Gooseberry Mesa is a world class trail. You'll literally meet people from all over the world on this trail. It's one of the best technical trails anywhere with rolling slickrock, twisty singletrack, and vistas to die for. There are many different ways to ride this trail network, and they are all awesome.
The trail is marked with white paint dots on the slickrock and signs at the junctions. It is a difficult trail, but there are no surprises. If you don't feel comfortable riding a section, simply walk it. The loop described here starts on the South Rim, branches onto Hidden Canyon
and ends on the Practice Trail
. If this is your first time, you may want to ride the Practice Trail
first to get your Gooseberry groove on. Bring lots of water. There is no drinking water available on the mesa. Primitive camping is permitted in the area.
Need to Know
There is no drinking water on the mesa. Also, do not drive the road after a storm, it's impassable when muddy, even with a 4x4 vehicle.
The turnoff to Gooseberry Mesa is about 15 minutes east of Hurricane, Utah on Highway 59. There is a large sign on the highway directing you to Gooseberry Mesa. Turn north here onto an unpaved road. Follow the signs for about 30 minutes to the White Trail
. The road is a little bumpy in places, but I've seen all types of cars at the trailhead. Just go slow if you are driving a low clearance vehicle. You can ride this trail year round, but do not try the road after a storm. When muddy, it's impassable, even for 4x4 vehicles.
The Gooseberry Mesa trail network sits at 5200 feet elevation on a slickrock mesa and it's like a giant urban bike park. The trail is marked with white paint dots on the slickrock and signs at the junctions. The network is a bit of a maze, but fairly easy to follow. The trail undulates up and down house size sandstone mounds and twists through tight rock canyons. It's the perfect technical mountain bike trail.
There are many ways to connect the various trails to make it longer or shorter, harder or easier, and they're all good. The loop described here is moderately technical (for Gooseberry), taking in part of the more difficult South Rim and finishing on the practice Trail.
The ride as mapped starts on the South Rim trail that leaves directly from the White Trail
heading south. The sequence of trails going clockwise is; South Rim Trail
- Hidden Canyon
- (connector trail) - North Rim Trail
- Bowls and Ledges
- Practice Trail
. This loop is only 8 miles, but don't be fooled. It will take most people around three hours to complete.
History & Background
This trail was created by the Harris brothers over 20 years ago. Morgan and others still work to maintain it. The effort that went into this trail, and still goes on, is a testament to the positive vibe of the mountain bike tribe. In 2006 it was granted National Recreation Trail Status. The BLM does a good job maintaining, and improving, the infrastructure associated with this trail network.