Dixie 200 starts on June 23rd so DH and I spent last weekend pedaling around checking out different parts of the course to confirm water sources and trail conditions. We started off with a quick jaunt on the Markagunt plateau to check the Sydney Peaks trail and Dark Hollow. Awesome trail conditions, zero snow and only a few trees to navigate over.
The rest of the weekend was spent roaming around on the southern end of the Paunsaugunt plateau. It has been a while since I have pedaled around up there and I was awestruck and wowed multiple times - so beautiful. By desert standards there was water everywhere so the course checks out nicely. OK maybe not RIGHT on the course but most are short easy detours off course. If you plan carefully you won't be thirsty in Dixie 200.
Here are a random batch of pics of the Paunsaugunt to feed stoke for Dixie 200 racers:
First stop was Robinson Guzzler. I'd call this desperation water. Even filtered I would guess it will taste skanky - I didn't try it. This one is 350 yards off course.
Next stop Robinson Canyon trailhead. There are great maps at most of the trailheads and clear signage on most of the Paunsaugunt plateau. It is an easy place to navigate.
The dust on the ground at Robinson Canyon trailhead is littered with these Paunsaugunt paw prints.
On top of the Paunsaugunt sunset cliffs looking at the Markagunt plateau. For Dixie 200 racers this is looking back over the 90 miles ridden.
More sunset cliffs.
Straight Canyon trailhead. The Dixie 200 comes through here.
Looking down on Grandview trail from Straight Canyon trailhead. Dixie 200 comes up this trail.
Tasty flowing water in Swapp Canyon 1.4 miles off course (from Straight Canyon trailhead take upper Straight canyon to Swapp Canyon).
Rubbly decent on Paunsaugunt trail 003 to Mill Creek Canyon has beauty views for miles to the east.
More tasty looking water in Mill Creek Canyon. At Mill Creek canyon turn left (north-west) on the single-track for 0.4 miles off course.
Crawford pass trail takes you under those awesome pink cliffs. There has been a Herculean amount of chainsawing done on this trail since last year. Some parts are a dead-fall cut-out corridor. Not a single tree was left blocking the trail - nice.
Tropic spring is cold and tasty. Worth a visit being less than 0.3 miles off course. It is at the south end of Tropic Reservoir on FR087 (the main road).
It even has a spigot (look around the back of the rock)
All this cruising around the Paunsaugunt has made me want to pack up my bags and ride the Dixie 200 now :-o It is such an awesome route.