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  1. #1
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    St. George on way to Moab worth it?

    Bear with me on this question...

    This late April or early May I'm planning a trip back to Moab. I could not get enough of what I consider "double sessions", TWE in the AM, then Hymasa/Ahab in the PM. Perfect mix of shuttle and techy climbing. (I like techy trails.)

    Flying in from the East coast and would fly into Grand Junction and rent a car and drive to Moab from there.

    But, I could hook up with friends by flying into Vegas and drive the 6 hours or so to Moab as well. That by itself would be too much driving. But, flying into Vegas would be cheaper and easier for me.

    However, hitting St. George on the way for a day could make that option worth the extra driving. I've never been there and hear its good.


    So, would the St. George/Gooseberry Mesa trails justify the longer drive to Moab?

    We'd likely only stay there a day. Ride, hotel that night, then drive to Moab the next am.

  2. #2
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    If you like tech trails and are in Vegas, hit Cowboy trails nearby Summerlin area. ST George has a lot of good tech trails as well.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman69 View Post
    If you like tech trails and are in Vegas, hit Cowboy trails nearby Summerlin area. ST George has a lot of good tech trails as well.
    Cool, thanks. But I don't think we'll have time to actually ride in Vegas.

  4. #4
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    There is more than a week's worth of riding in St. George/Hurricane area. It's worth a trip all on its own. But you may need a truck or other hi-clearance vehicle to get to Gooseberry and Guacamole - two of my favorite rides there that I think you would like.
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  5. #5
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    It is definitely worth it.

    I was able to get to Gooseberry with my minivan with no major drama.

    Skip spending time/money in Vegas.

    Camp in Zion if you can. Moab is still a major haul.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    There is more than a week's worth of riding in St. George/Hurricane area. It's worth a trip all on its own. But you may need a truck or other hi-clearance vehicle to get to Gooseberry and Guacamole - two of my favorite rides there that I think you would like.
    Shuttles available?

    How's the weather that time of year? Likely to hit much wet weather?

  7. #7
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    Absolutely worth it.

    There are a couple shuttle companies out there nowadays. Call 'Over the Edge' in Hurricane or go to their FB page and ask how there shuttles work. Gooseberryshuttle.com - Home

    Weather is hot or miss as I've had 80 degree weeks in February and been snowed out in May (just once) in St George. Overwhelming odds are you'll be fine because there's legitimate places to ride even while it's wet.
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  8. #8
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    Wait, if you're flying to GJ, then you should try the goods at Grand Junction (Lunch Loops) Fruita (Kokopelli trails) on the way to or after Moab. You won't be disappointed.

  9. #9
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    I'm partial but I say do it. Gooseberry is amazing and like nothing else. The roads (currently) are amazingly well kept and you could navigate them in a small sedan.

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  10. #10
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    As said above, St. George area is worth a 3-5 day trip by itself. Getting to Moab from LV is a long haul. Pretty scenery, but still a long drive when you could be riding.

    And as said above, if you want more than just Moab, the Grand Junction area has lots to offer.

    FWIW - last Spring I did a 10 day tour of GJ, Moab, and Sedona. Then last Fall a 4 day trip to the Hurricane area. It's still fresh in my mind.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Shuttles available?

    How's the weather that time of year? Likely to hit much wet weather?
    We did a St. George/Hurricane trip mid/late April last year. Weather was awesome.

    My first trip to the area, I had an RV and the road up to Gooseberry had been damaged by heavy rain and was only accessible by truck, so we road JEM instead. Last year, there were pictures posted of people getting badly stuck on the same access road in the weeks leading up our trip, so we rented a truck. The access road from the south to Gooseberry turned out to be perfectly fine and even do-able in a car. You need a 4-wheel truck or jeep for the access road to the north (Cry Baby Hill?). We were happy we had a truck for the road up to Guacamole, and also for the last little bit up to Little Creek Mesa, IIRC. The other trails we did had trailheads that could be accessed by car.

    St. George/Hurricane makes for a nice spring trip destination on its own. Cheap flights into Vegas. 2-hour-ish drive on good highway. Inexpensive condos to rent. Good variety of riding. Not crowded. Good scenery. Zion NP makes for a great day off the bike.

    If have lots of time and want to see some scenery and do things off the bike, fly into Vegas, hit Gooseberry on the way, and take the long way to Moab through the national and state parks - either on the way there or the way back.

    If you want to maximize riding time, fly into Grand Junction and save Gooseberry for another trip just to that area.
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  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=ray.vermette;13510063]You need a 4-wheel truck or jeep for the access road to the north (Cry Baby Hill?).

    Not anymore.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe
    Not anymore.
    Wow. Did they relocate the road, or just re-grade the existing one?

    IIRC, the grade was quite steep in sections. If they just re-graded it, I wonder how long it will last.

