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Kanab Singletrack Loops
at Jacob Hamblin Park

In 2016, Kanab finally got onto Utah's mountain biking map with the construction of bike-specific singletrack on the north edge of town. (Other bike-able trails in Kanab such as Cottonwood, K-Hill, and Tom's Canyon are, disappointingly, closed to bikes.) The master plan is for several miles of bike trails in the area. At this time 1.5 miles of trail are complete, forming two riding loops: Raven and Roadrunner. 

Kanab cyclist Christina climbs on the Raven Trail. Photos, tracks, and ride description by Bruce on December 13, 2016.

These trails are well-built and fun to ride. The local volunteers are working hard to develop a larger trail system to entice you to stay in Kanab. In the meantime it's only 60 miles from Hurricane to Kanab. For news, check the Kanab Cycling Club's page.

The trailhead is at 5050 feet elevation. It faces south, so it warms up quickly in the mornings and will be toasty hot on a summer afternoon. The usual riding season would be March through December.

Looking to the east on the Roadrunner Trail. The cliffs are the Chinle Formation, which is unusually thick and complex in the cliffs above Kanab.

The trailhead for the Kanab Singletrack is northeast of Jacob Hamblin Park, right at the edge of the cliffs. The geographic address is 650 North 100 East. From the trailhead parking, straight north takes you on the Squaw Trail. (This trail delivers you to the intersection of the Raven Loop and Roadrunner in the wash after 0.2 miles.) If you look to the right (east) from the trailhead, you'll see the Roadrunner loop.

There's alternate dirt parking west of the catch basin (see the map). Locals park here to hike the Squaw Trail. I suspect that this parking area will be closed off as the area is developed, but for now it's an option. 

Here's the trailhead northeast of Jacob Hamblin Park, with my bike ready to jump off the rack. It's 9 am, temperature 31 degrees in mid-December.

 
Roadrunner Loop
The Roadrunner Loop rides best in the clockwise direction. But as long as you're here, why not do it both ways?

The loop consists of Roadrunner and the bottom bit of the Squaw Trail. It's 0.8 miles in length and would rate experienced beginner to easy-intermediate in tech requirement. Aerobically, it's easy, with only 50 feet of elevation change.

Beginning of the Roadrunner trail just up from the parking lot, looking east.

To go counterclockwise, look to your right (east) and find the trail right at the northeast corner of the parking strip. Head east towards the cliffs on flat and easy trail. Keep to the left at the trail fork in 0.2 miles. The right fork is techy and is designed to ride in the opposite direction. (You'll rejoin this route in 100 yards.)

On the more-technical alternate route at the east end of Roadrunner, looking north.

Now the trail will curve around 180 degrees and head west under the cliffs. There will be a short but steep uphill as you dip through the old canal. Depending on your legs and traction, this may be a push-a-bike for most riders.

Heading back to the west. The old canal is at the bottom left of the photo.

At mile 0.6, Roadrunner intersects the bottom of the Raven Loop and the Squaw Trail in the bottom of the big wash. From here, you can turn hard left onto the Squaw Trail to head back to the parking area. This completed loop is 0.8 miles with 50 feet of overall climbing.

Or, from the west end of Roadrunner you can find the Raven Loop and tackle some more-technical riding.

On the Squaw trail, just downhill from the west end of Roadrunner. Looking southeast.

 

To ride Roadrunner in the clockwise direction from the trailhead parking, take Squaw toward the big wash. Just as you start to hit the big boulders, you'll see the sign for Roadrunner on your right.

(Note:  The Squaw Trail is designated as a hiking trail. But unlike other area trails, I didn't see a specific "no bikes" sign on the trailpost. You'll note that the 0.1 miles that lies in the wash bottom isn't really bike-able uphill. Squaw joins the Hog Canyon ATV system near the TV towers 2 miles and 800 vertical feet uphill. The downhill track is included in my area file.)

West end of Roadrunner, with just-installed trail sign.

 
Raven Loop
The Raven Loop starts in the wash where the west end of Roadrunner hits the Squaw Trail.  2016 note:  There's a dead-end where it appears that a final 100 yards of trail remains to be built, but there's a connector trail that creates a 0.8 mile loop. See the map below.

Northeast corner of Raven, where the trail begins with a barely-rideable uphill switchback -- which would discourage most riders from going counter-clockwise. (Squaw continues uphill in the washbottom from here, while Raven is the ramp straight ahead.)

The Raven Trail is upper-intermediate overall, but can be done by confident intermediates with a few walk-overs or oops-restarts. The climbing will be just under 150 vertical feet. My GPS track shows a riding time of under 7 minutes for one lap.

The loop can be done in either direction. But there are a couple of tricky spots that ride much better going clockwise.

Aaron heads uphill in a clockwise ride. We're cruising on a flatter spot just after the first climb away from the wash.

For a 1.1-mile lariat clockwise loop ride on Raven, start on the Squaw Trail. When you reach the mouth of the wash, turn 90 degrees to the left and coast down toward the right side of the catch basin. Go about 150 feet, and before you reach the basin itself, find a singletrack forking to the right climbing the hill. This is the temporary access.

About 150 feet up the connector, you'll see a southbound trail on your left. Flip a circle and hit it. (The trail extending north to your right is a dead end in December 2016.) Now you're on the loop.

First, and easiest, of two rock gardens.

The trail will climb through a series of well-manicured turns. A lot of TLC went into this trail. Enjoy the views of Kanab to your south as you climb through sparse bitterbrush, pinion, and juniper.

Christina cranks uphill on nicely-buffed trail.

Once you reach the loop's highest point, you'll start hitting a few techy areas. There are a couple of short but rough rock bang-overs and three tight turns that will give intermediates some trouble.

A final steep tight turn drops you into the wash southbound, where you can connect to Roadrunner, or head down for another go around the loop.

Switchback on the northern side of the loop. Note the lovely rock-work and superb riding surface.

Bottom Line:
Very nice trails, well-designed and beautifully constructed. Pretty scenery. Overall, the system doesn't have enough miles to satisfy most riders. But it's good stuff, so if you're going to be in the Kanab area, bring your bike. Plan on taking multiple laps in both directions.

Descending north into the wash on the last section of Raven.

Riding notes, quick Roadrunner to Raven ride:
0.0   R from parking on Roadrunner
        N37 03.501 W112 31.576
0.2   Keep L (R = tech alternate)
        N37 03.533 W112 31.427
0.6   West end of Roadrunner
        N37 03.621 W112 31.661
        90 degrees L, cross wash going southwest
        (Southeast = Squaw returning to TH)
0.7   Watch for trail on R
        N37 03.552 W112 31.682
0.8   Hard L on Raven
        N37 03.575 W112 31.708
1.4   Back in wash bottom
        N37 03.623 W112 31.667
        Jog over to Squaw trail heading southeast
1.6   Back at parking
Getting there:
Go to 100 East in Kanab. (100 East is where US-89 makes a 90-degree turn in the middle of town, going north-south instead of east-west then turns again in a few blocks.) Drive north on 100 East until you hit the parking strip on the edge of the catch basin.

Trail resources:
Single-page riding guide
Map:  Higher-res map in separate window for printing.
GPS files:
   Multi-track area file
   Roadrunner Loop    Raven Loop

 

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