Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    78

    3 Days to ridein Utah. What area is best?

    Hello.

    Myself and a friend are looking to take a mountain bike road trip and get out of our home state for once (were in California). Utah has long been on our list as a place we would love to experience. Only problem being we would only have three days to ride.

    If you had friends coming in from out of state....in August....intermediate style riders with XC bikes.....singletrack type trails with scenic vista's sprinkled in prefered.....what area and trails would you suggest those individuals hit to try and get a good taste of Utah in just those three short days (wish it could be longer).

    We are looking to camp....primitive camp if we can to save costs...and the way we would ride I imagine would probably have to be a loop trail every individual day. So basically a central area where we could camp and then hit three different rides within a hour to two hour drive at most each morning would be preferred.

    Thanks for any information or comments provided.

    PS I have found alot of information and websites weighing in...but the informaiton is overwelming and all the rides look great. Would love to be able to narrow it down to an area or two and three rides in each location.

  2. #2
    frejwilk
    Guest

    Brian Head

    In August, I'd say Brian Head. Plenty of variety, singletrack, and scenery close to there. Park City would be ideal except for the primitive camping. If you can swing indoor accommodation, PC would be an excellent destination.

    If you're choosing UT based on the red rock scenery / terrain, August is not be the best time. Most of the good places in August are going to be higher / more alpine. And in that case, I'd recommend driving east right out of Utah toward Crested Butte or Durango. That's what I do in August.

    Good luck with your trip,

    FW

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    78
    Thanks for the informaiton.

    I take it riding in the southwest portion of Utah is just to temperture intense in August? I was kind of assuming that but was surprised to see there are still some tour that are led around that type of terrain in August. Brian Head...I haven't heard of that. Is that near Park City? A few of the Utah websites I have been looking at with mountain bike trail reviews haven't listed that as a destination. Thanks

  4. #4
    chukarhntr1
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    86
    Brian Head is in Southwestern Utah. It is near Cedar City. Check out www.utahmountainbiking.com and look at the Southern Plateau trail list. There are plenty of trails right around Brian Head/Cedar City area. Temperatures will be very mild for August, and there is plenty of camping.

  5. #5
    frejwilk
    Guest
    Brian Head is in the Southwest portion of Utah. It is a ski area / town with lots of the type of riding you are asking about. Red Canyon is also close to there with some trails you have likely seen tour companies advertising.

    You need to look more at elevation, than general geographic area when planning Utah riding and seasons. Are there specific trails you've read about that you are hoping to ride?

  6. #6
    Grizzly
    Reputation: alizbee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    695
    Park City and the surrounding area are excellent choices for that time of year. You can camp outside of town, as well as cheaper lodging options down the hill in Heber.

    Brianhead is a neat area, lots of high altitude trails and big views. And you could hit the St. George area trails as well if you go to Brianhead. Coming for Cali that would be right on your way in/out. Just ride those early in the AM or in the dark, unless you want to deal with horrible heat.
    GrizzlyAdam.net
    Read my book
    Follow me on Twitter

    "The only thing better than solitude, is society."

    ~Ed Abbey

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    78
    Those places look great. To be honest I started off looking at the rimtours.com website. Probably would be easiest to do one of those but funds aren't exactly ever plentiful in my wallet, so my friend and I are looking at doing a trip ourselves now.

    From the research I have done so far I really like the Gooseberry Mesa area and the Bryce to Zion area. Amazing scenery, and landscape very different then what we have here in Northern California. Unfortuneately I am afraid the summer temps may keep us away from this area. But I am still considering it as it sounds like most people list it as a must ride. Primitive camping if prefered to save cost so we don't mind that. We just would have to make it back to camp everynight...and wouldn't be carrying camp on our backs so loop rides would be a must. Sounds like this area is full of those.

    Park City area looks nice as well....and I am looking at the www.utahmountainbiking.com website for more info on what that area has.

    We are used to riding in heat in the summer time here in CA.....how hot are we talking in the Southern Plateu area in August? And elevation...is it around 5,000ft for the most part?

  8. #8
    Bored Carp
    Reputation: chuky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,519
    This heat is very different from California heat (trained and raced in SoCal for almost a decade). The desert becomes a giant pizza-oven and there isn't really anyplace to get out of the sun. It is best to get back to camp by 11am and spend the afternoon staying cool.

    You can ride in So. Utah in the summer, but it needs to be done carefully. The local AVERAGE high temp for July is 99 and for August is 97. Ride early, take lots of water and food with salt. Have fun!

    C
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    78
    Yeah that sounds like good advice. I like to hit the trail early so that wouldnt be a problem. Get a good ride in the morning....rest up in the afternoon through the heat...and maybe get another ride in through the evening if time/daylight/heat allow. Is primitive camping allowed around the Bryce to Zion....Gooseberry Mesa area? By primitive I mean basically make your own spot as long as you pack out what you pack in? I assume if so you would need permits. BLM land?

