Scenic beginner trails?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Scenic beginner trails?

    Hello,

    I'm from the midwest, where it is mostly flat forest riding. My girlfriend and I want to do some biking in Utah, but we're not sure where to go: SLC, Provo, Salina, St. George, Moab, the National parks? We love the mountains, and would like to ride somewhere scenic near/in them. Any suggestions? We'll have to rent, so riding from a bike shop would be ok. Beginner to intermediate trails please. Thanks, Brian

  2. #2
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    I'll assume you guys are flying out eh?

    There is air carrier service into St.George and tons of riding down that way. Skywest operates a twin turboprop into St.George from SLC, so you'll be going through SLC one way or another. If you dig red rock, St.George will probably be where you want to head.

    I haven't done a ton of riding down in that area, but within an hour from St.George you have Zion national park and Gooseberry Mesa. The White Trail is pretty tame and takes you out to the end of the mesa, and you could probably hack it without too much trouble. Some folks will recommend JEM trail, which I haven't done. So you could knock off two birds with one stone.

    If you want to drive a little further, I think Moab is about a 4 hour drive from St.George. Moab is, as far as I'm concerned and I'm sure everybody will agree, some of the best riding in the state, but I think the riding is a little rougher than what you'll find over by St.George. Folks can recommend some rides for you down there.

    If you want to fly in SLC, you've got riding in both SLC and Park City very close by. Now I live in Park City, so I'm a little biased with the riding here.

    You could fly into SLC and be in Park City 30 minutes later. White Pine touring is situated right on the rail trail and is staffed with some great folks that could get your rental bike all setup. From the rail trail you can make it to the Lost Prospector loop or Round Valley. Either ride would be doable if you're from the midwest. Lost Prospector is fairly shaded, where Round Valley isn't at all.

    You could also go up to one of the resorts. I don't know about the rest, but Deer Valley has a rental shop right on the resort where you could go and snag a bike.

    Also from SLC, Moab is a 4-5 hour drive away, so you could ride Park City and then head down to towards Moab. The only downside is that there are no state parks up here, where with St.George you have Zion right next door.

  3. #3
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    Slickrock Swamp on the Rockville Bench has the best views if that is what you are after. Nice easy trail too.

  4. #4

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    Well if we're going to fly into SLC we'll probably stay in the area...don't know if the gf would be up for a 4-5 hour drive. Appreciate the info about St. George/Rockville Bench area...we would fly into Vegas then make the drive if we decided to head thataways another time.

    What's the vibe like in Park City vs SLC? Laid back, trails over-crowded, fancy-schmancy, nightlife, lodging? We're not fancy ourselves, just looking for good trails and awesome scenery.

    ps - I feel like an idiot for asking, but what does 'buff' mean in mtb lingo?

  5. #5
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    Slickrock Swamp on the Rockville Bench has the best views if that is what you are after. Nice easy trail too
    Awesome views with a few walkable sections for beginners, also I think Barrel Roll in Santa Clara has awesome views of Ivins and Snow Canyon. Mild on the technical part and the climbs are easy and broken up throughout the trail.

    First pic is of slickrock swamp in Springdale just outside of Zion

    Second is of Barrel Roll in Santa Clara
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by brifor7
    Well if we're going to fly into SLC we'll probably stay in the area...don't know if the gf would be up for a 4-5 hour drive. Appreciate the info about St. George/Rockville Bench area...we would fly into Vegas then make the drive if we decided to head thataways another time.

    What's the vibe like in Park City vs SLC? Laid back, trails over-crowded, fancy-schmancy, nightlife, lodging? We're not fancy ourselves, just looking for good trails and awesome scenery.

    ps - I feel like an idiot for asking, but what does 'buff' mean in mtb lingo?
    Park City in the summer is MUCH more chill than Park City in the winter. All the rich, snobby jackasses that I hate are gone right now, and it's awesome. The folks that are left here for the summer are VERY laid back.

    The trails aren't over crowded by any means, though it seems like everybody and their brother was out at Round Valley yesterday (most likely because it's the only thing that's dried out so far). Nightlife is still there, but again it's the locals. Lodging is much cheaper in the summer than the winter.

    You can't beat the scenery as far as I'm concerned, but again I'm biased because I live here. I have to leave and move back to Michigan (finally, been away from home about 4 years) in July and while I'm looking forward to being closer to family, I'm gonna miss this place a lot.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by brifor7
    ps - I feel like an idiot for asking, but what does 'buff' mean in mtb lingo?
    "buff" might be a UT term because we have so much of it here. Others may correct me, but "buff UT singletrack" is generally an XC-oriented trail that is primarily fast rolling dirt singletrack free of technical objects (rocks, logs, etc.) that would need to be navigated over, under, around.

    Most of the trails around here (SLC/PC) should meet your criteria - there are lots and lots of options. Generally the biggest issue I've run into with beginner/intermediate folks is the 'elevation' factor, not the 'skills on a bike' factor. The bulk of the trails I'd recommend are 6,000 feet above sea level or higher. As mentioned by others, crowding isn't a huge issue (it's nice to see others on the trails sometimes, especially if you're not familiar with the area) and nightlife won't be like the prime winter season but there's some good places to eat and drink. Plus with 3.2% beer you drink until you're full, not until you're drunk! The microbrews here are pretty good, comparable to and even better than many other areas.

    You've probably also seen the recommendations for http://www.utahmountainbiking.com for trail beta - IMO the most comprehensive in the state, so far.... check that out for more details.

  8. #8

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    Jumping in here to say thanks for the info. It sounds like Utah is a fantastic place to mountainbike and vacation in general. Pictures of the area I found around the internet certainly look amazing. Our first trip out, we'll probably base in Park City and check out what we can from there. Plus the umpteen national parks to visit, I think you guys have been deliberately quiet about how good you have it there.

    Cheers,
    Brian

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