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The view from the top of the mesa on the Driver Trail, Price Utah.

The view from the top of the mesa on the Driver Trail, Price Utah.

On day seven of the Second Annual Ultimate Spring Break Singletrack Adventure, we had to bid adieu to St. George, which may well be my all-time favorite mountain biking destination.  However, that doesn’t mean we were abandoning killer singletrack.  I had heard stories of trails around Price, Utah, which would only be about an hour off our I-70 route home, so we built Price into our itinerary.  For some time, I had wanted to ride a trail system known as Luke’s, but had just never made it, so this was my chance.  I found it surprising that Luke’s wasn’t in the Singletracks database yet, so, again, I decided it was high time to remedy that.  Hopefully, it would prove worthy of the stop.

Price-2-2

This little cairn was the only indicator of where the singletrack began. We missed it… twice.

However,  Luke’s would wait until day 8; for day seven, we’d planned a somewhat shorter and much newer stop at the Driver Trails.  Driver was also not in the Singletracks database… or any other list source so far as I could find.  I stumbled upon it during a Google search which yielded this video.  Besides being one of the coolest homemade videos I’d ever seen, due largely to the fact that most of it was filmed from a drone, the trail looked swell as well, so we inserted it into the itinerary.

After the four-hour drive from St. George, we stopped in at Price’s bike shop, Bicyclewerks, and the proprietor, Fuzzy, hooked us up with a free map and great advice, and we were off to the trail.  On the way to the trail, we learned why it is called “Driver”: the access road runs by a golf course, preceded by the most interesting driving range I’ve ever seen. Interesting, because the range was tucked into a canyon on the edge of the mesa, and on a considerable upslope.  Now I’m not really a golfer, but I’m guessing if you can knock one 200 yards here, that’d really be something.

The author enjoying a leisurely cruise on the Driver Trail.

The author enjoying a leisurely cruise on the Driver Trail.

After finding our parking area, we proceeded up what what was left of the dirt road, which deteriorated into jeep road, and on to the singletrack—which we promptly missed. After cresting the top of the mesa we realized we’d missed the singletrack, and it actually took us a couple extra runs up and down the jeep road before we found the barely-marked entrance to the singletrack.  Once on the singletrack, the fun factor increased exponentially, and we settled into a nice bob-and-weave flow through the junipers with fantastic views of the surrounding mesas, valleys and distant mountain ranges on all sides. Once on the mesa top, there’s not much elevation change, so the ride didn’t seem to be very taxing… for a while…

Mesas, Valleys and Mountains highlight the Driver Loop.

Mesas, Valleys and Mountains highlight the Driver Loop.

Before long, though, the fun factor would take a slight downturn.  This is very new trail and hadn’t seen much traffic.  The native soils don’t really like to compact, so we found ourselves working a little harder just to maintain momentum, and sharp corners became a little problematic.  The trail was still fun, and had a real Phil’s World kind of vibe (but with better scenery), and it remained amusing, despite the additional difficulty.

The further we got from the trailhead, the looser, and tougher, it got.  Along the way, there are a few bailouts which will deliver the rider to the aforementioned jeep road which completes the loop.  But we were in for the full meal deal, and we pressed on.  In the end, our planned 8 miles of easy tread turned into a little over 10 miles of much more challenging tread.

Back at the shop, Fuzzy told us he has big plans for this trail.  A possible negotiation with the local railroad concern could open up many more miles of terrain, including a trestle crossing!  There is much potential here and I look forward to returning if it ever sees fruition.  Once packed down, even the basic route will be superb.

Physical difficulty of our route: 3/5
Technical difficulty of our route: 2.5/5
Skibum’s grade: 3/5 stars
Miniskibum’s grade: 3/5 stars

This modest trailhead gives little indication of the fun to be had ahead.

This modest trailhead gives little indication of the fun to be had ahead.

For day 8, it was off to Luke’s Trail (which is actually a collection of over a dozen individually named trails comprising over 20 miles of high quality, varied singletrack), but not before a stop at Bicyclewerks.  When we stopped in on day seven, I had spotted a sweet looking Santa Cruz Bronson demo bike, that just happened to be Miniskibum’s size, so we reserved it for the day.  This wasn’t the $10K top-of-the-line carbon version, but rather the aluminum version with the entry level parts kit, but still a darn sight more impressive than the beat up old 36lb boat anchor Miniskibum had been soldiering on.  Again, with some high-quality advice from Fuzzy, we headed out to the trailhead and began with high expectations.

