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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Day Three: Zen Trail.
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.
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.
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