Here is the latest of the vintage pre-GoPro MTB to be migrated over to YouTube. This is of the Hurricane Cliffs Loop which is comprised of the Gould’s Rim, JEM and Hurricane Rim Trails. This is a great and sizeable XC loop in the area. I have not done this route in over a decade mostly because of the build up of new trails JEM trail area you can pile up a bunch of miles in that area alone. Since this video was shot Over The Edge Hurricane was established and they helped to create a trail that connects from town up to Gould’s Rim. I’m sure that trail is going to be seeing some action this weekend as the Hurricane MTB Festival is going on now. I did not sign up for this festival this year as I did not think I would be recovered from the heart valve replacement well enough by now but after this past week’s riding I think I probably would have been able to handle the this trail system along with most of the other goodies in the area. Here are a few other pictures from the area.
The next installment in the remastering project is Gooseberry Mesa near Hurricane Utah. This video was shot on day 3 of a 9-day Utah/Colorado road trip in the Spring of 2005.
This was my first visit to Gooseberry, but is was certainly not my last. St George and Hurricane is one of my favorite MTB destinations (certainly in the reach in one day and still get in a ride category)
I meet a lot of really cool people on this trip and many of them I still keep in touch with to this day. Such a great place to ride.
We woke up on day 2 of our Utah weekend to find that it had rained most of the night. After consulting with the folks at Over The Edge in Hurricane, we changes our ride plans for the day to kept from mucking up the trails. We went out to the Quail Overlook Trail System which is beside the Quail Creek Reservoir. Colloquially this place is known as the Boy Scout trails due to a nearby Boy Scout camp.
Oh my this place put down some techno-spank right out of the gate that included tight rocky single track with plenty of “power” moves.
The trail system primarily includes four loops on three sawtooth escarpments.
The builders have done a super job of laying out the system to maximize the use of a rather small chunk of land.
This place is advertised as an expert level trail system and I can’t argue with rating, but I will clarify it. This is a “slow-tech” wheels-on-the-ground playground. There is not a lot flow here and it is not a bad thing, its part of the character of that place that just seems to pack “It” into the miles.
I particularly enjoyed the combination moves. Things like a rocky climbs with ledge moves coming out tight switch backs. There were plenty sections where you seem to be continually in a state of using body English.
The most northern loop called Adventure Scout was by far the most technical of the bunch out there. We ran into one of the primary builders of this trail system (Quentin – – Awesome Job Quentin!!) and he described a couple of sections as best ridden “Balls over Brains”. It is interesting to note that not following that advice could have you literally going “Balls over Brains” into some very unforgiving terrain. There is a lot of effort per mile designed into this this place. We only did a little over six miles and it felt like we had done twice that. I really dug the combination of power moves and the bit of mental “checkers” required to clean the stuff out here.
As we enjoyed a tasty smuggled in San Diego microbrew over lunch, we decided that we had enough gas in the leg tanks for an afternoon session.
We hit up The Zen Trail which is right on the outskirts of St George. I had heard lots of good stuff about this trail and it has always been on the To-Do List but have never gotten to it.
Things opened up with a climb and soon we were near the edge of the mesa.
There is about a total of 1,100 feet of climbing on this route. We could see ominous clouds slowly moving our way.
The variety of this trail is quite awesome. Rock crawling, sweet single track, vista, there are lots of goodies out here.
When we got to the top of the mesa we had some great views of Green Valley below. We could also see the rain a coming! Shortly after the picture above, the rain caught us and the camera remained holstered in my pack. The descent was exceptional with a combination of sweet single track and with some slick rock. There were also a few undulations along the way that put a little sting in the legs at this point in the day’s overall effort. We also missed a turn and found ourselves on double track. After a bit of uphill backtracking we hooked back up on the single track that lead us back to the trailhead.
Just as we were getting back to the truck the rain stopped and the sun broke out. Ahhh rainbows and microbrews from heaven. We were living well!
This past weekend Bill O’Neil and I made a dash to Utah to get on some good red dirt and killer rock riding. We were quite surprised that a storm had settled in the SoCal area the night before and brought in some much needed rain along with some snow at the higher elevations. It was a mighty fine time to get the hell of Dodge. The destination for day one was the Guacamole trails perched up on a mesa outside of Virgin, Utah. After copious amounts coffee, beef jerky and a tank and change of fuel (burned at a highly uneconomical rate), we crossed into Utah to be greeted with storm clouds. As we rolled through St George and Hurricane we were intermittently getting rained on but I had learned that in this neck of the woods if you don’t like the weather wait five minutes. As we rolled through Virgin there were clear skies above and the dirt road that goes up to the mesa had just a puddle or two.
It was a bit brisk and windy but beautifully sunny when we rolled out onto the first trail segment called Margarita. This was a new trail to me and I was stoked to check it out.
It was not long before we juked onto the Salt on the Rim trail and got in some good views along with the sight of incoming weather. Someone in Seattle once told me that there is no such thing as bad weather only bad gear. We had the gear, but from the best we could tell it looked like this storm would pass us just to the south.
We did end up get a little sprinkling on us as we made our way out to the main Guacamole Loop but it only lasted a few minutes. What we were left with was straight up hero dirt.
We took a connector trail called Lime (These trail names rock!) that went out to another loop called Holy Guacamole that took all the way to the southern tip of the mesa. We had good views of Zion Nation Park as well as the north rim of Gooseberry Mesa from here.
This is some fantastic single track with good technical challenges through amazing landscape with Zion National Park just a stones through away.
In several spots the trail is literally along the park’s fence line.
Holy Guacamole this is a fun trail!
The Holy Guacamole goodness brought us back to the other side of the earlier loops we were on that eventually took us back to the trailhead. This was some grade A trail awesomeness and it will certainly not be my last time riding on this mesa. Shortly after we got off the mesa and headed back to St George we got into a good bit of rain. We were pretty stoked at our window of fortune with the rain and we were particularly glad we had decided to get a hotel room for this trip vice our typical camping arrangements. It was a mighty fine start to the weekend.
I have a mountain of pictures to sort through from this past weekend of camping and riding near Hurricane Utah. Here are a few I’m working on.
Friday we drove from Socal to Gooseberry Mesa where we setup camp and got in an near sunset ride out on the North Rim Trail.
Saturday we did the Hurricane Cliffs Trail System Loop of Goulds Rim, JEM and the Huricane Rim Trail
It was a great loop of about 21.5 miles in length and with a surprisingly sizable amount of climbing. We had plans for a late afteroon ride on Gooseberry as well but ending up enjoying tasty beers at camp instead.
Sunday we went over to Little Creek Mesa. I had only ridden the Main Loop on a previous trip so we had plans to hit up some of the other goods out there. We ended up doing the main loop and then getting out ot the North Point.
After the North Point we worked our way over to the Magic Carpet Ride trail to get back to the trailhead. We had plans to hit up a bit of Gooseberry before sunset but tasty beverages and semi-done legs dicated chilling at camp.
Monday morning we got fairly early, grabbed some breakfast and headed out from camp.
We hit up the South Rim trail
As well as the Hidden Canyon trail in both directions. I finished up the ride with nothing left in the tank and the legs completely shot. A great way to finish off a long weekend of riding. We soon had packed up camp and were making our way back to SoCal. More to follow….