Finding Solace in St. George, Utah

Jan 21, 2016 at 8:44
Jan 21, 2016
by stevemokan  
 
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Living in Boulder, CO the last few weeks have been rough as a mountain biker. We received big snow just before Christmas, and in an uncommon weather pattern, it hasn't melted off just yet. We're left riding spin bikes and dirt roads if we're lucky. Because of this, my friend and I headed down to St. George, Utah for a few days of cleansing the soul; aka riding real singletrack. St. George is in an incredible location, sitting in a valley between the Pine Mountains, Zion National Park, Snow Canyon, and empty desert to the south. Everywhere you look, you have a beautiful view. The riding isn't too bad either, with enough options to keep you busy for weeks. Despite the high elevation, big ticket items like Gooseberry and Little Creek being snowed in, we still managed to have a blast...

Day One: Santa Clara Trails.

The Santa Clara Trails; Barrel Roll, Sidewinder and Suicidal Tendencies, are on the west side of St. George, and they are something special and so close to town. Despite literally being on the edge of town, these trails are built on a series of anticlines that allow you to feel like you're away from it all.

Finding Solace in St. George UT
Depending on which trails you link up, you can put together a quick one-hour loop or a 3-4 hour ride that totals almost 20-miles.

Finding Solace in St. George UT
We decided on the trails above, taking Barrel Roll to Sidewinder and then to Suicidal Tendencies, all of which were in great condition. Despite the name, Suicidal Tendencies only has minor exposure and is otherwise fairly tame!

Finding Solace in St. George UT

Day Two: Hurricane Rim (failed attempt) and Boy Scout Loops.

In the days leading up to our St. George trip, we had heard mixed reviews on the conditions for the Hurricane Rim loop, so we decided to check it out for ourselves. We parked at the far western lot just off highway 59, and began the ride around 10:00 in the morning. After climbing the 1-2 mile dirt road, we hit Goulds Rim... all was well.

Finding Solace in St. George UT
Heading east on Goulds, we were mostly in good spirits because while soft, the trail was still rideable. However, as we finished Goulds and headed north on the dirt road towards JEM, our feelings quickly changed.

Finding Solace in St. George UT
Once we saw the JEM trail, we made a no-brainer decision to cut our ride short (about 15-miles including the highway ride back to the car), minimize our losses, and head elsewhere.

Finding Solace in St. George UT

Finding Solace in St. George UT

After cleaning off our bikes at the do-it-yourself car wash in Hurricane, we grabbed a bite to eat and made our way over to the Boy Scout Loops, on the west side of town. These loops were designed and built by the crew at Over the Edge, and they're a great addition to the local trail options.

Finding Solace in St. George UT

The layout of the loops is such that you can pick your ride length - and your poison, by the number of loops you choose to ride. The rides are fairly technical in nature, with quick punchy climbs followed by short bursts of downhill; a nice contrast to the smooth trail of Hurricane Rim.

Finding Solace in St. George UT

Finding Solace in St. George UT

Day Three: Zen Trail.

Finding Solace in St. George UT
The third day was our 'getaway day', so we had to keep the ride short and sweet... and we managed to do that perfectly with a quick loop around Zen.

This trail is known for being one of the more fun in the area, and it's well-deserved. The Zen Trail has a great mix of flowy singletrack, technical rock sections, sustained downhills, and incredible rock formations. If I was a St. George local, I'd be a regular on the Zen trail.

Finding Solace in St. George UT

Finding Solace in St. George UT

Finding Solace in St. George UT

Finding Solace in St. George UT

So considering the trail conditions at home in Boulder, even though we weren't able to ride the 'bucket list' rides of St. George, it was a highly successful trip. Besides, now we'll have something to come back for in a couple of months.


MENTIONS: @smmokan


St. George mountain biking trails
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43 Comments

  • + 18
 Just so people that don't live in Utah reading this know, "hurricane" is properly pronounced as "hurrikin". It's pretty important to know this when asking directions.
  • + 3
 I'll add that Zion is not Zi-on, but Zi-in. Easiest way to spot an outsider.
  • + 6
 I live in St. George and refuse to say Zi-in or Zion's. I have broken down and started saying Hurkan..
  • + 3
 Give it time, you'll give in eventually.
  • + 2
 Man that just put me in the mood... looks like I'm heading south.
  • + 1
 And sale is pronounced "sell". Ah crazy Utahns... amazing pictures by the way. It looked like such an epic trip despite not riding all the trails you were aiming to.
  • + 4
 Don't forget the "Mountain" and "Moun'en" mixup that happens every day. Mostly from me. I am headed south for 4 trips in February alone. So grateful to be able to ski pow and ride dirt in the same day. Utah is a good place to be.
  • + 1
 'Sploded my fatbike hub and am waiting on parts. Was talking to my wife this last weekend about doing a day trip down there since I couldn't ride. Thinking this weekend but i can't decide if i want to do stg, moab or gooseberry
  • + 1
 whoa whoa whoa... we might be crazy... but it's called a "dialect" I believe... pretty sure it's common around the world lol... and don't forget Bri'en and Lay'en and "I used ta could, give me a minute and I might could again"
  • + 1
 Woah, woah, woah buddy We're not Texans
  • + 3
 @UtahBikeMike Gooseberry is sloppy muddy right now, the St George gap is prime though.
  • + 1
 @masonstevens

