Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Joy Jordan Woodhill Loop Ride and Dam Legs and Rock Art

SURFACE is dirt two-track and gravel road primarily. LOOP (only) distance is 11 1/2 miles and 2 hours (no sightseeing included) or less. DIFFICULTY is easy to moderate. STAY OUT IF WET!

Being as I like to write about Utah trails in this Utah blog, I will say that this trail actually is in Fredonia, Arizona. But it is the closest place to ride mountain bicycles near Kanab, Utah. Fredonia was born of Kanab anyway.

2.7 miles south of the Utah/Arizona border turn left off Hwy. 89A onto Joy Jordan Woodhill Trail. This will shortly turn to gravel. It is 1 mile on the most main road to the electric substation. (There is a telephone pole trail there which is kinda' fun to ride.) 1 mile past the substation there is a dirt road left. PARK! If one passes a large tank right one is too far!
From the car park: 1 3/4 miles from parking, continuing on the most main gravel road, at the third picnic table, is the "Clam Shell". It is some cool rock art, don't deface. It is probably up a little higher on the cliff than expected. Look for the clam-shell-looking shelf of rock and a trail up to it. It is east of the picnic table. The route from the car park to the "Clam Shell" is slightly uphill and loose gravel. So it is a good place to get in some CV and get the pedals rotating. 
At 2 miles from the car bear right and stay below the cliffs. Again at 2 1/2 miles. Now you're getting it, stay below and follow the Chocolate Cliffs. At 3.6 miles there is a big Bureau of Land Management gate left, which you should leave as found. For our loop don't go through the gate but go straight. The route from the rock art to the gate is 2-track dirt with lots of moguls. No CV here but good aerobics. There are a couple of uphill pulls but this 60 year old guy handled them. Oh yeah, if you want to go through the gate (a couple miles out then back) staying along the cliffs, this could be a 4 mile LEG (more difficult).
Shortly after the gate it is zooming coasting time to the fourth  picnic table at mile 4.7.
At the picnic table I go straight on a sandy track. There is one bad loose downhill where I picked up some road rash, but shortly after this one is back on the main gravel road. Just zoom west toward the obvious town as it is almost all downhill. A word of warning: Don't get going too fast on the gravel. Last time I was out here someone lost it and flipped their car. STAY IN CONTROL OR SUFFER ROAD RASH OR WORSE.
At mile 7.1 pass the fifth picnic table today.
At mile 7.8 go left on quasi pavement.
At mile 8 get up on the dam and head north. If you don't want to be on the berm there are two-tracks left and right side. If on the dam, leave the gate just past the cemetery as found.
At mile 9.8 go right on the main road and head toward the substation and the car park. This last 1 1/2 miles is gravelly and tedious again so I finish my CV now.
Here is the other 3 1/2 mile LEG. From the car park, if you are still fresh (I was not on this hot July day), proceed north on the dirty two-track after resetting trip odometer. This road kind of follows telephone lines and heads toward cliffs and downhill to a gate. Leave this gate as found at .7 mi. from the car.
At 1 mile the route bends right or east below the cliffs.
At mile 1.4 bear left to a turnaround at the cliffs and the Shinarump Formation pictographs. Again, this rock art may be hard to see. Again, it is fragile.
It is above and east of the turnaround, 1.7 miles from the car park.
There are plenty of other paths to just roam in the area and I guess there are trails on top of the cliffs also. With proper hydration one could ride for days here, south of Kanab and east/north of Fredonia. And Fredonia has real beer!

Post script:
So it turns out that the next day we did get up on top of the Chocolate Cliffs. The top is accessible if one takes a left at the 2 or 2 1/2 mile mark (loop ride) from the car park. We didn't do any biking up there but got in some good cardiovascular speed walking (5 mph). It's like a nice cinder track surface on top. It does look like eastward there is miles of trail up there. We saw plenty of bicycle tracks.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Best Mountain Biking Within 100 Miles of Kanab

Kanab, Utah. I live there. I hike there. No biking. But these are our favorite bike trails regarding driving time and old age:

JEM loop, near Hurricane
Gooseberry loop (Practice, North Rim, Yellow, White), close to Hildale
Rim Trail, Page, Az.
Cottonwood, Prospector, Church Rocks loop, near Washington


Friday, January 20, 2012

Etc., St. George, Utah

It's pretty definitive. There is no good mountain biking where I live in Kanab. Great hiking trails are everywhere here though. There is the "telephone pole" route north of Fredonia near the "Clam Shell", it's not too bad. There are a couple of hours worth of biking available there. We usually have to go to the Hurricane/St. George area for good biking.
The "Bear Claw Poppy" in Bloomington is fun but not worth the two hour drive for us. The 12 mile loop is half pavement also; that is a drawback for me. In all fairness there are many options yet available in the same area. We need to explore them before I condemn.
The Cottonwood/Prospector/Church Rocks Loop (10 mile ride) is borderline acceptable for the driving needed. It is nearer to us and by the Coral Canyon golf course. It's a pretty good track but too much freeway vista and bumpy slickrock. The Prospector & Cottonwood sections are out-and-back.
So for us, nothing beats the Gooseberry Mesa area yet. It's pretty definitive.
We like the J.E.M. east and above Hurricane also. However, the "loop" (about 13 miles) ride comes back on a gravel road. I'm never a fan of that. S/T all the way would have to be an out-and-back ride on the John.Ellen.Mike. We got roped into the 20+ mile loop ride once. It's too much for us 60-year-olds.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Little Creek Mesa, good job on this one. We did the West Mesa/Magic Carpet Ride 9.5 mile loop. First two miles were easy and last two were easy. In between challenging with the terrain and route finding. Gooseberry, if marked like this one, would be much more difficult. This trail features great views on the rim and great slickrock (with plenty of accessory gymnastics available). We did the 9.5 in three hours including a good look at some mesa top ruins. I'll not tell you where they are in case you are a marauder. Oh you're not if you are out here. OK, at about 8.7 mi. (when you hit the double track) go right instead of left. Some good stuff on your left in about 1/2 mile at the top. DO NOT DISTURB THESE RUINS! So about a 10 1/2 mile ride then. It was kind of cool cairn seeking and riding, but very difficult for the middle section of this ride. Overall, 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. The first turn off of the paved highway is 1/2 mile west of the Gooseberry turnoff, south instead of north. Gooseberry is still the quintessential.


