My thanksgiving trip- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    My thanksgiving trip

    Well, I am all unpacked and the pictures are all downloaded. So I though I would share a short writeup I did on part of my trip. Enjoy the story and pics. I actually did two hikes also inaddition to four rides!

    Story:
    Escaping South for Thanksgiving

    For the past couple of years on Thanksgiving I have been giving thanks for all of the wonderful public lands that I can ride my mountain bike in. This year was no different, and involved a trip to the Hurricane, UT area with Owen the dog. We packed up the car and departed Boise, ID on Wednesday night to make the five hour drive to Park City, Ut to spend the first night and to also break up the drive. Early Thursday morning we departed Park City, Ut and headed for Gooseberry Mesa which is located just a little west of Zion National Park and about four hours from Park City we turned off the pavement onto the dirt road that climbed onto the mesa. You need to be very careful which time of year you ride on Gooseberry Mesa because in the middle of the Summer it is too hot and the rest of the year you need to avoid the trails if they are wet and muddy. Luckily for us we arrived on Gooseberry mesa just as the road had mostly dried out, except for the occasional mud patch. Once at the trailhead I unloaded my mountain bike and packed up the camelback for the thirteen mile ride. This ride called for an All-Mountain Bike which has about 6 inches of front and rear travel, my rig of choice was the Giant VT1. With all of the dropoffs and ledges a mountain bike with more travel makes the ride a little easier on the body and also reduces the risk of breaking bike parts. Of course this is no ordinary 13 mile ride, but is instead a ride that goes up and down on singletrack across the rim of Gooseberry Mesa. Every time I ride this trail it gets easier to follow as the trail becomes marked a little better each year with paint on the rock and carsonite signs. The difficultly level of the trail defiantly has not changed though, unlike the slickrock trail in Moab you are actually riding from one island of slickrock to the next and this involves going of dropoffs and down some vertical walls making for what I call a bumpy rollercoaster ride. Leaving from the trailhead you immediately come upon difficult trail sections so if you are not a skilled mountain biker than I suggest you start with the practice loop. Slickrock is not very forgiving so one fall could result in a nice abrasion or broken bone. The gooseberry mesa trail itself is a non-motorized trail so you will defiantly need to bring your mountain bike, but there are a number of dirt roads in the area and on the mesa to provide the challenge of riding on slickrock and also a number of the same views. Four hours later with a couple of breaks we arrived back at the trailhead tired but happy. The dog especially had a grand old time launching himself off of some of the singletrack ledges and running up vertical faces. He defiantly got the hang of the whole slickrock experience by the end of the day! I have not included specific directions, but if you want to ride this trail just visit http://www.utahmountainbiking.com for directions, maps, and where to turn on the trail.

    Our second day in Utah was equally as exciting as the first, but instead of slickrock we choose a non-motorized singletrack loop just above Hurricane. At the parking lot we were lucky enough to run into a mountain biker from Salt Lake City who was going to be our guide for the ride. We suited up and packed a lunch and then unloaded the cross-country bike from the roof. Since this loop was mainly on rolling singletrack and did not have the ledges or dropoffs like yesterday I used my Titus Racer-X which was build to carve singletrack, but did not have the same amount of travel that the Giant bike from yesterday did. Plus with the Titus I saved myself about 5lbs of climbing weight. At the beginning there was just a short section of paved road so you have to be careful with your dog if he is tagging along. From then on the rest of the day was all on dirt and over 90% of the trail was singletrack so it was a dream ride for mountain bikers. This Epic loop was 21 miles and was composed of three trails called the Gould Trail, Jem Trail, and the Hurricane Rim Trail. We started our ride at the bottom of the Gould Trail at the parking lot just outside of Hurricane. We gained most of our elevation on the Gould trail, but it was enough up and downs to keep anyone happy. Plus the views of nearby canyons added to the enjoyment. At the top of the Gould trail we connect onto the JEM trail which was a twisty and fast downhill trail just below Gooseberry Mesa. There was a couple rock sections to keep you honest, but overall it was a super twisty and smooth trail across the desert. After twisting and turning for about 8 miles you come to the junction with the Hurricane Rim Trail. It was time to climb again, and the dog was defiantly happy to have a little break, he was keeping up with us but on long downhills like that he can only last so long at the speeds we were riding. Now the trail got rockier and became very scenic as we rode along the rim of the Virgin River. For the next 9 mile we went up and down and climbed switchbacks to either drop down or climb up a section of the rim. The river was far below, but we could see the old Hurricane Canal that made it possible to settle the town of Hurricane at the turn of the century. We made it back to the car tired, but very happy as the trail made a spectacular loop. I have not included specific directions, but if you want to ride this trail just visit http://www.utahmountainbiking.com for directions, maps, and where to turn on the trail.
    The trail we rode today and Gooseberry mesa trail were all built recently with help from local mountain bikers, the BLM, and support form the local community. At the trailhead they displayed picture of community members turning out to help make this epic 21 mile loop possible. In the afternoon we locked up the bikes and went for a hike on the Canal trail to learn a little history. The majority of the trail is deep in the Virgin River canyon and is only open to hikers since it is steep and contains a lot of steps. Along the canal trail you learn about the history of settling the area and how difficult it was to get something as simple water to the community. Many tunnels and flumes later and countless hours or hand digging they completed the canal that provides irrigation and water to Hurricane at the beginning of the 20th century. Bring along a set of pants you donít mind getting dirty because the trail includes a couple of tunnels to crawl through. We continued to ride the following days, but these two trails were defiantly the highlight of our trip. So dust off that Mountain Bike or rent a mountain bike from the local bike shop and come and enjoy the trails around Hurricane, Ut. Make those hotel reservations early, because they fill up fast in this small town. The weather was amazing the whole time we were there and was a nice break before the snow really sets in up north.
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  2. #2
    Wandervans
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    more pics

    enjoy:
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    16 Diamond Back DB8

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  3. #3
    Hi!!!
    Reputation: BelaySlave's Avatar
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    1) What kind of dog do you have? What is the longest ride it's been on?
    2) Where'd you get the steel wheels for your WRX? I need a set so that I can mount my winter tires on those instead of the regular wheels.

  4. #4
    Wandervans
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    well...

    Quote Originally Posted by BelaySlave
    1) What kind of dog do you have? What is the longest ride it's been on?
    2) Where'd you get the steel wheels for your WRX? I need a set so that I can mount my winter tires on those instead of the regular wheels.
    The dog is a boxer/pointer cross and he has gone about 31 miles on his longest ride

    I got the steel wheels from les schwab and the tires from tire rack, they have worked out well so far.
    Live to ride!
    18 Cannondale Jekyll Carbon
    16 Diamond Back DB8

    https://www.facebook.com/wandervans
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