    The ride down it April of last year was... fun. We were laughing but our friend driving didn't find it as amusing.
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  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=Silentfoe;13510104]
    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    You need a 4-wheel truck or jeep for the access road to the north (Cry Baby Hill?).

    Not anymore.

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    I agree.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    Wow. Did they relocate the road, or just re-grade the existing one?

    IIRC, the grade was quite steep in sections. If they just re-graded it, I wonder how long it will last.

    The ride down it April of last year was... fun. We were laughing but our friend driving didn't find it as amusing.
    Yes, they did a great job with grading. The intent is to pave it and they are getting it close. The recent rains have packed it down nicely. There are still some embedded rocks but if you did it slow enough, you could do it in a sedan. Seriously.

    The road out to Guacamole is great as well.

    The road to Little Creek still has the rock step up about 3/4 of a mile from the trailhead.

    Our trails are hero dirt right now.

    As others have said, spring weather is hit or miss but more than likely it'll be awesome.

    We don't have the elevation gain or loss that Moab does but I like our trails more.

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  16. #16
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    I rode Gooseberry last week and I've never seen the access road in such good shape.

  17. #17
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    Moab is a comfortable and fast 5 hour drive from Hurricane on I-15 and 70 at mostly 80 mph. I do it many times a year. It is a nice drive and mostly very scenic. You could ride Goose, shower at OTE, then drive to Moab. Ride Moab in the morning. No lost riding time unless you intend to bike 8 - 10 hours a day around Hurricane. If you have to drive back to Vegas then of course you add the 7 hours from Moab to Vegas.

    Grand Junction has world class riding at the Lunch Loops and nearby Fruita has the 18 Road flow trails and gnarly in places Kokopelli Trails. Fruita is 70 miles from Moab. I always drive the back way on SR 128 along the Colorado River. Amazing scenery but can sometimes be slow.

    I'll probably be all those places this April and May.


    Great to hear that both Goose accesses are being paved! I'll somewhat miss the thrills of taking my van on Cry Baby Hill though.
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  18. #18
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    Thanks for all the advice.

    We are planning to go late April most likely.

    Any particular week around then that would be bad in Moab? Do to things like 4x4 events?

  19. #19
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    Not much happening then. Jeep Safari is the big event to miss. I like Jeeps and although it is a bit more crowded camping out it doesn't interfere with my riding. If you need rooms in town then pure hell. Also, forget getting in a car wash. Some of those guys with pretty Jeeps seem to wash them for hours.

    Moab 2017/2018 Calendar of Events - Get up-to-date Moab event information from the official tourism website for Moab, Utah.
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  20. #20
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    I think I'm going to go to St George on my way to Hurricane next week
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Thanks for all the advice.

    We are planning to go late April most likely.

    Any particular week around then that would be bad in Moab? Do to things like 4x4 events?
    Here are the scheduled events for the year:
    Moab 2017/2018 Calendar of Events - Get up-to-date Moab event information from the official tourism website for Moab, Utah.

    I like the 4x4 folks. They can drag my corpse out.

    OOPS just noticed jmpreston posted the same thing earlier.

  22. #22
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    The advantage of a lot of Jeeps. When you ride off the single track and hit a dirt road like Gemini Bridges they offer you a beer :-) I often ride Gemini Bridges back up to Arth's Corner TH and I have to turn down most of the beers or be too drunk to drive. Good folks.

    I looked at that calendar and realized that Safari Week is between the Hurricane MTB Festival and Outerbike. I'll probably drop down to Sedona after Hurricane then up to Phil's World and then Grand Valley (Fruita / Grand Junction) the following week, then Moab for a couple of weeks. Finish back in Hurricane on the way home. Ride Vegas at some point in that loop.

    Getting spring fever...
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  23. #23
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    I drove across country this summer...

    I'd rather do Las Vegas to Moab if it were me. Hurricane area has a ton of awesome riding, then the drive to Moab includes a ton of cool scenery, even if you just drive through it without stopping (but you should stop at these):

    Zion NP
    Goblin State Park
    Capitol Reef NP
    Bryce NP

    It's not bad driving and well worth it to see all the awesome Utah has to offer, in my opinion.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    I drove across country this summer...

    I'd rather do Las Vegas to Moab if it were me. Hurricane area has a ton of awesome riding, then the drive to Moab includes a ton of cool scenery, even if you just drive through it without stopping (but you should stop at these):

    Zion NP
    Goblin State Park
    Capitol Reef NP
    Bryce NP

    It's not bad driving and well worth it to see all the awesome Utah has to offer, in my opinion.
    To expand on this excellent suggestion:

    A great scenic route is through Zion on SR 9 and out the tunnels to Hwy US 89, north on 89, right on SR 12 to SR 24 to Hanksville and north to I-5. This bags those great parks he suggested and is amazing! Figure about 8 hours from Hurricane to Moab with only a few quick stops, more if you do many stops, which you should.

