How rough are the roads to Gooseberry and Little Creek Mesa?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How rough are the roads to Gooseberry and Little Creek Mesa?

    We're headed down there in early April and have been reading about some people having difficulty with the dirt roads leading to Little Creek and Gooseberry Mesa. I'm using a Mustang with a Thule T2 to haul bikes.

    Is either spot worse than the other?
    If they are both a bad idea with a passenger car what other spots are good to get a slick rock fix without getting the car stuck in the middle of nowhere?

    The current plan was to ride Little Creek, Gooseberry and JEM.

  2. #2
    Daniel the Dog
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    Kind of rough from 59

    Quote Originally Posted by big_mountain_biker
    We're headed down there in early April and have been reading about some people having difficulty with the dirt roads leading to Little Creek and Gooseberry Mesa. I'm using a Mustang with a Thule T2 to haul bikes.

    Is either spot worse than the other?
    If they are both a bad idea with a passenger car what other spots are good to get a slick rock fix without getting the car stuck in the middle of nowhere?

    The current plan was to ride Little Creek, Gooseberry and JEM.
    They are not passable after a decent rain. You can probably make it from Hwy 59 out of Hurricane. The road from Rockville is absolutely horrible! I guess they blade it in the spring sometime and smooth it out. Forget it in a car!

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  3. #3
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    The road is well maintained dirt, but if the weather has been bad, the surface can change a lot. Best to ask locally when you get there. Access from the Hurricane side is always a bit easier than from the Rockville side. We have driven both sides in our Passat, though the Rockville side was sketchy.
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  4. #4

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    What they said.

    If it has been dry, you can get in via 59 by going slow in the limited clearance spots. If it's wet, all bets are off.

    We rode Goose right after a heavy rain and had trouble getting in there in an SUV ("Summer" tires got packed with clay and I was skating all over the place).

  5. #5
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    We were there yesterday. There were some priuses and other small 2WD cars. You can get to the trailhead if it hasn't rained hard recently. I would recommend 4WD though if possible or something with a little more clearance like a Subaru, if possible. If all you have is your Mustang then so be it, chances are, again, you'll be fine, just go slow and be careful. I found out that road has removed a friend's muffler before...

  6. #6
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    Thanks all for the advice.

    I think I'll reserve an SUV rental in St George, but first try out Little Creek Mesa with the Mustang, if it looks like its getting bad I'll go pickup the SUV for Little Creek and Gooseberry. Will definitely avoid those spots if it has rained recently.

    I've got .1" more ground clearance than a Prius so I'll be hopeful....

    It looks like JEM and Slickrock Swamp are close to major roads so those will obviously not be a problem, any other good spots to try out without biting my nails worrying about the car?

  7. #7
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    I have driven into the trailhead two times in my Mazda P5, a low to the ground sports-type car and have been fine both times. I would access it from the Hurricane side and you'll be just fine, as long as the weather holds out. I was just there last weekend and the road in was in great shape. We drove out toward Rockville and the road was not the greatest... No need to rent an SUV, you will be fine.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the info. Sounds like we'll be fine, I went over it with the wife who tends to panic whenever she's worried about the car and she said that she is okay with a bumpy ride as long as we don't get stuck in mud.

    We will be staying in Hurricane so we will definitely be going in from Hwy 59.

    To those who have been to both spots, how does the road to Little Creek compare to the road to Gooseberry?

    Thanks again for all the help

  9. #9
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    The road to Little Creek is better - more gravelly & less rutty. Don't think I've seen a mustang out there yet, but you should be fine.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfshop
    The road to Little Creek is better - more gravelly & less rutty. Don't think I've seen a mustang out there yet, but you should be fine.
    Great! Will definitely be heading to Little Creek first then.

    Thanks for info.

  11. #11
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    I cant agree that little creek is better! It may be a little less tech than the goose but by no means better. It does feel more like a back country ride than an xc bike park like goose and you can get more miles in. Both are amazing and all are different from each other. Driving in from 59 should be no sweat unless it rains right before you are here. My advice is do them all.... lil' creek, goose, guac and bench all similar but very different.

  12. #12
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    ooops

    Should have finished my coffee before responding to the thread..... THE ROADS to lil' creek, not the ride... should be fine from '59 on all. I'd come give you the tour but I am heading out mid day tomorrow to go to The Brent Thompson memorial bonfire in boulder city and won't be free until mon. pm. If your still around get a hold of me through here or at Zion cycles.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_mountain_biker
    Thanks for the info. Sounds like we'll be fine, I went over it with the wife who tends to panic whenever she's worried about the car and she said that she is okay with a bumpy ride as long as we don't get stuck in mud.

    We will be staying in Hurricane so we will definitely be going in from Hwy 59.

    To those who have been to both spots, how does the road to Little Creek compare to the road to Gooseberry?

    Thanks again for all the help
    As others have said, little creek road is slightly less of a problem for passenger cars. Another option for Goose - park at the gate (left turn if coming from 59) and ride your bike in. The road from 59 to the turn is pretty tame (assuming its dry). And it can't be but a few miles (with some uphill) to the trailhead. Not far at all to the turn to the "windmill"/north side of Goose.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcpunk
    As others have said, little creek road is slightly less of a problem for passenger cars. Another option for Goose - park at the gate (left turn if coming from 59) and ride your bike in. The road from 59 to the turn is pretty tame (assuming its dry). And it can't be but a few miles (with some uphill) to the trailhead. Not far at all to the turn to the "windmill"/north side of Goose.
    Thanks for the great suggestion.

