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Cherry Creek UTV Fest

Hosted By UTV Offroad Adventures

Article and Photos by Kim Krause (May 2024)

Cherry Creek UTV Fest

This May, a group of outdoor enthusiasts gathered in Young, Arizona, for an unforgettable SXS adventure. Hosted by Antlers Bar and Restaurant and organized by UTV Offroad Adventures, the three-day event spanned May 17, 18, and 19, offering participants a perfect blend of thrilling rides, scenic beauty, and camaraderie. The event featured a night ride and two day rides, each presenting unique experiences and breathtaking sights.

Cherry Creek UTV Fest

The History of Young, AZ

Nestled in the heart of Arizona, Young is a small, unincorporated community with a rich history. Established in the late 19th century, Young was originally known as Pleasant Valley. The town gained notoriety during the Pleasant Valley War, a fierce range conflict between cattlemen and sheep herders that took place between 1882 and 1892. This turbulent period left a lasting mark on the area, shaping its identity and culture.

Cherry Creek UTV Fest

Despite its tumultuous past, Young has evolved into a peaceful and picturesque community. Surrounded by the Tonto National Forest, it offers a perfect blend of historical intrigue and natural beauty. Today, Young is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with its pristine landscapes and a variety of trails that attract adventurers from far and wide.

Exploring the Trails

Cherry Creek UTV FestCherry Creek UTV Fest

The trails around Young, AZ, offer a diverse range of terrains and scenic vistas, making it an ideal location for SXS adventures. The event featured rides that took participants through dense forests, open plains, historic sites, and hidden natural wonders.

Night Ride: May 17

Cherry Creek UTV Fest

The excitement kicked off on the evening of May 17 with a 30-mile night ride. As the sun set over the rugged landscape, participants geared up for an exhilarating journey under the stars. The cool night air added a sense of mystery and adventure as the convoy of SXS vehicles traversed winding trails and illuminated the path with their headlights and lighted whips. The thrill of riding in the dark, coupled with the serene beauty of the Arizona night, made for an unforgettable experience.

Cherry Creek UTV Fest

One of the most memorable moments was an encounter with a group of wild horses. These magnificent creatures, known for their elusive nature, were surprisingly friendly. Riders had the unique opportunity to interact with them, creating a magical and intimate moment with the local wildlife.

Day Ride One: May 18

The following day, riders embarked on the first of two-day rides, covering approximately 45 miles. The trail led them through diverse terrains, from dense forests to open plains. Riders once again encountered the friendly wild horses, allowing for more interaction and memorable experiences with these majestic animals.

One of the highlights of the day was a visit to a tranquil watering hole. The clear, cool water provided a refreshing break, inviting everyone to take a moment to cool off and enjoy the serene surroundings.

Adding to the adventure were several water crossings along the trails. These crossings provided a fun experience for the riders. Navigating through the flowing water required skill and added an extra layer of excitement to the ride. The splashes and the cool mist from the water crossings were a refreshing contrast to the dusty trails, and the sight of SXS vehicles powering through the streams was a thrill for everyone involved.

Day Ride Two: May 19

The final day ride on May 19 took participants through another 53 miles of stunning Arizona landscape. The trail led to a hidden cave, with its cool, dark interior offering a fascinating detour. Participants explored the cave, imagining the history it holds and marveling at its natural formation.

Another highlight of the day was a stop at Dumont’s Cabin, a historic site that offered a glimpse into the area's past. The rustic charm of the cabin, surrounded by the natural beauty of Young, provided a perfect spot for a brief rest and photo opportunities.

The ride continued with more scenic views and thrilling trails, culminating in a sighting of a black Arizona diamondback rattlesnake. This encounter added an element of wild excitement and reminded everyone of the untamed beauty of the region.

Dining and Community at Antlers Bar and Restaurant

Cherry Creek UTV Fest

Throughout the event, Antlers Bar and Restaurant served as the base, providing not only a starting and ending point for the rides but also offering breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings and a sumptuous dinner on Saturday night. The food was exceptional, with hearty breakfasts to fuel the riders and a delicious dinner to end the day on a high note. The warm, welcoming atmosphere of Antlers made it the perfect hub for this adventure, allowing participants to relax, share stories, and build new friendships.

Saturday night was particularly special, featuring a raffle and a poker game. The winner of the best hand graciously donated their winnings to the Christmas Angels charity, adding a meaningful touch to the evening. Additionally, the infamous "Dumb Ass Award" was presented, leading to lots of laughs and camaraderie among the participants.


Organized by UTV Offroad Adventures, the SXS event in Young, AZ, was a resounding success, blending adventure, nature, and community. Over three days, participants experienced the thrill of night riding, explored historic sites, marveled at natural wonders, and connected with local wildlife. With the support of Antlers Bar and Restaurant, the event was not just about the rides but also about creating lasting memories and forging new connections. For those who took part, it was a weekend to remember, and for those who missed it, a future opportunity to look forward to.

For more information, visit www.utvoffroadadventures.com

Cherry Creek UTV Fest

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