Quail Creek Lakeside Trail
South Lakeside (Quail Connector Trail), East Lakeside Trail
The Lakeside Trail is a route that will -- one day -- go all the way around
Quail Creek Lake. The western Lakeside Trail, commonly called the Quail
Creek trail, is discussed on another page. This page will discuss
first the south Lakeside Trail (which is also called the Quail Connector
trail) then the east Lakeside trail. Together these trails go from the
west Lakeside (Rhythm and Blues) parking to the secondary Quail Creek dam at
Harrisburg Gap, a distance of 3.8 miles.
View north over Quail Lake from the eastern Lakeside Trail.
Photos and ride description for eastern Lakeside by Bruce on
December 15, 2016. Update to include South Lakeside January 1, 2017.
The Lakeside Trail also provides a route from Rhythm and
Blues (and the Quail Creek west Lakeside Trail)
to the Boy Scout (Quail Overlook) trails.
The southern side -- the Quail Connector -- combines a bit of pavement and
doubletrack with over a mile of undulating desert singletrack. It connects to
the scout camp road just downhill from the eastern Lakeside trailhead, at
the bottom of the hill leading to the Overlook trailhead.
The east Lakeside trail joins the northern tip of the Cub Scout Loop of
the Overlook trail system, providing a quick route to the northern scout
trail loops. (See the Quail Overlook page
for details on these trails.)
View east on the Quail Connector, showing the
relative locations of the continuing Lakeside trail and the Overlook (Boy
Scout) trailhead along the scout camp road.
Quail Connector (South Lakeside)
The Quail Connector starts on the south side of the scout camp road
where it forks away from SR 318, 0.2 miles south of the Rhythm and
Blues trailhead and 0.4 miles north of Highway 9. (It's the cindered
road along the edge of the big chain-link fence. The trail starts on the
right side of the road about 50 feet from paved SR 318.) The total
distance of the Connector is 1.7 miles from the 318 trailhead to the
southern end of the east Lakeside trail, of which 1.2 miles is winding
View southeast showing typical trail on the Quail
Connector. First photos and GPS track January 1, 2017 by Bruce, updated
This trail has a very different character from eastern
Lakeside. It lies in white clay badlands of the Moenkopi formation,
winding around and through fingers of dirt. There will be a surprising 200
vertical feet of climbing over the course of the trail. The trail swoops,
dips, and twists for an exhilarating but unthreatening ride.
While the eastern Lakeside trail is quite water-tolerant, the clay on
the Connector Trail gets very squishy when wet. During mid-winter and
after rainstorms, I'd advise skipping the singletrack and simply riding
the scout camp road to the Overlook trails.
Bruce rolls a turn with the slopes of the Harrisburg
Bench in the background.
The ground along the Quail Connector trail is covered with
cryptobiotic crust. Don't go off-trail. The crust is composed of living
organisms, and will take many years to recover after you stomp on it.
There's a bit of sparse brush. The closest you'll come to a tree is a
bit of willow where the trail dips through a seep.
Getting a bit closer to the East Lakeside trail on
the last section of singletrack.
From the singletrack's origin on the western end of the
scout camp road, pedal 0.2 miles and cross a dirt road. At 0.8 miles, veer
right as the trail hits the edge of dirt road, following singletrack along
the right side of the road. Cross a dirt road that's joining the main
road, keeping straight. Veer right as the singletrack leaves the roadside
after another 100 feet.
The trail dips and twists through the desert clay
below the Quail Creek dam.
At mile 1.2, the singletrack dumps onto doubletrack. Veer
left and head north towards the dam. (The road across from you, heading
east, drops into a camping spot. It's not the trail, although there's a
cheater route from the end of the north campground back to the road that a
lot of locals ride.) Go 0.1 miles north.
Turn right (east) on the dirt road at the scout camp sign and pedal
another 0.1 mile to the Lakeside parking spot (primitive in 2016). If
you're heading for the Overlook trailhead, keep going up the gravel road
another 0.2 miles.
View north toward the dam as we pedal on the gravel
road after the end of the singletrack. Camping spots are found along this
The video below covers both South and East
If the above video does not appear on your
browser/device, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking
Riding notes, Connector from Rhythm &
0.0 R (south) on pavement
N37 10.399 W113 24.120
0.2 L on cindered scout camp road
50 feet, then R on ST
N37 10.291 W113 24.265
0.4 Cross dirt road N37 10.210 W113 24.239
1.0 R along dirt road N37 10.229 W113 24.006
100 feet cross joining road
1.1 R on singletrack away from road
N37 10.263 W113 23.941
1.4 L on dirt road (northbound)
N37 10.213 W113 23.819
1.5 Road forks right
N37 10.287 W113 23.768
1.6 East Lakeside trail on L
N37 10.223 W113 23.709
Getting there: Rhythm and Blues trailhead: On I-15 about 10 miles north of St. George, take the Hurricane (US-9) exit
eastbound. Drive 2.6 miles. After descending part-way down the hill, turn
left toward Quail Creek at the light (onto State Road 318). Drive another 0.5 miles north and
find the broad gravel parking area on the left side of the road. The trail
starts on the north (right) side of the parking area. East Lakeside trailhead: Drive to the trailhead on the scout
camp road as below.
