Everything Dixie from 2-epic...
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.
One of the best things about the Dixie's is the people it attracts. A small, talented group toed the start. Everyone's kit looked tight and pro. It's amazing how far bikepacking has come in a few short years.
Left to right: Eszter, Ken, Sara, Taylor, Aaron.
Since I had to be back in St George Sat evening I chose different ride for the day - one that put me on top of Powell Point when the leaders arrived.
Aaron was first up:
Followed shortly by Eszter.
They were carrying spots - with bluedot I knew when they'd be up there, and who was coming next. It appeared nobody - so I rode the route to Tropic with Ez. What a blast! Super fun 2 hour descent, it throws a little of everything at you.
Ken and Sara on the way up Powell Point looking snappy (they don't have a spot):
Ez on the Henderson Canyon descent
Looking the other direction on the trail...I finally discovered my droid was set on blue tint, doh!
Aaron about ready to roll south of Tropic
They are in the thick of the hardest part of the route. Very remote and the southern exposure can make it feel warmer than it actually is. It is gorgeous down there tho! We'll see what the day brings, but I don't think we'll see any finishers before dark.
Follow the race progress at http://trackleaders.com/dixie200
I've been getting quite a few inquiries about how the big snowpack might affect the Dixie 200 this year.
Short answer: it will go regardless of snow conditions. If there is significant snow remaining the week prior I will re-route to dryer ground.
Long answer: the Paunsaugunt is snow-free. The real problem area is from the Spruce trail to Navajo, a roughly 30 mile segment. The Virgin River Rim trail is melting out nicely and I think it will be fine.
The Midway Valley SNOTEL site is very close to the route. The snowpack right now up there is the highest on record for this date.
I've added a snow model layer to the maps. It's a bit of a kluge but you get the idea...the maps on BlueDot are a lot nicer ;) Keep in mind this is a model, not actual...and I'll tweak the course in the final week based on conditions on the ground.
The course additions I was thinking of earlier? Those are still in the deep purple areas, 100+ inches still there in June!
Click the image to go to the live map. Check out the new route file with waypoints on the Dixie 200 page.
This snow has everyone scrambling! The next one to be scrambling in the area is the Crusher ;)
Camp motto is SELF SUPPORTED. Come ready to be independent and self sufficient in every aspect. Everyone is invited provided you come self supported; have your gps with the route (we provide) loaded, ride at your own pace, shortcut/bail when you have reached your fun threshold. Fitness and ability level are non-issues, you set your own pace, make your own decisions, fix your own flats, bring your own food/fluids. Know your limits and when to choose a short cut home. Bring lotsa mojo :-)
Camp Lynda is a training mission. A three day training binge. It is a training camp about fitness on the bike and not so much a guided tour of the sweetest single-track StG has to offer. Rides will be in the 4-7 hour range per day.
Day 1 Fri Jan 28th
Ride starts at 9:30am in the Starbucks parking lot 1091 N Bluff St, St George.
Dinner is at 6:00pm at Bajio 1091 N Bluff St # 103, St George, UT. Friends, family and non-campers are welcome at dinner. Do pre-warn them that bikes are the only dinner conversation topic...
Day 2 Sat Jan 29th
There is NO group start time for Saturday!!! We do NOT have a start time for this ride today. The goal is to spread riders out by avoiding a mass start. Suggested start time is in the 9 - 10 am time frame but you are welcome to start earlier or later than that. Ride will start in the Albertsons (they have a Starbucks inside ;-) parking lot 745 North Dixie Drive, St. George, UT.
Dinner is at 5:30pm at Golden Corral 42 S River Rd # 10, St George, UT. We have a group seating area reserved under Lynda Wallenfels/Camp Lynda. Friends, family and non-campers are welcome at dinner. Do pre-warn them that bikes are the only dinner conversation topic...
Day 3 Sun Jan 30th
Ride starts at 9:30 am in the Albertsons parking lot 745 North Dixie Drive, St. George, UT
No dinner plans.
Download the GPS files HERE. This download includes the NEW Day 2 route. If you downloaded the routes before noon on Jan 26th you have the OLD route. Please update your files. They are provided as 500 point tracks so will fit on most GPS units with no editing. We recommend using Topofusion to put the routes on your GPS unit. Here is a link to the Topofusion tutorial on uploading tracks to GPS units http://topofusion.com/tutorials/uploading-tracks.php If you need more help, contact support at Topofusion or ask below.
A visual map for each day for web browsers is here and for smartphones is on http://bluedot.mobi/ On a smart phone this map is interactive and you can use it on the trail. This is a new web app Dave is making. It is in alpha-testing mode so you can't rely on it as your sole source of navigation for camp. It is really super cool tho!! Check the help section on bluedot.mobi for features. It will work as a map/gps without a data connection, ie, in the bush! This is also a mobile Spot tracker. During camp it will be tracking me (Lynda), Carey Lowery and Jeff Kerkove. Anyone with a Spot unit and a Spot tracking service plan can be added. You don't need a smartphone to be tracked. Send us your public spot page link if you want to be a player. Your friends and family will be able to see where you are on their phone or on the web.
Daily Route Details
There are no resupply points for food or water Day 1 and Day 2. Start the ride with everything you need for the day. On Day 3 we pass Bloomington Park at mile 6.9 and 66 which has bathrooms and a water fountain but no food available.
Day 1 Full route is 38 miles.
The route is an out and back. Turn back at anytime you like. The end point is at mile 19. Completing the entire out and back route is about 38 miles.
Day 2 Full route is 46.4 miles.
Day 2 route has been changed. The new file is now available for download HERE. If you downloaded the Day 2 file before noon on Jan 26th you have the OLD route.
There are multiple loops on this route. Each loop can be skipped as a short cut. All loops are ridden counter clockwise except for the first one, Barrel Roll which is ridden clockwise. The loops are ridden in this order and direction: Barrel Roll/clockwise, Rim Rock/counter clockwise, then up Cove Wash, down Stucki, up Three Fingers, down the road to the race course start, Green Valley Race course Barrel Cacti/counter clockwise, Zen/counter clockwise. If you mix up the order and direction that is ok!! All loops are fun both directions and you don't add any extra mileage.
Day 3 Full route is 75.8 miles. This is the queen stage!
It is a long dirt road loop with minimal single track. The short cut option is to ride to Starvation Point at mile 19 then retrace your tracks back home again for a 38 mile day. You have 8.5 hours of daylight from our 9:30am start time to sunset. Bring lights if you think you may need them or get an earlier start than the main group.
At mile 61 you turn right off the paved highway and lift your bike over a fence. There is no gate. It doesn't look right but it is. There are some private no access signs which are for the land behind the signs but the signs are crooked so it can be confusing. The route stays in front of the signs.
Mile 6.6 to 7.9 overlaps with mile 64.5 to 66.2 as we ride through Bloomington. To stay on course on the way out at mile 7.9 turn right on Pioneer Rd. On the way back at mile 66.2 turn left at Bloomington circle. We pass Bloomington Park at mile 6.9 and 66 which has bathrooms and a water fountain.
The big climb of the day is Joe Blake Hill. The view from the top is worth stopping a few moments for.
Weather forecast is partly cloudy to sunny with temps 36 - 61F.
Goatheads are EVERYWHERE here. You will not survive an hour at Camp unless you have tubeless tires filled with fresh Stans sealant or slime tubes. Carry 2 tubes with you too! Be warned, they are everywhere… Stans disappears so crack open your tires and pour some fresh stuff in there before Camp.
Best hotel locations? Anything on St George Blvd or Bluff St is good.
What else? Post questions here.