Zion National Park-- any good riding??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Zion National Park-- any good riding??

    I'm going to be vacationing at the Ponderosa at Zion resort on July 23rd through the 27th and was wondering if there was any good riding there. I know that the resort does some guided trail rides, but I'm going to be bringing my own bikes and want to get some "real" rides in-- assuming there are any.

    Anyone know what the riding is like there? Will my heckler be better suited for the trails or my singlespeed? Can anyone give me some directions to trailheads?

    I'm going out there for a family reunion and don't really know anything about the place-- just that I wat to get some good riding in while I'm on vacation. If anyone has some suggestions, please share!

  2. #2
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    Depends how far you want to drive.

    There are no bikes allowed off the roads in zion national park, but some of the best MTB'ing in the state is within an hour drive. Check out www.Utahmountainbiking.com for some good trail descriptions and info.
    The closest ride that I know of to Zion is called Slickrock Swamp and is listed on the aforementioned site. Rumor has it that it is closed and off limits to bikes, but I don't know if that is fact or not. I have only ridden it once and think its OK
    Gooseberry Mesa is a favorite of locals and tourists alike and is only 30 min or so of a drive from Zion. I would not come to this area and not ride here. Its great. Again I suggest looking at UTMB for directions and trail info. A heckler could be alot of fun on gooseberry, but alot of people singlespeed out there to so thats really up to you.
    After you ride Goose, put your heckler in the car and get out your light XC rig for a nice long (Really hot this time of year) loop around Goulds rim and the JEM trail. Sweet ride, 3 hours of XC goodness if your fit.
    There are probably 300-400 miles if MTB trails in the in the St. George, Zion, Hurricance area. So to answer you question yes. Not only is there real riding in that area, there is some of the best riding I have seen anywhere in the nation. You will need a car to access the rides from Zion, but all of the singletrack is worth the drive.
    Bring your sunscreen and camelback
    Visiting St george/Hurricane? Stay at my vacation rental. Discounts for MTB's

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  3. #3
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    Agree with Pedalfaraway, it is a great area!
    Also being that you will be on the east side of Zion you will be an hour or so from the Thunder Mtn. and Cassidy trails on Hwy 12 and the Virgin River Rim and Navajo Lake trails on Hwy 14.

  4. #4
    JMH
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    Slickrock Swamp is "closed" but not closed. Read details on www.utahmountanbiking.com. It appears it was closed illegally and the closure is not enforced. I have ridden it two or three times in the last two years with no problems. The trail does go very close to the park, though. Take a wrong turn in the wash and you risk riding in no-no land.

    Slickrock Swamp is not flowy but it is filled with fun, techy challenges. It would be much more fun on your Heckler, IMO. The reason Slickrock Swamp (AKA Rockville Bench) is noteworthy is that it's a 5 minute bike ride from just about anywhere in Springdale.

    Of course, Gooseberry is a classic. Logistically it's a bit tougher to get to, but it's a few thousand feet higher (possibly nice and cool in the AM) and would make for an unforgettable ride on any kind of bike.

    Don't miss the Mean Bean Coffee House while you are there, Oscars makes great burgers and good Mexican, and the Bit Spur is rumored to be one of the best restaurants in Utah, although I have not been there yet.

    Enjoy!

    JMH
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  5. #5
    Err
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    +1 on Gooseberry Mesa, def a fun trail. Can be done on any type of bike, but there are some fun tech lines to drops if you have a bike that can be abused.

    Also, +1 on Mean Bean and Oscars, great places for sure. Bit N' Spur is great for dinner as is the patio at Flanigan's right around sunset. Desert Pearl is my fav place to stay there. If you're up for getting off your bike for the day, the slot canyons there are incredible. The classic Narrows hike is non-technical if you're not up to speed on ropes and such. The subway is incredible if you're up for some short rappels.

  6. #6
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    From Springdale, Gooseberry is a cinch to get to. It's about a 30 minute drive up a dirt road. Make sure you have good directions to get to the trailhead. Once you are at the trailhead, it's pretty hard to get lost. Slickrock swamp is also a classic, and noone will hassle you if you ride it. If you are in the mood for some single speed type riding, then check out the JEM/Hurricane Rim/Gould's wash loop. 23 miles of desert single track. www.utahmountainbiking.com can help you with directions to any of the aforementioned rides.

  7. #7
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    Just so you can allow correct travel time to any of the rides mentioned west of Springdale; Gooseberry, Guacamole, J.E.M., Hurricane Rim, Goulds, and The Bench be aware that the Ponderosa is about 30 minutes east of Springdale. Not a big deal but just so ya know.

  8. #8
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    Thanks!

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I'm definitely going to check out that slickrock swamp trail, and maybe another one or two depending on how much free time I end up having.

    If anyone is going to be in that area around that time and wants to hook up for a ride, let me know!

    Nathan

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