Looking for something off the beaten path near Moab? Do you like eating your dessert before your vegetables? While I would not put Fisher Mesa on the must do list for the Moab area it is certainly worth a spin if you feel like you have already done all the marquee stuff in Moab. Fisher Mesa is two mesas east of Porcupine Rim and if you are taking the scenic way Fruita from Moab it is along the way. This video was shot in 2008 using a “bleeding edge” 1080i HD Camcorder with “new” tech such as optical stabilization.
This video was shot in 2008 using a “bleeding edge” 1080i HD Camcorder with some “new” tech such as optical stabilization. While it worked great in your hand it was pretty horrible in the Moab area terrain as it was always “catching” up and actually made things worse. It was still way better than GoPro options of the day where 384p resolution with the young YouTube offering video hosting at 480p max. So glad for the modern era tools to share.
The Navajo Lake Loop is an extremely picturesque trail around the lake that has a wonderful mix of aspens, pines, open meadows as well as a bit of old lava flows. I did about 3/4ths of the loop on before heading out on the Navajo Peak section of the Virgin River Rim Trail. Here is my Trailforks Ridelog for that day. Please note this loop includes an out and back to Cascade Falls as well as a longer firer road loop back to where I was camped. I did not include the Cascade Falls trail stuff in this video as it really did not “fit”. One thing is for certain, this was a very pretty outing out of the bike.
Here is some footage from the Blowhard trail near Brian Head Utah. This rounds out the big three shuttle run out of Brian Head resort area in Utah. The Blowhard Trail starts at 10,660 feet just south of Cedar Breaks National Monument and drops 3,700 feet over the course 7.7 miles and ends on Hwy 14 near Cedar City. The upper portion is the steepest and most technical with grades upwards of 22% in spots. It is much steeper than it looks in the video. Things mellow a bit in the middle section and below with even some short bits of climbing. Those short sections aside, throughout this trails is speed is easily gained and much more difficult to restrain. This is a fantastic trail and this will not be my time riding this trail.
One more video knocked off the remaster to-do list. The Portal Trail in Moab will most likely reset your scale for exposure and how the risk vs reward variables are computed in your head. The steeper than it looks moniker certainly applies here. I did some software stabilization but it still in the old-school shaky cam category. Here are some more thoughts on this trail as well as some pictures from that day. You can find stuff from the entire 2008 road trip here.
The second song used this video, Mad Life, by Dishwalla had some special meaning for me from that day. This video was shot in May of 2008 and back in the March, I had an OTB crash on the Goat Camp Trail that left me with about 40 stitches in my lip and mouth that really did a number on my mental game for riding technical trails. During the first three days of this trip I was starting to get the mojo back and the during the descent of the Portal trail the “I’m Back” switch was flipped on as that song started playing in my head. These lyrics in particular.
I’m still churning my way through the summer vacation footage. This latest installment is from the Bunker Creek trail.
The Bunker Creek trail is one of the three big descents out of Brian Head Utah, Starting from Brian Head Peak you will do 11.6 miles of single track that will take you from 11,075 feet down to 8,490 feet. A wildfire in 2017 devastated this area and much of the trail, but by 2018 it was rebuilt and in 2019 the single track was extended at the bottom.
Here is the route I did that includes rolling down into Panguitch Lake to hit up some tasty grub at the Burger Barn. This is also the typical shuttle pickup spot if you use one of the Brian Head shuttle service such as George’s Ski and Bike.
Thunder Mountain is considered a marquee/classic/bucket list type trail in many publications. I have to say it lives up to hype. This video is from Day 15 of the Summer MTB vacation which was our second crack at this trail. We got rained out for this ride on Day 13. We managed to catch a good weather window and for the most part we were rewarded some near hero dirt. But be warned, even if you “shuttle” it you will be spending plenty of time cranking the pedals. It is well worth every bit of grunting you have to do.
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.
Our final day of the weekend trip had me waking up to stiff legs.
We both desired to get back home at a reasonable time, so we opted for something efficient and fun. After breaking camp we parked at the JEM trailhead at the base of Gooseberry Mesa.
The last time I rode your when doing this as part of the Hurricane Rim Loop that consists of the Goulds Rim, JEM and Hurricane Cliffs trail. Since then there has been a lot if trails added in this area, it is now its on system.
We ended up riding JEM, More Cowbell, Dead Ringer, Goosebumps, Cryptobionic, and some of the JEM Loop Route. (Not in that order) What a fun time we had. After a celebratory beer it was time to get back to the land of playing working stiff. It was another great adventure in Utah!
Day Three took us out to Grafton Mesa which I had heard lots of awesome stuff about but had never been out on.
Sean on More Money
Grafton did not disappoint.
Sean on Show Me The Money
Sean on Dig-It!
We also did the Pigs In Space and Meanderthal trails along with a portion of Reach Around.
You know you are some good trails when they come with exfoliation services.
The drop in spot.
We did not take the techno-gnarly trail off the mesa as we had not made any shuttle arrangments and were not feeling up for major dirt road grindage to get back up on the mesa. Clearly I will have to go back!
Day Two had out at one of my all time favorites in the area, Little Creek Mesa. Sean had ridden one of the loops out here, but had not been out to the point so I was more than happen to do some showing around.
We started out in the main loop and worked out way out the the western rim of the mesa.
We then worked out way out the North Point.
From the North Point we continued on around and hooked up with Magic Carpet Ride.
Back at camp we enjoyed tasty beers before working on some bourbon while solving world hunger. Well maybe not world hunger, but may have put a dent in the bikes in wilderness issues. Ugh maybe it was which sections of the Pacific Crest Trail should be open to bike.
One thing we certainly did figure out. It did not suck to be us on this day.