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  1. #1
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    St George or Fruita? First week of April next year

    My wife and I just finished up our second year of Sping Break riding in Moab. We had a great time both years, but thinking it would be good to branch out to a new area next year.

    We're intermediate riders, enjoy both techie and flow trails. TWE is probably the hardest route we did (pushed the Snotch and other harder sections). On the Gemini Bridges Rd we learned we don't enjoy soft sand... duh.

    I'm thinking either St George or Fruita next year. What would you recommend and why? Would like enough trails to keep us busy for 5 - 6 days without repeats. We camp and generally cook ourselves, but a couple of good restaurants would be a plus.

    Other ideas are also welcome, but within a 15 hr drive from Spokane and Spring Break rideable. - TIA

  2. #2
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    St. George! Check out JEM, Gooseberry Mesa, etc. It's awesome

  3. #3
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    I did Gooseberry and Zen (St. George) in Feb, I was very impressed! Gooseberry is as good as anywhere I've ever ridden. I'm not going to go so far as to say it's "the best" because there are so many great places to ride, each with their own personality.

    I will also say this much. Both areas I rode I'd rate above "Intermediate". There is no doubt that you guys can ride them both, and at the end of the week you'll be better riders than when you showed up down there!

  4. #4
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    I think you should go to Fruita.

  5. #5
    C'dale Rush Lefty
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    I was in the St. George / Hurricane area a couple of weeks ago shooting video for my "Trail Analysis for Intermediates" YouTube series. I'll get around to editing it before summer and it will be available then. I'll explain and show all the popular trails as I've done with many Moab trails.

    You can't go wrong with either Fruita / Grand Junction or St. George / Hurricane but there is more to ride in the St. George area. Fruita has unique riding at the end of 18 Road and Hurricane has The Goose. Much of the rest at both locations is some variation of the open desert riding you saw on Porky or Brand Trails in Moab.

    We haven't found fine dining in the Fruita but maybe Grand Junction. Haven't explored everything there yet. St. George seems to be limited to George's Corner and there are several restaurants in Springdale at the west entrance to Zion NP.

    Camping is much better in Moab. Options are limited in the St. George area and near Fruita. You can primitive camp on Gooseberry or Guacamole Mesas, out in the open at KOA, or at the upscale Zion River RV Resort. Camping in Zion NP is a pain because the entrance station gets a big line so it is hard to go in and out.

    Fruita has a couple of nearby state parks and Grand Junction has a KOA. There are also a couple of RV parks. You can primitive camp at the 18 Road trails at a BLM campground.

    Our first choice remains Moab. We like the town better and plenty of diverse riding. I would rate St. George / Hurricane second. Since we drive through St. George on the way to Moab we ride both.

    Jim

  6. #6
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    I lve next to Fruita so ride it 4 days a week, but have made many trips to St. George. I would watch the weather closely. This year the weather was unusually warm and dry in Fruita. St George would be a little warmer than Fruita. I like St. George but Fruita has a lot more trails and more variety, there are more intermediate trails IMO. In addition you are only 1hr. 20 min. from many new intermediate trails in Moab so lots to try. The 7 or 8 bike shops in this area will get you going on the right trails.

  7. #7
    C'dale Rush Lefty
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    fruitafrank, yep, lots to ride around Fruita / Grand Junction but nothing like the amazing South Rim and Hidden Canyon loop on Gooseberry Mesa. Sure, intermediates walk a fair amount of that but it is still one of the most interesting rides in the west, if not the most interesting. That is the only reason I would put Hurricane over Fruita. Holy Cross is also a challenge for intermediates but not in the league with South Rim / Hidden Canyon for amazing entertainment.

    I don't recall large areas of slick rock near Fruita like Guacamole, Gooseberry, and Little Creek Mesas near Hurricane. I haven't rode Lunch Loops much yet though. I think that puts Hurricane over Fruita. There is a lot of equivalency for mesa bluff and open high desert riding.

    OK, nothing like the drop in to Horsethief Mesa near St. George but that is rather extreme for MTB.

    I would take 18 Road over the JEM trail system for fast flowy fun although barely. Goosebumps, Cryptobionic, and Dead Ringer are far more fun than I expected.

    Over The Edge Sports in Fruita has Max and he is ranks much higher than the bike shop guys elsewhere :-)

    I was headed from St. George to ride Fruita a few weeks ago but the winds came up so I went home to San Jose instead. I've had enough of blowing sand and trying to ride.

    If I can find the money I'll try to make the Fruita Fat Tire Festival next week. That is such a blast! Otherwise I'll be at Outerbike in Moab next fall. Going to the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey tomorrow. Riding sucks but what a show!

  8. #8
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    There are 4 distinct riding areas in GJ/Fruita area with a diff. personality to each. The total number and miles of single track is greater IMO, without counting Moabs new trails. I wouldn't call Holy Cross or several others in that area as Intermediate though. I've ridden JEM many times great trail, Hurricane rim, Church Rocks etc are fun . I have ridden and raced most of the trails in Green Valley/ St. George area- I guess we disagree, nice to have these options.

  9. #9
    C'dale Rush Lefty
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    Yeah, Holy Cross and South Rim and Hidden Canyon on The Goose aren't intermediate. I went OTH twice on Holy Cross :-) Max send us there during the fat tire festival a couple of years ago for "intermediate" riding. Never listen to Max's suggestions after he has had a few brews :-) I loved the adventure but my wife doesn't feel motivated to return to Holy Cross.

    The OP stated they are intermediate riders but enjoy technical trails and mentioned hiking the bike through The Snotch. They seemed to not avoid the bottom of Porky for instance. To me this means they don't mind more than a little adventure on their rides.

    I think that leans more toward St. George / Hurricane for technical variety. They can get a similar gnarly experience to Grand Junction's Holy Cross Trail at the top of the Zen Trail west of St. George. However, much of both trails is intermediate riding. They can't get a Gooseberry experience in Fruita or Moab. It is unique and amazing as are the large areas of slick rock on the mesa tops.

    We may disagree but it is a very small difference. Riding both areas is a must do. Prioritizing is the only issue and that is what the OP seems to be asking for.

  10. #10
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    Lots of room for debate here Ithink, still don't agree but nxt. time over here we could discuss over pizza+beer at the Hot Tomato. Frank

  11. #11
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    I say ride both, then you can decide. ..

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by waveslayer View Post
    I say ride both, then you can decide. ..
    Thanks for all the great responses - keep them coming. It's really is matter of where we go first, I don't have any doubt that we'll hit both SG and Fruita/GJ at some point soon.

    Jim interpreted very well, we are "intermediate" at this point, but we're aggressive, learning and adventuresome. We have no problem taking on an advanced trail, but I didn't want to leave the impression that we can clean them. Even though videos flatten the terrain, from watching a couple on Gooseberry I'm sure we can ride the majority of it.

    We learned first hand how videos flatten out rides on "Top of the World" at Whistler last summer - "I don't remember that drops being so BIG!"

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