Tintic Mountains: Riding Broad & Black Rock Canyons

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I can’t seem to get enough of desolate, remote places. The Tintic Mountains on the eastern edge of  the Great Basin seems to satisfy my needs for out-there places. It’s quiet (during the week), remote, and beautiful. It is not uncommon to see Pronghorn antelope and jack rabbits out there as well as occasional cattle and sheep. It’s a great place to ride in the Spring and Autumn, but a bit too hot and exposed during the summer.

I’ve been scouring maps of the area for a few years now and had mapped a twenty mile route up Broad Canyon, down the other side, then around a low mountain range. I parked along Twelve Mile Pass Road near the junction of Broad Canyon Road. The road ascends up into Broad Canyon for a few miles before it gets quite steep in places. You begin down in the sage brush, climb up into the junipers, and finally some pine trees up high at the pass. The climb from where I parked to the pass was about 7 miles with 1800′ of climbing.

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Heading up to Broad Canyon
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Entering the canyon, which is very broad
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Getting steeper. It got as much as 12% grade.

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Nearing the top; Mt. Timpanogos in the distance

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Down the backside you enter Black Rock Canyon which narrows considerably compared to Broad Canyon. It went by fast as it was fairly steep and not too technical. It opened up into a wide grassy meadow, then up to a low saddle and more descending into the next wide open valley where you could see for miles. My route turned north here on a double track that stayed close to the mountains. It rolled up and down, mostly down and was fast exhilarating riding. Along the way I passed Barlow, Edwards, and Bell Canyons.

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Black Rock Canyon opened up into a meadow

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Heading north
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The road north
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Looking back toward Black Rock Canyon

The road wrapped around the low mountain range to another cattle gate ( I passed several). The wind was whipping pretty hard and the tumbleweeds were rolling past me and piling up against the fence.

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Once through this fence I hit Twelve Mile Pass Road and headed east back toward my car. After another cattle gate I spied a big semi truck in the distance. As I got closer I could see that it had a large flat bed on it with two huge water tanks that spilled water into a long trough where sheep were drinking. Just past that were two sheep wagons, a couple horses tied up to them and some sleeping sheep dogs napping in the shade underneath them. And there were sheep everywhere, and lots of little lambs.

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It was a nice ride; clear blue skies, in the 70’s, windy and desolate. Just what I like.

One thought on “Tintic Mountains: Riding Broad & Black Rock Canyons

  1. There is something so special about being in the middle of nowhere. You really captured it with your pictures and description of the sheep herd. Little lambs are the cutest. Ride on!

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