New trail: Red Canyon Epic- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New trail: Red Canyon Epic

    Inspired by the dixie 311 race held just last weekend https://2-epic.com/events/dixie311.html.
    I decided to finally pull the trigger on some single track trails I've seen while deer hunting over the years. Finally got some trail data and maps acquired that was delaying this ride for awhile. We linked them all together and put together what we called the Red canyon Epic. Over 20 miles and 4000 ft of climbing took us to some seriously awesome country so remote that we didn't see a single sole while riding until we rode down into red canyon, over 18 miles later. We ended up descending clear down into Red canyon from starting up near 10000 ft.
    First off this isn't the Wasatch crest or Colorado trail but these are old horse trails that have been around long before bikes were even an idea and some times they reward you with some hidden flowy tight and fast descents. We did ride some pretty rugged remote trails that did become faint now and again and required route finding skills and a map.
    There was some hike-a-bikes, granny gear climbs, downed trees but there also was some serious scenery and some awesome singletrack descents.

    We rode up the upper cottonwood creek trail accessed via cottonwood road on Mt. Dutton just north of Bryce Canyon.

    Trail Head for upper cottonwood
    <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/?action=view&current=SN852307.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/SN852307.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/?action=view&current=SN852308.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/SN852308.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Climbing upper cottonwood trail
    <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/?action=view&current=SN852310.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/SN852310.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/?action=view&current=SN852313.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/SN852313.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    On top at the fork for adams head and west hunt creek trail
    <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/?action=view&current=SN852319.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/SN852319.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Descending down into west hunt creek
    <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/?action=view&current=SN852322.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/SN852322.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Riding along west hunt creek
    <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/?action=view&current=SN852333.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/SN852333.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/?action=view&current=SN852336.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/SN852336.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Trailhead for Showalter trail:
    <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/?action=view&current=SN852341.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/SN852341.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Lunch
    <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/?action=view&current=SN852342.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/SN852342.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    climbing up showalter trail
    <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/?action=view&current=SN852348.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/SN852348.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    view from top
    <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/?action=view&current=SN852349.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/SN852349.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Descent along hancock trail....awesome!
    <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/?action=view&current=SN852357.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/SN852357.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/?action=view&current=SN852362.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/SN852362.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    hancock trail almost to casto, cassidy trail junction <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/?action=view&current=SN852363.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/Red%20Canyon%20Epic/SN852363.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Trail meets up with a choice to go down casto or cassidy trail towards hwy 12. hope some of you guys will get to ride this epic one day.

  2. #2
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    Real nice, my kind of ride. How long (hours) did it take?
    Sierra Club Sucks

  3. #3
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    Took us just over 6 hrs.

  4. #4
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    yum yum!
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  5. #5
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    GPX for ending down Cassidy Trail thanks to slcpunk for link: http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip....86e0b8d808d027

    or

    gpx download. right click and save as http://download870.mediafire.com/cwf...ssidyroute.gpx
    Last edited by shelbster15; 07-09-2010 at 06:23 PM.

  6. #6
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    Cool. Almost a mini Burro Down type of ride. I'll bet there's tons of those types of trails hidden around those more remote Utah mountains.

  7. #7
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    The trails look cool. Is there any way to do this trail as a shuttle and avoid the majority of the uphill climbs?

    4000 feet ascent can be a bit much on certain days.

  8. #8
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    We did shuttle it, however you can be dropped off before the last descent almost halfway down but you will still have to climb over 1200 feet or so because there is no road access to the top of that mountain. No "only descent" shuttles will work.

  9. #9
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    Just updated the gpx files for ending with cassidy trail, now you can view it with everytrail thanks to slcpunk. I'll be up that way in a week to try another trail out with less elevation gain and slightly more descent. Ill post it up then.

  10. #10
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    We both did variations of this ride the same weekend. On Sunday and Monday, the 4th and 5th, I did a two day bikepacking trip from Red Canyon up the East side of the Sevier, then up Cottonwood Canyon and down the Dixie 311 route from FR125 (and going up and around Adams before getting to some DH! What a joy it is pushing you, your bike and 20lbs of gear up a 45deg pitch at 10,000'!) In 4 days of riding, I only saw a few people on the bike path thru Red Canyon.





    I camped about .5mile below the trailhead you started on. That would have been a much better route. The road got steep after that and the Adams Head ridge trail was brutal, soooo many downed trees too! That whole area up top is toast. Still going to be a while til it all recovers and the dead trees stop falling.


