Utah BDR

Utah Backcountry Discovery Trail

Updated for 2017 with improved route options and choices

September 10th -16th 2017

Ride is over now, here is a link to the pictures


About the ride

This is a 6 day ride starting in southern Utah near Mexican Hat and riding north to Wyoming. The ride starts on Sunday morning and finishes in Garden City near Wyoming on Friday evening. Riders wishing to make a loop ride and return to the start of the ride will be given an 8 hour back highway route to the start.

This ride includes motel and restaurants. Riders will need to carry their own gear as there is no support vehicle. Each evening riders will be spending the night in a different lodge along the route. Most lunch is non existent and riders will need to pack their own snacks.

This ride is for experienced riders only. As this ride can be tough in sections, we have designed alternate routes and easier options for those riders wanting a break day or in case of bad weather.

Signup info:

The cost to join this 6 day ride is $650. This covers your lodging for the 7 nights during the ride and your ride packets which include a custom Garmin GPS Map on a micro SD card and printed ride maps and descriptions.

Sorry Ride Full

Note: Riders must make full payment by August 1st, 2017

Riders will receive ride packets in the mail one week before the ride.

Refund Policy

Do not sign up for this ride unless you are serious about coming. I take your signup very seriously and start planning for you the minute you sign up. If you need to cancel up to one month prior to the ride start date I will give you a full refund but I will keep $100 to cover the planning work. Sorry but I make non refundable commitments myself so it gets hard for me. "I hate this world of non refundable deals myself." If you need to cancel within one month of the ride I cannot give a refund unless I can find a replacement rider. In the case of finding a replacement rider, I will gladly give you the full refund minus the $100 to cover the planning work. In the event of ride cancellation, you will be given a full refund.

Ride Details

I know many of you also enjoy dreaming about the ride and making your plans, so here is the detail, enjoy!

The Utah Backcountry Discovery Route, or UTBDR, is a panoramic route across the state of Utah, from Arizona to Idaho. This 871 mile, south-north route traverses mostly unpaved backroads and passes through a multitude of scenic locations including Moab, Valley of the Gods, the Abajo and La Sal Mountain Ranges, Nine Mile Canyon, and the northern Wasatch Mountains.

Google Document

Ride Yoda's

Yoda Keith (DNA Doctor)

View the ride on the Satellite Maps

OK since many of you like to study more detail about the ride, below are the ride maps.

I put these ride maps on the web page because I know a few of you love looking at the ride detail and dreaming about the ride. At first glance these maps do not look so impressive, but they are way cool. If you start zooming in, you can see the ride in incredible detail. I have spent a ton of hours sorting through the details of the ride for each day, so for those of you that enjoy this sort of thing, well enjoy!


The Blue lines are MAIN COBDR Routes

The Red lines are Hard Alternate Routes

The Green lines are Easy Alternate Routes

Black lines are Out and Backs to Gas and Towns

How does the ride navigation work?

This is a self-led GPS ride; all riding is on your own. You are responsible for your own riding. You will be given a GPS map file and instructions on how to use your Garmin GPS unit. People will hook up in small groups of less than 6 riders and tend to ride together. You are not encouraged to ride alone. You are responsible for your own riding and yourself.

(see my ride Navigation Video)

Are you right for this ride?

When something goes wrong on a ride, would your riding friends say that you are more likely to need help or more likely to give help? You should be in the more likely to offer help camp. This ride is filled with riders that are more likely to give help, so most of the time the riders never need help. Additionally there is all the normal stuff, come prepared to maintain your bike, fix your bike on the trail, repair flat tires, deal with bad weather and rain and make a joke or two.

How do I make the GPS stuff so easy?

I develop very high quality ride maps custom for our ride. They come from much of what I and others have ridden. I take the best from all my rides and make new ones.

(See my Custom Ride Maps Video)

Note from me, gpsKevin

My goal for this ride is simple, great riding, so you can count on great routes and places to ride.

But in addition: the ride is about discovering new places, meeting new friends, seeing new parts of the world.




Q:What will the weather be like this time of year?

A: In September, the weather is most often nice, could be a little hot in the lower deserts and it can be cold in the morning and in the mountains. But sometimes there can be rain. Wet and muddy routes can force us to change our routes. Come prepared with extra gear for cold and wet.

Q: Would this be a good ride for new riders?

A: No, this ride is for intermediate and experienced riders only. The riding has easy route choices and tough route options. Each evening we will study the following day's choices. You will find lots of supportive people at the ride.

Q: What are motel room arrangements?

A: Rooms are double occupancy, meaning each rider shares a two queen bed room with another rider.

Q: What bikes are right for this ride?

A: Adventure Bikes and Dual Sport bikes can all work well by choosing the easy or hard route options.

Q; What do I do if I don't have a Garmin gps?

A: Buy one, you need it, we will show you how to use it. You can get a great one for under $200 bucks. ( See gpsKevin's gps recommendations)

Q: Is the riding really on my own?

A: Yes, but almost everyone hooks up and rides with a friend or a new friend.

Q: What gas mileage range should I have for this ride?

A: I recommend a range of 200 miles that is enough even when normal obstacles are encountered.

Motorcycle rentals for the Utah BDR

Wild West Motos

Who is going on this ride?

Marc B, Santa Maria, CA


Ed P, Torrance, CA

KTM 1190

Jonathan H, Ankeny, IA

Honda XR650L

Keith E, Arroyo Grande Ca

KTM 1190

Shawn P, Torrance, CA


Geoff E, Cedar Rapids, IA


Kris O, Arroyo Grande CA

Keith M, Potomac, MD

BMW 650

Daniel C, Cotati CA

KTM 990 Adventure

Joseph J, Woodbury, MN

Gerald N, Brea CA


Rommel B, Chino CA

BMW f700 GS