Motoqua - DI Ranch

Total Miles
37.5

Elevation

1,347.98 ft

Duration

4 Hours

Technical Rating

1

Easy

Best Time

Winter, Fall, Summer, Spring

Trail Overview

This is a wide, maintained two-lane road for much of the route. It provides access to other adventures that are posted here on OnX. This portion of the adventure adds the infamous DI Ranch which was purchased when the mob reputedly ran many of the casinos in Las Vegas. The ranch was purchased about 1954 by reputed mobster, Moe Dalitz. To save his high rollers the rough ride over a long dirt road he put in an airstrip (now a hay field). A picture is provided of what the author believes was the old airstrip, now converted to a hay field. As part of this route is on private land be mindful of your speed and dust. Pictures were not taken of the main ranch as it is now a private residence but if you take this trail you will see it.

Photos of Motoqua - DI Ranch

Motoqua - DI Ranch
Motoqua - DI Ranch
Motoqua - DI Ranch

Difficulty

Most of this road is a well maintained gravel road that is used by the local ranchers to commute to their ranches. It also provides access to many other remote areas in Western Utah and eastern Nevada. Some of the road is slightly rougher but at the time of this visit it could be easily transited by most vehicles with moderate or greater clearance.

History

The D.I. Ranch was acquired about 1954 by reputed mobster, Moe Dalitz. Its name was derived from the Desert Inn in Las Vegas which Dalitz owned. The ranch was used as a vacation spot for Dalitz and his family. But it reportedly was also used to discreetly entertain Las Vegas showgirls,high-rolling customers, prostitutes, bodyguards and other assorted Vegas characters. Rod Leavit built a small dirt airstrip on the ranch to make travel more convenient than over the rough dirt roads. There were a number of buildings and outbuildings constructed during the 1950s. John Shugart bought the Desert Inn in 1978 and owned the DI Ranch for two years before losing it in November 1980 after defaulting on an $82,500 payment. The ranch played a part in a law suit from an actress who claimed to be bilked out of a large sum of money which was supposed to be used to buy the ranch for some kind of a religious retreat. Various groups have claimed religious significance of the property. Hyrum & Gail Smith bought the ranch and put a lot of money into fixing it up. Shortly after buying the property, they changed the name to "Eagle Springs Ranch."Smith said he bought it only as an investment -- not out of any religious convictions.Larry Shurtleff managed the cattle operation at the DI Ranch for Hyrum & Gail Smith.Currently, the ranch is owned by a partnership of prominent Washington County people.Lemuel "Lem" Leavitt manages the ranch for them and runs a herd of cattle there. (Taken from Internet site)

Technical Rating

1

Status Reports

Greg Westbrook
Apr 29, 2023
2019 Ford F-Series Super Duty
Temporarily Closed
Closed Gate
Trail Restoration

Access Description

Motoqua road is accessed off Gunlock Road which intersects with the old highway (91) between Santa Clara, UT and Beaver Dam, AZ

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