There are two
mountain biking loops -- new in 2018 -- along the Southern Parkway just
south of the St. George Airport. These are part of the Desert Canyons
subdivision but are open to the general public. The first loop is open;
the second loop is still being constructed, as of early June 2018.
that the trails have not yet been formally named (June 2018). I'm using
the names "Desert Canyons" for the main loop and "Ft Pierce
Wash" for the second (unfinished) loop as temporary placeholders.
to the west from the upper mesa. Photos and ride description by Bruce on
May 31, 2018.
|Both loops start as the same trail from the northern Desert
Canyons trailhead. To get there, take the Desert Canyons exit from the
Southern Parkway (Highway 7). Turn north (left if you're eastbound from
St. George or Bloomington). About 1/10th mile from the Parkway, the
trailhead is on your right. It's marked by a couple of flags in May 2018.
Trailhead, looking north. Not the same trailhead as
for Pushing Tin.
||The main loop is easily done by beginning riders. The Fort
Pierce loop (under construction) will be a bit more techy due to
undulating surface and a few squeezing spots between rocks.
The terrain is wide-open, with views in every direction. There are no
trees; just a bit of low brush among the rocks.
Looking north from the top of the hill, with the
airport nestled in front of the Pine Valley Mountains.
|The trails are general purpose and have been worked-over for
ride-ability and run-ability. Areas with loose desert dirt have been
hardened with a layer of road base. So even though brand new, the riding
surface is firm. No fishtailing around in soft red desert-slop.
Note the different dirt colors. The trail has been
reinforced with road-base crush -- so your tires won't dig into the fresh
||The first trail fork is the Fort Pierce Wash trail on your
right. It is not open for general riding yet (May 2018). Keep straight for
the Desert Canyons lariat loop.
The next trail fork is the Desert Canyons loop. The trail is ONE-WAY
and runs counter-clockwise. Make a hard right turn to begin your climb
along the edge of the mesa. There's a flagged trail fork for the new trail
near the top. Keep left to continue your loop ride.
Looking south toward the Desert Canyons development
as we climb counterclockwise.
|There's a viewpoint at the top with 360 degree desert views.
Of that, about 90 degrees is the St. George airport to the north. But
enjoy the Pine Valley Mountains behind the airport.
The trail begins a steady and gentle winding descent back to the trail
fork. Make another loop, or keep straight to finish up.
Fort Pierce Wash loop (under construction)
||Just stickin' a few pics here so I'm ready when the trail is
open. The loop is probably less than 1/2 mile away from finished.
The southern side of the trail follows the shoulder between the mesa
and Ft Pierce Wash, winding around and dodging boulders. One mile of the
trail is complete and rides nicely. But it's not officially open.
So if you see barrier tape or a sign, stay off. It's currently being
Looking northeast as we ride on the shoulder between
mesa and wash.
|The Rocky Mountain takes a breather at one of many tight
spots where the trail threads the needle between boulders.
The flag-line seems to indicate that the wash trail
will meet a
descending trail from the top near the airport parkway.
||Getting there, Desert Canyons parkway trailhead:
Southbound on I-15, take the Southern Parkway (Utah Highway 7) about a
mile from the Arizona border. Keep left on the exit off-ramp to pass under
I-15. Drive around 6 miles to the Desert Canyons Parkway exit. Turn left
on Desert Canyons Parkway, pass under the Southern Parkway and drive
1/10th mile north to a trailhead on your right.
The Meditation Rock trailhead for Pushing Tin is on the opposite side
of Southern Parkway (see map and directions on our Pushing