BLM Draft Plan - Camping on JEM Trail System- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    BLM Draft Plan - Camping on JEM Trail System

    Please take a look at and comment on the proposed changes to camping along Sheep Bridge Road between highway 9 and 59, otherwise know as the JEM Trail System. Other than moving a few campsites. BLM has proposed nothing to address as they put it in their opening statement "to elevate the impacts to the human environment." They don't even try to tell us what the human environment is. Is it sitting in someone's living room looking out the window over the Virgin River Canyon, or is it the campsite you roll up to with your family and find several bags of garbage along with multiple piles of human waste and toilet paper wrapped around a bush.

    It appears to me this draft plan was prepared to address the complaints of a few residents who don't want to look out their windows to see a few evening campfires burning a mile or two in the distance.

    Personally, I am good with moving a few campsites to other locations, but please give the campers a can to put their trash in and a clean, private place to take a dump. Also, I see no forward thinking for current and future parking locations for bikers and hikers. The user numbers will increase along with the vehicle count and the poop piles.


    You only have until 9/2/2018 to comment

    https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-...ng_EA_2018.pdf

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    Fantastic plan which will protect the resource from abuse by private and especially commercial users and increase the quality of the experience for all users. Kudos to our BLM for protecting the resource.
    Last edited by STT GUY; 09-16-2018 at 08:12 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Fantastic plan which will protect the resource from abuse by private and especially commercial users and increase the quality of the experience for all users. Kudos to our BLM for protecting the resource.
    Can you tell us how this plan will protect the resource from abuse by private and commrcial users and increase the quality of the experience by all users?

    No new toilets near camping areas have been proposed, which would greatly alleviate the pooping in public problem. No trash collection sites have been proposed which would go a long way to address the trash accummulation problem. Commercial mountain bike guide services, which place an undue burden on the minimalistic parking areas with their vehicles and trailers occupying critically needed parking, along with their human waste problem at parking areas is still allowed. The several existing Commercial surface rock mining sites are allowed to continue the destruction of the landscape without remediation. The tent camping areas are not located near the only exiting toilet facilites. They tend to be the campers who poop in public more often that the camp trailer users. No new toilet facilities at trailhead parking has been proposed. No new or expanded trailhead parking areas have been proposed to address the increased biker and hiker use. Nothing has been done to address the motorized users and their interests. And the widening of trails by the mountain races is allowed to continue without post event trail repair.

    Help us understand the logic behind your fantastic statement of support. Did you support the option of leaving everything as is, or was it one of the other options?

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    First I suggest you research the BLMs policy and resource management and preservation policy regarding "Dispersed Camping".

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    Did you actually read the plan? Try that and then report back.


    STT Guy, are they doing a similar plan for Gooseberry mesa dispersed camping? I recall you bringing that up in the past as well

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    Are you asking, did I actually read the the plan?
    Last edited by STT GUY; 09-26-2018 at 01:35 PM. Reason: Spelling

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    No, was asking OP.

    I took a quick look and it seemed pretty obvious how establishing designated sites and removing numerous other campsites would improve and protect the area. Toilets and trash collection would be nice but this isn't a campground it is dispersed camping and pack-it-in-pack-it out etiquette applies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    Did you actually read the plan? Try that and then report back.


    STT Guy, are they doing a similar plan for Gooseberry mesa dispersed camping? I recall you bringing that up in the past as well
    Yes, they are.

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    You would think after reading it one would think it obvious. I helped write it so I'm kind of partial.

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    I avoid camping as much as possible but I just thought camping on BLM land was a free for all type deal. Over the last few years, I've definitely seen a huge increase in camping along Sheeps Bridge Road including obvious "organized" events. At least one of them was a Boy Scout camping event. To be honest, I don't notice all the negative effects because quite frankly, I'm not looking for them but I can see how things can get out of hand. The OP is just upset because he appears to be running a commercial venture that may be impacted by the decision. That being said, I agree with him that a designated restroom and parking area like they have up on GB Mesa is a great idea and maybe more than one if the campsites are going to be very spread out.

    I hope that if the BLM is going to go thru all this trouble that they are going to do the necessary enforcement to make it work. I know they are short staffed so that could be a chore at times.
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    Do you know the concept of "Dispersed camping"? The whole idea is to keep camping slots many hundreds of feet apart to minimize impact and to regulate density. Once this is grasped then it starts to make more sense.

    There are plans for a new trailhead with parking and a restroom similar to gooseberry but they are not part of this particular project.

    Sheep Bridge road is on a (very) short list of high priority paving projects. There will be some minor realignment and the BLM doesn't want to place any new facilities in the way of any said realignment.

    Hope this is helpful.

