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  1. #1
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    What's dry and fun in Utah that isn't Moab or St. George?

    We're doing our usual spring break pilgrimage where we knock the dust off the bikes. Leaving from Montana in a week. We usually head to the desert, but I'm sick of Moab - there's only 3 trails there that I give a shit about riding, and I've ridden them a lot. And Moab (the town) is crowded and stupid. Same (kinda) goes for Fruita. Same (kinda) goes for St. George.

    So what's slightly off the beaten path that's worth driving to? Desert is great, but could go elsewhere if it's worth it.
    Criteria:
    -Average highs in the 60's or higher.
    -Within 15ish hours of Whitefish, Montana (so Arizona / Sedona is out).
    -Has rad trail (example: portal in Moab is a rad trail. Klondike north... significantly less rad.)
    -Rad trails are snow free and devoid of sticky clay that's going to destroy every moving part of my bike.
    -Minimal Chinese Rat Flu.

  2. #2
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    Copper City?
    Forum Cross Pollinator

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Copper City?
    Yeah, that's a good thought. Could hit that on the way to / from somewhere else. I haven't ridden there since they built a bunch of the newer stuff.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Copper City?
    Fails criterion #4.

  5. #5
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    I think most places are going to fail #4 if not most of those criteria the next little while.

    Maybe fly to Tucson, Phx or Socal? Desert and coastal riding is prime right now, temps are good. Sand and DG, not clay. Lots of rad trails. Flights are reportedly cheap right now. Flight with connections + packing/unpacking bike should be less than 15hrs each way.

  6. #6
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    What about the trails around Vegas/Boulder City (bootleg canyon, etc)? Never been but heading there w the fam in 3 weeks for biking, climbing etc. seems like a lot of options but no idea how rad things are.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by criscam View Post
    What about the trails around Vegas/Boulder City (bootleg canyon, etc)? Never been but heading there w the fam in 3 weeks for biking, climbing etc. seems like a lot of options but no idea how rad things are.


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    That was actually the original plan - couple days in St. George, then a couple days around Vegas. I've ridden bootleg a bunch - it's fun. Never ridden the other stuff around Vegas. Might still end up down that way if nothing else interesting pops up.

  8. #8
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    There are a ton of trails near st George that donít see very much traffic (usually 45 min outside of st George proper) - and to avoid crowds you could stay an hour north in cedar or an hour East in Kanab


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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 123ski View Post
    There are a ton of trails near st George that don’t see very much traffic (usually 45 min outside of st George proper) - and to avoid crowds you could stay an hour north in cedar or an hour East in Kanab


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    Think any of the cedar city stuff is dry? I've always skipped those trails this time of year because I assumed they were under snow, but I dunno.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Think any of the cedar city stuff is dry? I've always skipped those trails this time of year because I assumed they were under snow, but I dunno.
    They added a bunch of lower elevation trails this year. Hop on MTB Enthusiasts of Utah on Facebook. 99% of the time someone will know the trail conditions of any given trail


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    -Has rad trail (example: portal in Moab is a rad trail. Klondike north... significantly less rad.)
    Most of Klondike sucks, but I'll go out on a limb and say that up Mega Steps/down Baby Steps North is one of the top rides in Moab, mile-for-mile. The only way you could make it better is to make it longer and farther from the highway. Your larger point stands, though. There are no rad, new trails in Moab. Not ones that are legal (yet) anyway. You never know what Kyle and those guys are cooking up somewhere out there....

    The Swell has some cool riding. Nothing that compares to Portal, but super scenic and not crowded. Mostly moto/ATV stuff that is pretty technically challenging. It's all on Trailforks now. Main ones to check out would be the Green/Blue/Red/5MOH trail system (South of I-70) and Devils Racetrack (north side of I-70, do it as an out-n-back, there's a loop option that looks tempting but it's a long ass sand wallow). Here's video of 5MOH and Racetrack from springsproject:

    Have you ridden Grand Junction? I assume Lunch Loops, Ribbon, etc. are dry. The lower half of that new Palisade Plunge trail was also supposed to be completed this spring, though I'm not sure what the actual status is.

    Also, not exactly what you were asking for, but assuming you're going to drive down I-15 the Ogden bike park is dry, legit, and worth a stop.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    That was actually the original plan - couple days in St. George, then a couple days around Vegas. I've ridden bootleg a bunch - it's fun. Never ridden the other stuff around Vegas. Might still end up down that way if nothing else interesting pops up.
    Sorry to hijack, but if you were getting a bike that you'd ride mostly at Bootleg, what type of bike would you get? I'm moving to Boulder City in a few months, so Bootleg will be my home trail system, though I hear that the rest of the riding in the LV area is much more XC-oriented, so I wouldn't want to get something that pedaled terribly. I've only ridden Bootleg once for a few hours when I was out for the interview, so I didn't get to really a perfect feel for it.

