Silver Meadow/Lightning Ridge ride starts at an elevation of about 9,420 feet and rises to 9,740 feet at Lightning Ridge. The ride is about 25 miles round trip. The road and trail conditions on this ride are mostly a terrain rating #2 with some terrain ratings of #3 and #4 on a three mile stretch of FR 151.
This ride starts in close proximity to Wolf Creek Pass on State Hwy 35. It proceeds north towards Soapstone Ridge across open meadows and rolling landscape covered with sagebrush, wild grass and a variety of beautiful wild flowers. Between State Road 35 along FR174 to FR151 are dozens of great places to camp with trailer access both large and small.
After passing the open meadows you get to roads and trails lined with aspen and pine trees. You will pass through a gravel pit area that is active. They use the gravel to maintain the roads all the way to Little Pond. This is due to logging activity in the area. Please be attentive to logging equipment and trucks.
At Little Pond you will enter the portion of FR151 that is more of a trail than a road. It is in this area that your Terrain ratings of #3 and #4 are found. This is not a difficult section of trail, but will take more time to navigate. The scenery in this canyon is beautiful and you should take your time and enjoy the ride.
FR151 will take you into Rhoades Canyon (FR174) which is has a lot history (Google it and read all about it). Rhoades Canyon is an enjoyable ride past rock formations and rock slides, pines and aspen groves, and open meadows. There is a good possibility of seeing cattle and sheep in this area. At the top of Rhoades Canyon will be the road that will take you to Lightning Ridge.
Lightning Ridge has some spectacular views of the mountain peaks to the east, including East Granddaddy Mountain. You can also see down in to the North Fork of the Duchesne River Gorge. Lightning Ridge elevation is 9,740 feet. The elevation at the bottom of the North Fork of the Duchesne River Gorge is 7,415 feet. That is an elevation difference of 2,325 feet. The view is spectacular and a great place to take a selfie.
An interesting fact about Lightning Ridge is the “Jess Bigler” marker. In 1917 a man by the name of Jess Bigler, from Midway, Utah was herding sheep on Lightning Ridge. On September 6 he was struck by lightning and killed. We have given you a GPS location for you to find the marker on Lightning Ridge.
If you take this ride in late August or early September you will see golden eagles on their migratory trip south. They are large and beautiful birds that love to play and soar in the winds that blow across the mountain ridge tops. It is a lot of fun to watch them.
There is a fun water crossing on this ride called “Cold Spring”. This is on FR174 on your return trip back to your vehicle. It usually has quite a bit of water in it during most of the year. So go ahead and get yourself wet!
We always recommend that someone at home knows where you have gone to ride. You should include some of the information in this ride package such as the trailhead destination and coordinate, a copy of the trail map, and an approximate time you will be back. Some rides will have occasional cell phone service but you cannot always count on that. We want you to be safe and have fun. Please don’t venture off without telling someone where you are going.
Jess Bigler Marker: 40.511750 -110.892517
(All Directions begin at 10600 South Exit on I-15 in Sandy Utah. Routes and travel times to trailheads will vary depending on your location.)
Google Map Coordinates of Trailhead: 40.485833, -111.021133
Distance to Trailhead: 71 Miles
(Depending on your starting location distances your route of travel may vary. The most important thing is to arrive in Kamas Utah.)
From 10600 South and I-15 (in Sandy) travel north on I-15 to Exit 298 which is the I-215 Belt Route. When the I-215 Belt Route splits stay right on I-215 East. From there travel to Exit 2, I-80 East (towards Park City). Travel east on I-80 to Exit 146, US Hwy 40 East (from 10600 South to Exit 146 is approx. 36 miles). Travel East on US Hwy 40 for approximately 5 miles to Exit 4. After exiting on Exit 4 Turn Left (east) on State Hwy 248 and continue for 11 miles to Kamas Utah. At Main Street/SR 32, turn right (south) and travel 2 miles to the 4-way stop in Francis. In Francis turn left (east) on SR 35. Stay on SR 35 for the next 20.3 miles to FR174. Once you go over the summit at Wolf Creek Pass be watching for the turn off on the left side of or SR 35. It’s not far from mile marker 20 which is just after the summit. There will be a Forest Service sign on the right side of the road indicating that it is the turn off to Silver Meadow and Cold Spring. This is FR 174. Right after you turn on to FR 174 immediately to your right is an area to unload.
(If you have a weakness for donuts and fritters, take a short detour at the junction of 248 SR 32. Turn left (north) for 2 blocks to the corner of Main Street/SR 32 and SR 150. The Chevron Station on the northeast corner of this intersection has a bakery inside with delicious ones. See the picture below for a look at the “Giant Size Fritter.” YUM!)
