Short SW UT Itinerary?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    32

    Short SW UT Itinerary?

    Hello All,

    I'm thinking about a trip to the St.George/Hurricane/Bryce area for a few days starting 4/19. I've checked out some of the trail reviews here and at utahmountainbiking and have come up with the tentative itinerary below. I was hoping to get feedback - especially if people think it is too aggressive (esp. the 20th) or if there are alternate trails that would be recommended over the ones I chose so far. Also, suggestions for a replacement for Thunder mountain in the event of a heavy snow march would be appreciated. Note that I'll be driving in and out and am a fairly fit and technically capable rider - used to significant climbing (but not at high altitude) and nasty east coast rocks/roots/mud technical trails. TIA!

    4/19
    arrive in Hurricane
    drive ~25 mi to Little Creek Mountain Trail, ride ~12 mi (easy first day)
    return to Hurricane

    4/20
    drive ~10 mi to Hurricane/JEM/Gould's Trail, ride ~21.5 mi
    drive ~10 mi additional to Gooseberry Mesa Trail, ride ~12 mi
    drive ~20 mi to return to Hurricane

    4/21
    drive ~20 mi to Bearclaw Poppy/Stucki Springs Trial, ride ~20 mi
    drive ~2 mi additional to Zen trail, ride ~6 mi
    drive ~125 mi to Panguitch

    4/22
    drive ~10 mi to Thunder Mountain Trail, ride ~15 mi
    drive ~20 mi additional to Bryce Canyon NP for 'windshield tour'
    drive ~30 mi to return to Panguitch

    4/23
    moving on

  2. #2
    I'd rather be biking...
    Reputation: shelbster15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    937
    I visit Panguitch twice a month so i will post thunder mtn when its rideable. Most likely there will be snow on thunder mtn still, you can how ever check out the rich trail, accross the canyon from thunder mtn, It mostly faces south so the snow will melt out faster. Ride up rich/cassidy trail and turn around at top and ride back, lossee canyon would still have snow and i imagine will be pretty chewed up from the horse tours. So i just suggest up and back. Thunder mtn is a great trail so hopefully it wont snow anymore and will dry out fast enough for you.

    As far as riding on 4/20. Whats your plan? Ride jem in morning and then relax for a bit and hit gooseberry in late afternoon? That is a lot of riding if you do one after another. jem loop is awesome and so is gooseberry but they can both be very demanding on a rider and suck the energy out of you. Thats just my 2 cents, but hey if your a seasoned rider should be no prob.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    32
    I will keep an eye out for Thunder Mtn updates! I've heard good things about Cassidy, but was told it would open even later than Thunder - good to hear it may be an option.

    20th: yep, that was the plan. Seasoned? I'm not sure Typical long mtb days are regularly 20+mi. with multiple 500'-1000' climbs, and long road days are very hilly centuries. From what I'm reading, Gooseberry looks like a great experience but not necessarily aerobically taxing and JEM+ looks to be a fast ride. My dilemma is overall limited time and my hesitation to skip the St.George trails to devote a full day to each of Gooseberry and JEM+ - wrong thinking?

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: can't get right's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,295
    Quote Originally Posted by jdrds17
    From what I'm reading, Gooseberry looks like a great experience but not necessarily aerobically taxing and JEM+ looks to be a fast ride. My dilemma is overall limited time and my hesitation to skip the St.George trails to devote a full day to each of Gooseberry and JEM+ - wrong thinking?
    Try them both in one day. You only live once, I think that you can do it but you will be thoroughly cooked. Goose may not seem aerobically taxing on paper but if you don't know that trail and you don't ride those conditions a lot you will be feeling it by the end of the day.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,918

    Wow thats ambitious.

    My suggestions. Figure out the hours that you want/ think you can ride rather then the miles. As you know Milage can be decieving on a MTB

    Day 1. Goosebery Mesa. Little Creek is harder to find, Harder to follow and not as well traveled. They are both good, but if you are not with someone that knows where they are going or really handy with a GPS I would suggest Goose over little creek. In fact I would suggest it anyway. If you ride both rims, the connecting trail I forget the name of, and the practice loop and windmill loop its a 3+ hour ride.