  13. #13
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    Ride in Virgin much?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 123ski View Post
    They added a bunch of lower elevation trails this year. Hop on MTB Enthusiasts of Utah on Facebook. 99% of the time someone will know the trail conditions of any given trail
    Cool, good info. I'll check in there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    Most of Klondike sucks, but I'll go out on a limb and say that up Mega Steps/down Baby Steps North is one of the top rides in Moab, mile-for-mile. The only way you could make it better is to make it longer and farther from the highway. Your larger point stands, though. There are no rad, new trails in Moab. Not ones that are legal (yet) anyway. You never know what Kyle and those guys are cooking up somewhere out there....
    This is true, and I am definitely overstating my dislike of Klondike. There's actually plenty of fun trail in there - I'm just looking for something new (to me), preferably on the techy end of the spectrum. And if I did end up in Moab, I'd probably end up riding with Kyle and company on some of the pseudo secret stuff. But mostly I've just been to Moab a lot, and I'm kind of over the whole "fight to find a shitty camping spot and then mostly ride Porcupine, Jackson, and Portal over and over" thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    The Swell has some cool riding. Nothing that compares to Portal, but super scenic and not crowded. Mostly moto/ATV stuff that is pretty technically challenging. It's all on Trailforks now. Main ones to check out would be the Green/Blue/Red/5MOH trail system (South of I-70) and Devils Racetrack (north side of I-70, do it as an out-n-back, there's a loop option that looks tempting but it's a long ass sand wallow). Here's video of 5MOH and Racetrack from springsproject:
    Nice. I've puttered around in that area a little bit on a moto, many years ago. I'd always ignored it for biking just because it seemed really sandy. But sounds like it's reasonably rideable, albeit with some pushing through sand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    Have you ridden Grand Junction? I assume Lunch Loops, Ribbon, etc. are dry. The lower half of that new Palisade Plunge trail was also supposed to be completed this spring, though I'm not sure what the actual status is.

    Also, not exactly what you were asking for, but assuming you're going to drive down I-15 the Ogden bike park is dry, legit, and worth a stop.
    Yeah, ridden GJ / Fruita a lot. It's great, just kinda same deal as Moab - hoping to find something I haven't ridden a million times. We tried riding Palisade Rim around this time last year - seems like the plunge will be a rad trail, but it was heinously muddy when we were there. Sounds good on Ogden - could be a good opportunity to stretch the legs / break up the drive. Thanks for the head up on that.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    Sorry to hijack, but if you were getting a bike that you'd ride mostly at Bootleg, what type of bike would you get? I'm moving to Boulder City in a few months, so Bootleg will be my home trail system, though I hear that the rest of the riding in the LV area is much more XC-oriented, so I wouldn't want to get something that pedaled terribly. I've only ridden Bootleg once for a few hours when I was out for the interview, so I didn't get to really a perfect feel for it.
    Bootleg is kind of funny - 1/2 the trails are relatively mellow, rolly XC stuff with short rocky sections. The other half are legitimately gnarly and worthy of a legit DH bike. There's also some fun jump lines scattered around in there. Ultimately, if I lived in that area and was going to own 1 bike, it'd probably be some sort of 140-150-ish travel "aggressive trail" bike. But I also tend to be biased towards longer travel bikes, so I'm sure some people would disagree with me.

  16. #16
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    It’s hard For me to say if the Vegas trails are road trip worthy but they are pretty fun and have a lot of variety. Cowboy trails are chunk and tech, a lot of trails there are fast and smooth desert riding, but every year I go there In the spring and there are new fun trails each time. There are some really fun shuttle trails up mt Charleston and they have connected most all the trail systems out by red rock/blue diamond/late nite for some really cool longer ride options. I’ve never ridden bootleg since my brother lives in nw Vegas and its so damn far from there. Added bonus is Vegas is gonna get wrecked by this virus affecting travel should be some cheap deals out there.

    I’ve also had fun riding around cedar city, ut. But I’m not sure if those trails would be dried out by then.
    ...tricks deserve applause, style deserves respect

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Bootleg is kind of funny - 1/2 the trails are relatively mellow, rolly XC stuff with short rocky sections. The other half are legitimately gnarly and worthy of a legit DH bike. There's also some fun jump lines scattered around in there. Ultimately, if I lived in that area and was going to own 1 bike, it'd probably be some sort of 140-150-ish travel "aggressive trail" bike. But I also tend to be biased towards longer travel bikes, so I'm sure some people would disagree with me.
    OK, that seems to be basically what I was thinking. I really should just keep my V1 Bronson, ride it a bit, and see what I want my next bike to do better. But it was a stressful job search and I told myself I could get a new bike that fit my new home as a reward when I was done. ha

    Right now my short list is:
    Ripmo AF - Seems capable without being dull on less extreme stuff. Very good value.
    Deviate Highlander - a bit less travel than the Ripmo, but HSP. Supposedly pedals very well. Seems badass, but more expensive.
    Propain Tyee - Supposedly pedals really exceptionally well for a 160 bike (though gives up a bit of suppleness to do it). Really well priced (assuming prices stay similar when they start selling in the US soon)
    Raww Madonna - Badass and capable, but probably a bit more bike than I need most days. More expensive than the Ripmo/Tyee, but pretty good spec for the price.

