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Segment 4: Boulder Town To Monticello


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Segment 4: Boulder Town To Monticello

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escalante - utah

Segment 4: Boulder Town to Monticello Photo
28th of January
Descent -20872
High 10497
Length 242.7
Low 3717
Ascent 21408
Weather 42° Sunny

Trail Difficulty: blue

Classic Colorado Plateau desert bikepacking: remote, dry, and incredibly scenic.

Bikepacking: The Plateau Passage

Temperatures will reach 42° today, with Sunny. Weather conditions this week are expected to range between 40° with Slight Chance Snow Showers to 46° with Mostly Sunny over the next 5 days. It doesn't look like there's any substantial snow forecasted this week with air temperatures ranging between 40° - 46° over the next 5 days.


Segment 5 is the most remote of the Plateau Passage, immediately entering canyon country, climbing over two isolated mountain ranges, and reaching Monticello some 230+ miles later. The scenery is remarkable, and the sheer scale of the Colorado Plateau landscape is hard to comprehend. Careful planning is necessary as there are no resupply options between Boulder Town and Monticello, and water is scarce.

The first 60 miles of the segment follow the relatively famous Burr Trail Road and Notom Road from Boulder Town toward Capital Reef National Park. The riding is generally fairly easy and fast on these mostly graded dirt roads. Enjoy this while it lasts, as the route next climbs 5,000 feet toward the peaks of the Henry Mountains on 4x4 roads. This was the final mountain range in the Lower 48 to be mapped. From Bull Mountain Pass, just a few hundred feet lower than the adjacent summits, a 4x4 road drops back down 5,000 feet, followed by another 1,000-foot descent on a quiet highway to a crossing of the Colorado River near Hite. A former townsite, Hite now has little more than a gas station (where you can only buy gas!), a campground, and a ranger station for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

After Hite, the route climbs gradually among redrock buttes and narrow canyons on 4x4 roads toward Elk Ridge and the iconic pair of mesas known as Bears Ears. The views in all directions on this narrow ridgeline are dramatic, and the riding becomes relatively easy on the well-maintained, graded road. Elk Ridge leads to the base of the Abajo Mountains (also known as the Blue Mountains) and you'll come to the end of this segment at the town of Monticello by skirting around the southern side of the Abajos on graded dirt roads and a few miles of rugged ATV trail. Monticello is another small Colorado Plateau town but has a grocery store, lodging options, and numerous restaurants.

Weather Forecast

000 FXUS65 KSLC 270339 AFDSLC Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Salt Lake City UT 839 PM MST Sun Jan 26 2020 .UPDATE... Latest satellite trends this evening show a slightly more impressive storm system evolving this evening than previously expected. The shortwave axis shows almost a slight negative tilt, with a slower progression and developing baroclinic leaf over northwest Utah that is evident by the large area of cooling cloud tops. Radar trends over northern Utah show a large area of precipitation filling in over the West Dessert and the Great Salt Lake that coincide with the baroclinic leaf. In lock step with these observational trends, the latest high resolution guidance (18Z/00Z0 runs this evening are coming in a bit wetter that previous runs, especially over northern and central Utah. Thus confidence is increasing that there will be a period of moderate to heavy snowfall over the northern and central mountains between about 11 PM and 4 AM as the best synoptic forcing cross the terrain. Snowfall rates during this period will likely average around 1 to 2 inches per hour, with peak rates over 2 inches per hour possible. A winter weather advisory has been issued to highlight this period of heavier snowfall rates and the impact it will have on travel tonight over mountain passes. There may be some lingering light snow and lingering impacts in the early part of the morning commute. Meanwhile, lower elevations, especially below 5000 feet will see a period of moderate rainfall overnight, with perhaps some light snow mixing by early Monday morning right as the precipitation is coming to a end. Some bench locations in northern Utah mainly above 5000 feet may pick up some slushy accumulations (1 to 3 inches), especially during periods of more intense precipitation. && .SYNOPSIS... High ...

Area River Conditions

USGS Gauge Streamflow Gauge Height Elevation
Seven Mile Creek Near Fish Lake, Ut
44 cfs 5 ft 9025 ft
Fremont River Near Bicknell, Ut
67 cfs 4 ft 6901 ft
Pine Creek Near Escalante, Ut
15 cfs 2 ft 6411 ft
Escalante River Near Escalante, Ut
7 cfs 1 ft 5698 ft

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Segment 4: Boulder Town to Monticello Map Location

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Weather Ahead

Area Snowpack Conditions

Widtsoe #3
31" snowpack, 29 miles away
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40" snowpack, 26 miles away
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30" snowpack, 51 miles away