||JEM Upper Doubletrack
The JEM Doubletrack (JEM DT) is a dirt road along the northern skirts
of Gooseberry Mesa. It was the uphill part of the old classic JEM
loop ride. It connects eastern Goosebumps to the JEM upper
Because upper JEM is now downhill-only, the DT is again being used as a
climbing route. It's also found new life as a downhill for a loop route that combines Goosebumps
and upper Dead Ringer (with a side tour of More
View to the north near the JEM
trailhead. The slopes of Gooseberry Mesa are on the right. Photos and
review by Bruce
on March 17, 2015.
|The doubletrack is a nice route for beginners and is
compatible with tow-trailers. I recommend that true beginners and
out-of-shapers go only to the viewpoint spur (the blue side-trip on the
map below), for a two-mile round trip. This first portion of the DT is
virtually flat and super easy. The trail follows an erosion-resistant layer
of Virgin Limestone that forms a platform.
Looking up at Gooseberry. The crown is
Shinarump Conglomerate of the Chinle Formation, then Moenkopi Upper Red
Member, then Shnabkaib (gray). We're riding on the Middle Red Member of
the Moenkopi Formation. The test will be on Tuesday. Bring a #2 pencil.
||The DT traverses the skirts of the mesa on a flat clay slope
just above limestone ledges. The first mile and a half are flat, then
there's a little bit of up-and-down.
In the east you'll see the sandstone cliffs of Zion National Park. The
monoliths are Navajo Sandstone from the Jurassic Period.
View northeast toward Zion. The
yellow-gray ledge is the Virgin Limestone, a harder layer that creates a
bit of platform for the DT.
|On your right, the Moenkopi slopes of Gooseberry Mesa rise
above you. The red clays are interrupted by the grays of the Shnabkaib
member. At the apex is a bit of Shinarump Conglomerate, the bottom layer
of the Chinle formation.
To the left the escarpment breaks to a broad valley, with the granite
Pine Valley Mountains in the background.
We're seeing a bit of the Pine Valley
Mountains on the left here, as the DT follows hill contour above the
||At mile 2.7 from the trailhead, the road forks. Take the
left (downhill) option. You'll drop down into a wash and head toward the
bottom of the mesa skirts.
At mile 3.2, the dirt road pulls leftward and out of the wash. At the
crest of this little hill, Goosebumps crosses.
Looking west as we pass the head of a
|Your options here are:
(1) Straight on DT, which takes you down to Sheep Bridge Road. From here
you can go left to Highway 59 or (1/3 mile before reaching 59) to catch
JEM to Dead Ringer for the uphill climb to the TH.
(2) Left on Goosebumps for a very nice loop ride, using the uphill third
of Dead Ringer for the final climb. This option is for riders with at
least intermediate skills.
(3) Right on the Goosebumps downhill to Cryptobionic or Sheep Bridge Road.
We've descended below the limestone
layer and are about to hit the valley. The Lower Red Member of the
Moenkopi Formation forms the mudstone and clay cliff on the right.
||If you arrived here with a bike trailer, you need to follow
option 1 above. Goosebumps is absolutely NOT compatible with a tow
Older children should be able to manage the right turn onto lower
Goosebumps down to Sheep Bridge Road. If in doubt, stay on the dirt road.
We've made the left turn onto the
|For intermediate to advanced riders, the westbound ride on
Goosebumps is highly recommended. (You can also do the loop clockwise,
taking Dead Ringer to Goosebumps, then climbing the DT to complete the
loop). This 9-mile ride has brought new life to the formerly lonely
doubletrack, just so riders can get to the east end of Goosebumps! Add
More Cowbell to stretch the loop to 11 fun miles!
Following the bumps back toward
|Update, April 2015:
The upper portion of JEM (from the Highway 59 trailhead down to the Goosebumps
intersection) is now one-way, downhill only. When climbing to the Highway
59 trailhead, you must use either Dead Ringer
on the west or the JEM Doubletrack from the east.
|JEM DT - Goosebumps Loop ride notes:
0.0 Cross cattle extruder, straight on DT
N37 08.348 W113 14.522
1.0 Viewpoint spur out-and-back on L
N37 09.085 W113 14.457
2.7 Left downhill N37 09.537 W113 13.422
3.2 Left on Goosebumps ST
N37 09.747 W113 13.599
5.1 Keep L on Goosebumps (R = Crypto)
N37 09.782 W113 14.519
5.3 Keep L (temporary split)
|6.6 Keep R (temporary
7.1 Cross JEM to Dead Ringer
N37 09.111 W113 15.109
7.2 Keep L and uphill
N37 09.035 W113 15.086
8.3 Keep straight (L = More Cowbell)
N37 08.410 W113 14.743
8.6 Keep straight (R) N37 08.487 W113 14.648
9.0 At DT, R to TH
||Getting there, Sheep Bridge Road trailhead: From I-15 north, take the La Verkin exit on
UT-17. From the south, take the Hurricane exit on US-9 and go through
Hurricane towards Zion National Park. At the junction of US-9 with UT-17,
turn east towards Zion. 4.8 miles after the turnoff, turn right (south) on
a gravel road signed "Sheep Bridge Rd." 0.5 miles later, you'll
cross over the Virgin River. Just uphill is a cattleguard, then a
doubletrack on your right 0.1 miles after the bridge. Take the doubletrack
0.2 miles to a turn-around overlooking the Virgin River. The singletrack
is at the end of the turn-around.
Upper JEM trailhead: In Hurricane, turn south on US-59 (towards the Grand Canyon). Drive exactly 5
miles uphill. Turn left on cindered doubletrack right as you approach the base of Gooseberry
Mesa. Drive another 0.3 miles to the parking area and head northeast on
JEM.. N 37 08.329' W 113 14.527'
Highway 59 Sheep Bridge Rd: Drive toward
the upper JEM trailhead on Highway 59 as above. But at mile 3.3 (while
still on the flat area), turn left on gravel road. Immediately park on the
right, just inside the fence. Pedal 0.4 miles northeast to where the JEM
singletrack crosses. Navigate to your destination trail.
Hurricane Hill trailhead: As above, turn south in Hurricane
on US-59 Follow the road uphill 0.9 miles, then turn left into the
trailhead parking near the cell phone towers. GPS N 37 10.740' W 113
16.601', Alt=3650'. The Hurricane Rim trail begins along the fence,
heading northeast. To get to Gould's, roll down the highway (caution!) 0.1
miles then veer left to the steep doubletrack.