    Day 2. Goulds, Jem, Hurricane rim. I like to ride it that way (Counterclockwise) Either way is a great 3+ hour ride. Go to Zion. Its 500,0000,0000,000,000,000 time better then bryce canyon, and worth seeing if you are this close. If you have never been to Zion I hate to say this but its worth missing a bike ride to see.

    Day 3. Bearclaw to Stuki springs to Barrel Roll To Barrell Ride To Zen To Bearclaw. 4+ hours. Classic SG rides. Smooth singletrack, Climbs Decents, Slickrock, Rocky drops this one has it all. Is it worth going to St geroge???? You can tell your not from around here.

    Day 4. Skip Panguitch and Bryce Canyon unless if super hot in St george and snow free up there. I have ridden up there and while its good Its not as good as what you would be missing in SG to go there. and its a long drive. Ride Paradise canyon , Either drive or ride the 10 miles of road to go around the Anazsi Trail and see the petroglyphs (maybe not the ride is not really that great but worth doing I think) Then drive accross town and ride church rocks and the Prospector. Final 4+ hour day.

    By the way I think this is ambitious too. I am a pretty fit Expert class racer and this schedule would destroy me. If you have a GPS I can provide you with files of rides in the area. I ride there often.
    Visiting St george/Hurricane? Stay at my vacation rental. Discounts for MTB's

    http://www.vrbo.com/392904

    PM me

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    32
    pedal - lots of good feedback there and thanks for the GPS data offer - I may be in touch as the plans firm up

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    12,057
    I don't think that's too ambitious if you're a pretty fit rider. You'll be the first know if it's too much for you and be able to scale back accordingly.

    -Doing Gould's/JEM/Hurricane rim in the AM then Goose in the afternoon is totally doable. You'll feel like you've had a good ride, but if you're in good shape it won't be too bad especially if they're separated by a few hours to eat, rehydrate and recover. Be aware: Goose is more aerobically challenging than you'd think. Lots of short steep ups repeated a hundred times.

    - I somewhat agree on the difficulty of navagating Little Creek, though it's not that bad. If you have a good map and time to poke around abit looking for the paint marks and cairns you won't get lost. It is well worth the effort and I wouldn't pass on it. (PM me if you need a good map and driving instructions for getting to the trailhead). If you do skip it (not suggested) I'd suggest Slick Rock Swamp and/or Guacomole. Both similar type terrain, closer to civilization and pretty easy to find. You could also do these on your thunder mountain day if it's snowed in.... TM is definitely recommended if it's rideable.

    -St. George day: Yes, yes, yes. Zen, Barrels and Stucki and Bear Claw Poppy are all in the same location and accessable from the same trailhead. No travel time required. I think it's practical to do all four in one day.

    +1 on Zion. One of my favorite places in the country. Beautiful and much more accessable that time of year. Do a hike. Either Emerald Pools or Angel's Landing if you've got more time and legs.

    I do a schedule similar to that every fall (two-rides of 2-3 hours each, every day, for 4-6 days) and while I am quite spent at the end.... I'm not destroyed. Quite the opposite, I'm ready to go back to work and rest. I'm on vacation to ride and I don't know when I'll get back... so I figure I might as well wear myself out seeing all the goods.

    Have fun. Here's a link to my six-day trip in that area last year.
    Last edited by KRob; 02-03-2009 at 06:43 PM.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

    www.stuckinthespokes.com

  8. #8
    NMBP
    Reputation: crashtestdummy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,159
    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    - I somewhat agree on the difficulty of navagating Little Creek, though it's not that bad. If you have a good map and time to poke around abit looking for the paint marks and cairns you won't get lost.
    After all that was done to obliterate the paint marks on Little Creek there had better not be any new ones to follow. The trail is cairned to death and the trail is usually easy to see on most of the slickrock. Definitely get a map because it's easy to get lost there if you aren't familiar with the trail layout.
    Riding Fat and still just as fast as I never was.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,918

