“Color Country” is the evocative tag that the tourism industry has applied to Utah’s Brain Head; “Utopia” is what mountain bikers call it. Brain Head is a unique blend of alpine components encased in ornately eroded slopes painted in rose red, sunburst orange, and coral pink. Although the colors of these encompassing cliffs may suggest the desert, these highlands are void of the sweltering heat. Brian Head is replete with cool, breezy summits and bounteous forests cut by creek-fed canyons.

Over the years, Brain Head has gained fame for its downhill single-track trails that drop from alpine ridges through thick forests to warm valleys. Today, you can hop on the ski resort’s Giant Steps Lift or ride a shuttle van to Brian Head Peak and let gravity be your accelerator. Dark Hollow—Second Left Hand Canyon, Left and Right Forks of Bunker Creek, and Blowhard Mountain are veritable test tracks for today’s “free ride” bikes. Those who prefer to earn their downhills by first riding to mountain summits or who favor marathon cross-country treks will find Brain Head’s trail network accommodating.

Whether you are in the high mountain or the valley below be sure you know the Utah Cycling Laws all about Road Respect by visiting www.RoadRespect.Utah.gov.

Mountain Biking

Brian Head Resort’s Mountain Bike Park offers access to over 200 miles of the areas most scenic and remarkable single track. The combination of our chairlift accessed, and bike shuttle accessed trail system offers an endless variety of biking options. Learn more at www.brianhead.com.

Chairlift Accessed Trails

The Mountain Bike Park’s trail network is accessed via the Giant Steps Chairlift. Open on the weekends during the summer months you can enjoy:

Color Country

(6 Miles) Offers stunning view of Cedar Breaks National Monument and the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness Area.

Lighting Point

(6 Miles) Splitting off of Color Country this trail ascends into aspen forests and past spectacular red rock vistas.

Navajo Point Loop

(12 Miles) Perfect for the novice or families with young riders you can meander around scenic Navajo Lake and over a lava field.

Timber Line

(4.5 Miles) Hang on tight this is our downhill course. Featuring tabletop jumps, banked turns and rollers, this one is a favorite.

View Z

(3 Miles) Just like it sounds this trail zig zags from the top of the mountain intersecting with Timberline.

Mace Trail

(2 Miles) Access Dark Hollow or Scout Camp Loop via the Mace Trail and you have earned the awesome descents that follow.

Brian Head Peak Access

(3 Miles) Ascending from the top of the chairlift this is a great way of earning access to Bunker Creek, Lowder Pond Loop or Dark Hollow.

Town Trail

(5.5 Miles) Riding the Town Trail is great but combined with one of the Mountain Bike Park’s other trail options you can ride all day long.

Scout Camp Loop

(11 Miles) Accessing this loop via the Mountain Bike Park is another way to keep enjoying a favorite trail.

Bike Shuttle Accessed Trails

The Mountain Bike Park’s access to over 200 miles of single track, downhill and cross country rides continue by arranging a bike shuttle to:

Right & Left Fork of Bunker Creek

(12 Miles) Mix it up by riding either fork of this famous trail – voted by Bicycling magazine’s readers choice top 5 fat tire trails.

Lowder Pond Loop

(11 Miles) A combination of single and double track will invigorate as you ride through alpine meadows and aspen forests.

Dark Hollow

(13 Miles) Dodging aspen trees like slalom poles as you descend 5,000 vertical feet makes for a screaming fast ride.

Blow Hard

(10 Miles) Enjoy incredible views of Ashdown Gorge Wilderness Area and Cedar Breaks National Monument while riding this awesome single track trail.

Navajo Lake Loop

(12 Miles) Perfect for the novice or families with young riders you can meander around scenic Navajo Lake and over a lava field.

Thunder Mountain

(7 Miles) Transport your self out of this world while riding the red rock wonders offered.

Casto Canyon

(14 Miles) Take in the history of the Wild West as you ride a trail once used by the infamous Wild Bunch.

Marathon

(26.5 Miles) Take in a marathon of sights as you ride through alpine meadows, spruce and aspen forests, past lava fields and sink holes, ponds and streams.

Virgin River Rim Trail

(33 Miles) Perfect for an overnight, the unbelievable views make the length completely worth it.

Cedar City Cycling

Cedar City is enthusiastic about the world of cycling and has designated several miles of bike lanes inside the city limits. Major city roads and their arteries feature bike routes for the safety and enjoyment of Cedar City’s residents and visitors. There’s also the Canyon Trail, which is a wonderful short three mile route for cyclists to enjoy from Cedar City’s Baseball complex into Cedar Canyon. Trail is shared with pedestrians and skate boarders.

