It had been quite a while since I was last on Anderson Truck Trail. Last week I got back out on it while my long time riding partner in grime, Steve. It has rained a few days earlier which made for some really nice dirt out there. Here some video from the bits we rode.
Also worth noting that I have re-encoded the 2009 video I did out here. This video is hosted on Vimeo as the music has issues on YouTube.
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.
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.
The Virgin River Rim Trail is a 32 mile long trail along the edge of the plateau above the Virgin River watershed. This video is from the eastern 10 miles of the trail between Strawberry Point and the Cascade Falls Trailhead. This is also known as the Pink Cliffs section.
This is a amazingly beautiful section of trail that was tough in many spots. It is definitely an XC trail but the the elevation, undulating grade mostly in the 9,000 feet range and trail thread all conspire to tax lungs and legs.
For me it is worth the price of admission for the experience, but if your value of “reward” is mostly based on fun, you may come to a different conclusion.
My Ridelog from this day on Trailforks Note that the last 3.1 miles on this route are not the trail but a couple of dirt roads that we used to get back to our campsite. The trails is the first 10 miles.
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.
If you are going to go all the way to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to camp and ride the Rainbow Rim trail, it is well worth it to add a segment or two of the Arizona Trail that runs through the area into the mix. This is from an 18 mile snippet of the trail south of Jacob Lake. We did this on Day 11 of August MTB Vacation.
Getting out to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to ride the Rainbow Rim trail is not an easy feat. For just about everyone it will be a camping trip. This is from my August MTB vacation were we camped on Locust Point for a handful of days and enjoyed the views and the riding on this trails as well a bit of the Arizona Trail. The video really does not do the experience justice. You need to get there to enjoy it for yourself.
I had to put the videos on hold while I went down the rabbit hole of squaring away data storage and backup system. I came back from the August trip with just about a terabyte of video and photos which put my overall storage at near capacity. I now have a more robust system that should scale a lot better in the future.
Day 18 Bunker Creek. Coming off of Brianhead Peak this was a doozie. Starting just at 11,000 feet, you had long views, Alpine meadows, Aspens, Pines. Much of this area burned in 2017 and the trails have been rebuilt, improved and extended.
Day 19 VRRT – Navajo Peak. I started out with plans to do the Navajo Lake Loop, but half way around I chose to peel off and get my climb on. There was plenty of work to be done but much like the Strawberry Point segment the views were worth the effort.
On Day 20 I finished off the “Big 3” at Brianhead with the Blowhard Mountain Trail. I rode with a group of guys from the Giant Bicycle shop in Las Vegas. A great group of guys. The trail was every bit as technical as it was billed to be. Such good stuff.
My body decreed that today would be a rest day so for Day 21 I tooled around the countryside a bit which included a stop at Paragon Gap to check out the Indian Rock Art.
For Day 22, I ventured off the mountians to check out the Iron Hills trail system in Cedar City. This is an exceptional designed and built trail system which was a hoot. I did 14 miles and change with 1,700 feet of climbing. After spending much of my time over the last two weeks around 9,000 feet the thick oxygen rich air down at 6,000 feet was a real joy!
After camp near Navajo Lake since being in Utah, for Day 23 I felt the need to knock of Navajo Lake Loop proper since I had only done part of it.
Day 24 Time to head home. Ahh hell, time to go do some of that adult stuff. It has been a fabulous trip. I have gotten everything thing I needed and wanted out of this trip. I’m no sure what that need and want is exactly yet, but I found it out here. For now I’m looking forward to seeing both wife and dogs.
I have amassed nearly a terabyte of footage and photos to do stuff with that will take months to get through. I have melon full killer memories of this trip that I’m bringing back as well. I’ll share when I can.
For now, the RV’s shitter tank is not going to dump itself!
The big August MTB vacation continues! Part 3 of the roadtrip covers Bill O’Neil and I in Utah.
Day 13 – We started the day heading out to Thunder Mountain. The weather in the area turned for the worst. With too much thunder on Thunder Mountain we had had to come up with a Plan B.
Plan B was the Virgin River Rim Trail starting from Strawberry Point. This was an amazingly beautiful and challenging trail. The combination of terrain, grade and elevation all worked together to make for some spicey climbing. Oh the downhills were good! That night severe weather swept through the region and we good numerous flash flood warnings/alerts throughout the night.
After the rain out day, for Day 15 we took another crack at Thunder Mountain. We managed to catch a good weather window and for the most part we were rewarded some near hero dirt. We only had a couple of squishy spots that were created by some irresponsible equestrians who went out on the trail way too soon.
For Day 16, we did the Dark Hollow, Second Left-Hand Canyon Shuttle. With nearly 5,000 feet of descent this was one impressive route with a some amazing trail itself and phenomenal scenery.
Bill O’Neil had to go back to adulting so Dark Hollow was our last ride together for this trip. I still have some time left before I have to reenage the realm of adulting.