“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 8, 2013 - Jul 12, 2013
- Jul 15, 2013 - Jul 19, 2013
- Jul 22, 2013 - Jul 26, 2013
- Jul 29, 2013 - Aug 2, 2013
- Aug 5, 2013 - Aug 9, 2013
- Aug 12, 2013 - Aug 16, 2013
- Aug 19, 2013 - Aug 23, 2013
- Aug 26, 2013 - Aug 30, 2013
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 pop out with a view of Zion National Park cliffs, then your mouth will drop open. 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. Our guides say, “Let’s spread out on this section, everyone should get to go as fast as they want!” Need more details? Call our guides at 800-845-2453. They can tell you everything you need to know about this incredible trip.
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Brian Head Singletrack Itinerary
MEETING TIME AND PLACE
This tour will begin at 7:30am 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.
TRIP DAY 1
Today, we'll begin our tour with a two hour 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. It's the perfect introduction to the week's singletrack, not too technical and pure fun. 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, where we'll also camp for the night. We are staged for an afternoon ride around Navajo Lake. The five star singletrack has a fairly smooth surface and rolls along the shores of the lake. 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
TRIP DAY 2
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. From our camp, we'll climb for three miles on the trail. This trail is fairly wide with challenging climbs and swooping descents, and the route that it follows along the edge of the rim is brilliant. 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 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
TRIP DAY 3
After a hearty breakfast we'll load up and shuttle to the Brian Head area. We'll catch a ride to the summit from Georg's Bike Shop, a place we love to visit. The German family run ski/bike shop is super hospitable and we owe them because they are the ones to clear the trails after a hard winter of downfall. 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 air is thin up here, but there's no where to go but down! The trail traverses the ridge through low alpine vegetation with vistas all around 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! After this fine dose of singletrack, we'll pedal through an established boy scout camp and pick up more trail through the aspens that's a little more contouring. Once we intersect Brian Head's "town loop" we'll climb back up to the bike shop to our well earned lunch spread. This 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
TRIP DAY 4
This morning we leave camp and head downhill on the Right Fork of Bunker Creek Trail. 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 the high plateau that we've been riding on. We'll rejoin our shuttle vehicle and load up for a drive 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
TRIP DAY 5
Today is the singletrack grand finale! We warm up climbing three miles on the Red Canyon bike path 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, riding along the site of the 1999 Western Spirit brochure cover photo. The last section of trail is smooth and fast and as Meagan says "spread out, everyone should get to ride this as fast as they want!" 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.
St. George is located 120 miles north of Las Vegas on Interstate 15.
There is parking available at the hotel.
Flying into St. George
Airport Code: SGU
Flying into Las Vegas, NV
Airport Code: LAS
There are two options for getting from Las Vegas to St. George.
1. Take a shuttle with St. George Shuttle, shuttle time is about 2 hours. The cost is $25 each way or $50 round trip. If you are traveling with your bike, it must be in a bike box and there is a $5 surcharge each way. Shuttles depart from the Las Vegas Airport and St. George nine times daily, keep in mind that St. George is one hour ahead of Las Vegas. Call 800-933-8320 for times and to make a reservation.
2. Rent a car in Las Vegas and park it at the hotel.
Flying into Salt Lake City, UT
Airport Code: SLC
There are two options for getting from Salt Lake City to St. George.
1. Take a shuttle with St. George Shuttle, shuttle time is about 5 hours. Call 800-933-8320 for times and to make a reservation.
2. Rent a car in Salt Lake, it is a 5 hour drive.
St. George Taxis
Quality Cab 435-656-5222
Taxi USA 435-656-1500
It is a good idea to book your rooms ahead. Below are a few recommendations. Rates are approximate.
$69 - 89
This is where the trip meets and ends. They are very friendly! Mention Western Spirit when you make your reservations to get the discounted rate.
They have a van service that will take you to the meeting place in the morning.
Best Western Abbey Inn
Budget Inn & Suites
$50 - 70
There are really just two kinds of weather: weather you like and weather you do not like. Come prepared for both and you won't care what the weather does.
If you have questions about temperatures for your specific trip please feel free to give us a call 800-845-2453 or email us at email@example.com. We will be happy to give you packing suggestions and help you with ideas for things to do before and after your bike trip.
PACKING FOR YOUR TRIP
Temperatures average from lows in the 30's and 40's to highs in the 70's and 80's. You will receive a tour packing list with your tour confirmation package. Be sure to bring everything on this list. Come prepared. Weather can be unpredictable. No matter what time of year it is, you should bring warm clothing, rain gear, and a tent. Please pack all of your gear in a medium to large duffel bag. It will ride in the trailer. If you have any questions about anything on the list, please call us.
SHIPPING YOUR BIKE
You are welcome to ship your bike to us in advance of your trip. For a $160 fee we will unpack it, build it, and ship it back home to you afterwards. Bikes can be insured to $4,000. Domestic shipping only. If you decide you want to go this route, you must call us in advance of your trip so we can inform the shop that your bike is on its way.
To ship your bike UPS, send it to Red Rock Bicycles, 100 S. Bluff St , St. George, UT, 84770; 435-674-3185. It is critical that you include your name, "Western Spirit Cycling" and tour date on the outside of the box. Check with your local UPS people for the number of days needed for it to arrive in time. Your guides will pick up your bike and bring it to the hotel the morning of the trip.
If you have any other questions about trip logistics, please feel free to send us an email or, better yet, to call us at 800-845-2453. We will be happy to try to help you answer any other questions you might have about our bike trips.
THINGS TO DO
The Painted Pony, located in Downtown St. George, offers casual fine dining. Open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. We love this place!
If you are considering planning a special event in Zion National Park, in addition to your Western Spirit trip, and would like advice on activities there, contact Zion Events. Park activities include rock climbing, hiking, canyoneering, and road cycling.