    When I was there I rode up from town, cut across the bike path so I could climb up and cut across one of the Middle/Lower Lake View to the trailhead pavilion, went up Girl Scout, did Inner Caldera, came down Girl Scout, went across Upper Lake View but then turned onto Reaper and rode the bottom of that, having only one "oh shit" moment when what one of the rolling hills ended in more of a send than a roll at the speed the trail encouraged. That sort of moment is why I would prefer not to go too short on suspension. I then got lost in the Par None/Desert Cruise/POW section trying to make my descent back to the rental shop slightly longer and more enjoyable. It was a good ride, but as it was all new to me (I'd never ridden desert terrain before at all), that I didn't form concrete thoughts on bikes.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    The Swell has some cool riding. Nothing that compares to Portal, but super scenic and not crowded. Mostly moto/ATV stuff that is pretty technically challenging. It's all on Trailforks now. Main ones to check out would be the Green/Blue/Red/5MOH trail system (South of I-70) and Devils Racetrack (north side of I-70, do it as an out-n-back, there's a loop option that looks tempting but it's a long ass sand wallow). Here's video of 5MOH and Racetrack from springsproject:
    Not saying don't check this out but fair warning this definitely falls into the "adventure" riding category. I've ridden a lot of this on moto. It wouldn't be something most people would be too into pedaling.

    Sounds like you're pretty over the riding down here. How about the NorCal foothills? This storm that's about to hit there might cause some issues but I think they are having a pretty dry year. Maybe stuff around Downieville is dry. You could hit some Oregon stops along the way.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfinn View Post
    Not saying don't check this out but fair warning this definitely falls into the "adventure" riding category. I've ridden a lot of this on moto. It wouldn't be something most people would be too into pedaling.

    Sounds like you're pretty over the riding down here. How about the NorCal foothills? This storm that's about to hit there might cause some issues but I think they are having a pretty dry year. Maybe stuff around Downieville is dry. You could hit some Oregon stops along the way.
    Good to know re: 5MOH area.

    I'd really like to get over to the norcal stuff, but I think it's just a bit farther than we feel like dealing with and it seems like the good stuff is probably still under snow. I'm definitely keeping an eye on Oregon weather though. I'd be psyched to get back to Black Rock - haven't ridden there in a long time. And I've never ridden some of the Oregon classics like N. Umpqua.

  20. #20
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    The weather in Bellingham looks pleasant as well, at least this week. That might not meet #5 for you but I'm pretty sure that's going to be a non issue soon, it will be everywhere.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mar123 View Post
    Ride in Virgin much?
    Does this really need to be said? Pretty sure when somebody says St. George they mean SG et al (Hurricane, Grafton, Virgin).

  22. #22
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    Stokesville and Brevard. Fails #2, hits the rest. Best time of the year to ride IMO. Trails are fast and clear. Stokesville hits #5 probably better than anywhere, Brevard a little less so. Doubling your drive sucks and flying definitely violates #5, so I know Iím farting into the wind, but gotta promote the goods every once in a while.
    Remind me. We'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagtagley View Post
    Stokesville and Brevard. Fails #2, hits the rest. Best time of the year to ride IMO. Trails are fast and clear. Stokesville hits #5 probably better than anywhere, Brevard a little less so. Doubling your drive sucks and flying definitely violates #5, so I know Iím farting into the wind, but gotta promote the goods every once in a while.
    Ha! Yeah, rode there 2 years ago. Would love to get back. Maybe if my spring break gets extended indefinitely - seems like that's the trend these days. We'll ignore the fact that I'm not in college and my work isn't shutting down.

  24. #24
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    So, I am looking for something specific, an area that has warmer temps, and the most beginner/intermediate riding where I can easily camp with a trailer. I have no idea what my new knee can handle, but I don’t think it’s much. 18 road is obvious, but I’m afraid that will be an absolute shit show with so many other spring breaks cancelled (yes, I would be one of them).
    Blue Diamond?
    Park city (a little cold, and hard to camp)
    Draper? (Hard to camp)
    Boise?
    Others I can’t think of?
    Forum Cross Pollinator

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    So, I am looking for something specific, an area that has warmer temps, and the most beginner/intermediate riding where I can easily camp with a trailer. I have no idea what my new knee can handle, but I donít think itís much. 18 road is obvious, but Iím afraid that will be an absolute shit show with so many other spring breaks cancelled (yes, I would be one of them).
    Blue Diamond?
    Park city (a little cold, and hard to camp)
    Draper? (Hard to camp)
    Boise?
    Others I canít think of?
    St George has the jem trails and bearclaw poppy. Camping around gooseberry is easy-ish. And if the knee is ok with it, gooseberry and guacamole might be manageable.

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