The Country Club trails are on Bull Mesa south of Helper. The trails
vary in difficulty from easy-intermediate to expert. As the trails circle
the edge of the mesa, expect great views. At an altitude averaging 6000
feet, the riding season will be mid-April through November.
Bruce cruises the cliff edge on the
Driver trail. Photos, video, and review by Bruce on June 1, 2017.
First, understand that despite the name, the trails are NOT
in the country club. Nor do you drive through the clubhouse area to
reach the trails. But the trailhead parking does happen to overlook the
Carbon Country Club golf course.
You reach the trails from Carbonville Road, taking Chapman Lane (2500
North) to go underneath US-6, continuing around the border of the golf
course on Rim Rock Drive.
The road then climbs Bull Mesa. There's a small parking area on the first
"shelf" of the mesa, marked by
a very short carsonite post.
Leaving the parking area. You can see a hint of the
golf course below.
The riding is similar to other trails in the Price area, but
higher voltage. The trail twists -- tightly -- through pinion pine and juniper on a base
of pastel dirt littered with chips of rock.
The track is narrow and the soft trailside dirt will
bring you to a quick stop if you bobble or overshoot a turn.
The trail alignment occasionally has "flow" issues. For
example many turns wrap too closely around trees. A large rider will be unable to avoid
taking dozens of branch-hits on the arms. Momentum Killer turns galore. OK, that's my quibble.
Otherwise the area earns a recommendation for the views and the rock
riding on the south rim.
Approaching the mesa edge on Driver.
The ride starts by pedaling further up the dirt road. Turn right uphill at the first road fork, then keep left at the
next fork. You'll find the entry to the singletrack Driver trail 0.7 miles
uphill from parking, on your right. Driver starts the counterclockwise
ride on the northern
If you want to start with the technical stuff on Cliff Burton on the
south rim for a clockwise ride, pedal past Driver. After 1/2 mile, also ride past the entry to 3
Wood (on your right). After another 0.4 miles climbing uphill on the
gravel Bull Mesa road, veer left onto Cliff Burton.
Bruce rolls around a turn on the cliff edge.
The loop ride...
If you're riding counterclockwise, Driver will skirt the mesa edge above
Garley Canyon for 1.1 miles to reach 3 Wood. At the trail fork, go right -- the left spur
connects to Bull Mesa road.
3 Wood is 2.1 miles. It follows the mesa edge for a time, then climbs
south through juniper, pinion, and grass. At the trail fork in the meadow,
fork right to 5 Wood. (Again, the left spur takes you to the mesa road.)
Drone shot, looking east as I pedal south uphill
along a side-canyon in the cliffs.
5 Wood descends north to the cliff edge, then turns back
south. Here there's a trail fork labeled "Out of Bounds." But
after wandering around in the trees I
wasn't able to identify a trail I could follow here. So Out of Bounds
isn't included on my map or tracks. If you want to include it in your ride
plan, check with the local bike shop for its current status.
From the northern cliff edge, 5 Wood now climbs south through pinion
and juniper. At mile 1.7 from 3 Wood, it ends on the Bull Mesa
road. Across the road is Putter.
Trail fork between 3 Woods and 5 Woods, looking west.
This is an area where there's a lot of plain dirt singletrack.
Putter is an easier trail. The surface is almost all soft
dirt. Riding east to west -- counterclockwise -- it's gently downhill. (Beginners can reach this trail
by riding west on the mesa road. There are a few tight turns around
trees that could give beginners trouble.)
Putter is 1.7 miles long, ending
at a doubletrack. To the right, the doubletrack takes you back to the mesa
road. Straight ahead is the Cliff Burton singletrack.
Looking north from the Putter trail. The Book Cliffs
are in the distance.
Cliff Burton starts westbound, then turns back east along
the cliff edge above the Gordon Creek canyon. This trail is moderately
technical, with open rock outcrops, ledges, and cliff exposure. I thought
it was the most fun trail on the mesa. Watch for thin paint stripes and
arrows on the rock. In the dirt sections it was harder to follow, as there
were no tire tracks evident since the last rain.
