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Duchesne Loop

A good place to start this ride is the gas station at the mouth of Provo Canyon. From I-15, take the Orem 8th North exit (exit 275) and go East. Once you cross State Street, migrate over to the left hand lane until you get to the mouth of Provo Canyon; the station is on your left. There the road will split, and you want to take the left fork up the canyon. Just follow the road over Deer Creek Dam and along the lake. You'll wind up at a signal in Heber City, where you will turn left onto U.S. 40. The Wagon Wheel Cafe is a good place to have breakfast or lunch. So is Granny's, with great burgers and their famous selection of shakes.

Head on out of town just a little ways, and you will come to the junction with UT 32. Turn right, which takes you past Jordanelle Dam and Reservoir. There's a nice overlook on the left side of the road, which will easily accommodate 50 bikes. About nine miles from the junction is Francis; proceed straight through town through the intersection which magically transforms UT 32 into UT 35. The next gas station I've seen is in Duchesne, 79 miles away, so have a full tank of gas. If the station in Francis is closed, you can gas up in Heber or in Kamas, which is just 2 miles north of Francis on UT 32.

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From Francis, proceed along UT 35. Beware the cattleguards on UT 35, some of which will launch you if you aren't ready for them. Follow the road to its end, at the junction with UT 87. Turn right, and go 6 miles South to Duchesne. I'll post more on Duchesne, like where to eat or where to find a park, when I make another trip.

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Once you hit Duchesne, you will reach the junction of UT 87 with US 40. Turn right, go one block, then turn left onto US 191. We saw these puffy clouds when taking a break in Duchesne.

Follow US 191 for 45 pleasant miles of elevation changes, turns, forests, and rocks. This will take you to its junction with US 6. Just before the junction is a large power plant, with a railroad grade crossing posted at 10 mph. Slow down for it. 11 mph is too fast.

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Turn right onto US 6 and proceed through a really impressive cut. Shown in the pic are US 191 (where you came from) to the right, and US 6 (where you are headed) to the left. Follow US 6 to Spanish Fork.

You can take I 15 to close the loop, or, better yet, take US 89 through Mapleton, Salem, etc., to Provo, then University Avenue (US 189) north to the mouth of Provo Canyon

(More pics to come)

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Fri, 31 Dec, 2004