5 Beginner-Friendly Mountain Bike Trails in Utah
Aug 23, 2016
By: Jessie Hawkes
Trails that won’t put you in the hospital, but will keep advanced riders whoopin’-and-a-hollerin’
You knew this day would come. Your best friend, who slays the brown pow and says things like “check out this tacky hero dirt,” has just invited you mountain biking. You’ve been on a mountain bike a few times, but you’re a long ways from hucking drops or wearing a trucker hat. Still, you don’t want to be totally lame, so you’re on the hunt for trails that will be interesting enough to keep your friend entertained but won’t land you in a body cast.
Sound familiar? Most excellent. This is the list for you. As the weather cools down this fall, try out a few of these trails with your buddy. You’ll feel like a bro — er... pro — in no time.
PROSPECTOR TRAIL | Park City
JEM TRAIL | Hurricane near Zion National Park
FLYING DOG | Near Park City
5. Flying Dog | Park City
Fun, fast descents and a gorgeous wooded tour through Jeremy Ranch. (Pro tip: go in the fall and the colors will stop you mid-trail to ooh and ahh.) Flying Dog is a great ride for advanced beginners and above, and will make you want to return to it throughout the year. Keep an eye out for Sebastian the Infamous Brush Pigeon at the top of the mountain. Keep your helmet on and remember, even if he tries to attack you, he just wants to be loved.
4. Road to WOS | Park City
If you can’t wait until the first autumn cold snap but you don’t want to melt in the heat, check out the Road to WOS. Fun singletrack winds between gorgeous, shady pines with spectacular views of the Wasatch Mountains. This is a perfect trail for a strong beginner, but there’s plenty of chances for advanced riders to really let loose and fly down at their own speed. Great for a short after-work ride when it’s still too hot to do anything in the valley besides Netflix & chill.
3. Jem Trail | Hurricane
This one is a classic southern Utah trail, and a great one for beginners to start out on. The trail weaves in and out of some of Hurricane’s eerily Mars-like terrain and is easy without being boring. Also, prepare yourself for a breathtaking ride along the towering rim of the gorgeous Virgin River. Take some pics so your friends back home can be Insta-jealous. (Note: Do yourself a favor and don’t ride Jem in July)
2. Jazz Chrome Molly | Vernal
This trail has the thrill of St. George’s popular Bearclaw Poppy, minus the crowds, plus a Jurassicaly gorgeous landscape. Short and thoughtfully built, even beginners can enjoy flying down the smooth and swooping singletrack. Advanced riders can get their kicks on the numerous optional jumps and descents while more cautious kids keep both wheels on the ground. And if you want to catch some sick air, you can always zip across the street and hit the jump-lines to perfect your triple hamzawi doubletwist squeeze.
1. Prospector Trail | St. George
This trail features an intoxicating smorgasbord of terrain including zippy desert singletrack, fun slick rock, a few flat vistas and even a patch or two of sand. It’s a great pick because it has a few technical sections, like an optional slick rock descent that’s tricky enough to keep your buddy awake, but it’s generally smooth and easy. Because of its location, Prospector is perfect to ride in the late fall when St. George is getting chilly. It’s a pretty popular spot, so watch out for other bikers, horses and the intrepid supermarathon runners who wandered off the trail at mile 63.