The locals say "Pioneer Park" to refer to two trails: (1) Pioneer Rim,
an advanced-technical trail skirting the cliff-edge above Pioneer Park,
and (2) a short easy trail within Pioneer Park itself that features a beginner's
taste of slickrock.
View east as the
morning sun hits the bluff. The trail is mostly slickrock, but the brush that grows in
every crack gives the impression that it's soil! April 5, 2000. Page updated
2008 and 2017.
Pioneer Park is located in the red cliffs on the north side
of St. George. Kids love to explore the trails between red hoodoos, and
there's some easy slickrock to try your beginning biker skills. Our map
shows a short loop within the park that climbs onto a slickrock shelf,
heads west, then returns via a slot between hoodoos to the starting point.
Bruce cruises a
flatter section of rock in 2017. Note the hikers, who climbed up the rock wash
from Pioneer Park.
The Pioneer Rim trail does NOT start in Pioneer Park. It is
located on the cliffs above it. The trailhead is at the top of the hill on
Snow Canyon Parkway, about 1/2 mile uphill from the west Pioneer Park
parking lot. Newbies will NOT enjoy the Pioneer Rim trail --
reserve this ride for advanced or upper-intermediate riders.
Heading east from the parking lot.
The ride is about 90% slickrock, two miles each way. After crossing a small 4-wheeler road
above Pioneer Park, the rock becomes more technical. In this second part of
the trail, it's harder to follow the path. Many riders turn around before
this second cliffside area, but it's worth pushing on and doing a little
From the parking area, the trail climbs
south and east before descending down to the edge of the sandstone cliffs.
From the trailhead, start riding east (away from the road).
Turn to the right for "Pioneer Rim" at the trail fork and follow
the trail uphill. As you approach the top of the ridge, turn right again
at a T intersection.
There will be ledges and rough sandstone.
The trail will now turn toward the south, then drop down off
the hill eastbound. This trail doesn't see as many riders as most St.
George area trails -- and there are a couple of alternate paths -- so
sometimes the route can be a bit hard to follow. Just remember you're
trying to reach the cliff edge to the south.
Bruce cruises the "breaks" above Pioneer
Park in November 2017.
As you reach a ledge area above the mounds of rock cliff,
keep working to the east. Generally, you're looking for something that
looks like a path, in the general area where the dirt and the open rock
meet. Sometimes you'll be on open slickrock; other times you're on rocky
dirt singletrack just above it.
Slightly techy, and certainly bumpy, stuff on the
Just over a mile from the trailhead, the trail drops down to
a gravel road. Cross to the other side and find the route back up to the
top of the slickrock. The riding now becomes advanced technical. The trail
is less obvious -- where you can identify a single route. Again, you're
riding fairly close to where the rock drops away to the valley. Watch
for small small rockpiles (cairns), rows of rocks, and tire marks.
On the eastern end of the ride, approaching the
turtle fence and Industrial Blvd.
About 1/2 mile later after crossing the dirt road, you'll come to a turtle-fence. There's a little loop here (might be
hard to spot if it's your first time). Most bikers use this as a turn-around spot, but you
can also continue east another 1/3 mile to connect with Industrial Drive for
a road-return if you want.
Bruce attacks a short but steep ramp. The distinction
between "The Trail" and "Not Quite the Trail, but I'm
Riding" can be tricky.
Watch where you're putting your tires. Break your clavicle
or leave some skin on the rock, but don't hurt my pet tortoise!
Not every bump in the trail is a rock!
The trail is located
in a desert tortoise protection area.
Here an 18-inch mojave tortoise craws out into the
morning sunshine to warm up. Photos from 2000.
Fun for skilled riders, beautiful rock. Short and relatively lonely. But if you
add this trail to City Creek (right across the
Snow Canyon Parkway from the trailhead) and the Bluff Street Cliffs
(Owen's) ride, it's a worthy day of riding.
How can anyone NOT love this trail?
The park itself is a good place
for your beginning bikers to play, and for the non-bikers to explore fun trails among the
many sandstone canyons. There's a circle route within the park. But the park has seen significant development over
the years, with large paved parking lots putting many families and hikers
onto the sandstone and dirt paths. So I DO NOT recommend riding in the
park on weekends -- it's just too busy.
Diane, and Kristen rode around the paved picnic loop, then explored the
many dirt paths leading up to the cliffs. May 5, 2000.
There is a path on the west side of the park that follows
the open rock. Beginners can cruise on this flat area and say they've
ridden on slickrock. Unfortunately, it's a short segment. But if your
family is already there with bikes on the car, check it out.
There are two parking lots. A small lot on the west end serves hikers
and connects directly under the street to the paved bike path along Snow
Canyon Parkway. The main lot on the east serves picnic areas.
Bruce rides through Pioneer Park on May 5, 2000.
Getting there: From St. George Blvd (the main drag), head
north on Main Street (towards the "Dixie" painted on the big rock above the
cliffs). When you reach Hope Street, turn right, then immediately take the left fork and
climb Skyline Drive to the top of the cliffs. Turn left on Snow Canyon Parkway (labeled
Skyline Drive on some city maps, and called Turtle Road by many locals). 1/2 mile up from
the intersection after crossing the top of the hill, turn right into the
fenced parking area. The trail starts at the far end at the kiosk. (On the
northwest corner of the lot -- left from where you entered the parking lot
-- there's a paved path leading down to an underpass. This will take you
to the paved bike path across the road, and allow you to connect to City
Creek and Owen's trails.
Bathrooms and water: Pioneer Park. None at the
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