Red Canyon, Orange Canyon, White Canyon- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    JMH
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    Red Canyon, Orange Canyon, White Canyon

    Went with a friend to ride Casto-Cassidy and Thunder Mountain this weekend, both trails are in great condition. I forget how unique and beautiful these rides are, and they are so close - I have to go more often. Camping in the canyon is inexpensive and pleasant, temps were warm but not hot. In short... Perfect!

    Enjoy a few pics!

    JMH
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    Last edited by JMH; 05-20-2007 at 06:05 PM.

  2. #2
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    awesome pics, looks like a great place to ride. How long are those rides?

  3. #3
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    Thunder Mtn is a 15.7 mi loop if you ride up the paved pathway. 7 miles of trail.

    Up Casto to Cassidy and down Losee is 14.5 mi. I'm not sure what the loop is if you continue to the hwy. I've never done it cause I hate the thought of losing all the hard gained vertical dropping down the hwy or the paved pathway. However, continuing on to Thunder Mountain makes for a 30 mile loop. ~3000' of climbing with Cassidy having a couple of short, tough ones.

    Nice pics!

  4. #4
    JMH
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    Both rides can be ridden as loops, right out of your campsite.

    Casto Canyon to Cassidy Trail is longer and tougher at 19.5 miles. There aren't many advanced technical challenges, but there are many sharp climbs and descents on the plateau. These little leg-breakers make the ride seem longer than it is. It has taken me 2.5 - 3.5 hours, depending on how many stops and side routes I have taken.

    Rockman- The Cassidy Trail continues South from Losee. It is all terrific singletrack just like the Casto to Losee section and it dumps you out in Red Canyon about 500 yards from the campground. The Rich Trail weaves around in this same area and crosses the Cassidy Trail at least twice, making for some excellent exploring.

    Thunder Mountain is pretty low-impact physically, but it's 100% eye-candy and flowy fun. Again, only moderate technical challenges (as long as you are good at loose switchbacks) and the trail descends for the majority of the route. I think the loop (including the paved bicycle trail climb) works out to about 15 miles and somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,300ft of climbing?

    The Red Canyon Visitor Center has great trail maps, and all the trails are well-marked. You can also check them out on UtahMountainBiking.com

    JMH

  5. #5
    Err
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    looks like a blast

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    Both rides can be ridden as loops, right out of your campsite.

    Rockman- The Cassidy Trail continues South from Losee. It is all terrific singletrack just like the Casto to Losee section and it dumps you out in Red Canyon about 500 yards from the campground. The Rich Trail weaves around in this same area and crosses the Cassidy Trail at least twice, making for some excellent exploring.

    I think the loop (including the paved bicycle trail climb) works out to about 15 miles and somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,300ft of climbing?

    JMH
    huh? I only mentioned Losee because that makes an excellent loop as well. Rather than dropping down the road. But of course you miss the downhill from the plateau and Boynton Overlook to hwy12 which is indeed terriffic. Another fine way to tackle it is to climb up the hwy after Thunder, climb Cassidy and down Losee. That's 19 miles if you shuttle to the dirt road to Thunder. Love that area.

  7. #7
    JMH
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    Oh, sorry! When I read your post I thought you meant you had never ridden that section south of Losee. That's why I described it. But it sounds like you have ridden many miles in that neck of the woods.

    So nice there...

    Have you ever headed south on the road to Tropic Reservoir before getting to Ruby's Inn? Is there good singletrack riding down there? Or mostly fire roads and ATV trails?

    JMH

    Quote Originally Posted by rockman
    huh? I only mentioned Losee because that makes an excellent loop as well. Rather than dropping down the road. But of course you miss the downhill from the plateau and Boynton Overlook to hwy12 which is indeed terriffic. Another fine way to tackle it is to climb up the hwy after Thunder, climb Cassidy and down Losee. That's 19 miles if you shuttle to the dirt road to Thunder. Love that area.

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    Those are great pictures! Thanks for sharing.

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    best option?

