Utah's Next MTB Destination
Nestled fairly square between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, Nevada sits quite possibly one of Utah’s best kept MTB secrets I’m aware of. To me, Cedar City, UT has just been a quick gas fill up or bathroom break on my way to the MTB Mecca that is St. George. It has just been that town where a few of my friends happened to go to college for a couple years. I always did think it was a bit of an odd college choice, but after spending a few days there – maybe the joke was on me. I have been passing some serious gold in those hills for nearly 10 years.
Cedar City sits 20 miles northeast of the Mojave Desert at 5,800ft. It sees all of the seasons, generally experiencing heavy winters and dry hot summers. The relationship between the BLM and Mountain Bikers is great, which in many parts is thanks to local IMBA chapter, DMBTA. With many world class trails already there, and many more in the works I have a feeling I may be pumping the brakes on crowded Moab trips next year and opting for a quick trip to little old Cedar City, Utah.
Just a bike ride away from your Hotel on the main Cedar City drag is the Three Peaks Trail System. It has plenty of goods to offer, designated camping spots, loops of varying singletrack, with plenty of alt lines and rock features to play around on. Bring an extra set of tires though because i’m pretty sure those rocks are made of some heavy grade sand paper that eats Maxxis Minions for breakfast.
The Three Peaks loop is about 10 miles and 900ft of climbing, offering stunning views of the Cedar City valley, with rock formations for days. There are several other options if you want to opt for a shorter ride, be sure to check out Trailforks.com for maps and suggestions.
After smashing some lunch we opted to go check out some of the other trails in town. With over 50 miles of additional trails planned for the immediate Cedar City area we opted to check out some of the most well known trails among the locals which started construction back in 2015. We checked out Lava Flow, Lichen It and the C Trail. Litchen it was a nice and mellow climb to the top that most any intermediate rider would be plenty capable of riding, while Lava Flow offered rad bermed out trails with alt lines featuring some fun drops, chunk and jumps. Definitely a good time and would be a perfect quick stop on your way through town.
The C trail is about 7.3 miles of incredible single track that offers amazing views of Cedar City and Dixie National Forest. It is the most iconic trail in the immediate area and one that you definitely don’t want to miss.
Greatest trail in Utah?
Blowhard just has an enticing ring to the name, doesn’t it? For years I’ve noticed the little sqiggly line on Trailforks and always wondered what it was like. I had heard rumors that it was impressive, but until you actually get there and ride it for yourself I don’t think i’m capable of describing that greatness that it is.
Beginning at nearly 11,000 ft, dropping 3,500 ft in just shy of 7 miles you drop into what is one of, if not the absolute most incredible trail in all of Utah. As locals to the area, we always hear about The Crest and The Whole Enchilada when we bring up locals favorite trails, this trail definitely belongs on that list. Of course it depends on the rider, but this is a trail has some serious high sensory moments that will leave you smiling from ear to ear as well as embracing a few pucker moments in some rocky chunder. You will see views similar to to the Bryce Canyon hoodoos as well as deep dense forest, opening up to flowing alpine meadows. There is a little bit of everything and definitely a trail that every mountain biker in Utah needs to experience.
Also, as far as I know, Jeff Mashcherino is the only shuttle driver in town, give him a holler at: 435-590-1473.
Brian Head Resort is home to some of the gnarliest trails in the state. I always think of Barney Rubble, NCS and some chundery trails in the Utah backcountry when I want to ride some rowdy trails, but I think Brian Head Resort may take the cake. Little Gritty is quite possibly the most deceiving name of a trail. It sure seemed pretty gritty, but all in a good way of course. By the time we had gotten to the bottom of Little Gritty, there were only 3 crashes and 2 blown tires between 4 of us, so I’d say we came out pretty solid. Unfortunately while we were in town it was all but a tornado with 50+mph wind speeds shutting down the lift service, so we didn’t have a chance to see more than Little Gritty. We will absolutely be coming back and can’t wait. After speaking with the Staff at Brian Head, mountain biking is on their mind and will be a huge priority in the coming years. Looking forward to getting back.
Back to Blowhard
After grabbing some lunch at Pizanos Pizza in Brian Head, we couldn’t get Blowhard out of our minds. With the lifts being closed and wind out of control we decided to give Blohard another go. Since the last time we stopped every 5 minutes being blown away by the views, we opted to do a proper non stopper and we can confirm, this is absolutely one of the most unique and incredible trails in all of Utah. Add it to the bucket list, this is a crown jewel!
After being pestered by the local Cedar City mountain biking crew for years to come check out their trails, I am beyond stoked I decided to make the trip down and couldn’t be more impressed by the work that has gone into the trails here. I’m definitely looking forward to getting back – next time you’re headed south for St. George I can’t recommend a Cedar City pit stop enough.