Virgin River Rim Trail For Mountain Biking
The 15th most popular mountain bike trail in Utah.
Friday 6 April 2018 03:13 GMT
Southeast of Cedar City in the Dixie National Forest, the 28 mile Virgin River Rim Trail is a narrow ridgeline mountain bike singletrack along the Pink Cliffs through lush alpine forest. This full-day adventure requires a car shuttle and takes about 8-10 hours with an elevation change of 3,800 feet between 8,200 feet up to 9,764 feet. While this trail had been quite popular in the past, the infestation of the pine beetles has sadly killed many of the ponderosa pine trees resulting in substantial deadfall across the trail. In many sections, the trail is either impassible or has narrowed down to under 10 inches wide.
The Virgin River Rim Trail is usually ridden east to west from Strawberry Point to Woods Ranch along the rim above the river that is forested by ponderosa pine and aspen. The upper eastern trailhead is at Strawberry Point, which is 36 miles from Cedar City. The lower western trailhead is at Woods Ranch, which is about 12 miles from Cedar City.
Since it is such a big one-day ride, most mountain bikers typically attempt one of the three sections. The upper section is from the Strawberry Point trailhead westbound to the Cascade Falls trailhead (10 miles). The middle section is from Cascade Falls trailhead westbound to the Te-Ah Campground at Navajo Lake (9 miles). The lower and least popular section is from Te-Ah Campground at Navajo Lake westbound to the Woods Ranch trailhead (12 miles). While most sections are ridden with a car shuttle as point-to-point, the middle section can be made into a loop using part of the Navajo Lake trail and forest roads.
The trailhead are all located to the southeast of Cedar City off SR14 within the Dixie National Forest. From US15, use Exit #59 and head east on SR56 into Cedar City and then turn right on SR130 for a block to SR14. Turn left heading east on SR14 up into the forest.
To reach the Wood Ranch trailhead from Cedar City, head east on SR14 for 11.5 miles. The trailhead is on the right.
To reach the Te-Ah Campground at Navajo Lake from Cedar City, head east on SR14 for 25.3 miles. Turn right on Navajo Lake Road for 5.7 miles to the trailhead.
To reach the Cascade Falls trailhead from Cedar City, head east on SR14 for 25.3 miles. Turn right on Navajo Lake Road for 0.3 miles and turn left on FS54 for 1.1 miles to the trailhead.
To reach the Strawberry Point trailhead from Cedar CIty, head east on SR14 for 32.6 miles. Turn right on Strawberry Point Road for 8.6 miles to the trail crossing and then another 0.2 miles to the parking area.
Note: In June 2016, the trail to the east of Navajo Lake appeared to have little maintenance and tons of deadfall. It was impassible in many places.
Overall, Virgin River Rim Trail is the 15th most popular mountain bike trail of all 73 mountain biking rides in Utah. Several of the better mountain bike trails are nearby Virgin River Rim Trail including Bunker Creek Trail, Birch Spring Knoll and Dark Hollow Trail.