    I am not sure how we have such different memories

    of the same place. I have been to Little creek probably 10 times, and could not remember the precise combo of dirt roads to even find the trailhead. It has been a couple years since I was out there, so maybe the cairn system has improved, but we spent alot of time looking for the next one, and trying to figure out where to go. Once you know where it is everything is pretty easy to find, but unless you are going with someone that knows the way I would expect to spend more time trail finding then riding if you choose to ride Little Creek. So if you are looking to go on a scavenger hunt go to little creek. If you want to go for a bike ride there are better places.
    Visiting St george/Hurricane? Stay at my vacation rental. Discounts for MTB's

    http://www.vrbo.com/392904

    PM me

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    12,057
    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalfaraway
    I have been to Little creek probably 10 times, and could not remember the precise combo of dirt roads to even find the trailhead.
    I had only been once almost two years ago and rode with folks who had been a lot and knew their way around so I didn't pay attention at all to route finding.

    The second time I went was just last fall with a couple who had only been once also and after doing a little internet search I found a couple of good maps of the area with really good turn-by-turn instructions and descriptions on how to get out there. Really, each turn is pretty easy to see because the vast majority of the traffic on those backroads is going to Little Creek Mesa to bike.

    Once riding, I/we navigated the whole mesa with very little searching for the route. And crashtestdummy is correct, the paint marks have mostly been removed but the cairns are pretty easy to follow.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

    www.stuckinthespokes.com

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    16
    Sounds like you have a great trip planned. A little advice:
    1) Ride Little Creek with someone who knows the trail. You can probably find some of it on your own, but you will miss alot of the primo stuff. Over the Edge Sports in Hurricane takes their shop ride out on Saturdays and rides little Creek alot. They can at least put you in contact with some local riders.
    2) Ride Gooseberry when you are fresh. I often ride with good, fit riders who are shocked to find out that they only rode 12 miles. There are alot of quick power moves and you have to be 'on it' for much of the South Rim (where you will find the majority of the slickrock and fun stuff).
    3) Pedal was right-you definitely want to ride the Goulds/JEM/Hurricane Rim counter clockwise. There is no shade for 21 miles. If you ride this loop after Gooseberry, you can spend more time at Goose (if you just can't leave-not uncommon) and this loop has a sweet little shortcut if you are running out of daylight.
    4) It would be a shame to come out here and not be able to hit one of the highlights of southern Utah, the Thunder Mountain Trail. You can take a quick drive through Zion on the way (or spend an afternoon there after a ride) to Red Canyon. Keep your eyes open for Thunder Mountain conditions updates.
    5) Stucki Springs, Zen, Barrel Roll, Barrel Ride, Race Course, and even the Anasazi trail are accessible from the same parking area, if you have a good map. While these are all great rides, including Paradise Canyon, they are really not the classic Southern Utah trails you came here to ride.

    PS- if you are still in the area, the Fruita Fat Tire Festival is the last weekend in April. Too bad there aro no trails and no beer, so you won't have any fun at all.

    Have a great trip!

  12. #12

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    14
    If this is your first trip to SW Utah. You might check out mountainbikebuddies.com.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: can't get right's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,295
    Quote Originally Posted by dawgrider
    If this is your first trip to SW Utah. You might check out mountainbikebuddies.com.
    Shameless plug.

    How does one ride a dawg anyway?

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    55
    If you are looking to do multipal rides in one day do a longer ride like gooseberry or the jem loop. Then do one of the shorter trails we whve around like church rocks or pairadice canyon both are super fun trail and can be bone as wined down trails at the end of the day. If ya can hook up with some locals to do littlecreek. They can show you some of the hidden stuff.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    32
    Thanks for the additional input (go fast, huckin, etc) - I'm revising the itinerary a bit and due to events beyond my control planning for the following week, but it's all good so far - if things go well (or really badly , I'll revive this thread in a couple months with an update!

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.