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Hurricane, Utah Mountain Bike Destination Guide & GPX Files - Washington County: Includes Saint George

Gooseberry Mesa Mountain Bike Trails

This National Recreation Trail is located on Gooseberry Mesa in southern Utah's red rock country. At an elevation of 5,200 feet, views from the mesa rims are spectacular. Rising to the north are the massive sandstone sentinels of Zion National Park. Spread out below the west rim is a panorama of colorful desert mesas and water carved canyons.

The Gooseberry Mesa National Recreation Trail is actually a system of trails sweeping across the mesa. Developed in the late 1990's through cooperative efforts, it received National Recreation Trail status in 2006.

Located on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Gooseberry Mesa NRT was developed in the late 1990's through cooperative efforts. In 2006, the trail received National Recreation Trail status. The Gooseberry Mesa NRT is designed for technical mountain biking. Singletrack and slickrock wind across the mesa top in a series of interconnected trails bisected by a dirt road. Due to the challenging terrain, this trail system is recommended for mountain bikers and hikers; it is not suitable for equestrians. All other trails are limited to non-motorized users.

South Rim Trail

Recommended Users: Mountain Bikers, Hikers

Type: Singletrack

Length: 5.9 miles

Difficulty: Extreme

Management Area: Gooseberry Mesa National Recreational Area

Sub-Area: Gooseberry Mesa

Managing Agency: BLM

Description: The South Rim Trail is demanding. From steep drop-offs, difficult climbs, sharp turns, and narrow ledges, this trail offers a lot of challenges for the experienced rider. Sections of this trail are known as "God's Skateboard Park," "Cattle Grate," and "Rattlesnake Rim," which all tell a little something about the conditions. We give it an Extreme rating for its exposure along the rim and the potential to get into serious trouble (or fun). There are a couple of bail-outs spots at 1.55 miles to the White Trail and again at 2.65 miles on a gravel road that leads back to the White Trail.

Hidden Canyon Trail

Recommended Users: Mountain Bikers, Hikers

Type: Singletrack

Length: 1.9 miles

Difficulty: Most Difficult

Management Area: Gooseberry Mesa National Recreation Trail

Sub-Area: Gooseberry Mesa

Managing Agency: BLM

Description: Hidden Canyon is aptly named. The trail is a mix of dirt and slick rock that winds though and around a maze of sandstone hills. In addition to narrow passages and slots, there are plenty of domes and bowls.

Bowls and Ledges Trail

Recommended Users: Mountain Bikers, Hikers

Type: Singletrack

Length: 1.1 miles

Difficulty: More Difficult

Management Area: Gooseberry Mesa National Recreation Trail

Sub-Area: Gooseberry Mesa

Managing Agency: BLM

Description: The name of the trail speaks to what you will find here: bowls and ledges. Use caution. Although this trail is rated More Difficult, more advanced skills are required in some sections.

Connector Trail

Recommended Users: Mountain Bikers, Hikers

Type: Singletrack

Length: 0.08 miles

Difficulty: Easiest

Management Area: Gooseberry Mesa National Recreation Trail

Sub-Area: Gooseberry Mesa

Managing Agency: BLM

Description: The Connector Trail is used as a bail-out route from the North Rim Trail. Conversely it offers quick access to the North Rim Trail from the White Trail.

Yellow Trail

Recommended Users: Mountain Bikers, Hikers

Type: Singletrack

Length: 0.54 miles

Difficulty: Most Difficult

Management Area: Gooseberry Mesa National Recreation Trail

Sub-Area: Gooseberry Mesa

Managing Agency: SITLA

Description: Although this trail is entirely on SITLA (School Institutional Trust Lands), it is listed here in order to describe all the Gooseberry Mesa trails in their entirety. The Yellow Trail was user created as a means to avoid the sandy sections of the White Trail. If you choose to use this trail, please respect private property and stay on the trail.

North Rim Trail

Recommended Users: Mountain Bikers, Hikers

Type: Singletrack

Length: 2.1 miles

Difficulty: More Difficult

Management Area: Gooseberry Mesa National Recreation Trail

Sub-Area: Gooseberry Mesa

Managing Agency: BLM

Description: A classic single track with a mix of dirt, rock, trees, and exposure. Like the Windmill Trail, the rim offers great views.

Practice Trail

Approved Trail Users: Mountain Bikers, Hikers

Type: Singletrack

Length: 1.3 miles

Difficulty: More Difficult

Management Area: Gooseberry Mesa National Recreation Area

Sub-Area: Gooseberry Mesa

Managing Agency: BLM

Description: The Practice Trail starts and ends on the White Trail and makes a nice 2.35 mile loop ride from the White Trailhead for beginning slick rock riders. Ride the Practice Trail for the sheer fun of it or to test your bike handling skills. Since Gooseberry offers a variety of technical riding, it is best to use this trail to gauge your riding ability and fitness if you are new to the experience.

