March 5, 2019 at 5:43 pm #258180
Looking to go back to Utah this year, we have been to Moab driving from Denver and taking in Fruita and Breck twice before. We love Moab but are looking at an alternative of maybe flying to Vegas this time and trying out some routes in South Utah or Arizona. Will we be disappointed or is the riding there on a par or better?
We considered driving north but it looks like it would take two days out of 14 days holiday if we drive from Vegas to Utah so we would rather not.
If south Utah is as good are there any ‘must do’ rides that we need to consider? Also is there anything we really need to see while we are in the area?
Any advice gratefully received
March 5, 2019 at 10:08 pm #258198
Although maybe not *quite* as good as a few 5-star rides in Moab, the St. George area (only 1.5-2 hours from Vegas) in southern Utah will definitely keep you entertained. Some would argue they like the trails here more Moab.
Must-do rides are:
Gooseberry, Little Creek, Guacamole, Zen, Grafton Mesa. There are plenty of others, see Utahmountainbiking.com.
Bootleg canyon, Cowboy trails, and others are great in the Vegas area.
Sedona, which I wish was closer to me, is worth the trip by itself.
When is your trip?
March 6, 2019 at 10:11 am #258242
Sounds good. We are looking at travelling over mid September, take in a few places, mainly riding but checking out a few sights as well on the way. We wanted to avoid the long drives we have done in the past – we live in the UK so anything over 4/5 hours is long 🙂
March 6, 2019 at 11:53 am #258281
I’ll second flying into Vegas, riding there a couple of days, then heading to southern Utah. In Vegas, Bootleg is amazing, and the Blue Diamond area is also pretty great.
In Utah, Gooseberry is a must ride, but really it is difficult to find a bad ride in Hurricane/Apple Valley. Plus you can spend a recovery day checking out Zion. If you rent a 4×4 you can camp near the Wire Mesa trailhead and do a ride with stunning views before you’ve even had your coffee each morning.
Just don’t stay in Vegas any longer than you have to 😉
March 7, 2019 at 10:35 am #258325
No mountain biking in Zion or Bryce, but definitely checkout the hiking in both parks. Definitely hit Gooseberry Mesa (MTBing), as well.
March 7, 2019 at 12:37 pm #258336
Both Sedona (going in two weeks) and St George/Hurricane (going in April) are 6-7 hours from us in San Diego so that’s where we head for long weekends. Moab is 13+ hours so I’ve only ridden there once for a week. I had a blast and will go back but I’m one of those that *for the most part*, enjoys the riding in Hurricane more than Moab (Lower Porcupine might be an exception). That being said, the VIEWS in Moab are unparalleled unless you go hiking in Zion (Angels Landing) or Bryce Canyon. The riding in St G/Hurricane is more trail oriented than Moab overall and with a few exceptions, there’s not as much “gnar” but the variety is awesome and the trails are relatively empty as well. Another bonus is that lodging will be a complete bargain in St G/Hurricane. Check out the Thunder Mountain MTB trail outside Bryce Canyon. It’s a must do and September would be the perfect time to ride there. http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/trails/thunder.htm
Sedona is stunningly beautiful and has more “gnar” than most St G/Hurricane stuff though w/o the death defying drops of Portal and no 30 miles rides like The Whole Enchilada in Moab. The trails are more chunky here than the other locations so don’t expect any flow in Sedona. The one drawback is there tends to be a plethora of hikers on some trails in Sedona and they don’t all like mountain bikes though I’ve had few issues. Restaurant selection/quality in Sedona is better that Moab and St G/Hurricane combined. Lodging is the most expensive though.
I’ve personally only ridden inVegas once and that was at Bootleg Canyon. I’m not saying I wouldn’t go back but I wasn’t very impressed. Nothing around with spending a couple days there though since you’d fly in there.
March 22, 2019 at 10:39 pm #259236
Best E ticket rides? Moab, but then St. George and Sedona are just a tiny notch behind.
Best scenery? Definitely Sedona, hands down. But the other two certainly don’t suck.
Greatest number of “must rides?” IMO, St. George.
Best off the bike options? St George. Sedona has the best dining, but St. George is a larger city with more options and they’ve upped their game in recent years. And St. George has Zion, which is truly like no other place on earth.
And lastly…. crowds. Moab gets very busy and Sedona gets positively swarmed, while St. George is surprisingly laid back and the trails never get overrun.
If someone’s never been to Moab, that’ll almost always be my recommendation. But life you’ve done Moab/Fruita, I say definitely give one of the others a spin.
I just got back from a St. George trip and we drove from Colorado Springs in a single day each way. 10.5hrs. It’s an hour less to drive from Denver. And you can always stop along the way for a ride and not miss a day of riding.
Beware though, St George is a lower desert and is actually slightly hotter than Moab. Even in September, you may need to hit the trail early and wrap up the ride by midday.
St. George is also close to Cedar City and Brian Head with great high altitude rides that will not only be cool, but also add to your available variety.
Sedona, on the other hand, is 45 min from Flagstaff or Prescott which will also give you some higher elevation rides on world class singletrack.
March 27, 2019 at 6:05 pm #259460
There may be no mountain biking in Bryce or Zion but right next to Zion is Guacamole Trail and Gooseberry is across the valley. A few miles from Bryce are more hoodoos at Thunder Mountain Trail and Lossee adds even more interest nearby. If hot go to Navajo Lake and the Virgin River Rim Trail (steep). Flagstaff in Arizona but read much will be closed the next 2 years, by Schultz Creek. For big descents several ways off Brianhead (ski). Wanna sightsee? Rainbow Rim Trail and the North Kaibab Section of the Arizona Trail.
- St. George, Utah Trip Report
- 2 years, 6 months ago
- Southern Utah roadie rediscovering mountain biking
- 11 years ago
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