Utah Biking in Spring, May 2022

Trip Overview

La Grande/Boise || Richfield and Cedar City || St George and the Mesas || Red Canyon || Escalante Hiking || Grand Junction and Navajo Rocks

After a great ski season of pow shoulder season kicks in. This is when we want to ride our bikes, but with our snowy rainy spring we figured it was good time to head south.

We head to Utah since we feel it is the best contrast to our usual trails in North Vancouver and Whistler. Dry and rocky with amazing views.

With the development of biking in other areas of the US we decided to skip Moab and ride other areas in Utah. These include Richfield, Cedar City, St. George and the Mesas. We also rode Thunder Mountain in Red Canyon again since its amazing. We also did a hike near Escalante off Hole in the Rock road past where we hiked in the Oct 2021. We then finished with a visit to Grand Junction and one of our favorite rides in Moab – Navajo Rocks.

Along the way we bought beer at Dru Bru. In La Grande we ate Mexican at La Fiesta and camped at Fox Hill Campground. In Boise and SLC we stayed with friends.

In SLC I stocked up on beer at Templin Brewery, Salt Fire and RoHa Brewing.

In Richfield we camped in the middle of the trail network ~5km up Rd 096->1018 off 1197E, easy access unless you have a really big trailer that can’t get around tight switchbacks.

Cedar City we stayed at the Best Western since a storm system went through but there is camping heading 5km up Hwy 14. Or North West of Cedar City in the Three Peaks Rec area and at the Pyramid Campsite West of the Iron Mt. Trail System.

For our riding on Grafton and Wire Mesa we camped on Gooseberry Mesa. Our drive from the Mesa’s to Thunder mountain we took AZ-389 and CO Rd 43 by Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park for different scenery. Nice drive.

For our ride on Thunder Mountain we camped at the Red Canyon Campground. Closes Oct 1st, no Interwebz. There is dispersed camping up Hwy 12, opposite the turnoff to Coyote Hollow and Thunder Mt. Here this is Interwebz. In Panguitch Henrie’s Drive in has good burgers and Milk Shakes. Food is also good in Tropic at the Route 12 Grill. Its a gas station so you can also stock up on ice and snacks.

After our ride at Thunder Mt we drove to Escalante and about 80km down the desolute Hole in the Rock Rd to camp. We found the one shady mesa to camp behind and stayed there one night. We did a hike to Hamblin Arch. The Hurricane TH is 63km down Hole in the Rock Rd. We took the long hike through Hurricane Wash, big slog. Next time we’ll chance the sneaker route which is shorter but requires a rope or good scrambling skills.

We left Escalante on a Sunday so nothing was open in Boulder. We ate at the Burr Trail Grill. We hear the Hell’s Backbone Grill is very good but it wasn’t open.

We then looked for camping along the Burr Trail. The small Deer Creek Campground was full, so we continued driving down the Burr Trail, took the Wolverine Lp Rd and pulled off near the Horse Canyon TH. More people were camped here closer to Wolverine Rd. Nice Spot. The next day we drove down the Burr switchbacks to Capitol Reef National Park and Camped at Bicknel. This is a nice campsite but the trails are NOT Mountain Bike Friendly.

We then drove to Grand Junction to ride with Kevin Foote, then finished off our trip riding one of our favorite loops in Moab – Navajo Rocks.

Our last campite was along Buckhorn wash in the San Rafael swell between Ranch Exit 70 and the turnoff to Wedge Overlook. We camped here in 2019 it was more rustic. They have now numbered the sites where you can camp and put in nice firerings. The site we were one was only accessilbe by 4WD, a trailer woud not make it. Couldn’t find details on the campsites but head North towards the Buckhorn Panel and there are sites along the road pretty much all the way to Wedge Overlook.

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