FEATURE – Today, we’ll be looking at a great mountain bike trail close to town called the Church Rocks Trail. There are several ways to access the trail, but I’ll go over the classic way, which, in my opinion, has the best blend of single track and slick rock.
From St. George, take Interstate 15 north and get off at the Hurricane exit (Exit 16). Take a left at the first stoplight and continue down the frontage road until you see Winkel Distributing. Take a left just past their driveway and head under the freeway to the trailhead.
The trail from here is a “lollipop,” meaning you’ll out-and-back the first leg and and do a loop around the slick rock section. The total distance is about 10 miles and the trail is pretty well marked.
The single track is fast and flows well, with fun descents and short-ish, not-too-steep climbs, which most people with some biking skills should be okay doing. The slick rock is more intermediate, with steeper ascents and descents, so if you are not sure of your skills, don’t be afraid to walk the sketchier parts.
A few things to remember: After about the first mile, you’ll come to a junction. Hang a left. Going right takes you down to the Red Cliffs Trail (a review for another day). There is a sand pit about 100 yards long a few miles in. Most will have to walk this, but go for it anyway; you might just conquer it! It’s easier on the way back or if it’s wet.
The next junction is the start and finish of the slick rock section. Most people run this clockwise. There are a few spur trails that run under the freeway and up over the black ridge. Remember that you want to get on top of the beautiful red cliffs to your right. Once on top, the trail is easy to find and will wrap you back around to the junction where the lollipop “stem” runs you back to the trailhead; unless, of course, you choose to do another lap.
There are multiple challenging lines on the rock to try out your skills. What are you waiting for? Get out and go for a ride on Church Rocks Trail.
Written by Jay Bartlett for St. George Health and Wellness magazine and St. George News.
Bartlett is an avid mountain biker currently working as a mechanic and salesman at Bicycles Unlimited. He has extensive experience with all the local trails and is a wealth of information.
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