“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?" ”
Gooseberry Mesa Singletrack
- Mar 10, 2014 - Mar 14, 2014
- Mar 17, 2014 - Mar 21, 2014
- Mar 24, 2014 - Mar 28, 2014
- Mar 31, 2014 - Apr 4, 2014
- Apr 7, 2014 - Apr 11, 2014
- Oct 7, 2014 - Oct 11, 2014
- Oct 13, 2014 - Oct 17, 2014
- Oct 20, 2014 - Oct 24, 2014
- Oct 27, 2014 - Oct 31, 2014
Just south of Zion National Park lies the famed Gooseberry Mesa Trail. The Bureau of Land Management has done an incredible job on this trail system. Sections of fun slickrock are intermixed with twisty, turny singletrack through the juniper, piñons, ponderosa and manzanita. And off in the distance lie the Kolob Canyons and colossal walls of Zion National Park.
But we don’t recommend looking at the scenery while riding-as there are lots of technical maneuvers that will require your full attention. Of course these areas are perfectly interspersed with smooth flowing sections of singletrack that truly are world-class.
And after four days of swooping and zooming up on the Mesa we’ll cruise over to the new Little Creek Mesa trail system. The BLM has opened these trails in 2009 and we can’t wait to ride them with you. Have we piqued your interest? Call us at 800-845-2453 to learn more.
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Gooseberry Mesa Singletrack Itinerary
MEETING TIME AND PLACE
This tour will begin at 9:00 AM MST at The Lexington, 850 South Bluff Street, St. George, Utah 84770, 435-628-4235. After loading up we have a short shuttle to the start of the riding. 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.
After our meeting in St. George, we will load into the van for a short shuttle to the goods. Who would think such a quick drive would take you out of the city and onto some of the best desert singletrack around? We are headed for the Santa Clara River Reserve—an incredibly fun network of trails. This area was set aside to preserve open space and protect prehistoric cultural resources, riparian areas and incredible scenic vistas. After lunch we have some rolling terrain and a few short climbs and then begin our fun ride back to the trailhead. A quick shuttle will take us to our camp where will have great views of the surrounding geology. TOTAL MILEAGE: 12 - 17 miles
We will have a hearty breakfast and shuttle out of camp to our ride for the day, the JEM trail. Named after John (known to us as Johnny Concrete, per his formal occupation vs. his love of trail building), Ellen and Mike, this trail offers high speed desert cruising and a cliffside ride along the Virgin River. We will pedal our way along the edge of the Virgin River Canyon and head toward the colorful bluff of Gooseberry Mesa. The climbing continues up a wash and onto some technical singletrack before we top out to have a lunch stop towering over the Virgin River drainage. We climb a couple miles on dirt road to be rewarded by more rolling singletrack and then the fun really begins! Swooping through the desert on unbelievable singletrack, you might just laugh out loud carving eight miles all the way back to the start. All smiles, we will load up and shuttle to our camp on Gooseberry Mesa. TOTAL MILEAGE: 24 miles
This morning we will begin with a shuttle to Little Creek Mesa, a trail system that has been a long time coming. Although trails existed here for numerous years, it was discovered that they traveled right over, around and through Ancient Puebloan routes, so it was closed to mountain biking. The BLM, along with IMBA, has worked tirelessly to reroute the trails and our patience has paid off! Riding these trails is a technicolor experience as the rock colors change every time you look down. This is our first day of riding on rock, and a good introduction for the days to come on Gooseberry Mesa. We will shuttle back to our camp on the mesa. TOTAL MILEAGE: 12 - 18 miles
We will awaken to sunlight pouring across the mesa top before enjoying our hot coffee and freshly prepared breakfast. The mesa top is a hard layer of Shinarump Conglomerate which forms a cap over the underlying red and white striped Moenkopi Formation. Moenkopi is a mudstone so it is deeply eroded along flanks of the mesa. The Shinarump is a prime surface for a tight technical mountain bike trail. The smooth slickrock sections are intermingled with clusters of junipers to dodge and little rock canyons to squeeze through. There is barely a 30 foot section of the trail where you can see exactly where your bike needs to go next. Couple the fun riding with the incredible views off the edge into Zion Canyon and you have the recipe for a memorable day on the bike. We will return to the same camp for the night. TOTAL MILEAGE: 10 - 15 miles
We will head out this morning to pedal more of the trails that the mesa has to offer. This time the loop is a little more technical, with steep short climbs onto slickrock knobs and tight switchbacks down the other side. A little off camber riding adds to the fun and some singletrack through the firm sand lets you relax a little! There is so much to ride on the mesa, we never seem to run out of options. Plus the rides are so amazing you will want to ride some of them again! When it is time, we will head back to St. George. TOTAL MILEAGE: 8 - 10 big miles
Riding Surface: Slickrock, singletrack trails and some dirt roads.
Overall Difficulty: Intermediate/Advanced
Technical Difficulty: Strong Intermediate with some more difficult sections; slickrock singletrack is tight, and the dirt sections can be loose and rocky.
Physical Difficulty: Moderate; singletrack is unsupported.
Altitude: 3,000 - 5,700 feet.
Please Note: 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.