Rockville Bench/Slickrock Swamp Closed- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Rockville Bench/Slickrock Swamp Closed

    Like the sign says.... Rockville Bench Trail in Rockville (near Zion and Sprindale) has BLM installed signs banning all but foot traffic.

    For many years the "foot traffic only" status was no enforced and we enjoyed a great riding area.

    Seems that riders insisted riding through peoples yards, hauling up trailers with ten+ bikes and parking in the streets and basically making themselves a nuisance in these peoples neighnorhood. So say goodnight to the bench.
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  2. #2
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    That's really to bad for the people who respected the area and enjoyed riding there. We worry about our BLM areas down here in Las Vegas, all they would have to do is say "No mas" and we'd have nowhere to ride

    Matt
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  3. #3
    I'd rather be biking...
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    Then I'll walk my Bike if They ask

  4. #4
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    There's light at the end of the tunnel but it's going to take us acting responsibly and repecting the property rights and wishes of the community.
    Monte
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  5. #5
    JMH
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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY
    Like the sign says.... Rockville Bench Trail in Rockville (near Zion and Sprindale) has BLM installed signs banning all but foot traffic.

    For many years the "foot traffic only" status was no enforced and we enjoyed a great riding area.

    Seems that riders insisted riding through peoples yards, hauling up trailers with ten+ bikes and parking in the streets and basically making themselves a nuisance in these peoples neighnorhood. So say goodnight to the bench.
    Thanks for the update, even though it's terrible news. Such a bummer way to lose a great trail.

    Is there any new information about the park boundaries and private property development zones changing? I think I remember the NPS was looking at adding some of the bench to the park? It would lessen the blow if the property went to the park rather than to housing.

    JMH

  6. #6
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    That's a real bummer. I was scolded for preaching that we needed to be especially sensitive in this area, it really sucks that I have to say "I told you so." Time to rebuild the bridge
    I like bikes.

  7. #7
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    Really sad. That is 2 trails lost in Utah this week, both partly to irresponsible use.
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  8. #8
    JMH
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasea04
    That's a real bummer. I was scolded for preaching that we needed to be especially sensitive in this area, it really sucks that I have to say "I told you so." Time to rebuild the bridge
    You're so right. It kicks my ass what most people think is okay behavior at our trails. Skipping 10 minute climbs and parking in private property, riding in huge loud groups and fanning out across a half mile of trail, marauding like a pack of wild pigs. Meeting groups of guys barely able to ride the slickrock and listening to them tell me that this trail isn't as good as Gooseberry as they stomp through the bushes. It serves THEM right, but unfortunately it affects those of us with good style as well, eh?

    This closure (along with those in Moab) really poke holes in the argument that there should be no down-low trails and that we should encourage the hoards of visitors to ride our sensitive gray-area trails and have a good time. Let's send folks to Gooseberry and JEM where the shenanigans can be dispersed.

    RIP Rockville Bench!

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/381805143/" title="Day1_ (20) by hukee, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm1.static.flickr.com/150/381805143_ad82c3912b_o.jpg" width="750" height="1000" alt="Day1_ (20)" /></a>

    JMH

  9. #9
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    That's an awesome shot JMH, the B and W setting was the perfect choice for sure!
    I like bikes.

  10. #10
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    Suckage

    Damn that sucks. I was fortunate in that I always had lots of solitude when I rode there during my visits. That was one of the main reasons I liked that area. People are idiots and don't know what they have until they lose it. Some probably don't even realize what they lost or even that they were part of the problem.

    I will miss riding that area greatly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    It would lessen the blow if the property went to the park rather than to housing.
    I absolutely agree with that statement.

  11. #11
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    This stinks. That is one of my favorite rides. Not real long but great views and fun features.
    Darn.

    Just realized I lost my photos from my last ride there when my computer crashed last year. I have a bunch of stuff on my harddrive here at work and a bunch more on flickr.... but not those. Double darn. I'll have to see if I can retrieve them from the mtbr archive.