    If I want to ride the 30 mile loop, what is the best way? I'm looking at the map at utahmountainbiking.com and it looks like if I start near the U-12 at the turn off for Casto and Losee canyons I can ride the dirt road to casto canyon, climb up casto to cassidy and head south to the U-12, then continue up the highway to the turn off for coyote hollow and ride down to the thunder mountain trail head? Or is it better to ride up Casto canyon to Cassidy and down Losee canyon. And on another ride peddle up the highway and come down thunder mountain? Any advice would be appreciated.

    ignore the route arrows on the attached image
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    well...

    I would just park at the bottom of Thunder Mountain and warm up on the 3 mi of road to Casto. The singletrack turnoff from the main ATV track used to be easy to miss but the faint 6" trail has been ATV'd. The turnoff to Cassidy is also easy to miss so keep an eye out for it (~5 mi from the Casto TH). Also, nearby is Butch's purported hideout shelter. Look for a trail heading off to the left (northwest?). Cassidy is strenuous (at least for me). You have a couple of options once you get past Losee and the tough climb back up onto the Mesa. I'd recommend the first Rich trail turn to the right which takes you up onto a spine of sorts. Then, if your tired I'd skip the next right (which would be Cassidy again) which climbs up to Boyton Overlook (v. nice but not too much different from the spine) and contour left around the Mesa on the Rich trail. Rejoining Cassidy and the downhill to the hwy.

    Only you can decide whether 30 mi of this terrain is best in one ride but with stops it'll be 5 or 6 hours. For me the loop was nearly 4 hours in the saddle with an avs of 8.0 but I'm 45 and only a semblance of my former prowess. Which wasn't much then either. Which is why I now pontificate about riding instead. Cassidy is strenuous. I would think you'll have a pretty good idea if you've got it in you when you get to Losee. You can drop down that for a 4 mi of big chain ring downhill but it can be chopped up from the horses. In that case I'd park at Losee to start the ride.

    Have fun I love that area!

    Cassidy in either direction is worthy if you have more than one day. Folks also climb Thunder Mountain. Not me.

  11. #11
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    No worries. Not as much as I like. I usually hit that area or Brian Head with the wife and kids on the way up to Ogden from Flagstaff every summer. And some other trips but I haven't explored too much in the Tropic area. There's a singletrack east of Tropic Reservoir that drops down into Proctor Canyon called the "no name" trail. You can loop it up back to the lake by using the Badger Canyon road I think. I was going to do that when I was up there last summer but ended up exploring and beating myself up in the Boulder Mountains to the northeast. I want to check out this Moose thing one of these days.....

    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    Oh, sorry! When I read your post I thought you meant you had never ridden that section south of Losee. That's why I described it. But it sounds like you have ridden many miles in that neck of the woods.

    So nice there...

    Have you ever headed south on the road to Tropic Reservoir before getting to Ruby's Inn? Is there good singletrack riding down there? Or mostly fire roads and ATV trails?

    JMH

  12. #12
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    The Best Way

    Quote Originally Posted by Richrider
    If I want to ride the 30 mile loop, what is the best way? I'm looking at the map at utahmountainbiking.com and it looks like if I start near the U-12 at the turn off for Casto and Losee canyons I can ride the dirt road to casto canyon, climb up casto to cassidy and head south to the U-12, then continue up the highway to the turn off for coyote hollow and ride down to the thunder mountain trail head? Or is it better to ride up Casto canyon to Cassidy and down Losee canyon. And on another ride peddle up the highway and come down thunder mountain? Any advice would be appreciated.

    ignore the route arrows on the attached image
    I'm pretty sure the best way to ride it is down the I-15, whereupon a stopover in S. Jordan would be advised to help a brotha out laying sod all weekend. Not really. The bad news is that the wrist is broken, the good news is that the brace should accomodate riding waaaay better than it was last week! Have a good time this weekend.

  13. #13
    JMH
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    Doing some sort of Cassidy loop AND Thunder Mountain in the same ride is going to be rough... Like Rockman said, the upper portions of Cassidy (on the plateau) are pretty strenuous, with lots of little leg breakers. I did the first loop in 2.5 and the second loop in 2 hrs, and that was on different days. I would probably add an hour to that total if I did both as one long ride.

    If I were going to do it, though, I would do the Cassidy loop first in a clockwise direction, starting with Casto or Losee Canyon and finishing with the Cassidy descent, then ride up and do the TM loop. Just my 2 cents.

