provide route suggestions, self-guided tours, and all-inclusive guided tours of the Rocky Mountains. Whether you want a one day adventure or a two week ride-of-a-lifetime, the guys at Colorado Motorycle Adventures have over 20 years of experience riding motorcycles across the country, and will put their knowledge and expertise to work for you. Your ride awaits. Live Large, Explore More!

Colorado Motorcycle Adventures

Ride in comfort and style with Colorado's premiere adventure motorcycling and rental company, located in Denver, CO.  Colorado Motorcycle Adventures is a BMW Motorrad partner and the only BMW certified touring company in the USA. They offer late model dual-sport motorcycles, provide route suggestions, self-guided tours, and all-inclusive guided tours of the Rocky Mountains, as well as tours on the BDR's. Whether you want a one day adventure or a two week ride-of-a-lifetime, the guys at Colorado Motorycle Adventures have over 20 years of experience riding motorcycles across the country, and will put their knowledge and expertise to work for you. Your ride awaits. Live Large, Explore More!

River Pilot Tours

Based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, River Pilot Tours is a full service international tour company offering a variety of engaging motorcycle touring packages in the U.S.A and abroad. Packages include FIT self drives, fully guided tours, self-guided GPS tours in the U.S.A, or even extravagant motorcycle and horseback riding in Mongolia. They have wholesale access to rental motorcycles and cars, hotels, airlines, attractions and even offer scouting and support services for business and private individuals. Take a few weeks off and give River Pilot a call. They'll take care of the rest.  River Pilot - Come Along For The Ride.

AZ border to Mexican Hat

Sec 1 Mexican Hat to Monticello

Begin your epic ride in the idyllic setting of Mexican Hat. Fuel, food and lodging are available here, but we advise booking your room ahead due to the limited number of beds at this popular destination. The route officially starts just east of the town in the famed Valley of the Gods, site of legendary western movies and iconic sandstone towers-a dazzling display of pastel hues painted by the rising sun will surely motivate you to get up and out early. Once you rejoin the pavement, a brief ride up the Moki Dugway ushers you east onto Snow Flat Road and eventually north up Butler wash. Fuel up in Blanding to prepare for the Abajo Mountains stretch. WARNING! Stay tuned to the weather forecast and be prepared to spend the night if conditions sour-the road over the Abajos may become impassable in the rain and mud. HIGHLIGHTS: Valley of the Gods towers; swtichbacks up Moki Dugway; Native American artifacts in Butler Wash; views from the Abajo Mountains

Sec 2 Monticello to Dewey Bridge

Fill your tank to the brim in Monticello before heading out on a nice paved ride over Harts Draw Road. At the intersection of Highway 211, you’ll have a choice to make. For novice riders, the decision should be to go east towards the La Sal Mountains-the scenery is similar to the Abajos with spectacular views in every direction. Turning left here will eventually take you to Lockhart Basin, an experts-only trail and a 70-mile trip from Indian creek to Moab. WARNING! Do not attempt this section if you are not comfortable in advanced off-road situations (refer to video for more info). Both fuel and supplies are available at the Needles Outpost, a short distance from the turn-off to Lockhart Basin Road. Rudimentary camping is available along both routes, as well as along Onion Creek further north of Moab. Make sure to replenish fuel and supplies in Moab. HIGHLIGHTS: Newspaper Rock; Canyonlands National Park; Colorado River views; Hurrah pass; Onion Creek; historic Dewey Bridge

Sec 2 EXPERT ONLY Lockhart Basin

Sec 2 Winter Around LaSal Mtns ALT

Sec 3 Dewey Bridge to Wellington

As you heave the historic Dewey Bridge behind, the riding moves onto the flatter areas of Utah. Don’t be put off by the flat terrain. Old mining camps and abandoned uranium mines offer plenty to look at. The route will eventually pull you north of I-70 into the Book Cliffs, a 200-mile sedimentary rock outcropping. Get off your bike to check out the ghost town of Sego before dropping down into the town of Green River. Options are limited, but fuel for you and your bike are available here. Ray’s Diner downtown is a popular stop for travelers passing through. Just outside of town, the route heads north along Cottonwood Wash offering pleasant views of the San Rafael Swell to the west. Expect to make up some time along the Green River cut-off, which will take you west along the Cedar Mountain Recreation Area via a graded gravel road. If you do not plan on camping, consider riding a short distance to price, which has more food and lodging options than Wellington. HIGHLIGHTS: Yellowcat Mine; Book Cliffs; Sego ghost town; Sego cemetery; Ray’s Diner

Sec 4 Wellington to Currant Creek Hwy 40

Upon leaving Wellington, an old paved road ushers you to the mouth of Nine Mile Canyon, a beautiful 70-mile stretch of backcountry byway. While the canyon encompasses all types of archaeological sites, it is also home to the world’s largest concentration of Native American rock art, which dates back 8,000 years. Halfway through the canyon, turn onto Argyle Canyon and up to Highway 191, where you’ll cross onto Reservation Ridge. From here, the road rises to 9,000 feet offering gorgeous views that seem to stretch forever. WARNING! It is 240 miles from Wellington to Evanston. If your fuel range is less than that, take a quick detour to Soldier Summit for fuel. Continuing north, Timber Canyon offers a charming ride under a canopy of thick cottonwood trees along the Strawberry River. For those looking to camp, there are several campsites here, but please respect private property rights in this area! Section 4 officially ends at Highway 40 and Currant Creek Road. HIGHLIGHTS: Nine Mile Canyon; Reservation Ridge; Timber Canyon; Uinta National Forest

Sec 4 out to Gas

Sec 5 Currant Creek to Evanston

You’ll get high into Utah’s northern mountains on this stretch. After crossing Highway 35, follow a primitive road surrounded by evergreen and aspen trees. The road eventually tops out on a high alpine meadow with rewarding panoramas of the Uinta Wilderness. There is reasonable camping here though better sites can be found along the alpine lakes further ahead. For advanced riders, there are alternate trails up to the lakes—while challenging and rocky, they’re worth the trip if you and your machine are up to it. If you’re not, jump the highway and keep an eye out for signs labeled ‘Washington Lakes Trail’. The pavement of Highway 150 is unavoidable in the next section but it has been rated G2 and G3 by Butler Maps, and offers fun riding nonetheless. Turn onto Whitney Road to rejoin the dirt. The final section brings you to Evanston, Wyoming where you can fill up on fuel and food. HIGHLIGHTS: High meadows; alpine lakes; G2 pavements; miles of aspen-lined roads

Sec 5 up to Camping

Sec 5 Expert Whitney Bypass

Sec 6 Evanston to Garden City

Aside from staying in Wyoming and stitching together roads in the vast gas and oil fields, there is no way to avoid the paved section from Woodruff to Monte Cristo Ridge. Hang in there—once you arrive at Monte Cristo Ridge, the route winds through dense pine forests and offers a number of expansive vistas to the west and east. There are myriads of great camping sites the entire length of the road on the way to Garden City. At the end of the route, you will be rewarded with a view worth of the epic adventure you just experienced across the state of Utah. Head into Garden City for a cold pint or a cup of raspberry ice cream, the town’s specialty. HIGHLIGHTS: Outstanding views; tall pines; Bear Lake; raspberry ice cream

Garden City to ID border

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UTBDR FAQ

Below are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route.  

UTBDR Packing List

(This packing list serves as an example and is not intended to be a complete list for your backcountry riding needs. Feel free to customize this list to work for you.)

UTBDR Restaurants