- Lisa Parsons
On the Edge in Southern Utah
We found ourselves at the end of our five months on the road in Hurricane Utah. Weather and the fact that two friends from Seattle were down mountain biking in the area was a good reason to land here.
Why Hurricane? Because it is the new mt. bike mecca. A little known mt. bike destination a few years ago it is now a draw for mt. bikers from all over the world. Like Sedona and Moab, mountain bikers come to challenge themselves on slickrock, ride the edge along mesas, and enjoy the epic scenery at the edge of Zion National Park.
We have been here before and definitely wanted to come back to do more mountain biking. What we didn't expect to find besides the great mountain biking was slot canyons, river canyons, and more sandstone islands reminiscent of White Pockets or the Wave.
So we teamed up with our friends from Seattle who were seeking sun after a long winter to ride Gooseberry Mesa and some lesser known trails just outside of Cedar City.
On our own we rode a trail outside of St. George called Zen. It was an amazing trail that was similar to Guacamole.
Slot between two giant boulders.
David riding between giant boulders.
Mica gazing over the edge at the top of Zen.
Closeup of Hedgehog Cactus Bloom.
Trail along mesa.
David riding under overhang on giant boulder.
Mushroom shaped rock along the trail.
Where is Mica?
Fearless dog standing on the edge!
Hedgehog Cactus in bloom.
We spent a day hiking up to Kanarra Falls and into the slot canyon.
We wild camped at the trailhead at Wire Pass overlooking a side canyon and two slackliners practicing their art. We rode Wire Mesa trail with a mix of flowing singletrack and technical slick rock. The views from the fingers of mesa that went out and back were incredible and overlooked the backside of Zion.
We also went back to one of our favorite trails, Guacamole.
We joined our friends, Kevin and Francine for one more ride before they headed back to Seattle near Cedar City. The trails are higher up in the Iron Hills trail system. These trails were the opposite of the trails we had been riding which was by choice. We rode the gentle machine built climbs up the mountain side and then came back down long swoopy smooth single track with only a short side trip down their double black diamond trail called Boulder Dash (shown below). From the trail we could see the snow capped mountains above us and the valley of Cedar City below. We finished up our ride and left our friends to return to Hurricane.
During our visit with our friends we stopped by their Airbnb to have dinner and catch up. Two days later we booked our own Airbnb. It was time for a break from the van. We love living in our van but needed some time to spread out, decompress, rest, and plan the next leg of our journey. We like the Airbnb option because we just wouldn't have same feeling of being home if we were in a hotel. From our Airbnb we were able to enjoy the local town and a city natural area along the Virgin River.
Our last adventure was visiting Gunlock Falls located at the end of the reservoir in Gunlock State Park. We had heard that the water was spilling out of the reservoir and cascading in a tapestry of falls across bright reddish orange sandstone. Apparently the last time the falls where this big was about seven years ago. So once again we lucked out and got to see this incredible natural display.