Welcome to Richfield, located in the central part of Utah along Interstate 70. Richfield has all the amenities you’ll need, including fuel, lodging, food, repairs, and medical services.
The Richfield Trailhead is located at 300 North and 700 West, just before you go under the Interstate. The trailhead has plenty of parking and an informational kiosk but no restrooms. However, nearby Lion’s Park has clean restrooms.
Richfield is a main hub on the Paiute Trail system. There is a Paiute Side Trail that takes you north (PST #70), south (PST #70), east (PST #04), and west (PST #04).
Let’s go west up PST #04. Go under the Interstate. This is also called the CCC Road because it was built by the Civil Conservation Corp in the 1930s. It’s a dirt road that passes a city water tank that can’t be missed. This is how you’ll know you’re on the right trail.
EXAMPLE GPS Coordinates: 41°24’12.2″N 2°10’26.5″E
This route is open to all-sized vehicles, including full-sized units. You’ll quickly experience changes in vegetation and elevation as you leave Richfield and the valley floor and climb aggressively toward the top of the Phavant Mountain Range. The Phavant Range runs north and south from Scipio to I-70 and Fremont Indian State Park. This is the objective of this ride description—the top of the mountain.
Eight miles up and well into the pinyon-juniper forest, PST #04 meets with the main Paiute #01 Trail. This is a decision point. Do you want to continue on the main Paiute going northwest toward the top or do you want to go south, which will connect you back to the communities of Elsinore, Joseph, and a dozen other destination points?
Continuing west, we are still on a mountain road open to all vehicles. We are still climbing and experiencing a significant elevation change. Vegetation is starting to change as well—mountain mahogany, aspen, spruce, and fir. Wildlife viewing opportunities include deer, elk, grouse (pine hens), and maybe coyotes.
Another 7 miles and you’ll hit the top of the range. This is another decision point. Go south on PST #00 along the top to a rock formation called “Devil’s Armchair” (a great place to eat your lunch on provided picnic tables) or north on Paiute #01 toward a peak known as White Pine. Just 2 miles toward White Pine, you’ll arrive at a small restroom with a picnic table. This is a good place to take a break and check the map. All along the top, the views of the valleys to the east (Sevier River) and to the west (Great Basin) are awe-inspiring.
One option is to do some more exploring on the top of the range, such as White Pine Peak, which has an elevation of 10,200 ft and fantastic views of the Great Basin.
Another option is to drop into Fillmore for lunch and fuel. You can continue on the Paiute north for 12 miles, drop into Aurora, still on the Paiute #01, and then back to Richfield making a 60-mile loop. Wow! So many options, so many decisions.
A third option is to go back to Richfield. If you do, there is a fun little side trail on Forest Road #508 called Burnt Hollow. This will take you through a little side drainage with more of a true trail experience.
All of the routes described in this narrative are rated moderately difficult. The Burnt Hollow route is just a bit more difficult and will require drivers to pay attention. Since these routes are always busy, drive responsibly, keep speed under control, and always assume there is someone coming around the next bend in the road.