Sunday drive: To the top of the Tushar Mountains in the new GMC Sierra AT4 | News, sports, jobs

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Deanne poses with the brand new GMC Sierra AT4 in Beaver as we began our adventure to see mountain goats high in the Tushar Mountains.

Craig Conover, Daily Herald

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The all-new GMC Sierra AT4 high in the Tushar Mountains at over 10,000 feet along State Route 123.

Craig Conover, Daily Herald

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Deanne poses with Sierra in Richfield at the city park where we stopped for a quick lunch on our way home from the mountain goat viewing.

Craig Conover, Daily Herald

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The 2022 GMC Sierra AT4X interior includes materials that enhance its off-road credentials. The first-ever Sierra AT4X – the new pinnacle of premium off-road performance – delivers serious capability and uncompromising refinement.

Courtesy photo

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The 2022 GMC Sierra AT4X interior includes materials that enhance its off-road credentials. The first-ever Sierra AT4X – the new pinnacle of premium off-road performance – delivers serious capability and uncompromising refinement.

Courtesy photo

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This week we had the opportunity to get inside the all-new GMC Sierra AT4, and we were once again very impressed with the redesigned interior of GM’s 1500 truck. The way they have designed the screens in the center console will set these trucks apart from the competition. We really love the infotainment screen’s landscape mode; it is much better than a vertical installation.

Along with that 13.4-inch artificial touchscreen in the console, designers have also gone all-out by adding a fully digital dashboard that spans all 12.3 inches of real estate in front of the driver. And if that wasn’t enough in the digital domain, there’s also a huge 15-inch full-color heads-up display! Yes, there is a total of 40 diagonal inches of display on the windshield in front of the driver.

Combine that with the stock 6.2-liter engine, an extra 2-inch factory lift, and all kinds of four-wheel-drive goodies that come in the AT4 and you’re pretty much set for any outdoor adventure. You will enjoy it in full comfort and surrounded by technology.

With that in mind, we looked for an adventure to enjoy in the Sierra, and we came up with a brilliant plan thanks to the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources. The department offered an event to monitor mountain goats in the Tushar Mountains east of Beaver on the Saturday we had the Sierra.

Since the event started with a caravan from the Beaver area leaving at 7:30, we thought an overnight stay in Beaver was in order and headed south on Friday afternoon in the new AT4. With the added lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control, the trip down Interstate 15 from Springville was thoroughly enjoyable. We put the truck at 85 km/h and continued down, only needing to stop once to fill up on some fuel and take a break during the two and a half hour journey.

Beaver is a quaint little town in southern Utah with a population of about 3,115 people, and it turned out to be a great place to live. We even had heads turning on the small town and questions about the new truck.

Early Saturday morning we were up and ready to go with what turned out to be about 50 SUVs and other trucks headed to the display event. It was recommended by the DWR that those participating come in some form of high clearance vehicle as the last 18 miles were off-road, some of which was an 18% grade.

We were glad to be in the AT4 as it had rained the night before and there were a few places that were muddy. It was quite a steep climb as we headed towards the tops of the mountains. The mountain goats live there — high above the timber line. After State Route 123 we climbed to just over 10,000 feet in elevation and then stopped at a small flat to try to see mountain goats on the peaks that surround the area.

By slipping the AT4 into four-wheel drive, the truck easily overcame any terrain we encountered on the road. If only the mountain goats would have known they would be out that day for everyone in our caravan to see. It turns out there was a 100 mile cross country mountain race in the area that morning. The rangers believed that the mountain goats had moved to another location while all the human visitors were there because the goats are always on those mountains at that time of day in August.

We got to see a couple of goats roaming around on the mountain. They are huge and white and quite a majestic creature. We will go back next time, and hopefully they will be more accommodating.

Despite being on top of the mountain, we were able to get a signal to the Google equipped navigation on the Sierra. The DWR guys thought that if we kept following the road we would end up in Marysvale, and they were right. We asked the navigation system to show us the way there and then followed the road down the other side of the mountain to highway 89, where we turned around and headed home.

Again, the very steep descents were easily achieved by simply downshifting the AT4 as we wound our way through the steep terrain on State Route 123.

It was an amazing trip and more beautiful than words can describe. The high mountains were still as green as can be with pine trees towering against the clear blue sky and temperatures in the low 70s for most of the trip. It couldn’t have been better.

We figure there aren’t many places in the state of Utah that this fully capable truck couldn’t go, including the trails of Moab. It treated the trip like it was just another day at work, regardless of the terrain we encountered.

The AT4 can tow up to 8,900 pounds, so getting almost any trailer to those remote locations should be easy for the new truck as well. With all new cameras standard on the AT4, it’s even easier to hook up a trailer and keep track of it. There’s even the option of putting a camera on the back of the trailer to see what’s really behind it.

The new 2022 Sierra is one of the best choices on the truck market this year. We enjoyed every minute of our time with it.

Basic price: $73,300

Destination fee: $1,695

Price as driven: $76,790

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