This is a classic loop linking two of the best, most technical and exposed trails in the Amasa Back area. Pick your poison on the way up: HyMasa Trail
offers riders a less technical, slightly longer and purpose-built ingress while Amasa Back / Cliffhanger
serves up a more direct, ledge-strewn grind. Both are fun and worthwhile! Mapped here climbing HyMasa Trail
for maximum singletrack.
Cane Springs Rd. (Hurrah Pass
) --> HyMasa Trail
--> Amasa Back / Cliffhanger
--> Pothole Arch
The creek crossing at the end can be easy or totally undoable depending on the time of year. If the water's high, make your way back up to the Amasa TH by way of the path next to the creek.
From the Jackson
's Trailhead pedal up the smooth and gradual Cane Springs Rd. (Hurrah Pass
). After about a mile, drop into either HyMasa Trail
or take on the ledge-y drops on the Amasa Jeep roll-in.
Cross the creek and begin climbing Amasa. Soon thereafter, HyMasa Trail
splits off to the right. Again, you can stay on Amasa if you want. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
Once you reach the top of HyMasa, you'll need to bear right (away from Captain Ahab
) to link up with Amasa Back. After a short little descent and one thought-provoking roll, the grade turns back uphill for the next roughly mile and a half. Pay no mind to the junction with Jackson
—you'll get your chance to ride this soon enough—and enjoy kick-ass views from the edge of a nearly 1000-foot-tall cliff.
At about mile six, stay right to join Pothole Arch
trail. A super short climb leads to the first truly fun descent of the ride. Bomb down slickrock, through fun turns and over a few drops as you near the top of Rockstacker
. Again, stay right.
wastes no time getting right into it. A steep roll is followed closely thereafter by a techy uphill move with plenty of exposure to the right. Clean that and immediately roll into one of the steeper/more committing features on the whole trail. This slab roll has a couple line options so scout it out or just go for it. It's pretty smooth.
After this, keep your eyes peeled for the faint red paint on the slickrock—it's easy to feel like you've gone off-trail here, and you very well might. Consult the MTB Project mobile app
if in doubt. After some up and down, with the occasional techy and steep feature thrown in for good measure, prep yourself for the exposed fun coming on Jackson
is much more consistently downhill than Rockstacker
but still has the occasional punchy uphill, so be ready. After a mile or so of traversing a sidehill that makes you feel like you're flying free above the Colorado River, the technicality and exposure bump up a notch at a steep, tight left-hand switchback. While totally rideable (stay inside), many riders will want to walk this section due to the penalty of failure (read: possibly falling off a cliff).
The toughest section of Jackson
follows this switchback: a few large drops break up a fall-line section before another spicy switchback and more tight, rocky, and exposed singletrack. Once things flatten out, you've pretty much made it.