The Dixie Mountain Bike Trails Association in conjunction with the BLM (and some serious volunteer help) was able to get two new trails constructed in the Hurricane Cliffs Trail Network.
There were two objectives that we wanted to accomplish with the construction of these trails. First, we wanted to address the issue of getting to the Upper JEM Trailhead. Up until now, one had to ride the big loop (Goulds, Hurricane Rim or some variation) or pedal up the heavily trafficked Sheep Bridge Road. Second, there is a need for easy trails in Southern Utah. We here the request from many getting into mountain biking and even more from folks who would like to introduce friends and families to the sport, but don’t feel comfortable taking them on many of our other trails.
Our first objective was accomplished with Dead Ringer. Dead Ringer travels from the JEM up to the Upper JEM Trailhead via a bench cut trail that maintains a consistently mellow grade. This means that you can climb back to the trailhead easily and completely on singletrack. This trail also adds a beginner level way to get down from the trailhead as it avoids all of the drops and with the easy grade, does not have any of the technical challenges that the Upper JEM does.
And then there’s More Cow Bell. As Kevin Christopherson, Quentin Morrisette and Bill Bergeron, amongst a few others, began to walk the area and find the exact course for the trail they found a way to incorporate a beginner loop without dropping off of the mesa. More Cow Bell is that loop. Coming off of Dead Ringer, it follows the rim offering splendid views and then loops back on itself or connects back to the JEM right above the JEM Drop. There is very little elevation change, but what is there is nicely utilized to create a fun, fast trail that would be great for beginners.
Below is a map of the currently constructed trails.
What you are looking at… The upper dot (in the map, this is lower in elevation on the trail) is the junction of JEM, Goosebumps and Dead Ringer. The lower dot is the junction of Dead Ringer and More Cow Bell. More Cow Bell is the inner loop. The line on the right is the JEM. The line coming in from 59 is the dirt road the tees with JEM to the right and Dead Ringer to the left. Map courtesy of Red Rock Bicycle.
Construction of these trails would not have happened this fall without the countless hours of volunteer work put in by DMBTA board members and our local trail experts. Kevin Christopherson, DMBTA board member, wrote the EA that was reviewed and accepted by the BLM. Having Kevin write the EA sped the process up for building this trail by a year.
The original lines drawn on paper were put there by Quentin and DJ Morisette of Over the Edge in Hurricane. Both helped with flagging and design of the exact alignment spending hours tying ribbons to bushes and putting pin flags in the ground. Bill Bergeron put in countless hours working and reworking the route. Bill was also instrumental in the design of Goosebumps and Cryptobionic from last year.
The BLM provided the bulk of the manual labor paying for the ACE crew to come in and construct the majority of the trail. With the amount of rock work and bench cutting that was needed for Dead Ringer, they weren’t able to quite get the entire trail finished.
As you can see from the above photos, a few locals went out and did the back breaking work that was left to finish the trail. Without Bill Bergeron, Brian Herreweyers, Fred and Regina Pagles this trail would still not be finished. We are lucky in Southern Utah to have such passionate and willing individuals in the mountain biking community.
Luckily, we have some great new trails but we aren’t finished yet. There is a section ready for construction and the ACE crew will be returning in the next few weeks to put in about 4 more miles.
With this project wrapping up, we have already moved on to our next one. With the amount of work and time that these trails take to build, we can use all the help we can get. Join up here, http://dmbta.org/join/membership/.