“A ride through landscapes ranging from the desert to pine forests through the St. George Basin and Zion National Park.
— Bikepacking Roots
This has been hidden from our maps to prevent overlap with existing trails, or because
our research has found there is no legal access.
- The opening dates and hours of the Navajo Lodge are always changing. It’s best to call ahead (702-646-4197) or visit their website prior to your trip (www.navajolakelodge.com)
- Reliable water is found at Coyote Spring (a bit limey; mile 22), in Virgin (mile 52), Kolob Reservoir (mile 90), Cedar City (mile 115), a campground just off route at mile 128, and at Navajo Lake (miles 140-147).
The route starts from the busy and expanding town of St. George which has become the retirement capitol of Utah given its low elevation and relatively mild climate. Leaving town, the route follows a bike path along the Virgin River, then a series of steadily smaller roads heading southeast toward the heart of the Arizona Strip.
Riding through Warner Valley, you'll be riding on 4x4 roads that wind through arid badlands and mesas (some relatively short sections of the route in this area can get sticky when wet!) before climbing up the Hurricane Cliffs on what is known as the Honeymoon Trail. This steep trail is an old Mormon route used in the late 1800s by newlyweds who traveled from the remote regions hundreds of miles to the east to the St. George Temple to have their marriages blessed. The Hurricane Cliffs themselves make up the western edge of the Colorado Plateau. There’s little reliable water between St. George and Virgin, so plan accordingly.
Once atop the cliffs, the route heads north, joins the popular Gem Trail singletrack, and crosses the Virgin River at the tiny town of Virgin. After this, the climbing begins! Starting at 3,000 feet, you'll climb until topping out at over 9,000 feet as the route traverse the high plateaus of central Utah. The climb follows the Kolob Terrace Road through the northwestern part of Zion National Park past impressive sandstone cliffs.
After some high-elevation gravel roads, the trail descends quickly to Cedar City. The final part of this segment climbs a paved road nearly 4,000 feet to join the Virgin River Rim singletrack on the southern edge of the Markagunt Plateau. Midway through this trail, you can find Navajo Lake, a small store, a campground, and a lodge.