    Found a few of my SRS pics
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    Last edited by KRob; 08-03-2010 at 04:39 PM.

  12. #12
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    You know, one thing I did notice is that the lower area going up through the houses could be pretty confusing on where the official trail was. I usually biked the road up to the point where the trail was very evident, but saw where others rode some of the lower gullies. I wonder if some better signs and trailhead information may have helped. I realize those things take effort and money though, and it sounds like this was a somewhat unofficial biking trail anyway?

    How amenable would the local residents be to reaching out with more informative signs to aid in ensuring riders stuck to the appropriate areas? Easy to suggest not being a local I know, but I do get over to Hurricane 2 or 3 times a year and hate to see this trail go by the wayside. I do recall a prior thread regarding a local city official who was not too fond of mountain bikers so it may be an uphill battle. I wonder if anyone in the houses up there bikes? Maybe there would be a local advocate.

    Are there plans for future housing development to extend toward the park boundary? That's probably a dumb question.

  13. #13
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    oh no... this is a heartbreaker for sure. i hope this is one that we can get back.

    was nice to go down in feb and stay in springdale and ride the bench from the hotel, get some coffee, and go out to dinner. prob just go to goose (if warm enough) or straight to st george after a quick pit stop ride on the hurricane loop.

    looks like town of springdale might lose out on some of my business...

    do city leaders know/care about this?

  14. #14
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    Many of you may know that since the Democrats have taken over, the Forest Service and BLM have been very aggressive in closing trails to mountain bikers and other users. It is part of that attitude of liberals that think that the back country should be shut down to everyone but the Sierra Club. The attitude that is present in the BLM and Forest Service is very much one of shut the places down. These agencies can get away with it because of the political climate in the presidential office. You did not see trail closures like we are having now in the Bush administration. Vote em out friends. Democrats are bad for bike trails.

  15. #15
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    This news made me sick! What a terrible thing to happen and in such a nice area. I appreciate that STT Guy was able to guide me around there earlier this year and that I got to experience the SRS trail. Looks like it was a last hurrah. Like was mentioned above, local businesses will surely miss out on the much needed tourism dollars although I suspect we are just a small drop in the bucket compared to the B&B's and motorists heading to Zions.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    You know, one thing I did notice is that the lower area going up through the houses could be pretty confusing on where the official trail was. I usually biked the road up to the point where the trail was very evident, but saw where others rode some of the lower gullies. I wonder if some better signs and trailhead information may have helped. I realize those things take effort and money though, and it sounds like this was a somewhat unofficial biking trail anyway?

    How amenable would the local residents be to reaching out with more informative signs to aid in ensuring riders stuck to the appropriate areas? Easy to suggest not being a local I know, but I do get over to Hurricane 2 or 3 times a year and hate to see this trail go by the wayside. I do recall a prior thread regarding a local city official who was not too fond of mountain bikers so it may be an uphill battle. I wonder if anyone in the houses up there bikes? Maybe there would be a local advocate.

    Are there plans for future housing development to extend toward the park boundary? That's probably a dumb question.
    In order....

    The Chinley Hiking trail is the trail that leads from the parking area maintained by the BLM. This trail enters the park about two miles from that parking lo. as we all no, no bikes in the park. Bikes on that tral have neen prohibited for a long while but enforcemnt in earnest began approximately a year ago. That is a purpose built hiking trail. We used to ride it up and then over the road and transition westonto private land and then ride trough a couple of washes (private) an finally make it over to the Bench BLM area. The provate land owner closed access because it is A) a high net owrth person and fears lawsuits and B) Its his land and his right to do so. I dont begrudge him for this, after all it is HIS land.

    This area has some history with the town as I understand the original advocate foir trail rights in Rockville not much of a diplomat.

    Signs would make a difference but the Bench currently is and has been officially closed to anything but hiking for ten years. So in reality to sign for a closed trail system isn't going to happen. Makes sense?

    The majority of the homeowners seem to be open to allowing trail access and as we progress we will be working with them to honor their wishes and concerns.