The author enjoys one of the alternate lines on Luke’s Trail.

The author enjoys one of the alternate lines on Luke’s Trail.

The one trail segment actually called “Luke’s Trail” is the anchor of the Luke’s Trail system and provided our starting point.  This is perfect warmup singletrack—not too tough, but entertaining enough to hold your attention.

Our next segment was called “Alan’s Alley.”  About the time we started thinking we might have missed the turn, we came upon a fork. In the “V” of the fork was… na bowling ball!  Well, we knew right away this was our turn.  Alan’s Alley was much like Luke’s, but with the intensity turned up one notch.

On most of these trails, where the singletrack is less challenging, trailside rocks have been assembled into rollers and stunts to keep the hardcore more entertained.  It’s definitely a nice touch.  After rejoining Luke’s, we wandered onto “Bonus Loop,” which was worth doing, but certainly not essential.

Allen’s Alley has one of the more creative markers I’ve seen.

Allen’s Alley has one of the more creative markers I’ve seen.

IMBAtween” proved to be a fun connector segment over to Mead’s Rim, where things got turned up another notch.  Meads joined “Floating Rocks,” which upped the ante yet again with some challenging technical climbs. We then joined “Lollipop,” which took us to the north edge of the mesa before dumping us onto the very coolly-named “Shamock and Roll,” which gave us some steep, tight descending before dumping us on the area’s downhill trail, “Yoo Hoo.”  Yoo Hoo started off as tons ‘o’ fun, with some truly impressive rollers and huck opportunities.  However, once it bottoms out, it’s another mile of slogging through a brutally sandy wash with no real line before exiting.  Nonetheless, it was definitely worth a run.

Miniskibum nails one of the alternate lines on IMBAtween.

Miniskibum nails one of the alternate lines on IMBAtween.

After exiting Yoo Hoo, we made our way across IMBAtween once more, describing a large figure 8, before hooking up with the riotously fun “Smo Joes,” “Mead’s Rim,” “Wyatt’s Way,” and “Knott Pete’s Rim” to finish an insanely-fun 18 miles of outstanding singletrack quality and variety.

Taking advantage of a "huckortunity" on Shamrock and Roll

Taking advantage of a “huckortunity” on Shamrock and Roll

During the course of the ride, Miniskibum absolutely fell in love with the Bronson.  He liked the Knolly he rode on day 5, but he positively loved this Santa Cruz.  He nicknamed it “Bronsy” and now has a jar called “Bronsy Jar” where he’s putting ever penny he can gather from odd jobs, birthday gifts, etc.  I’m rooting for him—it was a joy watching the fun… and the capability he displayed while riding that wonderbike!

The intersection with Mead's Rim also has a creative marker.

The intersection with Mead’s Rim also has a creative marker.

While Price isn’t on anybody’s short list of mountain bike destinations, it could be and, if Fuzzy gets his way, it should be.  If you have occasion to pass through, or even by, I highly recommend a stop in Price, at least for Luke’s Trail.

It also turns out that the gorgeous Good Water Rim trail we rode on day two is more easily accessed from Price than Green River where we stayed.  If you get to the area, definitely stop in at Bicyclewerks and get the best beta you’ll ever receive at any bike store.  Fuzzy’s philosophy is that the store is there to serve the trails, not the other way around, and he’s happy to share.  Be sure to leave a donation for the Price Area Singletrack Society so Fuzzy and his crew can continue developing this as yet untapped, but most worthy area.

A roller late in the ride with an unusual feature.

A roller late in the ride with an unusual feature.

Physical difficulty of our route: 4/5
Technical difficulty of our route: 4/5
Skibum’s grade: 4.5/5 stars
Miniskibum’s grade: 4/5 stars

Travel Tip:  Like most of Utah’s smaller towns (and most of their larger ones if the truth be told), Price isn’t much of a culinary destination.  If you’re in the mood for a Pizza, give Big Don’s a go.  It’ll cost a bit more than the Pizza Hut, but their menu is chock full of unique and tasty combinations.  It’s just a take out place in a rather unattractive industrial-looking building, but once you get that big pie back to the hotel, you’ll be glad you did.  Also, the service we received was very friendly, and perfectly capped off our day of hard riding.

Stay tuned for day 6!

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