We have provided several maps for your use. Study them carefully before you go on the ride for the first time. It is very important that you have some understanding of the ride in order to enjoy the ride rather than being lost. We have provided three types of maps:
– Highlighted map of this ride detailing the route to travel
– USDAFS Motor Vehicle Use Map 2016
– Topo maps of the area
All of these maps are images and are downloadable to your smart phone or to your computer. The Highlighted Trail map can be printed on an 8 ½ x 11 piece of paper to take with you. The Travel Maps and Topo Maps are large format and will not print that well on an 8 ½ x 11 paper. To download to your smart phone or device open the map on your device. Tap the screen and pick “Save Image” from the menu that comes up. The image is saved to your photos.
Hard copies of the Motor Vehicle Use Maps are available at the following locations.
(Not open Saturday and Sunday and Federal Holidays)
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
857 West South Jordan Parkway
South Jordan, Utah 84095
Heber – Kamas Ranger District (Kamas Office)
50 East Center Street
Kamas, Utah 84036
Part of enjoying a new ATV ride is being prepared. We feel that preparation should include a thorough study of the maps of the area. Another valuable tool is Google Earth. By studying Google Earth you will become familiar with the trail layout and surrounding topography that you will recognize when you are actually on the ride. This has helped us many times as we have traveled these rides for the first time
Provided here are Google Earth Coordinates of the ride. Enter them in Google Earth on your desktop computer or device, in order of their listing below. This will plot the ride out for you in satellite view and give you a better understanding of your upcoming ride.
How to enter the coordinates in Google Earth.
– Open Google Earth
– Highlight the number coordinate for the first point on this page and copy it.
– Paste this in the search box of Google Earth page and hit enter.
– A yellow pin will be dropped at this location with the coordinate as the title.
– Right click the Yellow Pin.
– Click on “Properties.” A box will appear.
– Highlight the coordinate name on this page and paste it to the name box on the Google Earth page and click “OK.” You’re all done.
– Repeat for each Coordinate.
#1 SM/LR 40.485833 -111.021133
#2 SM/LR 40.501900 -111.012917
#3 SM/LR 40.508700 -110.993033
#4 SM/LR 40.512333 -110.959900
#5 SM/LR 40.502400 -110.939167
# 6 SM/LR 40.496217 -110.899317
#7 SM/LR 40.511167 -110.904433
#8 SM/LR 40.523083 -110.905250
#9 SM/LR 40.511267 -110.891617
#10 SM/LR 40.524500 -110.911450
#11 SM/LR 40.528300 -110.933433
#12 SM/LR 40.521083 -110.947017
#13 SM/LR 40.516433 -110.962883
#14 SM/LR 40.514110 -110.964250
Depending on your service provider there are areas on this ride that you have cell service. Because cell service is limited, smart phone GPS apps don’t always work. If you want reliable GPS service we recommend you purchase an actual GPS that works off of satellites. They do come in very handy if you are going to be doing a lot of ATV exploring. GPS’s are very reliable but don’t completely replace knowing how to use topo maps and a compass. On occasion, they can take you to the wrong place.
You understand and agree that ATV riding can be a dangerous activity. ATV Dealer is not liable for any damage or injury, including death, resulting from your use of any information found on this website. ATV Dealer also disclaims any liability for direct, indirect, incidental, and/or consequential damages that arise as a result of your use of this website. You agree to indemnify and hold ATV Dealer harmless for all claims, injuries, damages, or costs (including attorneys’ fees) that arise from your use of this website, including for injuries and damages to anyone in your party.
While ATV Dealer strives to keep the information on its website current, any information on this website is provided by ATV Dealer as a courtesy only and ATV Dealer makes no representations or warranties of any kind, expressed or implied, about the accuracy, availability, or completeness of information with respect to the website. Any reliance you place on this information is strictly at your own risk (and all members of your party). You are responsible for obtaining, reviewing and interpreting the maps and information at your own discretion. You must use the maps based on information available at the time of the ride and not use this information as any authorization or permission in any respect. Information and policies on the ground and/or on the trail always overrule information on this website, in writing, or on a map. You agree to not hold ATV Dealer liability with respect to accuracy or changing conditions.
Trail Terrain Rating
-Graveled road with embedded rock
-Dirt trail with loose gravel and embedded rock
-Loose rock 3” and larger
-Embedded rock 3” and larger
-Will require low gear