  11. #11
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    So you ride from from cottonwood road to hunt creek trail or vise versa via Adams Head trail? What was the trail like? just lots of downed trees? We were thinking of exlporing that section this weekend. Upper cottonwood creek trail was stellar. Would love to ride down that, pehaps some kind of small loop. Up cottonwood rd to adams head and then down upper cottonwood creek. oh and we r working on getting some saws up there too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shelbster15
    So you ride from from cottonwood road to hunt creek trail or vise versa via Adams Head trail? What was the trail like? just lots of downed trees? We were thinking of exlporing that section this weekend. Upper cottonwood creek trail was stellar. Would love to ride down that, pehaps some kind of small loop. Up cottonwood rd to adams head and then down upper cottonwood creek. oh and we r working on getting some saws up there too.
    Yep, that is the route. Try it and see what you think, but to me:

    Going from the road to Hunt Creek via Adams is just a brutal hike-and-huck. In addition to the tree situation, until you navigate all the way around Adams, it's a lot of steep, loose hiking. Made worse if you have the 20lb extra in gear and supplies! On some of these sections, it looked like the 311 crew walked down them. The traverse of Adams features some off-camber, loose, eroding, exposed, narrow trail too (walked a lot here too). Of course with downed trees.

    Taking the trail from Hunt to the road via Adams, wouldn't be as bad, and might be ridable all the way to Adams, if the trees were cleared. The traverse still would be something tricky. Then, down to the road, you'd be sliding if riding the steeps. It's a step pattern to the slope on that side.

    The one thing I'm not sure about is the legality of riding bikes up there.

    All the trails up in the Sevier Plateau are designated as non-mechanized, meaning hikers and horses only! Dashed orange lines in the Dixie NF map. The trailhead marker at the road and Adams trail didn't say no, it didn't have a bike symbol at all. I'm going to check with the Powell RD and get their official take on the area. With all the recent activity, I think those trails have gotten more use in the last few weeks than they have in the last few years!

    There are a lot of trails throughout that drainage area on the East side. Potentially some nice loops you could start from further South near Tom Best Spring.

    In other trail news: Found out I'm out of a job at the end of August. So, among other adventures, I'm going to do a week of exploring and mapping in the Escalante RD from Pine Lake/Powell Point up to Hells Backbone/Box Death Hollow/Boulder and beyond to the Aquarius Plateau/Boulder Mountain in September. Have you ever seen Dave's TransUtah route? Kind of the backbone for my trip. And it's all just on the other side of UT 22!




  13. #13
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    Dave Harris here, Dixie 311 and Trans Utah route creator.

    It's great to see folks getting out on the Sevier doing some exploring, it's a unique area and full of that "out there" feeling that is so appealing to some of us. It's no amusement park...but if you are ready it will deliver.

    On the legality of riding trails on the Sevier: it's a forgotten area and sees little use. A few hunters and pot growers is about it! Some of the trails do have newer signs and they have foot, horse and bike allowed on them. The old signs just say no motorized travel. I've got a recreation map for the region that says all trails on the Sevier are foot/horse/mtb only. So go ride your bike with wild abandon up there

    On the TU explory mentioned: check out this route http://2-epic.com/maps/311map.html?m...9.kml&index=11 LW and I did a weeklong bikepack and came over the top of the Aquarius/Boulder Mtn. It was all ATV or 4x4 but a great route nonetheless. It's so high and flower covered in summer ya can't go wrong.

    I'm curious about a trail that contours it's way N/S on the Sevier E of the main Dixie route. Anybody been on a trail that fits that description? I don't know the name and am away from home just now riding groomed trails in Crested Butte.
    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by Punta Lobos
    The trails look cool. Is there any way to do this trail as a shuttle and avoid the majority of the uphill climbs?

    4000 feet ascent can be a bit much on certain days.
    Agreed... like any day that ends in "y".
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    On the TU explory mentioned: check out this route https://2-epic.com/maps/311map.html?...9.kml&index=11 LW and I did a weeklong bikepack and came over the top of the Aquarius/Boulder Mtn. It was all ATV or 4x4 but a great route nonetheless. It's so high and flower covered in summer ya can't go wrong.

    I'm curious about a trail that contours it's way N/S on the Sevier E of the main Dixie route. Anybody been on a trail that fits that description? I don't know the name and am away from home just now riding groomed trails in Crested Butte.

    For riding the Aquarius, I don't care if it's road or trail, I just want to explore it. Given I'll be able to take the time, it's too nice an area not to do. Especially considering I'll be doing everything else in the area!

    I don't know the name of the trail(s) either and the Powell RD website doesn't show anything, but this is what you're looking for (the white strip across the middle is Cottonwood - not the best pic, but...). That's a main trail in creating what would hopefully be some nice loops up there. Extends way farther North too. May have to stop in at the district office and see if they have any trail sheets on the trails in the Sevier.