Southern Utah Road Rides

*Courtesy of Craig Egerton & the Color Country Cycling Club

Cedar City to Kanarraville Ride

Best in spring, summer, fall.

This is an “out and back” ride. Proceed south on Cedar City’s Main Street to the last traffic signal and turn left onto the frontage road Old Hwy 91 and just ride on the frontage road to your heart’s content. If you ride Old Hwy 91 to Kanarraville and back to Cedar, you will have ridden approximately 25 miles. If you want more, there are other options. You can proceed south from Kanarraville (still on the frontage road) to the intersection with I-15 (convenience store) and then come back. If you want even more, you can take either; a) the flatter route to New Harmony and back, or b) proceed south down I-15 to the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park. At Kolob there is a great, scenic five mile climb, but you will need to pay an entrance fee. To either New Harmony or to Kolob Canyons is about 50 miles out and back.

This is a good ride when you don’t know how much time you have (you can turn around any time) or when the south winds are strong…ride into them then have them blow you back to Cedar City. This ride is not advised when winds are out of the North. Traffic along the frontage road is generally very courteous toward bike riders.

Parowan Gap Loop

Best in spring, summer and fall.

From Cedar City/Highway 130 and the Mid Valley Road, ride north on Highway 130 to the Parowan Gap turnoff (about 13 miles). Turn right at the Gap turnoff and ride through the Gap. You may want to get off the bike seat, stretch and check out the petroglyphs at Parowan Gap while you’re out there. Stay on this road all the way into Parowan, where it T’s at Main Street. On Main Street, turn right and follow it past the Maverick Gas Station on the right. Continue south down Old Highway 91 to the town of Summit. Ride through Summit, over I-15 and continue south on what is now the I-15(still Old Hwy 91) frontage road until you get back to Cedar City. This is a relatively flat ride of about 50 miles. You may encounter strong winds, but there is not a lot of climbing and traffic is light.

Mammoth Creek Loop

Best in mid-summer.

Hwy 148 is only open late May through October. Begin at Midway, which is the intersection of Highway 14 and Highway 148, about 18 miles east of Cedar City. Climb north on Highway 148 towards Cedar Breaks National Monument. Ride through Cedar Breaks, but stop at the Visitor Center and take in some of the overlooks if you’re so inclined. At the junction of Hwy 148 and Highway 143, turn right. This is a fun downhill stretch but you will want to watch for signs to Mammoth Creek. The Mammoth Creek Road will be the first paved road that turns to the right (south). Take the Mammoth Creek Road south to Highway 14. Turn right on Highway 14 and climb back up to where the car is parked at Midway. This ride is about 35 miles long and involves ALOT of climbing.

Make sure you are in good physical condition. Elevations are 8,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level and altitude can be a problem. Also, bring clothing that will allow you to adapt to sudden changes in weather (rain, drops in temp, etc.) that can happen in the mountains in the summertime.

Quail Lake Loop

Best in fall and spring.

Drive on I-15 to the Toquerville Exit #27 at Anderson Junction. There is plenty of parking on the east side of the freeway. This is a loop ride that in my opinion is best done in a clockwise direction. Ride along Hwy 17 through Toquerville, LaVerkin and Hurricane. Travel west out of Hurricane on Highway 9 to the Quail Creek Reservoir turnoff. Turn north and climb towards Quail Creek Reservoir until you come to the I-15 frontage road. Follow it north through Leeds and back to where the car is parked.

Cautions include high winds; Highway 17 between Toquerville and LaVerkin has a fair amount of development traffic and a narrow shoulder; the shoulder of Highway 9 can be pretty dirty, so watch for flats. There is a substantial (not huge) amount of climbing on this route. The loop is about 27 miles long. An option to this ride is an out and back to Zion National Park. To take this option, at LaVerkin, turn east on Highway 9 and follow the signs to Zion. This is an out and back of about 20.

Veyo Loop

Best in fall and spring.

Start in the town of Ivins at the fire station and meander through the Keyenta subdivision until you get onto Old Highway 91. Head west on Highway 91 to the Gunlock Reservoir turnoff. Take it and climb north past Gunlock Reservoir, through the town of Gunlock and into Veyo. There is a little general store in Veyo to rest up and replenish food and water. From Veyo, turn south down Highway 18 to the Snow Canyon State Park turnoff. There may be a small admission fee to ride back through the state park. When you exit Snow Canyon State Park, continue southerly until you come to a T intersection. Turn right at the T and follow it due west back to the fire station. There is a substantial amount of climbing on the first half of this ride with a similar amount of fun downhill on the return trip.