The Icehouse Trail itself is 6 miles of almost non-stop downhill, descending 2000 vertical feet. There are occasional very short gentle climbs to keep you honest. Intermittent pumice boulders situated in the trail surface raise the overall technical level to upper-intermediate. The final 1/3-mile plunge off the mesa is advanced technical and requires good skills.
Those who want to earn their vertical -- or who don't have a shuttle -- can ride up Cottonwood Road for an 18-mile loop. The 2000 vertical of climbing occurs over 10 miles (with some up-and-down added) on graded dirt road, so it's basically just a long cruise to the upper trailhead. After the first mile, the Cottonwood Road surface turns to dirt. It becomes more narrow and rough after passing the Broken Mesa trailhead. If you decide to ride up this route, be sure to bring extra water. It can get very hot particularly in the summer.
People who would like a longer run with some mild climbs can connect this trail to Grapevine
, Church Rocks
, Dino Cliffs
, and also Prospector
through Mustang Pass
This trail has historical significance as it was originally built by pioneers in the St. George Valley to haul ice down from Pine Valley Mountain. It was stored in a pit just north of the Ice House trail, and hauled down by Mules when it was needed. Ice could not be stored in St. George because in the summer, temperatures often exceed 100° F (38° C).
Make sure you have loaded the trail GPS track on your device, as there is no service at the top. This trail has recently been groomed and cleaned by people who ride it. TASU has put a small sign at the beginning of the trail. To find it, drive or ride up Old Dump Road, to County Road 031. Continue past Yellow Knolls and then the Broken Mesa Rim Trail
for two miles until you see the Brown Sign on the right side of the road. You can drive on this doubletrack, all though most people don't as you need a very good 4x4 vehicle to make it. Stop at the sign and ride down the doubletrack for about a mile until you see another brown sign on the right that says Icehouse. Here the singletrack starts with a small climb to long and fast downhill.