Category Archives: Events

Sevier Plateau and beyond

I've really been looking forward to laying some tracks on segment 4 of the Dixie route.  I had planned to do it next weekend but it worked out best over Memorial weekend.  This area is rough, rugged, remote...unbelievable though is the quantity of rideable trail, something I honesty didn't expect to find.

It starts up Casto Canyon, ATV track giving way to singletrack, gently gaining elevation amonst killer views.

There's a hidden/unmarked trail veering N called the Hancock trail.  It ascends to well over 9k and is nearly all rideable!

Then it gets interesting...

There is no trail that I could see for the next ~1/2 mile. Riding an open ridge is the scenic way to go.

With some scouting about I found the trail that descends to West Hunt creek, yet more sweet trail.

New carsonite signs, let's hope this means the NFS has blowdown clearing trail maintenance on the books - cause there is plenty of that.

Up towards Adam's Head the route goes.

Most of the world comes into view at one point or another on the way up to the top of the Seviers. TU riders will recognize this landmark.

The area around Adam's head ain't easy. Damn hard actually and I'm still feeling the effects. There is some HAB, and some tree hopping involved. Truth be told, by the time I hit a jeep trail segment I was darn ready for it. At about 10,200' I finally got into some deep snow. Luckily it was early enough in the day it was still frozen - and rideable! No pugs required.

There was less than 2 miles of that before heading off the edge of the plateau down the Snowbank Trail (yes, appropriately named).

Segment 4 is difficult and remote. It stands as mapped. I will encourage any 311 riders to opt to stick to the Fremont trail (really nice ATV route with zero hike a bike) instead of bailing if this stage seems over the top at this stage of the game. If the NFS or me and some volunteers (ahem!) can get up there with chainsaws prior to the event it will be much more enjoyable.

The other piece I wanted to get a read on was the climb out of Circleville (hello Chad, this is for you). I mapped it to go right up the Piute ATV trail. Well, I've had a few close calls with motos out there so the thought of having riders push their bikes up a steep canyon while motos come ripping down didn't sit right, so I found another way. It's in the map below. It's still challenging, but all rideable. You may need to take rest stops though, it's a long ways to climb from Circleville to the Tushars...I'm trying to make that 5k' ascent as direct and rideable as possible.

More pics here in geotagged format

Trans Utah 2009 updates

Trans Utah 2009 event start time:  September 26, 4AM, in front of the Mormon Temple in downtown St George.  We'll ride a no-drop all-together pace on pavement across town (south) until we hit dirt.  The early start combined with the shortened desert section should have everyone reasonably high before the heat of the day sets in.

The route has gotten a facelift. It's not complete yet, but to help with your planning here is the part that is: Trans Utah: St George to Powell Point.  Compared to the 2008 route, the changes are:

- initial desert section shortened.  New singletrack added, Coyote spring still in.  This will help us get to higher elevations before the mid-day heat sets in.

- Goulds loop removed

- Brianhead loop, Marathon trail removed.  That climb sucked and was all private land until very close to BH.  We'll still go to Cedar City, but will come up Cedar Canyon (pavement) to Woods Ranch where we'll climb up a jeep trail to the beginning of the Virgin River Rim trail. 

- Added singletrack from Teha CG to Navajo Lake lodge.  A great trail segment and potential resupply.

- routed course to hit the junction of UT 14 and US 89.  Great little gas station there at Long's Junction.  Hot food, tables, friendly.  My bailout point in '08.  This traded in a few miles of jeep roads for pavement.

- reroute on the Grandview trail on the southern traverse of the Paunsaugunt:  we'll head N (up) Mill creek to join some jeep track and  hook back into the Grandview from the top of the plateau.  The trail conditions of the Grandview between these points are horrific, parts of it wiped out wholesale by mudslides - I suffered through it on the Paunsaugunt Enduro so you don't have to.

- reroute E of Tropic to include the Henderson Canyon singletrack.

These changes make the route significantly kinder in terms of resupply points.  The big picture:

Time-wise Long Valley to Tropic is the longest between points up to Powell point.  Plan on 2 more days from Tropic to Boulder and that should do it for planning purposes.

How could it be that I'm getting excited for this already?  So much for CTR fatigue...

Paunsaugunt Enduro: check!

We had a diverse group show for the first annual Paunsaugunt Enduro.  We had riders from California, Arizona, Utah, and Montana.  With routes of 44 to 96 miles, there was something for everyone.  I'm pretty sure everyone found what they were looking for.

Camp was a cozy affair, big shady pines and showers nearby.

It seemed a Lenz Sport bike was mandatory equipment for this one.

With CTR coming up in 2 weeks it seemed a good idea to do a long ride the day before the 96.  Not sure what I was thinking, but...I've always wanted to get to the top of Mt. Wilson near Thunder Mountain.  It just looks like it would have a good view from up there.

There's a rocket ship up there?

This lone bristlecone pine caught my eye.  Struggling.

Meanwhile, there were fires ablazing near Tropic res.  The 70 and 95 mile routes were routed right through those fires - last minute reroute required!  It was simple enough though.

This sign gets understatment of the year award.  OnlyDaveC knows what I'm talking about.