    Guess that's another trip we've created for ourselves, eh?!


  16. #16
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    Found it!

    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    I'm curious about a trail that contours it's way N/S on the Sevier E of the main Dixie route. Anybody been on a trail that fits that description? I don't know the name and am away from home just now riding groomed trails in Crested Butte.
    It's the Mount Dutton trail. Decided to go out to www.redtrails.com and they had it, along with several other trails in the Sevier. Nice little site if you haven't ever checked it out. They did a redo of the interface a few months back.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertDog
    It's the Mount Dutton trail. Decided to go out to www.redtrails.com and they had it, along with several other trails in the Sevier. Nice little site if you haven't ever checked it out. They did a redo of the interface a few months back.
    Awesome! That site is tied into gov agencies GIS apparently, it's got a load of available GPX files. I've checked a few against my own tracks and so far everything I've seen is legit.

    Looking at the profile of the Mt Dutton trail it looks pretty burly. 8k'+ vert in 26 miles, lots of 20%+ grades, exactly what I was expecting from a trail that crossed numerous drainages.

    Extended Roubideau anyone?
    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    Awesome! That site is tied into gov agencies GIS apparently, it's got a load of available GPX files. I've checked a few against my own tracks and so far everything I've seen is legit.
    It is great for finding those little trails that make a big difference. May be some tie-in, but I thought it was all from user contributed files?

    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    Looking at the profile of the Mt Dutton trail it looks pretty burly. 8k'+ vert in 26 miles, lots of 20%+ grades, exactly what I was expecting from a trail that crossed numerous drainages.
    It would be a bear. It's nothing but a saw blade on the far North sections. At first, far zoom sight, I thought it could be a cool way to go up to the Aquarius. Not! But the routing is there.


    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    Extended Roubideau anyone?
    You're just having too much good time, while Vegas and St George are melting!
    Enjoy!

  19. #19
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    Got some more beta on the area. We did two loops this weekend. After all the bad news about the Adams head Trail and iit's condition we decided to atleast see what its all about. We rode up cottonwood road, up adams head trail and back down upper cottonwood creek trail. We brought along a saw and cut and removed about 90% of the downed trees along Adams head trail. Noticed at the entrance it doesnt show a bike on the sign ( I know it's totaly legal to ride a bike on it but I can tell why they didn't post it. It's not really recomeded on a bike.) Although there was some fun parts and great views along it, there was a lot of hike a bike due to steep terrain. no way is it possible to ride that trail in either direction without having to walk the bike up sections. That made it more work then enjoyable. Especially cutting the trail as we went. It's just not a super amazing section of trail due to the walking. We did walk up towards the Adams head lookout and was rewarded with 360 degree views of the Sevier Plateau ( that was awesome!) The descent off of adams head trail towards upper cottonwood creek trail was good times though. That trail was fully cleaned and was such a fun descent. As fast as you wanted to go and was flowy in sections. Required almost zero pedaling down the whole trail. Almost was worth trucking along Adams head trail to make a loop out of it. Upper cottonwood creek trail is ride able in both directions and would be a great out and back option if it wasn't so far in the middle of nowhere. Thinking of making it a loop option by riding up upper cottonwood then descending down middle cottonwood trail and catching the dirt road back up to the trailhead. Just havent road the middle trail yet. That will be another trip.

    Here is a map of that loop. Rode it counter clockwise:

    <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/?action=view&current=adamsheadtrailmap.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/adamsheadtrailmap.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Stats:
    total distance: 6.5 miles
    total time: 2.5 hours (cleaning trail)
    Elevation gained and lost: 1399 ft
    max elevation 9990 ft



    Here is a map of another proposed route option:

    <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/?action=view&current=middlecottonwoodtrailmap.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/middlecottonwoodtrailmap.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>






    Then we headed back down and rode the lower (southern) section of the Showalter Trail. We rode the upper (northen) section of showlater in the previous post and was rewarded with a gradual ascent up which would be a killer descent in which the dixie 311 course was rewarded with. I wanted to ride this section to see if I could loop the hancock trail along with upper casto canyon to make another loop option to ride as it self or add to it to the Cassidy trail as another epic. We where pretty beat form the 1500 ft of climbing from the morning and by now it was around 100 degress so we just rode an out and back from Judd pasture Troughs. Once again was a pretty steady climb that was all rideable up and was going to make for a fast descent. This is a good up option instead of riding up hancock trail which has longer steeper sections of climbing. Once on top of Butler creek the trail forks left heading towards the hancock trail and will disappear along the top until you begin the descent back down. However there is another connector we stumbled upon the looks like the new alternative and is being used instead. Dave harris may enjoy this option if you ride the 311 next year with same route. A lot quicker option if you are heading into west hunt. You'll continue down on showalter instead of hangin a left towards the guzzler. You'll drop down the hill and right where it takes a hard right there will be a pile of rocks and a faint trail heading up the hill to the left. It's steep and to the point but you wont get lost or confused and even though you will walk most of it. It's shorter and quicker then going around on the open trailess platue of butler peak. we rode a small lollipop and headed back down towards jud pasture troughs where we came from. If you are riding it as a small epic you can head down the hancock trail which is a well rewarded descent into casto canyon and except for maybe 200 ft of dirt road it will be all downhill singltrack until you get spit right into casto canyon. From there you can either ride down cassidy for some sort of shuttle option or head up casto and back to judd pasture troughs via the doubletrack. I'll upload some gpx files and info later.

