Dozens travel SWOT-designated trails with Search & Rescue

About 65 community members and some visitors drive on a SWOT-designated road in the Bridger Valley on Saturday, June 26. County commissioners approved 13 roads for Southwest Wyoming Off-road Trails (SWOT) in December of 2020, and city, county and state officials have backed the project, which is trying to connect communities in southwest Wyoming via trails. (HERALD PHOTO/Mark Tesoro)

EVANSTON — About 65 members of the public recently came together to take a ride on Southwest Wyoming Off-road Trails (SWOT). The ride was led by Uinta County Search and Rescue (UCSR) and took place on Saturday, June 26. The event started at the top of the first sister, on Exit 13 of Interstate 80 and extended more than 80 miles on trails and BLM lands near Bridger Valley.

The ride included several historical stops along the way, including Eagle Rock and the old town site of Reagan, near Spring Valley. Aaron Hutchinson of UCSR walked among the riders sharing the information at each of the sites. Most riders were on side-by-sides, but several ATVs, Jeeps, along with a pickup and motorbike joined the ride.

People from Bridger Valley, Rock Springs and Evanston joined the ride. The connection with county road 181 along I-80 is “very important,” said Todd Griffith, vice president of the SWOT board.

“You can see the potential of the trails system if we could ride right from town,” Griffith added.

WYDOT is currently in the process of looking at the connection from the east side of Evanston to exit 10 on I-80, to the nearest county road to the east side of Evanston.

The trails currently use the Lincoln Highway Trail to connect Evanston to Bridger Valley and into the Uintas on Meeks Cabin road, officially called County Road 271. The Uinta County Commission approved 13 county roads for SWOT use last December, although if an ATV or side-by-side is licensed and registered the rider can ride on any public road.

After circling the Bridger Valley Airport, the group stopped for lunch at the TA truck stop on exit 30. After lunch, the group followed SWOT-designated trails back to the Piedmont Kilns for the last history stop. After that stop, the group traveled back to the starting point near exit 13.

SWOT and the Town of Mountain View, along with the American Legion in Bridger Valley, will host a poker run ATV ride on Aug. 21, in Bridger Valley. For more information, contact the Town of Mountain View.

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