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    Well, I wasn't looking for an argument but based on the map in the document, you can't tell how far away the campsites are away from each other. Secondly, "many hundreds of feet" is not too far to walk or bike when you gotta do #2...assuming there was a designated place to do so. In the once every couple years I used to camp up on the mesa, I tried to camp close enough that I can get to the Windmill TH for that purpose but that's just me, I know most campers are finding the closest bush and taking a dump wherever they want. Suggesting that the concept of restrooms nearby for campers sounds like a good idea to me after seeing what 18 Road in Fruita looks like after a busy weekend. You obviously don't agree and that's okay too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    There are plans for a new trailhead with parking and a restroom similar to gooseberry but they are not part of this particular project.
    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    Suggesting that the concept of restrooms nearby for campers sounds like a good idea to me after seeing what 18 Road in Fruita looks like after a busy weekend. You obviously don't agree and that's okay too.
    I don’t see any sign that STT Guy disagrees. Cleaning up and organizing the dispersed camping situation is one discrete project. An improved campground is another.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    I don’t see any sign that STT Guy disagrees. Cleaning up and organizing the dispersed camping situation is one discrete project. An improved campground is another.
    A bathroom at the TH is different than where people are camping....and taking most of their grumpies. Whether the civilized world wants to accept it or not, the *standard* practice is as mentioned by Wheelbender....people find a bush, take a smash and then put or rock over it or cover it with dirt. I'd be lying if I said I haven't done it myself but would definitely go through the trouble of making it to any type of restroom.pit toilet if there was one nearby.
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    If people actually dug a hole and covered it with dirt this wouldn't be that much a problem. But they often aren't doing that. Walk 20ft behind almost every dispersed camping site and you'll find bunches of used TP and other remnants. Its disgusting. I see it more in places that aren't popular bike camping locations so I think it is more the general population than mountain bikers specifically (blame the van life douche bags!) but no doubt it happens in our user group too. Agree that bathrooms might be a different project here but having one in the vicinity of the dispersed camping area would be beneficial in the long run. I know I'd rather walk/ride over than squat behind camp - and there isn't a whole lot of brush to hide behind near the Jem trail system.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    First I suggest you research the BLMs policy and resource management and preservation policy regarding "Dispersed Camping".
    As expected, another one of your standard dismissive statements or techniques used when challenged by facts, opinions, or simply requests of explanation.

    Since you tell us you had input into the plan, please explain the plan's definition of the "human environment." You must know, or you could not have made a single intelligent statement regarding the plan.

    Tell us how moving camp sites and providing fire rings solves the problems of trash and poop piles left behind by campers thus improving, what I believe to be, the human environment.

    I think I have traveled every trail and road on the Jem and have found human generated waste on all of them. I am guessing it appears you assume if anyone camps in a dispersed campsite, they automatically know what the BLM rules for trash and waste disposal are and will thus clean up their mess. Without enclosed toilets, they will do what they have done in the past, squat in full view of their neighbor. And without trash receptacles, they leave their garbage on the ground.

    The best chance for improving the "human environment" for tent campers and trail users regarding human waste elimination is to provide trash receptacles and enclosed toilets so we dont have to see the squatters.

    The user count on our trail system is excellerating. We need to make them a bit more civilized rather defend our ego's when improvements are identified by others.

    I am just a trail user, no commercial enterprise that involves the use of any BLM land, though the foe likes to accuse me of guiding when I ride with friends from other locations. I am not a paid guide.

    Can you give us some answers rally than a dismissive statement?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelbender View Post
    As expected, another one of your standard dismissive statements or techniques used when challenged by facts, opinions, or simply requests of explanation.

    Since you tell us you had input into the plan, please explain the plan's definition of the "human environment." You must know, or you could not have made a single intelligent statement regarding the plan.

    Tell us how moving camp sites and providing fire rings solves the problems of trash and poop piles left behind by campers thus improving, what I believe to be, the human environment.

    I think I have traveled every trail and road on the Jem and have found human generated waste on all of them. I am guessing it appears you assume if anyone camps in a dispersed campsite, they automatically know what the BLM rules for trash and waste disposal are and will thus clean up their mess. Without enclosed toilets, they will do what they have done in the past, squat in full view of their neighbor. And without trash receptacles, they leave their garbage on the ground.

    The best chance for improving the "human environment" for tent campers and trail users regarding human waste elimination is to provide trash receptacles and enclosed toilets so we dont have to see the squatters.

    The user count on our trail system is excellerating. We need to make them a bit more civilized rather defend our ego's when improvements are identified by others.

    I am just a trail user, no commercial enterprise that involves the use of any BLM land, though the foe likes to accuse me of guiding when I ride with friends from other locations. I am not a paid guide.

    Can you give us some answers rally than a dismissive statement?
    Prove it.

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  18. #18
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    Be careful what you wish for. As soon as BLM puts a pit toilet and a trash bin in a campground, it will be $20/night.

