POLARIS GROUP RIDE

Riding to the edge of the Grand Canyon in your UTV

POLARIS GROUP RIDE By Cain Smead

Bucket-list vacations or trips in the U.S. include places like New York City, Disneyland and the Grand Canyon. However, only one of these can be done in a UTV—the Grand Canyon with an overnight stay at the Bar 10 Ranch. The trip is not as easy as unloading at a staging area and following signs that get you there after a small dirt road. The journey is actually half the fun. The area we rode is in constant threat of being closed to all motorized vehicles, and if thousands of UTVs start tearing up the place, that will become a reality. To keep this place relatively untouched, we won’t be providing turn-by-turn directions of our trip. We will, however, give you some insight on how to plan your own Grand Canyon adventure.

POLARIS GROUP RIDE
The only sign of civilization we saw between Mesquite, Nevada, and the Grand Canyon is the Bar 10 Ranch. It alone is worth the trip away from city life. The ranch runs on solar energy, so everything shuts down at night.

 

POLARIS GROUP RIDE
The lodge has dorm-style rooms that sleep four and have a community bathroom. Meals are served family-style, and a sack lunch is provided if you are staying multiple days. Make reservations at www.bar10.com.

 

GO WITH A GUIDE

Our consulting editor, Cain Smead (@cainsappitite4adventure), guides small UTV trips to destinations like the Grand Canyon, Idaho, Glamis-Barstow, and from Mojave-Mammoth in California. Fatco Tours (760-937-4994) out of Southern, Utah, specializes in guided UTV trips all over southern Utah or Nevada and the Grand Canyon.

POLARIS GROUP RIDE
Emergency repairs can be made at the Bar 10 shop if needed. The area is so remote, please travel prepared so you can make repairs yourself. You can also rent ATVs to explore on.

 

POLARIS GROUP RIDE
If you take the little more traveled routes, you will find remnants of area mining. This was the Grand Gulch Mine. You can find directions to it on Polaris Ride Command.

 

POLARIS GROUP RIDE
You can opt for a covered wagon for your sleeping arrangements. Most wagons sleep two, but some are big enough for an entire family. Plan on spending $150 per person, per night for food and lodging.

 

STAY AND FUEL UP AT BAR 10 RANCH

  The only signs of civilization between our starting point on the Polaris group ride in Mesquite, Nevada, and this section of the Grand Canyon is the Bar 10 Ranch. Here you can get a bed, a meal and fuel up your UTV for the ride back to your starting point. Keep in mind that remote fuel locations like this are expensive. During our Polaris group ride, gas was $10 per gallon. The beds are not cheap, either, so plan on spending about $150 per night, per person for accommodations. Make reservations at www.bar10.com.

Around every corner there is something amazing to look at in this ride area. However, there are so many trails you can turn down, without trail makers or signs, so go prepared with a guide or GPS tracking your way.

 

Our pony for the Polaris group ride was the 2022 Polaris RZR Turbo R 4. There was plenty of room for gear and a spare tire. It easily did the 104-mile track on one tank of gas. We estimate it only took three-quarters of a tank.

 

Bar 10 is at the halfway point of the Grand Canyon rafting trips, so expect to see rafters at the lodge coming off the river or starting their second half of the trip. Flights do come in from Las Vegas ($270), so conceivably you could fly into the ranch and meet up with your group or fly out early. You could also raft down the canyon for part of your vacation, then ride out with your group. The logistics for something like that would have to be handled way ahead of time, because getting the rafting trip booked is much harder than the off-road part.

We’ve only seen wooden signs like this in Baja before here. It makes you think back to how society made do with what they had hundred of years ago. We are happy we have horsepower now instead of horses.

 

We staged at CasaBlanca Resort in Mesquite, Nevada. The RV parking lot has room for several trucks and trailers, plus you can legally ride on the pavement from the hotel onto the dirt road that leads into the mountains that you can see in the distance.

 

The closest canyon overlook to the Bar 10 Ranch is about 15 miles away. There are other overlooks in the area, but we aren’t going to map them out for you; however, the free Polaris Ride Command app has a few of them already laid out for you. You can also get down to the shores of the northern part of Lake Mead if you are courageous enough. Keep in mind, the entire area is very remote, and there is zero cell service and the trails are rough, so a well-prepared group is what you need to surround yourself with.

There’s a smooth dirt road called River Road that you can take from St. George, Utah, that will get you to Bar 10. It passes a reproduction of an old-school house used by settlers of the day.

 

Bar 10 does sell fuel every morning to its lodge guests for around $10 per gallon. A full tank should easily get you to the Bar 10 and back to civilization as long as you are light on the throttle and don’t get lost.

 

250-MILE TRIP

Prepare yourself for at least a 250-mile round trip to get to the canyon’s edge (Whitmore Overlook) and back out. Carry extra gas, as the elevation, terrain and wrong turns could cause you to use a lot more than you think. Our trip included factory RZR driver Wes Miller and reps from Rugged Radios and Assault Industries, along with our great local guides. All of our vehicles were equipped with Polaris Ride Command, so we could avoid the dust and enjoy the view. The Group Ride feature allowed us to see every person in the group and what trails the guides lead us down. We don’t think Polaris promotes this feature enough. If they did, more people would choose to buy a Polaris machine over their competitors.

From our starting point in Mesquite, Nevada, at the CasaBlanca Resort, we did 100 miles in and 100 miles back out from the Bar 10 Ranch with a full day of exploring thrown in the middle. Miller got some quality seat time in the new Polaris RZR Pro R platform prior to building his next Baja racer. The Rugged Radio-equipped machines worked flawlessly, as well as the accessories we used that were supplied by Assault Industries. We love working with companies that enjoy riding and exploring as much as we do. Whether it’s a group ride around a small park in the middle of the country or a wide-open trip to one of the biggest destinations in the U.S., enjoying it in any UTV makes memories for a lifetime. If you want to follow Wes Miller’s racing and camping trips, like @wesmiller70, or to see the cool ATV content he’s been working on, check out @huevosryears on Instagram and Facebook.

See a must-see UTV video here: ARIZONA MADE A VIDEO EVERY OHV USER SHOULD WATCH – UTV Action Magazine

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