“The guides have been all exceedingly friendly, helpful, and genuinely fun to be around, especially to my son, whose first question upon returning home is always, "Where are we going next year?" ”
Brian Head Singletrack
- Jul 7, 2014 - Jul 11, 2014
- Jul 14, 2014 - Jul 18, 2014
- Jul 21, 2014 - Jul 25, 2014
- Jul 28, 2014 - Aug 1, 2014
- Aug 4, 2014 - Aug 8, 2014
- Aug 11, 2014 - Aug 15, 2014
- Aug 18, 2014 - Aug 22, 2014
- Aug 25, 2014 - Aug 29, 2014
This trip is cream of the crop singletrack, with a diversity of riding that will astound you. The journey starts near the lava fields that have formed the high Markugunt Plateau and Navajo Lake, a crystal blue jewel tucked in an aspen covered valley. And you thought you’d have to go to Hawaii to ride through a lava field!
The swooping turns of the Virgin River Rim Trail will make you smile, until you see the views of the cliffs of Zion National Park—then your jaw will drop. We’ll travel to Brian Head Mountain where the trails are rocky, steep, switchbacked and good bike handling skills are a must.
We top off the trip with the Thunder Mountain Trail which snakes through the pink limestone cliffs that form the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. Awesome.
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Brian Head Singletrack Itinerary
MEETING TIME AND PLACE
This tour will begin at 7:30 AM MST at The Lexington, 850 S. Bluff Street, St. George, Utah 84770, 435-628-4235. After loading up we will drive to the start of the ride, near Brian Head Peak. You will need to spend the night in St. George because none of the shuttle services from Las Vegas or Salt Lake run early enough.
ENDING TIME AND PLACE
We will return to St. George between 3:00-4:00 PM on the last day. You will have time to catch a shuttle back to Las Vegas, but not to Salt Lake.
Today begins with a shuttle to the Deer Haven Trailhead of the Virgin River Rim Trail. We’ll start our ride through thick forests of Douglas fir and aspen meadows on rolling singletrack, a perfect way to start the week. We will be riding through prime turkey and deer habitat and our chances of encountering wildlife are very good. This section of trail is cut into the slopes of the Virgin River headwaters and contains many ups and downs, but the general trend is a contour. We’ll have lunch at Te-ah, a campground on the west shore of Navajo Lake. We are staged for an afternoon ride around Navajo Lake. On this five star singletrack, we’ll ride through the lava field which formed the lake several thousand years ago and traverse the pine forest on the south shore. An afternoon dip may be in order. TOTAL MILEAGE: 10 miles AM, 8 miles PM
Today we’ll enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery of the trip on the Virgin River Rim Trail, an exceptional singletrack. The colorful pink rock of the rim forms sheer cliff faces which are often several hundred feet tall. To the south these colorful cliffs gradually drop 4,500 feet to Zion National Park below. This trail is fairly wide with challenging climbs and swooping descents, including a brilliant route along the rim. The trail surface is fairly smooth on the climbing portions, and tends to be rockier on the ridgeline sections. After eight miles, we’ll wind up at Cascade Falls, an interesting geological phenomenon. Water from Navajo Lake runs underground in a lava tube before spilling out of the cliff face and forming the headwaters of the Virgin River. This river is responsible for carving the deep canyons of Zion. We’ll have lunch, a little siesta, then head out for more. A strenuous climb along the rim returns us to the ridge line which will place you atop the spectacularly eroded pink cliffs. The trail is etched among the aspens with banked turns and has perfect grades for climbing and descending. We’ll end the day in a happy peleton formation on a dirt road that will take us to camp in the towering fir trees. TOTAL MILEAGE: 16 miles AM, 12 miles PM
After a hearty breakfast we’ll load up and shuttle to the Brian Head resort area. The peak’s elevation is 11,307 feet and from the summit we will enjoy views in all directions, including Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks and Cedar Breaks National Monument. The trail traverses the ridge before we drop into the aspen and pine forest for a singletrack ride of a lifetime. The trail is technical with rocky sections, some loose gravel and tight switchbacks. Time to pay attention! Once we intersect Brian Head’s “town loop” we’ll climb back up to the bike shop to our well earned lunch spread. In the afternoon, our shuttle vehicle will take us up to Brian Head Peak again for more downhill singletrack riding on the Lowder Ponds Trail. The afternoon’s ride is less technical than the morning’s ride but still has some steep descents. The trail crosses a dry creek bed, alternating patches of forest and meadow and a small stream before heading south into the woods. The trail winds by small lakes, traverses several meadows and drops steeply into the forested west side of Sidney Valley. We’ll meet the dirt road here and climb two miles on the Sidney Valley Road to our high alpine camp above 10,000 feet. TOTAL MILEAGE: 12 miles AM, 8 miles PM
This morning we leave camp and head down the Right Fork of Bunker Creek. This is a gorgeous trail with some technical descents and beautiful cruises through the aspens and finally joins a doubletrack for a speedy descent into Blue Spring Valley. If you’re not going too fast you may notice the lava fields capping the landscape, geologically responsible for this high plateau. Next we will shuttle to Red Canyon for a complete change of scenery. Here we find ourselves among the orange and red hoodoos of the Claron Formation. We set up camp and head out for our afternoon ride, the Red Canyon-Losee Loop. We climb through spectacular Bryce-like scenery to Brayton Point and then descend down the drainage of Losee Canyon, circling back along the road to our camp in Red Canyon. TOTAL MILEAGE: 14 miles AM, 12 miles PM
Today is the singletrack grand finale! We warm up with a climb on the Red Canyon Bicycle Trail to the top of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Once we reach the Thunder Mountain Trailhead we ride the singletrack in and out of orange limestone ridges covered in Bristlecone and Ponderosa pines. We top out with a spectacular view from Thunder Mountain which looks down on our descent! The trail carries us along knife edge ridges and through wild hoodoos. We pop out at the van grinning and ready to eat lunch. After lunch we shuttle back to St. George. TOTAL MILEAGE: 12 miles
Riding Surface: Variable, mostly singletrack, some doubletrack and dirt roads, a few miles of pavement.
Technical Difficulty: Difficult.
Physical Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult.
Altitude: 7,000 - 11,000 feet.
Please Note: This is a technical singletrack trip at elevations between 7,000 and 11,000 feet. A high level of fitness and singletrack experience are necessary. We will be without vehicle support during all of the singletrack sections of the ride. Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, road conditions, rider safety and other factors which may affect the logistics of the adventure.