    You could re-fill your camelback mid-ride when you drop down to the canyon again.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    Doing some sort of Cassidy loop AND Thunder Mountain in the same ride is going to be rough... Like Rockman said, the upper portions of Cassidy (on the plateau) are pretty strenuous, with lots of little leg breakers. I did the first loop in 2.5 and the second loop in 2 hrs, and that was on different days. I would probably add an hour to that total if I did both as one long ride.

    If I were going to do it, though, I would do the Cassidy loop first in a clockwise direction, starting with Casto or Losee Canyon and finishing with the Cassidy descent, then ride up and do the TM loop. Just my 2 cents.

    You could re-fill your camelback mid-ride when you drop down to the canyon again.
    thats how I would do it but turn left on the rich single track . when you finnish casto you can regroup at your car then decide if you are up for thunder. I like to ride thunder in the opposite direction as an out and back this way you get all the great views while climbing and delete the paved and dirt fire rd. more of a challange too.that last mi of thunder is fast fun!!! then beer.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richrider
    If I want to ride the 30 mile loop, what is the best way?
    Rich, are you coming down for Memorial Day weekend? I'll probably be in SLC thru Sunday but we are planning on riding Monday out to either Little Creek or Gooseberry. Call me if you want to join us.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMH

    Have you ever headed south on the road to Tropic Reservoir before getting to Ruby's Inn? Is there good singletrack riding down there? Or mostly fire roads and ATV trails?

    JMH
    There is some single track about 20 to 30 miles south of 12 if you go by Tropic Reservoir. The trail is called Grandview and it's sort of like the Virgin River Rim trail, running along the edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. The trail is terrible, steep ups, steep downs, and just when you think it might be ridable 12" deep sand pits. It is a bike trail but mostly follows an old horse trail. We rode it 5 or 6 years ago with the guy from the Forest Service that did the Trail Cat work (his first bike ride on it). His assessment at the end of the ride was "boy that trail sucks". When we drove out to the trail head the roads were bone dry with 6 to 10 inches of dust on them. No wind what so ever (must not have been southern Utah). You were eating dust from a car a mile in front of you. Unless I totally loose what is left of my mind I will not be going back for that ride.

  17. #17
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    We are

    I would love to ride with you guys, it will be me and Mark (on his new 5spot). I will call as we get closer to the weekend. I also want to pick your brain about this ride.

  18. #18
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    oh boy, i'll be riding thunder mtn with a tour group next week (6/5).
    those pics are breath-taking. i can hardly wait!

    ms k from phoenix, az
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  19. #19
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    Great Pictures

    Looks like a nice trip, you're lucky to have that even somewhat close to where you live.
    What am I going to do with forty subscriptions to Vibe?

  20. #20
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    Damn I need to get down there again. Did Casto Canyon out and back with my wife on our honeymoon, that was fun and very scenic. She wasn't up for looping around on singletrack.

    Thanks for the pictures, incentive for my friends to road trip.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richrider
    If I want to ride the 30 mile loop, what is the best way? I'm looking at the map at utahmountainbiking.com and it looks like if I start near the U-12 at the turn off for Casto and Losee canyons I can ride the dirt road to casto canyon, climb up casto to cassidy and head south to the U-12, then continue up the highway to the turn off for coyote hollow and ride down to the thunder mountain trail head? Or is it better to ride up Casto canyon to Cassidy and down Losee canyon. And on another ride peddle up the highway and come down thunder mountain? Any advice would be appreciated.

    ignore the route arrows on the attached image
    Wednesday I did the big loop you describe. I parked at the Thunder Mtn. trailhead at the base of Red Canyon, then I started with the dirt road to Casto Canyon. I went up Casto and along the length of Cassidy to Red Canyon, up the bike path and dirt road to Thunder Mounatin and back to my car. It took 5 hours and I was pooped and out of light when I got there, but what a great ride! Next time I'll start earlier in the day.

    Here's a link with some pictures from the Ellsworth board:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=303974
    Last edited by Bob the Wheelbuilder; 06-02-2007 at 06:45 PM.
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