Mid April Utah Adventure - best non-desert singletrack?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Mid April Utah Adventure - best non-desert singletrack?

    I hate to post another "where should I go" thread, but I need some advice. I'll have 5 days free in April for a mountain biking adventure, and the plan right now is to drive from San Diego to Utah and hit up the best trails I can find. I like flowy singletrack-- the Wasatch Crest Trail looks like exactly what I want. Is that trail going to be free of snow by April?

    The temporary plan looks like this:
    Day 1: Goosebury/Zion
    Day 2-3: SLC / Park City riding, explore some hot springs
    Day 4: drive to grand canyon / sedona az
    Day 5: drive back to SD

    I was planning on hitting Moab since it's such a classic but after watching some videos it really isn't my style. I'm a rider who really doesn't like bike parks and desert riding, and I'm looking for something with some big trees, mountains, and not a lot of riders on the trails. I don't mind climbing as long as there is some fun downhill to make up for it.


    Is my itinerary impossible in April due to snow? I'm pretty oblivious to seasons since San Diego's weather is perfect about 98% of the year. Are there other trail systems in Utah that would fit my wants better?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    historically speaking, Crest will not be snow free until July. Nor will most other high altitude trails in the SLC/PC region, although it's been unbelievably warm and dry this year so far so who knows. But April is definitely pushing it no matter what. I would extend Gooseberry/Zion another day, possibly add in some St George, or make a drive over to Moab.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyle h View Post
    I was planning on hitting Moab since it's such a classic but after watching some videos it really isn't my style. I'm a rider who really doesn't like bike parks and desert riding, and I'm looking for something with some big trees, mountains, and not a lot of riders on the trails. I don't mind climbing as long as there is some fun downhill to make up for it. .
    Well, there are mountains so that meets at least one of your three criteria.

    If you want big trees and solitude you'll have to look somewhere else. Maybe Flagstaff will still be dry in April.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyle h View Post
    I hate to post another "where should I go" thread, but I need some advice. I'll have 5 days free in April for a mountain biking adventure, and the plan right now is to drive from San Diego to Utah and hit up the best trails I can find. I like flowy singletrack-- the Wasatch Crest Trail looks like exactly what I want. Is that trail going to be free of snow by April?

    The temporary plan looks like this:
    Day 1: Goosebury/Zion
    Day 2-3: SLC / Park City riding, explore some hot springs
    Day 4: drive to grand canyon / sedona az
    Day 5: drive back to SD

    I was planning on hitting Moab since it's such a classic but after watching some videos it really isn't my style. I'm a rider who really doesn't like bike parks and desert riding, and I'm looking for something with some big trees, mountains, and not a lot of riders on the trails. I don't mind climbing as long as there is some fun downhill to make up for it.


    Is my itinerary impossible in April due to snow? I'm pretty oblivious to seasons since San Diego's weather is perfect about 98% of the year. Are there other trail systems in Utah that would fit my wants better?

    Thanks.
    I would definitely just stick down south. The trip north won't be worth the drive time because riding will be limited. Keep in mind Wasatch Crest sits up above the Big Cottonwood and Park City ski resorts that depending on the next couple months might still be open for skiing through May.

    Do you actually only have 5 free days to pull this or are there additional travel days in between some destinations that you didn't list? Looking at the schedule I think you're going to be driving a bunch at the expense of doing some good riding. 4 hours to SLC from Zion and 9 or so from SLC to Sedona basically kills 2 days in the spring. To really experience Zion or Grand Canyon you should give each at least a full day. Gooseberry can easily be a full day of riding on its own or you could do a loop there and then hit JEM which fits the flowy and downhill targets you mention. Not sure what kind of winter they are having but there are plenty of mountains down south with great riding. Virgin River Rim Trail and Navajo Lake and Brian Head areas are worth checking out and a trip to Bryce Canyon is time well spent in the area as well.
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  5. #5
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    What catch22 said. Forget SLC area in April. It's pretty meh that time of year and most Wasatch front riders spend time in the desert that time of year before it gets too hot. You could easily spend 5 days in Sedona / Flagstaff alone or St. George/Hurricane area (Gooseberry, Little Creek, Guacamole, JEM area)

    "
    I'm looking for something with some big trees, mountains, and not a lot of riders on the trails."
    ---Then wait another couple months and go to Oakridge, OR.

  6. #6
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    Huh, I guess I need to re-think this plan and stick to the southwest this time of year. Thanks for the info and trail suggestions, some of those look great!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyle h View Post
    Huh, I guess I need to re-think this plan and stick to the southwest this time of year. Thanks for the info and trail suggestions, some of those look great!
    Thinking about it some more and I would definitely keep an eye on conditions in the mountains down south. Several years ago we stayed at the Navajo Lake cabins mid April and rode the VRRT and Thunder Mountain and both were good to go. As little snow as we've had up north this year and as warm as it's been I suspect they'll end up rideable in April this year. If you need trail advice or condition updates Over the Edge in Hurricane is an amazing shop.
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  8. #8
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    Good advice above, stay south. The chances that brian head, Navajo lake and VRRT are open in April would be quite dubious, they're all over 9000 feet. I've ridden Thunder mountain in April before though, a little further east. That's a bit iffy but post up a week or so before and somebody on here will probably know. St George and Moab have a lot to offer. Or try to come fall, then you can get the best of both worlds! High elevation tree riding and bearable temps for the deserts.
    I'm looking forward to regretting this.......

  9. #9
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    Or..... If you like flowy trails and big trees and are set on April, how about just driving up to NorCal and hitting Santa Cruz and or Mendocino/Gold Coast ?

    If you can stand the lack of trees, there are plenty of flowy , smoother options in Las Vegas, St George, hurricane, Sedona, Fruita, and Moab.

    But I love desert riding so ....
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

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  10. #10
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    Corner Canyon (Corner Canyon Trails Map | Corner Canyon Trails) is usually in pretty good shape by April, and it's full of flowy single-track. If the weather stays crazy warm, The Glenwild Trails (Glenwild Area | Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District) may be mostly rideable.

    It's certainly debatable whether or not they're worth the trip up from the south, but it's definitely some very good singletrack.

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