May 7, 2021
You’ve all heard that saying “April showers bring May flowers,” but this is not the case in SW Utah. On our last Sinners and Saints mountain bike tour in Utah that wrapped up on the last day of April, we saw a sweeping array of beautiful blooming cacti and wildflowers popping out of the dry desert floor. We saw a variety of hedgehog cactus, Johnson’s fishhook, Indian paintbrush, and the bear claw poppy that is known to only grow in the St. George area. Beyond the beautiful wildflowers, we had unceasing grand views of Zion National Park and the surrounding Mesas.
Connect the Dots on St. George MTB Trails
The day we rode the Green Valley trail system, we were treated with cool temps, cloud coverage, and stunning views of the vibrant red rock at Snow Canyon State Park. We found ourselves ripping through toned singletrack with a handful of chunky descents and punchy climbs. It was a good intro to the riding that lay ahead.
The next few days we tackled the Guacamole trails, Gooseberry and Wire mesa, Jem, and Hurricane Rim. Each day we built on our skills and continuously progressed throughout the week.
Guacamole was a good mix of slickrock slabs, steeps, rollers, drops, and punchy climbs sprinkled with wide open, fast and flowy singletrack. We were living in the moment and having a blast pushing ourselves on different lines. It was a huge confidence builder for most of our group— they were from out east and most of them had never rode on anything comparable. They were in heaven not only with the riding but the 360 views. Zion National Park felt like it was within an arm’s reach. On our way back, we took the Salt on the Rim trail. You can’t miss this one—it follows the western edge of the mesa with a massive vertical drop to the valley floor.
Onto the infamous Gooseberry mesa. While the views are spectacular, the trails itself are a fun way of playing connect the dots. The endless slickrock playground is marked with white dots that will lead you out to Gooseberry Point. Though the white dots mark the trail, there are boundless lines to choose from – how far do you want to push yourself outside your comfort zone?
Down the road from Gooseberry is a newer trail called Wire Mesa—some call it Guacamole and JEM’s baby. (I can attest to that.) This trail has it all and was one of the group’s favorite, with flow sections through cacti and juniper, a handful of technical slickrock lines, and views that will have your jaw dropping. We stopped and sessioned a punchy climb that led to an overview with spectacular views of Zion, Smithsonian Butte, Grafton Mesa, and Pine Valley Mountains. We stood there for a moment taking in the surreal views. I remember a guest saying, “I can’t believe this is even real.”
Ending with the Notorious JEM
Our last day was spent above the town of Hurricane on the JEM trails and Hurricane Rim. It was the cherry on top. We put our blinders on as we traversed the exposed trail of Deadringer – we made sure to ring the bell at the top of the trail with a smile on our face. Then on to the notorious JEM downhill: Everyone had the time of their life hitting jumps, drops, corners, and a couple tight switchbacks – we put all our skills to play on this one. Then we finished out riding atop the Virgin River on the Hurricane Rim.
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