    BLM camping fees to increase Oct. 1 - Moab Sun News: News

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    I wasn't arguing, I was asking if you understand the "BLM Dispersed camping" policy. This project is to manage dispersed camping, not build a new campground.

    The toilets at Gooseberry are at trailheads. There will be one, possibly two more in the JEM area at trailheads along with designated parking.

    At the JEM area most campers are not bikers so mobility could be an issue but far more people use RVs/trailers in the JEM area as well.

    A vault toilet is over $50K. I had no idea the were this expensive.

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    They are more required criteria with water being the big one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    They are more required criteria with water being the big one.
    The BLM campgrounds around Moab don't have water. They have a fire ring, a spot to put a tent, and a pit toilet somewhere nearby. A few don't even have fire rings, and some make you park in a common lot and haul your gear to the site. They are all $20/night as of October 1.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    Prove it.
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    Another dismissive statement.

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    When we were working on this I asked the BLM Rep, why not charge and he said dispersed camping in "no fee". I forgot those are " campgrounds" in Moab. My bad.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelbender View Post
    Another dismissive statement.
    Irony

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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    Be careful what you wish for. As soon as BLM puts a pit toilet and a trash bin in a campground, it will be $20/night.

    BLM camping fees to increase Oct. 1 - Moab Sun News: News
    From the article...."Last year, revenues for the fee campgrounds were $994,000, while expenses totaled $1,192,000.” I'm not big into camping but I'm alright with their plan to try and recoup their costs. As I previously mentioned, after seeing 18 Road in Fruita after a 3 day holiday weekend, they need to do something.
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    So you didn't bother to read it?

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    That's a concept that some here seem to be incapable of grasping

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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    From the article...."Last year, revenues for the fee campgrounds were $994,000, while expenses totaled $1,192,000.” I'm not big into camping but I'm alright with their plan to try and recoup their costs. As I previously mentioned, after seeing 18 Road in Fruita after a 3 day holiday weekend, they need to do something.
    The irony is that the expenses are directly related to the amount of "development" they do on the campground. If they just charged $5 for dispersed camping with a drop box for the fees, enough people would pay that a few centralized dumpsters could be provided and things would be fine. Start ticketing campers that don't have the required porta-potti. That would being in huge revenue.

    Instead, BLM builds more and more "developed campgrounds", and the costs go up and up, so the fees have to keep going up and up. Ten years ago there were only a couple BLM pay campgrounds around Moab and they were $7/night. Now there are dozens, and the fee is $20/night.

    The Moab area has enormous issues now, not just camping issues, but issues of all kinds that will be impossible to solve, 90% of which are caused by the industrial tourism industry, of which BLM is a major enabler. Other towns used to look to Moab as an example of how they could jumpstart their economy. They need to look at Moab now as the example of what *not* to do, because the place is a shitshow. Don't let your area follow suit. Resist *anything* that would bring in more tourists.

  29. #29
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    [QUOTE=honkinunit;13834791]The irony is that the expenses are directly related to the amount of "development" they do on the campground. If they just charged $5 for dispersed camping with a drop box for the fees, enough people would pay that a few centralized dumpsters could be provided and things would be fine. Start ticketing campers that don't have the required porta-potti. That would being in huge revenue.

    Instead, BLM builds more and more "developed campgrounds", and the costs go up and up, so the fees have to keep going up and up. Ten years ago there were only a couple BLM pay campgrounds around Moab and they were $7/night. Now there are dozens, and the fee is $20/night.

    The Moab area has enormous issues now, not just camping issues, but issues of all kinds that will be impossible to solve, 90% of which are caused by the industrial tourism industry, of which BLM is a major enabler. Other towns used to look to Moab as an example of how they could jumpstart their economy. They need to look at Moab now as the example of what *not* to do, because the place is a shitshow. Don't let your area follow suit. Resist *anything* that would bring in more tourists.[/QUOTE

    STT Guy and his sideshow seem to think moving a few campsites and providing fire rings at each will be the answer to "improving the human environment." He has been asked to educate us dummies about the human environment this plan will improve since he claims to have been part of the team who prepared the Plan. As always he attempts to deflect the request to some other information source and tells use we are ignorant to the facts unless we follow his instructions and agree with his conclusions.

    Something has got to be done to oversee the land on either side of the Virgin River as it involves camping and user habits.

    Totally unrelated to human poop problems…. I took the dog out for a run today and found two full size couches and a big pile of yard waste in two different prime camp sites along the road to the Virgin River Diversion Dam. Fire rings won't address this problem, but I suppose both will make for some great twilight bonfires.

    Maybe BLM will begin to understand what improving the human environment really means when they prepare the options for doing so.

  30. #30
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    [QUOTE=Wheelbender;13835360]
    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit View Post
    The irony is that the expenses are directly related to the amount of "development" they do on the campground. If they just charged $5 for dispersed camping with a drop box for the fees, enough people would pay that a few centralized dumpsters could be provided and things would be fine. Start ticketing campers that don't have the required porta-potti. That would being in huge revenue.