At mile 1.7 of Cliff Burton, you'll find yourself at a doubletrack. The
trail seems to flow to the left, north. But that will take you to the mesa
road. Instead, turn hard right and follow the doubletrack back to the
cliff edge. Enjoy another 0.9 miles of cruising before Cliff Burton ends
on the Bull Mesa gravel road.
Eastbound on Cliff Burton, on Bull Mesa's south rim.
At this point, a counterclockwise ride has two
options: (1) return via Driver for a longer "rope" on your
lariat, or (2) drop down to the singletrack of Meander.
To return via Driver, ride downhill on the mesa road 0.4 miles. Find
the singletrack entry to Driver on your left, then fork right after 50
feet. When Driver puts you back on the mesa road, coast down to parking.
This ride is 12 miles with 1100 feet of overall climbing.
Looking to the east as we follow Cliff Burton.
To reach Meander, you'd also go downhill from Cliff Burton 0.4
miles on the gravel mesa road. But just before the Driver singletrack
spur, fork to the right and drop down a steep doubletrack. After the
initial plunge, the road will flatten. At
mile 0.3 from the mesa road, veer right and you'll find yourself at the
top of Meander along the cliff edge.
Meander is 1.9 miles long. After a circling around the cliff edge, it meanders
up and down. The riding here is slow and
technical. Not a quick way back to the car. When Meander ends on the dirt
right and descend. Keep straight until you're back at parking.
Near its bottom, Meander enters a rock wash. Techy
riding here. (There's a confusing trail split here. The "E"
option is easier than "D".)
Great views, beautiful in a desolate-sort-of-way. Enough riding of varying difficulty to satisfy most riders.
During my check-out ride, I found some issues with trail alignment, such as tight momentum-killing
turns around trees. (Pinion branches frequently raked across my arm during
turns. I had a couple dozen
bleeding spots on each arm. I'm a big guy on an XL bike with a tall seat-post.
Smaller riders might not have as much trouble.) The riding lines will improve with time -- and more riders. And
tree branches can be cut off. For now that shouldn't stop you from enjoying this ride.
Notice how the trail winds around this tree.
Impossible to avoid branches scraping across the arm.
If the above video does not appear on your
browser/device, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking
Riding notes, counterclockwise lariat ride:
0.0 Out of parking southbound
N39 38.269 W110 51.991
0.2 Fork R uphill on road
N39 38.104 W110 51.964
0.4 Keep L on DT N39 38.180 W110 52.034
0.7 R to Driver N39 37.966 W110 52.144
1.8 R on 3 Wood (L = to road)
N39 37.602 W110 52.240
3.7 R on 5 Wood (L = to road)
N39 37.418 W110 52.936
4.6 Keep L (R = Out of Bounds)
N39 37.808 W110 53.046
5.5 Cross road to Putter
N39 37.392 W110 53.333
6.9 Straight to Cliff Burton (R = DT to road)
N39 37.409 W110 54.582
8.7 Hard R uphill (L = DT to road)
N39 37.159 W110 53.423
Start DT portion of Cliff
9.6 R to join Bull Mesa road
N39 37.372 W110 52.648
10.0 L on Driver, 50 feet, then R
N39 37.598 W110 52.228
11.1 L on mesa road
N39 37.967 W110 52.145
11.6 L at road fork
11.8 Back at parking.
Getting there: On US-6 eastbound, drive
through Helper. Just after crossing the Price River, turn left onto the
Carbonville Road. Around 1/10th mile later, turn right on Chapman Lane
(2500 North). Ignore the "Dead End" sign. Turn right past the
storage buildings, then follow the road as it turns under US-6. It will
become Rim Rock drive as it circles around the south end of the golf
course, then turns west and climbs up the mesa. As you reach the flatter
area above the cliffs, turn left into a small parking area. The ride
starts by pedaling up the dirt road.