    I went ahead and looked at the satellite map and it definitely looks like most of the road is pretty well maintained except for the last mile after the Y-intersection. Can we legally park at that intersection?

    Here's the map of the area I was planning on parking (circled in blue) and the main gooseberry parking area (circled in red)

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3385654314/" title="screen by hotarri, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3582/3385654314_91bdf5a165_o.jpg" width="817" height="159" alt="screen" /></a>

    Looks like there are some cars that happen to be parked at the intersection when the picture was taken. Its only about a mile each way so not too bad at all.

  15. #15
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    I don't know how long it will be blocked, but I had to pass through a small gap in between huge walls of tumbleweeds today after leaving Apple Valley going out to Goose. It was tight enough I scraped up the side of my Pathfinder. On my way out after my ride about 2pm, a SUV had come back toward Gooseberry because the gap had closed all together.

    I ended up going down to Rockville to get out (that road is pretty chewed up). I wish I'd taken a picture, I've never seen such a big pile of tumbleweeds. After I made it through the big pile on the way out, there were dozens more coming down the road that I had to dodge. It felt like I was playing a video game.

    The road surface itself is in pretty good shape right now coming in from the Apple Valley side.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob the Wheelbuilder
    I don't know how long it will be blocked, but I had to pass through a small gap in between huge walls of tumbleweeds today after leaving Apple Valley going out to Goose. It was tight enough I scraped up the side of my Pathfinder. On my way out after my ride about 2pm, a SUV had come back toward Gooseberry because the gap had closed all together.

    I ended up going down to Rockville to get out (that road is pretty chewed up). I wish I'd taken a picture, I've never seen such a big pile of tumbleweeds. After I made it through the big pile on the way out, there were dozens more coming down the road that I had to dodge. It felt like I was playing a video game.

    The road surface itself is in pretty good shape right now coming in from the Apple Valley side.
    Hmmm...I just drove through the tumbleweeds in my Civic. The biggest worry was possible vehicles coming the other way.

    The road surfaces are fine if you are careful.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Hmmm...I just drove through the tumbleweeds in my Civic. The biggest worry was possible vehicles coming the other way.

    The road surfaces are fine if you are careful.
    Yeah, things have changed a lot today. The winds were a steady 25-30 mph straight down the road which at least quadrupled the normal number of tumbleweeds in the gullies.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_mountain_biker
    Thanks for the great suggestion.

    I went ahead and looked at the satellite map and it definitely looks like most of the road is pretty well maintained except for the last mile after the Y-intersection. Can we legally park at that intersection?

    Here's the map of the area I was planning on parking (circled in blue) and the main gooseberry parking area (circled in red)

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3385654314/" title="screen by hotarri, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3582/3385654314_91bdf5a165_o.jpg" width="817" height="159" alt="screen" /></a>

    Looks like there are some cars that happen to be parked at the intersection when the picture was taken. Its only about a mile each way so not too bad at all.
    dunno about legal...but have parked there many times. just try to get off the road. i think there are actually 2 actual car spaces right next to the shitter. there's a map and all that at that intersection - so it seems legit to park there to me.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcpunk
    dunno about legal...but have parked there many times. just try to get off the road. i think there are actually 2 actual car spaces right next to the shitter. there's a map and all that at that intersection - so it seems legit to park there to me.
    Thanks for the info.

    We'll go ahead and park there, I'm assuming that the worst thing that would happen is a ticket on my windshield.

    Now I just need to endure another week of work before heading out there......

  20. #20
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    Will definitely avoid the route after significant winds, don't want to unnecessarily scratch up the car plowing through a wall of tumbleweeds.

  21. #21
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    I would imagine that the tumbleweeds have been driven into submission by now. This is the pile of them that were lining the fence at the turn off to Little Creek on Saturday.
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  22. #22
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    We were up there last weekend and it looks like someone took in a highway mower and turned most of the tumbleweeds into a pile of mulch.

  23. #23
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    I have visited the area twice in recent years and had no trouble at all getting a well loaded Dodge caravan in to Gooseberry and Little Creek - we even did the latter after a full day of heavy rain - I would say that is the marginally better road of the two. Avoid the Rockville approach to Gooseberry, as others have suggested. We shuttled Grafton on that and it is somewhat more challenging.

    The only place we had a hairy moment was a rocky section right at the top of the steep section going up to Guacamole - I would ride up that the next time! But that does not seem to be on your list. Have a great trip - the riding is sensational (as are the views)
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  24. #24
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    I drove it in a POS 1993 saturn sedan. It was fine, it's rough so take it slow which you will want to do for your bike's health on the rack anyways. Enjoy!

  25. #25
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    Was there this weekend, road from Rockville is tough, would not do it in a mustang if your worried about scraping b/c you will. Didn't take the road in from 59 but I assume it has to be better. Parking at the outhouse is fine, I parked there Sunday. Have Fun! Goose and Jem were both riding extremely well (other than the quick T-storm that hit us on JEM)

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