    Trail route we rode yesterday:
    <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/?action=view&current=showaltershort.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/showaltershort.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Longer epic loop version roughly 11-12 miles without riding cassidy trail.
    Red is ST and Blue is DT and Yellow is Cassidy trail and casto connectors:

    <a href="https://s671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/?action=view&current=showalterlong-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i671.photobucket.com/albums/vv79/shelbymeink/showalterlong-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

  20. #20
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    Adams Head trail (upper west hunt trail):



    Descending down upper Cottonwood creek trail:



    View from Adams Head looking south over west hunt creek.



    Judd pasture troughs parking area and start of singletrack of showalter:




    Gate for showalter ST:



    Climb up showalter:






    Near top of trail:


    Quick escape off trail to bottom:



    Peaked out and riding towards hancock trail it starts to descend:



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    Cool! We might just get a new riding area yet!

    At least now I know it wasn't just me in a bad mood with my thinking on the Adams trail.
    Hey, it was part of the 311 course, which isn't about being easy or fun or rideable at times - but I had to see what Dave had created.

    Keep me informed, may just get up there and explore the trails with you guys one weekend.

    At the moment, got a new site and event I'm working on, check it out:
    http://sites.google.com/site/dirtypu.../whitemtns2010

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    Thanks for the trail work!! Man I need to get a weekend off and get up there with yah one of these days!
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesertDog
    Cool! We might just get a new riding area yet!

    At least now I know it wasn't just me in a bad mood with my thinking on the Adams trail.
    Hey, it was part of the 311 course, which isn't about being easy or fun or rideable at times - but I had to see what Dave had created.

    Keep me informed, may just get up there and explore the trails with you guys one weekend.

    At the moment, got a new site and event I'm working on, check it out:
    http://sites.google.com/site/dirtypu.../whitemtns2010
    Yeah, there still is a few trails left out there to explore. How'd you like the descent down the hancock trail? Minus the downed trees that we will clean up in the next bit. There was a couple 18in+ that will require some gas power. I thought it was a hidden gem. Along with the showalter trail. Great riding completely hidden from pretty much the whole world. Only sees use from some cowboys runnin livestock in the summer and hunters in the fall. They were running sheep up upper cottonwood trail and that cleaned a lot of debris up which made for faster rollin. Saw some more bear tracks up near Adams head on top of I'm guessing ur bike tracks since your prob the last person to ride it.....We also saw bear tracks up near the top of the hancock trail a half mile below the guzzler that were brand new on the trail which got us a little spooked two weekends ago. Other then that didn't see a soul.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelbster15
    Yeah, there still is a few trails left out there to explore. How'd you like the descent down the hancock trail?

    Taken a while to get back to you, but...

    The Hancock Trail was the best fun, definitely. I do remember one crazy, gnarly tree across the trail. A cleaned up Hunt will be great too. Some nice length loops that could be made through the area. Check this out (and download the gpx file): A lot more out there.


    It's finally dark. Time for a road ride!


    DesertDog/JP
    Dirty Pursuits

    ...and Dirty Thoughts

  25. #25
    I'd rather be biking...
    Reputation: shelbster15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    937
    http://shelbymeinkeyphoto.blogspot.c...n-to-easy.html

    Did another version of it into Red canyon on my blog this past weekend.

  26. #26
    Really I am that slow
    Reputation: SlowerThenSnot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    3,777
    Quote Originally Posted by shelbster15 View Post
    http://shelbymeinkeyphoto.blogspot.c...n-to-easy.html

    Did another version of it into Red canyon on my blog this past weekend.
    looks yummy!
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    7,052
    Great adventure riding and trip reports. I've looked up at Mt. Dutton and Adam's Head from Cassidy and looked at Cottonwood on the map but never got that far.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
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    Mar 2011
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    Looks like a cool trail system lets hope it recovers soon.

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