    Too many treats to mention but a favorite is the Kiva Coffee House as you drop down into the Escalante Canyon. Also, the amazing Thunder Mountain Trail is on SR 12 before Bryce. TH is at the bottom of Red Canyon on the right. 15 miles with a 5 mile gentle climb up a paved bike path, very scenic, two miles on a boring USFS road to the TH at the end, Coyote Hollow, and then an amazing flowy descent with fun switchbacks and stunning scenery.

    Hurricane to Moab or Fruita is 5 hours on I-15 and I-70. Good scenery along that route, especially before Green River in the San Rafael Reef.

    For those 62 or more, lifetime Golden Access pass to the parks and many campgrounds is cheap.
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  25. #25
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    I did a Christmas vacation from Denver, (Golden really) to St George. Best long fast beautiful pure hwy drive I ever did! If I’d known and weather permitting I would have taken the back way through Moab and the National parks one way for an even cooler loop! If you are heading through grand junction my recommendation would be the Mack area trails! My favorites of the area. West side for heavy duty, Troy built to Mack ridge... and the east side for warm ups, Mary’s, Steve’s and Horsetheif’s loops. A burley ride can cover them all in a day. I felt like I could exhaust St. George’s highlights in 3 BIG days of riding, Goosgberry and Jem trail areas in 2 days and one day around Santa Clara, Zen and Suicidal Tendencies being highlights.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlewski View Post
    I did a Christmas vacation from Denver, (Golden really) to St George. Best long fast beautiful pure hwy drive I ever did! If I’d known and weather permitting I would have taken the back way through Moab and the National parks one way for an even cooler loop! If you are heading through grand junction my recommendation would be the Mack area trails! My favorites of the area. West side for heavy duty, Troy built to Mack ridge... and the east side for warm ups, Mary’s, Steve’s and Horsetheif’s loops. A burley ride can cover them all in a day. I felt like I could exhaust St. George’s highlights in 3 BIG days of riding, Goosgberry and Jem trail areas in 2 days and one day around Santa Clara, Zen and Suicidal Tendencies being highlights.
    It would definitely take 3 big days to actually exhaust highlights in St. George. You'd have to hit Gooseberry, Wire, Grafton, Little Creek, Guacamole, Zen, Barrel Roll, Sidewinder/Suicidal Tendencies, Bearclaw Poppy, Rim Trails, Stucki, Boy Scout, Kentucky Luck Chicken, Paradise Rim, and a road ride through Zion.

    I'm exhausted just thinking about that in 3 days.

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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmpreston View Post
    To expand on this excellent suggestion:

    A great scenic route is through Zion on SR 9 and out the tunnels to Hwy US 89, north on 89, right on SR 12 to SR 24 to Hanksville and north to I-5. This bags those great parks he suggested and is amazing! Figure about 8 hours from Hurricane to Moab with only a few quick stops, more if you do many stops, which you should.

    Too many treats to mention but a favorite is the Kiva Coffee House as you drop down into the Escalante Canyon. Also, the amazing Thunder Mountain Trail is on SR 12 before Bryce. TH is at the bottom of Red Canyon on the right. 15 miles with a 5 mile gentle climb up a paved bike path, very scenic, two miles on a boring USFS road to the TH at the end, Coyote Hollow, and then an amazing flowy descent with fun switchbacks and stunning scenery.

    Hurricane to Moab or Fruita is 5 hours on I-15 and I-70. Good scenery along that route, especially before Green River in the San Rafael Reef.

    For those 62 or more, lifetime Golden Access pass to the parks and many campgrounds is cheap.
    Yup, I believe that's the route we took. Scenery was incredible including a ridge-top (literally cliffs on either side, not even room for a shoulder) road that looked new and didn't have guard rails yet... Amazing views but terrifying!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Scenery was incredible including a ridge-top (literally cliffs on either side, not even room for a shoulder) road that looked new and didn't have guard rails yet... Amazing views but terrifying!
    I was complaining to my wife last fall as we drove it that the hogback ridge drive had been widened and not so interesting anymore. Good to know that someone thinks it is still a thrill. Old folks from KS in motorhomes used to freak there.

    There are a far number of fin ridges to mountain bike between Hurricane and Fruita including the Thunder Mountain Trail near Bryce. Really a thrill the first few rides.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Thanks for all the advice.

    We are planning to go late April most likely.

    Any particular week around then that would be bad in Moab? Do to things like 4x4 events?
    I was going to say, if you decide to fly into GJ and ride here in late April watch out for Fruita Fat Tire Fest (unless that's something you'd be interested in). But it looks like it's been moved to first week of May this year. https://fruitafattirefestival.com/

    I agree with everyone that St. George is a must ride (even though I haven't yet) but for a shortish trip do you really want to spend more time driving or riding? I say fly into GJ, spend a good day riding at Lunch Loops (or Koko or 18rd depending what kind of riding you prefer) and then make the short drive to Moab.

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