  10. #10
    chukarhntr1
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    86
    There is a lot of BLM and Forest Service land betwen Bryce and Zion. There is also a lot of private property. There are some FS and BLM campgrounds in the area that are relatively inexpensive. There are campgrounds and public land near Brian Head, Red Canyon and Bryce, Cedar Mountain and in between. Check the Dixie National Forest website and the Cedar City and Kanab BLM Field Office websites. I believe the Gooseberry area is managed out of the St. George BLM field office. You could call them about primitive camping opportunities as well.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,918

    a 99 degree high

    is pretty unlikely for a sunny day in St george in Aug. I would expect 105-110. Brian head is in the 80's during the hottest part of the summer making it ideal for august. Park City will be in the 90's, but has alot of trail in the shade. If you are coming across I80 I would stick with Park city. There is enough riding to keep you busy for days and days and days. While there is good riding in alot of places I don't know of anywhere better then park city for senic high alpine trail. Maybe as good, but not better.
    The elevation of St george is about 2000 feet
    Gooseberry 3000
    Brianhead 9000
    Park city 8000
    Salt lake city 5000
    Visiting St george/Hurricane? Stay at my vacation rental. Discounts for MTB's

    http://www.vrbo.com/392904

    PM me

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    78
    Thanks for all the great information....it has been really valuable.

    Sounds like St George area in August is just not the "best" place to ride in terms of the weather (heat). From the research I have been doing the landscape there is my preferred place to ride but from what I have seen in other trail reports about the Brian Head area and Park City area it looks terrific as well.

    Coming I80 does make Park City an easy target though .....and sounds like the weather and trail conditions may suit us better for that time of year. I will continue to look into the Brian Head area as well as it sounds like the temps in August might be in our target range there and sounds like there are lots of low cost camping oppourtunities. Of course downside would be more time getting there in the car.

  13. #13
    Dr. Pepper drinker
    Reputation: catch22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    1,470
    Quote Originally Posted by palerider3232
    Thanks for all the great information....it has been really valuable.

    Sounds like St George area in August is just not the "best" place to ride in terms of the weather (heat). From the research I have been doing the landscape there is my preferred place to ride but from what I have seen in other trail reports about the Brian Head area and Park City area it looks terrific as well.

    Coming I80 does make Park City an easy target though .....and sounds like the weather and trail conditions may suit us better for that time of year. I will continue to look into the Brian Head area as well as it sounds like the temps in August might be in our target range there and sounds like there are lots of low cost camping oppourtunities. Of course downside would be more time getting there in the car.
    You can't really go wrong with either area.

    There is plenty of high country riding around Brian Head, the resort trails themselves, Virgin River Rim, Thunder Mountain, etc and a really early morning ride on Gooseberry is certainly doable(just be overly prepared with maps, water, food, etc). Plenty there for 3 days.

    If you want to shorten the drive up, the PC/SLC area is also a good bet. Midmountain and the rest on the PC side are great, Wasatch Crest, Deer Valley resort riding, etc. One thing noone has mentioned is the Uintas Mountains which are about 30 minutes East from PC, much less populated there and I think you could find plenty of primitive camping. There is also some phenominal riding there but it's harder to find.

    I don't think you can really go wrong with either trip, PC is probably an easier trip for you, you'll probably get a better variety of riding and scenery down south though (not that it's bad up here).
    Sipping the Knolly Whisquillappa

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    16

    Ride more, drive less

    Northern Utah has great riding, but you are talking about addng a minimum of 4 hours drive time. Southwest Utah has everything you need. Brian Head has a base elevation of 9600 feet for alpine singletrack and great descents. Thunder Mountain in Red Canyon is still hign enough to ride all summer. All of the great riding in Hurricane area, including Gooseberry Mesa and Little Creek is hot, but absolutly amazing in the mornings. If you are off the trail by 11, you still have the rest of the day to explore Zion or head to BH for an afternoon ride. You can camp for free in BH and on the mesa, Red Canyon has improved camping by Thunder Mountain. You will have a great trip wherever you head.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    78
    Thanks again for the input. As of right now I am considering staying in St. George since a friend of mine offered up his time share resort at a reduced rate. Like others have said above if I can do a little extra drive in the car to get there, I could ride Gooseberry area in the morning...off the trail by noon.....then rest up and maybe head to the Brian Head or the Red Canyon area and ride there late afternoon on into the evening to get a second ride in the day. Hopefully this can give me a taste of both locations.

    For those of you that have riden the Gooseberry area....are there a few nice trails that have truely incredible scenery that you could expect to ride starting at 8:00am in the morning and be off the trail by around noon? Any suggestions to trail/ride names in that area would be terrific. Our riding abilities are intermediate I would say....and our wind should be pretty good by August as our grass roots racing series should be done by then.

    Thanks

  16. #16
    Dr. Pepper drinker
    Reputation: catch22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    1,470
    Quote Originally Posted by palerider3232
    Thanks again for the input. As of right now I am considering staying in St. George since a friend of mine offered up his time share resort at a reduced rate. Like others have said above if I can do a little extra drive in the car to get there, I could ride Gooseberry area in the morning...off the trail by noon.....then rest up and maybe head to the Brian Head or the Red Canyon area and ride there late afternoon on into the evening to get a second ride in the day. Hopefully this can give me a taste of both locations.

    For those of you that have riden the Gooseberry area....are there a few nice trails that have truely incredible scenery that you could expect to ride starting at 8:00am in the morning and be off the trail by around noon? Any suggestions to trail/ride names in that area would be terrific. Our riding abilities are intermediate I would say....and our wind should be pretty good by August as our grass roots racing series should be done by then.

    Thanks
    There are certainly a few trails both on Gooseberry and Little Creek with spectacular views, I'm not too certain on the names though. You can definitely get to them on a 4 hour ride. I'd say hit the new Over the Edge shop in Hurricane for directions, you'll go right past the shop before you start climbing up to the mesas. Quentin is a great guy and will be able to point you in the right direction.
    Sipping the Knolly Whisquillappa

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    78
    Thanks for the heads up on the local bike shop with great knowledge of the area. That will give us a great place to start once we get in the area.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •