ATV Adventures: Riding the Lighting Ridge Trail at the PowMow Safari | News, Sports, Jobs


The trail up Lightning Ridge on the PowMow Safari.

Lynn Blamires, Special to the Standard-Examiner

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Riding the black trail from Lightning Ridge at the PowMow Safari.

Lynn Blamires, Special to the Standard-Examiner

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Descending the 40-degree drop on the black trail.

Lynn Blamires, Special to the Standard-Examiner

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Lynn Blamires

Photo supplied

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The curtains closed on the PowMow Safari last Saturday afternoon on Powder Mountain. Sponsored by the Young Automotive Group’s Jeep, Powersports, Truck and Trailer dealerships, this was the third year of this event.

The PowMow Safari was born to recognize and appreciate young customers. All those who had purchased a UTV or Jeep with accessories since the first of the year were eligible to receive an invitation to this exclusive event.

Because it was limited to 180 machines, names were drawn live on Facebook from names submitted by each dealership and those names received invitations. Each VIP was allowed to invite up to three guests, bringing the total number of registrations to 550.

To further define the exclusivity of this event, it was held at the Powder Mountain Ski Resort. Because of an arrangement that the Young Group has with the resort, the mountain opens to host this Jeep and UTV safari for one day only each year.

When I received an invitation to write about this event, I was excited to ride trails that aren’t open to the public. My Kawasaki Teryx has four seats so I invited three friends.

We unloaded in the parking lot at the base of the Sundown Lift and drove up to the Timberline Lodge parking area. As I walked the line of UTVs on my way to register, I could feel the testosterone crackling in the air like electricity. There were no plain machines — each one was dripping with accessories and some had special paint wraps. It was obvious that these VIPs were there to show off their bling.

A large ramp was set up on the west side of the parking lot for a BMX bike show scheduled for the afternoon. The east side was lined with food trucks for lunch. At the registration trailer, each of us picked up a swag bag that included lunch tickets, a hat, a safari shirt and trail maps.

Three trails were set to leave from the parking lot. They were rated black, blue and green, with green being easy and black being more difficult.

Being somewhat caught up in the macho mood, I chose to take the black trail. I didn’t hear any whimpering from my passengers and no one tried to talk me out of it, so we were set.

The trail took us down the road to Sundown where we began to climb Lightning Ridge. We were riding under a cloudy sky; it was windy on the ridges, but the temperature was great for a ride.

The mountains were beautiful with a rich green covering dotted with blue wildflowers. The creeks were running and, at least in this spot, the drought was not evident.

Those who are familiar with the runs at Powder Mountain will know where we were riding. Following Lightning Ridge, we passed Big Kash and just below Paradise Bottom, we went down Meadow Express to Hidden Lake Bottom. The surface of the lake was calm and I could imagine enjoying skating in the winter — not me, somebody. The trail took us further down to 3 Mile where we had a 40-degree drop.

We took that drop one at a time to avoid killing each other. At the bottom, we crossed a creek that had a steep bank to climb on the other side. Sometimes it is good to follow to see how the guy in front approaches an obstacle. The bank was steep and slanted to the left. The machine in front took a line to the left and his back end skidded around left as he turned his wheels to the right to gain purchase. Seeing that, I took a line to the right taking me straight up the bank, which kept me from skidding.

The trail continued down Shaker where we had to negotiate some rocks that the bottom of my machine kissed too many times. The trail then ended back at the lodge.

We made it back in time to witness a drawing for a Kawasaki Teryx 4 with a 14-foot Echo Trailer and a one-year lease on a Jeep Wrangler. It is fun to watch people win big prizes.

We took time to ride the blue trail because it was great to be back in the mountains again. When you go, take plenty of water, keep the rubber side down and check with a Young Powersports Dealer to see how you can get the VIP treatment on the next PowMow Safari.

Contact Lynn R. Blamires at


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