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7/05/2015



Yesterday I had the opportunity to be in Sanpete County in central Utah looking for and at a variety of things.  We began the day high in the mountains of Sanpete County, looking at a couple of places local to us in terms of having a cabin, place to stay. Here are some shots from the first part of our trip.



This is up one of the Forest Roads and provides a wonderful view! 


Gorgeous view again! 




Another wonderful view! Looking West as all the pictures above are.  


Here is the road heading up, not bad but rough in spots. 


    Shortly after this spot the road became REALLY rough, probably the roughest road I have been on but my Outback handled it just fine. In turning around though it got a few scratches from a tree branch I will have to buff up.  This spot though was not a good observing location because of the difficulty of the road. Just after this location we found another location, with a particularly paved road and then the road turned a gravel road. There were several observing spots up around 8000 to 9000 feet in elevation.  It has winter access and allows for ATVing in the summer and snow mobile in the winter.  That and it has a nice green grass field for observing and other stuff! 

     We next went down Sanpete Co. to the city of Manti and had our picnic lunch.  From there we drove down to Gunnison, Utah and took State Highway 28 north to Yuba State Park.  Yuba State Park is a large reservoir that has camping sites on shore, dispersed camping on neighboring BLM land and some great observing sites.  After turning in at the entrance to Painted Rock Campground, which you can see at YouTube at this LINK (there are plenty of great campgrounds, several with toilets and running water so even if you disperse camp, you can still go and get cleaned and use a real toilet), and we bypassed going into the campground and turned left onto a dirt road. I was on a mission to find observing sites.  We drove by a sign saying Caution Trucks Entering Road and passed a gravel excavation site on the left and then we hit trouble. The is the Yuba Lake Road as it turns into the Yuba East Shore Road LINK. A thunderstorm hit and the rain literally poured like a Florida thunderstorm (I lived in northern Florida for 2 years) and the dirt road, became a mud clay road.  Luckily my Subaru Outback kicked in the ATV and with my wife being nervous about getting stuck, the car and I maneuvered through the mud, going sideways and sometimes handling like we were on ice.  We got through and followed another 4x4 who followed us and was amazed at how well the Outback and I had handled the mud. He said "My 4x4 didn't handle it very good and your Subaru rocked it! Love my Outback! Take away, don't be stuck in the low dirt road in a thunderstorm on this ATV road!

     Anyway, as we drove this ATV road/trail the road really improved with just a couple of low spots where we flew mud and water up and out (car got nice and dirty). My wife took some pictures as we drove by as I found plenty of observing locations. Warning though, most of the land to the left (we were driving north) was private land while the land to the left was BLM land. Just make sure you set up on BLM or Park land and not on private land.  


Above is the view looking east from a likely disperse camping site and observing site. 


At the same site as above but this time looking west. Wide open location here! 


Here is the road, not bad at this location with the side open location to the right and left. There was a spot to the left where you could camp and set up to observe, off the road.  

     Here you can see an area to set up a tent or trailer, and telescopes to observe from. The ranger told me that at night the road is not used hardly at all and the later it is, the less likely you'll see someone coming. The west side of the Lake though has even more spots, but lots of ATV trails and ATVers go there.  It is like being up at Five Mile Pass and camping up there. I would rather go on the east side in the summer. The west side is higher up in elevation and might work for spring and fall.  I would carry dew equipment here in the spring and fall with the lake nearby and to be safe some good mosquito repellent. We didn't have any mosquitoes but I would assume you would get some. 

     Here are some YouTube Videos of the area if you want to see the land and why I feel this is a great site to observe from.  Also, there are nice tent campgrounds and on a non-weekend day and/or fall or spring or even winter, most campsites are open.  Not a winter camp ground and observing area for me, but it is a good overnight location if you can get there early enough.  

LINK 1 Oasis Campground 

LINK 2 Painted Rocks Campground 

LINK 3 ATVing at Yuba Lake 

LINK 4 YUBA STATE PARK AYL (shows the zip line, water and ATV things you can do) 

LINK 5 Yuba State Park 

Hopefull the links help you to see that this is a site to observe from and perhaps to have the family camp with you and do some fun things during the day OR you can do some fun things during the day. During the summer their restaurant at the Oasis Campground is open so you can even get a meal there if you want or snacks and drinks. 

You can find a couple of locations where when I do go here I will observe from on my Google Map for Sites at this LINK.  I'll pay the fee, set up my campsite and then go observing and come back. I am actually going to call the ranger and ask if on one of their zip line nights, if the moon isn't full (not on a new moon night though) if they'd like a telescope set up just away from the zip line landing are for people to share a link through or even to sign up to learn how to use a dosonian telescope! 





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