Thanks for the heads up
  • + 4
 The write up is great, thank you for choosing to be smart and cut out when you encountered a muddy JEM trail. Come back out and check out Little Creek with the crew from Over The Edge Sports.
  • + 1
 Is Little Creek accessible right now? I'd just assumed that the roads getting back there and to Gooseberry would be thick with tacky mud. Heard reports last weekend of the road getting to Guac being nasty in the usual spot.
  • - 2
 Ahhhh the self imposed nazi trail overseers at OTE in Hurricane...
  • + 3
 I appreciate OTE and other local shops being mindful of the trails, being a riding destinations means most guys, thankful to the article guys for not doing this, are going to ride no matter what, including destroying trails and ecology.
  • + 1
 Yeah great write up. I'm in Moab UT right now. Amasa Back Trails are clear and riding well. Riding them again tomorrow. If you need info on trail conditions in Moab I called the guys at Poison Spyder and they literally knew EXACTLY the daily conditions of all trails in the area. Thank you Poison Spyder team.
  • + 0
 Poison Spider is probably the best shop in the west (never been past CO so I can't compare). Love those guys. @wasea04 the problem is 10-15 years ago we had all those trails to ourselves--and maintained them ourselves. Getting to gooseberry was an adventure in and of itself. Now, OTE Hurricane is in bike mag write ups with heli shots, putting out videos, etc. advertising riders to come to St. George. I'm TOTALLY fine with this. Gooseberry now has a 40 car parking lot with a 4 star bathroom. If you are going to advertise to riders to come from all over to ride your trails cus they are soooo good, spend their cash at your shop, etc, have some decency when they "risk it" and head out to gooseberry and trash the road don't post all over FB how bad you hate Salt Lakers, Canadians, tourists, etc because they have no respect for trails. If you prostitute yourself out there, and I drive over 500 miles to get there... I'm probably gonna ride.
  • + 0
 I get down there a few times a winter. And they are Nazi's about riding the trails wet. Almost in a fist fight 2 years ago with some asshole who have to give his opinion about me riding wet trail. Come to find out he worked at Over The Edge!!
  • + 2
 Well, don't be a jackass and ride wet trails
  • + 0
 So drive 5 hrs and don't ride? Hahahha! Ok! Another a*shole with a opinion on when I should ride!
  • + 6
 You're proving a point Savage, unfortunately not that others are being unreasonable jerks, but that you are. Trails don't build and maintain themselves, people do those things, usually local people with a vested interest in keeping trails fun and open. I think it's pretty hilarious my comment lower on down the page was negative prop'd for sharing appreciation for OTE helping to protect local trails. The trails here are mostly a clay base, meaning that the ruts don't refill like loam or other soil types, the ruts become permanent reminders of irresponsibility. Not to mention the land managers will shut trails down if they are not respected, who's being an @$$ again, it's you!
  • + 3
 It's a surfer mentality out here dude. Who do you think builds and maintains these trails? The locals. Now if we could only get those equestrian folks to keep off the rampage sites...
  • - 1
 I maintain them in my town to. And I understand. But I don't need dickheads telling me about it! And telling me to go ride somewhere else.Besides I think sidewalk wide trails with no rocks or ruts are fucking boring!!
  • + 2
 I drive 5 hours to ride there too, dickhead. All it takes is a small amount of planning and checking local weather or forums for trail conditions. I bet you're one of the people that thinks it's ok to shuttle rush or draper dh when it's muddy in spots and then I get to ride it all rutted out for the next 3 months because of your one weekend of fun.
  • + 1
 Welcome to Utah, now go home! I wish you got that message. Its your poor planning if you pick the 5% of the time it's mud to try and ride. Use your smartphone, cuz you're pretty dumb.
  • + 0
 Nah!! I like that trail!
  • + 1
 I think the point has been missed by all. No one is saying we don't appreciate OTE and what they do. It's HOW they do it. Plain and simple. But to each their own. I can't believe that Corner Canyon was invoked in this thread. The crown jewel of trail damage and trail widening. Tragic.
  • + 1
 Reignonme, Ok, fair point, consider the knee jerk reaction through the lens of having our trails destroyed many times over. Perhaps we're all little on edge...not a bad point or pun both Smile
  • + 2
 @wasea04 I hear ya. I hear ya. Great pun!
  • + 1
 Great article. There is so much amazing riding in the St. George area and its often overlooked as Moab is a couple hours away.
  • + 4
 Zen trail is rad
  • + 3
 thanks for the trails and info, looks like you had fun!
  • + 2
 Hurricane Rim is actually pretty rough. You rode Goulds Rim. And you missed the Barrel Ride! Best trail in St George.
  • + 2
 Is it me or is the first photo in the set reversed?
  • + 2
 It is.... I flipped it for my website and posted the wrong one. Good eye.
  • + 1
 green valley is where its at. Did you get the chance to ride Bear Claw Poppy?
  • + 1
 Unfortunately not because we were short on time on the last day, but we'll be back in a couple of months and it's on the list for sure.
  • + 3
 Yes do Green Valley up through Jay's wash to the rim trails all the way to the top of rim runner then back down to Bloomington. (My daily)
  • + 2
 Sick write up! ???????? trails are prime right now!
  • + 1
 YEAH ST GEEZY SHOWING ITS MOUNTAIN BIKE PRIDE
  • + 1
 Only 30 min from rampage, and no one hit up the old site?
  • + 1
 Did mean for the ??'s haha

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