Addendum, Sep. 2, 2011
Went back to L. C. M. and rode Magic Carpet to North Point and back. It's marked "easiest" by We didn't find it easier than the "easier" West Loop. Any way, that's not the point today. We met one of the trail builders (he and his bro' also did Gooseberry), Morgan. He showed us more old Indian stuff. It was neat stuff but I'm not telling. If you see "Trailbuilder" out here and he trusts you he may show you too. So it was like meeting the Pope without all of the gold. I'm trying to talk him into the "Grand Loop". 
Like it more coherent? Try "Epic Ride".
Oh yeah, one little beef with Utah Mountain Biking's description here: at mile 2.5 I'm sure that they mean "Fork L".

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gooseberry Mesa

Well now we are back in God's country, so there will be more than five exceptional trails. Can't help it. This one is near Hurricane, Ut. (make sure you locals pronounce it "cun"). Hung around Moab for many years and this SW quadrant of Utah is just as fantastic. does a very nice job in conjunction with the BLM's Gooseberry Mesa brochure, so there is no sense in me giving exacts.
Just a few things: Utah Mountain Biking is about .7 mi. short on the "Two miles later" for the "Getting there-South". It's about 2.7 mi. from the paved Highway 59 to the Gooseberry Mesa road. No biggie as of now-it's well marked until someone tears the sign down. Where they say "Now stay on the bigger road" it's the right-hand road immediately. The left road is just as big or bigger. This road I would recommend for 4WD. At any rate print out their stuff. They call some of the trails by different names than the BLM, but use them together. By the way, from the east on Highway 59 the road isn't marked. It's just past MM 8 to the right.
Us 60 year elders did (total 7 miles, 2 hours) Practice Loop, North Rim (and then we were pretty proud of ourselves, so) Yellow Trail and back on the two-track White Trail. The North Rim section is especially scenic and we saw some dinosaur tracks there. I was off of my bike (but not on my head) once in a while, but haven't ridden any slickrock in many moons. I've been stuck in "Agony" Oregon (make sure you pronounce Oregon "gun" as in I wanted to put one to my head) for some time. Almost crashed on the way back on the White Trail ball bearings due to overconfidence. Always pay attention on a mountain bicycle!
Great stuff and rivals anything in Moab or Fruita, Colorado. Awesome country! The well marked trails are wonderful, allowing a first-timer to participate. Novices and intermediate riders usually can take a moderate route around the markings, while experts should hug the white dots for thrills. This is a very unusual circumstance in planning and is a world-class set up.
I will be producing some hikes on this awesome mesa on my SW HIKES blog, as we don't do "extreme" biking. We will hike those and get back to you.
Inaccessible when wet!
Hope I can't get to Oregon from here.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

The Pictorial Essay on Utah Mountain Bike Trails

Pictured (top to bottom): 1. LONG'S CANYON TRAIL, Moab, Utah
3. Dinosaur print on KLONDIKE BLUFFS TRAIL, Moab, Utah
5. The Famed SLICKROCK TRAIL, Moab, Utah
6. "Washerwoman Arch" on the WHITE RIM TRAIL, Canyonlands Nat. Pk., Moab, Utah
7. Petroglyphs in 9 MILE CANYON, Wellington, Utah
8. "Behind the Rocks" area and La Sal Mts. at the start of PRITCHETT CANYON TRAIL, Moab, Utah

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more pictures here.
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Saturday, April 18, 2009

"Nine Mile Canyon" Overview

Nine Mile Canyon, Wellington, Utah: 1)Difficulty and mileage; The ride is easy, but starting from Hwy. 6/191 it's 50 miles each way. 2) Best web sites; on the state of Utah on the U.S.A. map-near the bottom of the next page click on "Nine Mile Canyon Backway"-next page has lots of good stuff on the left side bar. There is a small map. has good mile by mile descriptives at 3) Maps; There is a nice point-to-point map at "A Self Guided Tour Map of Nine Mile Canyon". Next click the link for 4) Jurisdiction; BLM

No it's not a nine mile canyon. That would be the name only. From near Wellington (on the main highway) you can go about 50 miles down the canyon road before hitting private property. This petroglyph heaven is most often described as an auto tour. That's bleep bleep. It's a great bike ride, maybe a nice 2 dayer. If you like Indian rock-art, don't miss it. I might recommend shuttling bicycles to Minnie Maude Creek, which is 21 miles from Route 6/191. Then you will be into the petroglyphs in about 3 1/2 miles. Also, the ride is then shortened to about 30 miles each way. That's still too much for one day (for me) , especially with all of the sights to see.
I haven't been there lately, but I hear there's a lot of drilling rigs.
This baby goes all the way to the Green River, a beauty in itself, but you can't get there without owners' permission.

Velvet Ridge, Torrey
Long Canyon, Moab

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