The initial section of the grandview that seemed so hard a month prior has had some trailwork and was much more rideable.  What I expected to be a 2-3 hour  hike a bike turned out to be pretty quick and a lot of techy fun.

It was a real pleasure to show some of my favorite terrain to others.

Riding rims with grins.

I chose to ride the long one.  I've seen all the route at one time or another, but to string it all together in a day - well I just wasn't sure it could be done.  The warnings about carrying bivvy gear were real.  After a water top-off at the Robinson Guzzler I plunged off the plateau into the no-mans land known as the southern traverse - this is also part of the Trans Utah route.  Midway down the descent is this sandy knoll with a view.

It is very challenging terrain.  Sand, steep, remote, dry, hotter than the plateau.  Full of wildlife!  I'd only been here once before and it was as good as I remembered. 

The route leaves the Grandview and heads up the Crawford pass trail.  Great riding to be had here, but you pay dearly for it...

I had to get it rolling from Crawford pass just to get to camp before dark...meanwhile one lone warrior got to experience some summer storms on the south end of the route, far from camp and a forced bivvy ensued. In camp we got a lot of hail.


So how tough is that southern traverse?  Scott got back to camp in about 7:20, while I got back to camp in about 13:20.  My route was only 25 miles longer.  6  hours longer for that 25 miles?  In my defense I did do some mandatory trail work out there, but wow. 

Riders got 5.5  to 26+ hours of being out there this year.  It turned out to be quite the demanding route, the 95 especially leaving an impression on me - primarily a need to modify the Trans Utah route to something a bit more friendly.  For a 1-2 day epic though, it was the bomb ;)

Next year?  I'm leaning strongly towards a June date.  Lynda already set my wheels spinning on a few new course ideas too...

Thanks for coming, it was our pleasure to ride with y'all.

Paunsaugunt Enduro: self supported endurance ride

Note:  the latest ride updates are on the Paunsaugunt Enduro page.

Wondering what to do mid July and wanting a ~65-100 mile MTB effort?  Look no further, this is the best thing going in Utah.  It's a heady route full of big views, sweeping, swooping singletrack that will challenge you.  'nuff said.

Back in February I wrote this post about an endurance event on the Paunsaugunt Plateau.

This will go as planned in the linked post with a slight date change.  The ride is Sunday, July 19th with a civilized 6AM start.

The Paunsaugunt Enduro is a self-supported endurance ride.  There is no support or entry fee.  It is a gathering of friends to ride rarely ridden killer trails and have some time for socializing in camp.  You can ride it as fast or as slow as you wish.  Some will wish to challenge themselves, while some will come to enjoy.  Some may even do both.

Rules are simple:  leave no trace, be courteous to all trail users, take care of yourself, follow self-support ITT guidelines.  It's purely an honor system - if you are attending you already know what that means.

**New**  ~40 mile option added. 

3 route options: 

40 miler - Thunder mountain, a little bit of the Grandview, then back to camp.  Distance approx, more details coming!

65 miler - 9,000' climbing.  Thunder mountain, Grandview trail along Sunset cliffs, mixed ATV track back to the start.  I'd guess 6-9 hours or so for this one.

95 miler - ~15,000' climbing.  The additional 30 miles here doubles the route difficulty (at least), sound familiar DaveC?  Same route as above with the addition of the Grandview along the southern end of the Paunsaugunt and more spectacular singletrack in the Crawford pass area just SW of Bryce NP.  Little known, remote, committing - and surprisingly buff in places (not so much in others...).  The full meal deal, this is an epic and will be a very long day and would also make a great 2 day route.  Feel free to start on Sat the 18th if you'd prefer the 2 day option and want some post-ride socializing on Sunday.

Please note that I won't likely have time to scout the entire route.  There is a 13 mile section of the Grandview (south of Red Canyon CG) that I have not yet ridden, and probably won't before the ride.  So come with a sense of adventure, we'll all be doing some exploring early in the ride.  This also means that the mileage, climbing, and duration estimates are just that - estimates. 

Date and routes are set.  Stay tuned for course descriptions, GPX files, and camp location.

Are you in?  Got questions?  Just leave a comment so I know what to expect.  I'll bring my BBQ grill again.

Endurance Racing comes to SW Utah

Two really, really cool new events have been announced for the St George area.

Ironman St George. That's right we are getting our very own M-Dot here in St George. The swim is in Sand Hollow Reservoir seen here in this pic taken standing on the course of the new 24 and 6 Hour mtb race Frog Hollow

Frog Hollow is scheduled for Halloween, you know when the clocks you get an extra hour to ride right around the midnight it is really a 25, but you know sometimes you end up riding past noon so that could have you out there for 26 hours - scary stuff on Halloween.

I went out to Frog Hollow with the promoter Cimarron Chacon and my bike, camera and gps too :-) for a mosey around the course.


The views in every direction are off the charts.

Gooseberry with Zion behind.

Pine Valley

More Gooseberry and Zion

Frog Hollow 25 makes its debut this year and IMStG is slated for 2010. StG is getting big time now. Maybe I'll have to crack out my IM gear. I did IMAZ in 2004 you know...