St. George riding conditions - Gooseberry/Slickrock Swamp- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    St. George riding conditions - Gooseberry/Slickrock Swamp

    I'm trying to plan a trip to St. George with a friend later this week, but the weather there looks like it's been a bit wet for the past few weeks. Has anybody been riding Gooseberry Mesa or Slickrock Swamp in the recent past, and if so, what are the conditions like? I heard the road to the Gooseberry trailhead can get pretty muddy - muddy enough to keep you from getting to trailhead. I'm coming from Colorado and can postpone for a week if it means we can ride. Anyone out there who can tell me if that's likely to be the case?

  2. #2
    shaved yeti
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    It's really really muddy. I don't know if you can get to the trailhead without some big ol' tires.

  3. #3

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    ... and if we just ... Gooseberry or bust

    Even if you must postpone a week or two Gooseberry is a must do.

  4. #4
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    Wait a week

    Bottom Line - I would delay a week if possible, that's my plan.

    I wouldn't count on getting to the gooseberry trailhead with all the recent rain, but you can always park at the first mudhole and ride in. Just don't park too close to the mudholes as big trucks can come crashing through fast.

    I've done slickrock swamp when it's muddy, it's not fun. But once you get off the doubletrack (first 1/2 mile or so), it's not bad. Here's an info from a local about what st. george trails are good after rain and how long it takes.

    Gooseberry needs at least 3 dry days before even thinking about driving on the road.

    JEM is muddy and unridable for at least a week after rain.

    Gould's Rim is good about 3 days after rain with some gooey sections.

    Green Valley, Stucki Springs, the Barrel Trail, Bloomington Mesa and the whole race course area is pretty good a day or two after rain.

    Little Creek needs 3-5 days minimum. Plan on muddy sections of road and muddy spots on the trail.

    Hurricane Rim is good lower down about 3 days after rain but gets muddier as you approach the JEM intersection.

    Rockville Bench (Slickrock Swamp) is good after just a few dry days. The muddiest section is at the beginning before the trail actually begins, so if you can ride up the double-track to the trailhead (by the corral), you've got it made.

    Broken Mesa is good after a few days if you don't try to go up the Ice House cutoff. You have to drop down through the old sandy road that used to be the only way before the Ice House section was added. Let the road to the trailhead be your guide. If it's too muddy to drive, the trail is too muddy to ride.

    The best bet when it's wet is our old stand-by, Red Cliffs/Church Rocks/Prospector. It's actually better wet than dry. As long as the horses don't post-hole it to death, it's great damp.

  5. #5

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    How about now? Better this week?

    Thanks for the info! We took your advice and postponed a week, but now we're coming out. The weather looks like it's been a bit better and seems only to be improving. Have you ridden any of these trails in the past week? and if so, any recommendations you can make. For sure, we want to ride Gooseberry and any other legendary trails you can recommend. Is Slickrock Swamp a must do also? Thanks!

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    Going down this weekend too

    I live in Salt Lake so I haven't been on any trails down there in the last week. I am headed down this weekend as well, the weather does look good.

    My favorites are Gooseberry, Green Valley (this includes stucki, barrel and race course - it's all the same area), and Rockville Bench (slickrock swamp). Jem trail is also great, but I've heard it's in bad shape because of the mud and cattle. Church rocks is also fun for a quickie.

    Let me know if you want to hook up for a ride, I'd be glad to take you out to the gooseberry, it's a little tough to find. My email address is [email protected]

  7. #7
    Team Sanchez
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    I rode Flying Monkey this morning, which is located in the same vicinity as Rockville Bench. The fireroad section at the top was a bit muddy in spots, but all in all, everything is drying out quickly. By this weekend, all trails should be in great shape. Don't forget to ride Little Creek Mesa is your like slick rock. If you are into DH at all, then check out Grafton Mesa. I wouldn't recommend the Monkey to anyone at this point, as there has been some serious erosion, and only 60% of the trail is actually rideable at this point, even to the best DH riders.
    Team Sanchez; "Always hittin the upper lip"

  8. #8
    hands up who wants to die
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    Could I get a conditions update from the St. George-area folks?

    I will be there for the first time a week from now. I can't wait!
    thanks!!

    -rob

  9. #9
    Team Sanchez
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    Rob,

    I rode Little Creek last Saturday, and Green Valley/Barrell last night. The trails are in primo condition. All dry, and fast as hell. Come out and rip. Here's a couple of pics from Saturday.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Team Sanchez; "Always hittin the upper lip"

  10. #10
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    Excellent!

    Trails are in superb condition. St. George just became my favorite destination in Utah. Moab can't hold a candle to St. George. Just got back to GA....

    But wait it gets better... Gooseberry Mesa is NOT the best trail in St George area. I absolutely have to give the nod to Little Creek Mesa. Unreal riding for anyone of intermediate to advanced skill level, singletrack, drops, ledges, smallish bowls, everything you can imagine in a single trail. It was magnificent.

    Bear Claw Poppy/3 Fingers of Death is damn amusing too for shear fun.

    I wanted to do Grafton but it was above ability level of some in the group (perhaps me, too?)

  11. #11

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    Moto missed something here....

    I am one of the Georgian's that was out with Moto....if you ride out there most trails are best done as a shuttle. We used www.mountianbikebuddies.com - it truly increased our expereince and is a must have service for the Springdale - Virgin - Hurricane - St George area's.

    Please don't listen to his Grafton crap....we took the "dirt nap" too many times and was too beat up to handle anything else ....sorry Moto.

    Quote Originally Posted by MotoMark
    Trails are in superb condition. St. George just became my favorite destination in Utah. Moab can't hold a candle to St. George. Just got back to GA....

    But wait it gets better... Gooseberry Mesa is NOT the best trail in St George area. I absolutely have to give the nod to Little Creek Mesa. Unreal riding for anyone of intermediate to advanced skill level, singletrack, drops, ledges, smallish bowls, everything you can imagine in a single trail. It was magnificent.

    Bear Claw Poppy/3 Fingers of Death is damn amusing too for shear fun.

    I wanted to do Grafton but it was above ability level of some in the group (perhaps me, too?)

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