White Trail

Recommended Users: Mountain Bikers, Hikers, OHVers

Type: Two-track/Singletrack

Length: 3.09 miles

Difficulty: Easiest

Management Area: Gooseberry Mesa National Recreational Trail

Sub-Area: Gooseberry Mesa

Managing Agency: BLM and SITLA

Description: This trail is an old 4x4 road that bisects the Gooseberry Mesa. It's has a few sandy patches, but nothing particularly deep.

Like the entire mesa, the White Trail gradually slopes up 2% to the west, making it easier and faster to ride back to the trailhead after riding the other trails. Many mountain bikers ride out to the west rim on single track and loop back to the trailhead using the White Trail. At 2.4 miles (just about at the intersection with the Yellow Trail), the White Trail becomes sandy, and narrow; OVHs are not allowed to continue beyond this point. Since this is a mixed user trail, all users should exercise caution and keep a sharp eye out for others.

NOTE: This trail is open to motorized users for only a portion of its length. Motorized users cannot reach the west rim and should not attempt to do so. Motorized users cannot use any other trails unless the trails are specifically designated "open" for motorized use.

Windmill Trail

Recommended Users: Mountain Bikers, Hikers

Type: Singletrack

Length: 1.5 miles

Difficulty: More Difficult

Management Area: Gooseberry Mesa National Recreational Trail

Sub-Area: Gooseberry Mesa

Managing Agency: BLM and Private

Description: The Windmill Trail follows the north rim of the mesa, hence its original moniker "Rim Job." It isn't a particularly difficult trail, but the exposure along the rim and some quick, tight turns means your full attention is required. The trail is multi-directional, but many riders travel west and connect to the Bowls and Ledges and the North Rim trails.

Contact Information:

Bureau of Land Management, St. George Field Office, 345 East Riverside Drive, St. George, Utah 84790, (435) 688-3200

Directions

From Interstate 15 Exit 16 head east on State Route 9 to Hurricane City. Turn right on Main Street. Take the first left onto State Route 59. Turn left on Smithsonian Butte National Backcountry Byway. At 2.8 miles, turn left and travel northwest 3.3 miles until reaching the Gooseberry Trailhead.

Turn left at the Gooseberry Trailhead and travel west for 1.3 miles to reach the White Trailhead, or continue straight, traveling northwest for 1.2 miles to reach the Windmill Trailhead.

Make Sure You

Come prepared. This is considered to be challenging mountain bike terrain. With obstacles, drop-offs, ledges and slick rock, riders should be well-versed in difficult to extreme mountain biking. Not to mention, the climate can be extreme as well –quickly changing weather can occur in this desert environment and riders should come with more than enough water to stay hydrated.

Stay Here

There are no designated campgrounds at the Gooseberry Mesa NRT. However, dispersed camping is allowed; please use sites where previous camping use is evident.

Nearby, Zion National Park beckons visitors to explore the park and enjoy the amenities of the Watchman Campground. Book ahead for this campground; its stunning views of the surrounding sandstone walls and cliffs are hard to resist!

Try This

Considered the "easiest" ride, the White Trail is just over three miles on an old jeep trail ultimately taking riders to "the point" of the Mesa Rim and connecting to various loops in the middle of the trail system. Consider this trail for the quick return portion of your ride back to the parking lot.

Don't Forget

Gooseberry Mesa is a fragile desert environment — please stick to the trails and ride only on signed and designated trails. When riding the slick rock, look for a reflective light-colored dot to help guide the way.

PDF Map

Map

Ratings

Ratings are based on the IMBA Trail Difficulty Rating System and categorize the technical challenge of the trail, not the physical exertion.

Easiest: Gravel or natural surface that is generally firm and stable. Trail grades average 5% or less with a maximum trail grade of 15%. May have unavoidable obstacles two inches tall or less and taller avoidable obstacles.

More Difficult: Mostly stable natural surface with some variability. Trail grades average 10% or less with a maximum trail grade of 15% or greater. Unavoidable obstacles eight inches tall or less and taller avoidable obstacles.

Most Difficult: Widely variable natural surface. Trail grades average 15% or less with a maximum trail grade of 15% or greater. Unavoidable obstacles fifteen inches tall or less and taller avoidable obstacles. Steep drop-offs, tight turns, low over- hangs, and other conditions may exist.

Extreme: Widely variable and unpredicable natural surface. Trail grades average 20% or more with a maximum trail grade of 15% or greater. Unavoidable obstacles fifteen inches tall or greater and taller avoidable obstacles. Steep drop-offs, tight turns, low over-hangs, and other conditions may exist.

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