    Instead, BLM builds more and more "developed campgrounds", and the costs go up and up, so the fees have to keep going up and up. Ten years ago there were only a couple BLM pay campgrounds around Moab and they were $7/night. Now there are dozens, and the fee is $20/night.

    The Moab area has enormous issues now, not just camping issues, but issues of all kinds that will be impossible to solve, 90% of which are caused by the industrial tourism industry, of which BLM is a major enabler. Other towns used to look to Moab as an example of how they could jumpstart their economy. They need to look at Moab now as the example of what *not* to do, because the place is a shitshow. Don't let your area follow suit. Resist *anything* that would bring in more tourists.[/QUOTE

    STT Guy and his sideshow seem to think moving a few campsites and providing fire rings at each will be the answer to "improving the human environment." He has been asked to educate us dummies about the human environment this plan will improve since he claims to have been part of the team who prepared the Plan. As always he attempts to deflect the request to some other information source and tells use we are ignorant to the facts unless we follow his instructions and agree with his conclusions.

    Something has got to be done to oversee the land on either side of the Virgin River as it involves camping and user habits.

    Totally unrelated to human poop problems…. I took the dog out for a run today and found two full size couches and a big pile of yard waste in two different prime camp sites along the road to the Virgin River Diversion Dam. Fire rings won't address this problem, but I suppose both will make for some great twilight bonfires.

    Maybe BLM will begin to understand what improving the human environment really means when they prepare the options for doing so.
    This is how we solve the problem. Put your money where your mouth is. Instead of bitching about trash, help.


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  31. #31
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    Silentfoe, thank you for cleaning up the mess I photographed and posted back in April of this year. I just lost the desire to clean up after others and needed some help. Having spent the previous 2 years picking up dirty diapers, sh*t piles, toilet paper, yard waste, furniture, concrete, busted tents, clothing, bags of garbage, I had reached the point of exhaustion and needed some help.

    Your use of the word "bitching" is a bit extreme and intended to fan the flames of hatred. I prefer to think of my comments and ideas as statements of an obvious problem and identification of protentional solutions. Hauling the trash away after the fact is not "solving the problem," but I think it is a good move forward in attempting to improve the human environment for the campers, trail users and the town of Virgin. Lets see if BLM agrees.

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    Wheelbender is starting to look like a keyboard warrior over here


    At the end of the day do you want to be rider like wheelbender that complains without action or Silentfoe that responds with action

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    Singletrackd, guess you didn't read my comments just prior to yours. See post #31.

    Trash cans and toilets, oh my.

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    Education. Understand "Dispersed Camping".

    We are managing dispersed camping, not building new campgrounds.

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    Wilful ignorance and errant assumptions...

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    This past weekend there were 32 RVs and 16 tent camps in a area of less than ten acres. That's not dispersed camping. Not even close, that's a campground.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Wilful ignorance and errant assumptions...
    dems sum big wurds fer u boy, wut du hek yu tawkin bout?

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    Great News!!!

    The BLM begins work Monday on implementatio of the news dispersed camping management plan. Eradication of existing campsites and scarred areas and building of new sites.
    Last edited by STT GUY; 10-13-2018 at 04:23 PM.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Great News!!!

    The BLM begins work Monday on implementatio of the news dispersed camping management plan. Eradication of existing campsites and scarred areas and building of new sites.
    That's good to hear. No longer just a "this might happen".

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  40. #40
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    I've seen where blm will be installing toilets and improved parking at the JEM, Wire Mesa, and Bearclaw Poppy locations this year. Thank you blm.

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    I mentioned the new trailhead facilities on the JEM but was unaware of the BCP upgrade. Thanks for the updates Mark.

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    So we're looking to spend Turkey day break in the desert (like it seems to be every year now with the lack of snow in UT), and usually camp on Sheep Bridge Rd, but usually more North, closer to Highway 9, as it seems a little more spread out and not as rowdy. I believe those spots were closed when we out there in spring this year, is that true? How about the spots on the way to the Virgin Dam trailhead?

    It sucks these great central to a lot of trails in the area places are being changed, but it makes sense. Every year we go there, the spots are more trashed up. We always bring our groover and make sure to make the place nicer than when we arrived. Just wish more people would be better stewards of the land.

    Are there any maps showing what is going on camping wise in that area? Just don't want to lose a day riding trying to struggle to find a place to put the pop-up. Thanks for any info.

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    The obvious answer is "call the St George BLM office" . However, I know for a fact that the camping is still a free for all and site-specific camping won't be enforced until after Jan 1.

    Enjoy your trip!

  44. #44
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    They've got signs up already for the designated spots and it's slowly taking shape.

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