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Monday, September 5, 2011

Mountain Biking, Red Canyon, Utah

One of my favorite mountain biking destinations that I have been to is Red Canyon, in southern Utah. This place has great scenery and nice trails. The scenery is a lot like Bryce Canyon but they let you ride a mountain bike through it.

Here is a little video of my brother in law, nephew, and me at some places along the Thunder Mountain trail.

It has around 34 miles of single track and there are some jeep trail opportunities near by that are not in the park. There is also a paved bike trail along the highway that makes for safe transit to trail heads.

The trails are very well maintained and go through a wonderland of red rock formations. The Thunder Mountain trail alone is worth the trip.

One of the best things about Red Canyon is the campgrounds with hot showers. It is pretty sweet to be able to ride right out of camp to fantastic trails and then end back at you camp and get a nice shower. This is a must do if you love mountain biking and are in southern Utah in the summer.

Here are the trails.
Losee Canyon Trail: This 2.9 mile moderate trail begins at the bottom of Losee Canyon off Castro Canyon Road. This trail heads east and connects with the middle section of the Cassidy trail.
Cassidy Trail: This 8.9 mile strenuous trail is named for the infamous Butch Cassidy, who used sections of the trail. This is an out and back. so if you go out and back it's almost 18 miles.
Thunder Mountain Trail: This is a 7.8 mile moderate to strenuous trail. The red rocks on the lower section of the trail are outstanding. This can be a strenuous out and back totaling 15.5 miles. Or you can do a loop by riding up the highway to the top of the mountain and then down Thunder Mountain Trail. This loop is around 15 to 16 miles but is much easier. And I think you gain at least 1000 ft elevation if not more. The decent on Thunder Mountain is real "Big" fun!
Casto Canyon Trail: This 5.5 mile trail offers spectacular scenery. And runs east from Castro Canyon Road and links up with the upper northern end of Cassidy trail
You could also do some epic loops by linking Cassidy and Castro Canyon or Losee Canyon.
There are also ATV trails off Tom Best Road and some others.

The elevations in this area are between 7000 and 8500. So this is a summer destination
Red Canyon Camping
The Red Canyon Campground is shaded by ponderosa pines, junipers and Douglas firs. The 35 site campground usually closes the first day of October and opens again May first. The charge for camping is $11 per day. There are tables, grills, group sites, flush toilets, showers and a few RV pull throughs.
Directions to Red CanyonFrom Salt Lake City travel south on Interstate 15 past Beaver to UT 20. Exit on UT 20. Turn south on UT 89 and travel past Panguitch. Follow UT 89 to UT 12. Travel along UT 12 to Red Canyon.
From Las Vegas: Travel Interstate 15 past St. George to Exit 16. Drive through Hurricane, Utah. Follow Hwy 9 through Hurricane and to the only stop light in LaVerkin. Turn right at the stop light. Continue on Hwy 9 to the south entrance of Zion Park. Drive through Zion to the junction of UT 9 and UT 89 at Mt. Carmel Jct. Turn north on UT 89, then exit on UT 12. Follow UT 12 to Red Canyon.
Red canyon is just a bit west of Bryce Canyon on UT 12.
Here is a link to a trail map Of Red Canyon

1 comment:

  1. you rock man... thanks for the post... we are heading there tomorrow....