    I have seen all levels of stupid up there... riding through peoples back yards.. a 20 foot trailer parked in the street and bikes unloaded off of it.. parking in peoples drives... etc..etc.. and i must be frank, if that shite was going on in front of my house or through my yeard (I live in the same general area but a bit more to the west...) I would be WAAAAAY less tolerant that these folks have been over the years.

    We are working with the BLM on re-opening the Bench. I'll keep passing news of ur progress along. Things look positive but in teh short term we all need tio stay off the bench unless it's on foot.
    Monte
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY
    In order....

    The Chinley Hiking trail is the trail that leads from the parking area maintained by the BLM. This trail enters the park about two miles from that parking lo. as we all no, no bikes in the park. Bikes on that tral have neen prohibited for a long while but enforcemnt in earnest began approximately a year ago. That is a purpose built hiking trail. We used to ride it up and then over the road and transition westonto private land and then ride trough a couple of washes (private) an finally make it over to the Bench BLM area. The provate land owner closed access because it is A) a high net owrth person and fears lawsuits and B) Its his land and his right to do so. I dont begrudge him for this, after all it is HIS land.

    This area has some history with the town as I understand the original advocate foir trail rights in Rockville not much of a diplomat.

    Signs would make a difference but the Bench currently is and has been officially closed to anything but hiking for ten years. So in reality to sign for a closed trail system isn't going to happen. Makes sense?

    The majority of the homeowners seem to be open to allowing trail access and as we progress we will be working with them to honor their wishes and concerns.

    I have seen all levels of stupid up there... riding through peoples back yards.. a 20 foot trailer parked in the street and bikes unloaded off of it.. parking in peoples drives... etc..etc.. and i must be frank, if that shite was going on in front of my house or through my yeard (I live in the same general area but a bit more to the west...) I would be WAAAAAY less tolerant that these folks have been over the years.

    We are working with the BLM on re-opening the Bench. I'll keep passing news of ur progress along. Things look positive but in teh short term we all need tio stay off the bench unless it's on foot.
    Thanks for the update and your local efforts STT. I agree with your comments regarding landowners and tolerance. I saw several favorite hunting and fishing areas closed in my youth due to abuse and never blamed the landowner. As far as this area, I always minded my P's and Q's, rode solo and quiet, and never rode in ZNP.

    No riding the bench for now, but sounds like you are working on a solution and that's much appreciated.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump
    Thanks for the update and your local efforts STT. I agree with your comments regarding landowners and tolerance. I saw several favorite hunting and fishing areas closed in my youth due to abuse and never blamed the landowner. As far as this area, I always minded my P's and Q's, rode solo and quiet, and never rode in ZNP.

    No riding the bench for now, but sounds like you are working on a solution and that's much appreciated.
    For the record.. The Dixie Mountain Bike Trails Association (of which I am a founding member) is working with the BLM and locals on this issue. The BLM office here in St George are good peeps to work with. The residents of the development that borders the Bench are also by and large, for Bench access for bikes and a ton of them ride as well.

    We'll do our darn best to get this done and then once we're "back in" it will be up to us to be good citizens and to remain mindful that we are basically accessing this trail system via a private neighborhood and literally via residents front, side and back yards as guests.
    Monte
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  19. #19
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    Can anyone comment on the current status of this issue? I know it's been a long time since the last comment in this thread, but I'm curious to know if this trail has been re-opened to bikers.


    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    For the record.. The Dixie Mountain Bike Trails Association (of which I am a founding member) is working with the BLM and locals on this issue. The BLM office here in St George are good peeps to work with. The residents of the development that borders the Bench are also by and large, for Bench access for bikes and a ton of them ride as well.

    We'll do our darn best to get this done and then once we're "back in" it will be up to us to be good citizens and to remain mindful that we are basically accessing this trail system via a private neighborhood and literally via residents front, side and back yards as guests.

  20. #20
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    It hasn't been reopened but I don't have insider details as to progress, if any.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

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