Diamond Mountain Road - Jensen to Jones Hole + ADD NEW ROUTE
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Start your route in Jensen, UT. Head north on Hwy. 149 by the Jensen, Utah Visitor Center for 2 1/2 miles. Turn west (left) on Brush Creek Road (3500 South) and head NW. The route is confusing, but at all intersections, turn right and always keep just on pavement. The first main road at about 10 miles will be Diamond Mountain Road coming from Vernal. Note the big blue water tank on the SE corner so you'll know where to turn coming back. Turn North (right) and stay on the main road until you reach Jones Hole (note: the interactive map above does not show the last few miles of this route because the Google Map software did not allow the end point to go further south for some technical reason).
Six degrees of fun. That is, if you like feeling you're an explorer. These six sections of roadway and scenery will keep you awake and happy. Along the way, I encountered one vehicle every half hour, so you're mostly by yourself.
The first section is along lush stream bottom that supports small ranches and pastures. The trees are the normal Utah blend of maples and Fremont cottonwood, rabbit brush and greasewood.
You then climb just a few hundred feet higher and encounter what looks like the middle of Kansas farm land with wild wheat and dry, yellow grasses--that's all. The road snakes around some low hills for several miles.
The third section drops down along Brush Creek again to view the lush pastureland just as at the start. Here the roadway is so little used, that you will think you are on someone's driveway. It's narrow and has many curves.
Next is a climb from about 5,000' to 6,000' of elevation where the vegetation changes to big sagebrush and scattered pinyon and juniper. Along here are several miles of planted winter wheat. What is so pleasant are the views. You are traveling along a ridge close enough to look to the west into some undulating valleys and the Red Creek Reservoir's watery fingers. Some great long distant views.
The next section, the Diamond Mountain Plateau, going for about ten miles will have you thinking you are in Wyoming, or something. There are snow fences, sagebrush, and scattered cows. In the distance you'll see aspen and pines. But just keep on moving.
Lastly, you approach a deeply cut wall of rock. Closer and you can look down at the end of trail, the Jones Hole Fish Hatchery. The scenery on the descent from around 7,000' down towards the Green River, at about 5,600' gets your heart racing. The shadows from the huge sedimentary cliff walls on the south side of you are somewhat mysterious. How long have they been like that? Can you capture any of their presence with a simple camera? Probably not so much.
There is a pretty picnic spot by the Hatchery parking lot. The hatchery has a display of how the four species of trout are raised. The water feeding it comes from a single underground source just up from the site. If you're not into a tour there and you're ambitious, there is a nature trail going down to the Green, although you can't see it from the parking area.
Return the same way, remember to look for the big blue tank.
Some parts are old asphalt and smooth, but many sections are very rough although no potholes. Most of the sharper turns are when you are going slow anyway. The middle 25 miles have only a couple of turns. Bad sections just pop up now and then.
Most services are in Jensen, all services are in Vernal. The initial visitor center is very clean and attractive.
If you continue back to Hwy. 149, but then head north 4 miles, you can enter the quarry section of Dinosaur National Monument. There are some very attractive campgrounds within the park.
Nickname (optional) : GJRonK
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