Tooele County’s vast terrain just begs for ATV and dirt bike enthusiasts to turn the throttles open for a thrilling experience. Many local citizens do it, as well as residents from nearby Salt Lake City who arrive in droves every weekend with their camper and “rides” in tow.
The county offers miles of trails to explore, plus racetracks for ATVs and dirt bikes at Deseret Peak Complex. The Mack Canyon Trail (also known as the Stansbury Front Trail) is one of those places where riders can stop and soak in the view. The trail runs through the foothills on the eastern side of the Stansbury Range, and within eyeshot of the Deseret Peak Wilderness Area.
The trail is managed by the U.S. Forest Service, and is accessible at Hickman, West, North Willow, Davenport and South Willow Canyons. Riders are advised of the trail’s narrow width, and that only horses or two-wheeled vehicles, specifically mountain bikes or motorcycles, are permitted. Four-wheel vehicles, including ATV’s, are not allowed.
There are restricted and prohibited areas for ATVs in Tooele County. The Deep Creek Mountains, which border Utah and Nevada, and the Deseret Peak Wilderness Area in the Stansbury Mountains, are entirely off limits.
But ATV’s have the green light at two highly popular sites: Five Mile Pass at the southern end of the Oquirrh Mountains, and the Knolls OHV Recreation Area just off of Interstate 80 in the Great Salt Lake Desert.
From Tooele City, getting to Knolls requires more travel time than Five Mile Pass, but the variety of riding and fewer riders make it appealing, especially for riders just learning the ropes.
Dirt bike racing enthusiasts also have the unique opportunity to test their skills on Deseret Peak Complex’s phenomenal courses. The three distinct courses are of such high caliber, they make Deseret Peak Utah’s premier dirt bike facility. Call (435) 843-4020 for track conditions.
There are OHV maps available through the Utah Parks and Recreation Division in the Off-Highway Vehicle Information Division at 1800-OHV-RIDE. Additional OHV riding information on Five Mile Pass is available at www.utahatvtrails.com.