Gooseberry Mesa - The Big Loop

 51 votes
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Featured Ride
Trail

13.1 Miles 21.0 Kilometers


100%

Singletrack

570' 174 m

Ascent

-569' -174 m

Descent

5,418' 1,651 m

High

5,067' 1,544 m

Low

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

7%

Max Grade (4°)

Minor Issues

8 days agoUpdate

A local and global favorite - longer and more difficult than the South Rim and Hidden Canyon Loop.

Kevin Christopherson


Bureau of Land Management Treasures

One of the Bureau of Land Management's "Backyard to Backcountry" treasures, this trail was developed between the Dixie MTB Trails Assoc and the St. George, UT BLM office to provide world-class riding experiences.

Check out the top 20 BLM Backyard to Backcountry rides!


Overview

Gooseberry Mesa is a world class trail. You'll literally meet people from all over the world riding here. It's one of the best technical trails anywhere with rolling slickrock, twisty singletrack, and vistas to die for. I rated this loop black diamond overall, but there are some sections on the South Rim Trail that are double black diamond.

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, follows the rim around to the North Rim Trail, to the Windmill trail, back to Bowls and Ledges, 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. There is primitive camping in the area.

Need To Know

There is no drinking water available on the mesa. Do not attempt to drive on the road after a storm. This road becomes impassable to 4x4 vehicles when it is muddy.

Description

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 is 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 technical because the South Rim Trail has several double black diamond sections.

This ride starts heading south on the South Rim Trail that leaves directly from the White Trail. The sequence of trails going clockwise is; South Rim Trail - (view point) - North Rim Trail - Windmill Trail (out and back) - Bowls and Ledges - Practice Trail. This loop is only 13 miles, but don't be fooled. It will take most people around four hours to complete. This loop takes in all of the network except Hidden Canyon and part of the Practice Trail. This ride can be ridden either direction, and easily modified. For example, you can cut off the out and back on the Windmill Trail and go directly onto Bowls and Ledges; or instead of backtracking on the Windmill Trail, you can loop around on the dirt road back to the White Trail.

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.

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4.7 from 51 votes


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Check-Ins

Nov 23, 2016
Nolan Sundrud
Couldn't get through on the dirt road. Didn't get to trail. Lots of water and mud. Should be better in 3-4 days.
Nov 17, 2016
CJ Anten
windy & 48 degrees
Oct 24, 2016
Jason Fisher
Oct 21, 2016
Sara Shainholtz
Oct 19, 2016
Mark Aspinwall
Oct 17, 2016
Elle Natchke
Devilish slick rock with epic view. 13.1mi
Oct 15, 2016
Sean Hauss
Oct 15, 2016
Randy B.

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Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 51 votes

#14

Overall
  4.7 from 51 votes
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4 Star
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5 Star
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Rankings

#3

in Utah

#14

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2,799 Views Last Month
35,867 Since Sep 29, 2013
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Conditions


Minor Issues 8 days ago
Muddy - road is super muddy..
Update ConditionsHistory

I am visiting from Florida. I plan to ride this trail tomorrow. Is anyone else going? Feb 28, 2016


If you are driving to the trailhead from Hurricane do NOT trust the directions your iPhone gives you, or you will get lost. Drive East on Highway 59 two miles past the Chevron gas station and look for the dirt road on your left -- there will be a sign that says Gooseberry Mesa on the right side of the highway across from the turn-off. If you are driving to Gooseberry Mesa from Zion National Park, and you have a high-clearance 4WD vehicle, take the Smithsonian Butte Backcountry Byway south of Rockville. This is a scenic dirt road. Jul 29, 2016


Outstanding slickrock trail with breathtaking views! Highly recommend doing it counter-clockwise as the South Rim Trail is the most technical and difficult portion and trends downhill going N to S. We saw people pretty beat and tired after just doing that section from the TH to the overlook. Dispersed camping is everywhere and Gooseberry Yurts are amazing. I will be back for sure. Nov 16, 2016


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