See bottom of page for ride resources (GPS tracks, topo maps).
East Lakeside Trail
The East Lakeside trail temporarily joins (and will be
confused with) the "Scout Trails" a.k.a. Quail
Creek Overlook trails. But because it's going to be part of a lake
perimeter trail, I'm discussing East Lakeside separately. See the Overlook
trail page for details of the scout loop trails.
Early in the ride, we're climbing up the hillside
through red dirt ribbon. To the north is the Harrisburg Bench, then the
Pine Valley Mountains.
From the Scout Camp Road to the far side of the Harrisburg
Gap dam is 2.1 miles. The last 0.3 miles is on the Overlook Doubletrack
(dirt road between the two dams). There's 200 vertical feet of climbing
over the course of the ride.
The trail is easier intermediate in technical requirement. Some tight
uphill turns may be difficult for less-strong intermediates.
Typical climbing turn. The Shinarump cap-rock of the
Chinle Formation looms above us.
The trail begins at a (primitive in 2016) roadside parking
spot on the north side of the Scout Camp Road. The trailhead is found
right where the badlands (from a dam burst in 1989) meet the slope of the
hill. About 100 feet further uphill is the entry to the Overlook
Doubletrack, which at the road has been narrowed to a singletrack to keep
ATVs out. (If you didn't find the trail where you parked, pedal uphill to
the Overlook Trail.)
Headed back south. The trail dips and twists to dodge
After climbing through a single turn, the Lakeside Trail
will join the northbound Overlook Trail temporarily. Then 0.2 miles from
the trailhead it will turn uphill on singletrack and begin climbing the
mountain to get above the level of the dam. After four turns, it will
The trail surface is on red clay of the Red Member of the Moenkopi
Formation (Triassic Period). Large fallen boulders from the Shinarump
Conglomerate of the Chinle Formation litter the hillside around the trail.
Northbound again, with the Pine Valley Mountains
filling the skyline.
At mile 0.7, a spur from the Overlook DT will join on the
left. About 100 feet later, keep straight and eastbound as the northern
limb of the Cub Scout loop joins you from uphill on the right.
Dip through the gap between the mountains. A right turn in the bottom
of the dip would send you down the Wash Trail to the lower limb of the Cub
Scout Loop. Climb through one turn northbound, then fork to the left to
stay on the western side of the escarpment. (The trail going east heads
around the mountain to the Boy Scout and
Varsity Scout loops.)
At the Overlook, with cliff and water below us.
The trail will cross the doubletrack and climb up through a
few turns to a viewpoint over Quail Lake at mile 1.5. Enjoy a minute on
the bench at the overlook. (The viewpoint is also served by a short spur
from the Overlook DT.)
Just before you reach that viewpoint, the ridge trail forks away
southbound on your left. The ridge trail descends down to the Overlook
Doubletrack. Might as well do it. From the bottom, you can climb back to
the Lakeside trail.
View south on the Ridge Trail, about half-way down.
North of the Overlook, the trail tracks along the edge of
the cliff and descends through a series of turns. At the bottom of three
meanders (and seven tight turns), you'll have turned from northbound to
eastbound. Now the trail heads east along the eastern arm of Quail Lake.
Rolling a turn along the cliffs north of the Overlook.
At mile 1.8 the singletrack ends on the Overlook Doubletrack.
Turn left to head for the dam. At the north end of the Harrisburg Gap dam
is the temporary end of the lake's perimeter trail.
Until the trail is fully built, it's not a destination trail by itself.
But it's a fun addition to the Overlook trail system and worth riding
while you're there.
Eastbound, and almost to the doubletrack. That's the
Harrisburg Gap dam on the left.
Riding notes, south to north:
0.0 Find ST at NW corner of small parking zone
N37 10.220 W113 23.711
0.1 L turn onto Overlook DT
N37 10.228 W113 23.682
0.2 R uphill, leave Overlook DT
N37 10.267 W113 23.632
0.7 Keep straight (spur from DT joins L)
N37 10.432 W113 23.444
0.75 Straight (Cub Scout joins on R)
N37 10.421 W113 23.424
0.85 Across dip (R = Wash Trail)
N37 10.393 W113 23.333
0.9 L (R = Access to Scout Loops)
N37 10.400 W113 23.323
1.2 Cross Overlook DT
N37 10.651 W113 23.239
1.45 Keep R (L = Ridge Trail)
N37 10.722 W113 23.252
1.5 Overlook, straight N on ST
N37 10.743 W113 23.237
1.8 L on Overlook DT
N37 10.782 W113 23.083
2.0 L turn and cross dam
2.1 End. Go back.
Getting there: East Lakeside trailhead: On I-15 about 10 miles north of St. George, take the Hurricane (US-9) exit
eastbound. Drive 2.6 miles. After descending part-way down the hill, turn
left toward Quail Creek at the light (onto State Road 318). Drive another
0.4 miles north. When you see the chain-link fence of the water treatment
facility, turn right onto the road heading east along the fence. (You're
following the signs for the Scout Camp.) As you reach the fence corner, turn left
(north) to continue along the fence. And at the next fence corner near the dam, turn right (east). Now stay straight
as you dip through the old scar from the 1989 dam failure. Just as you're
beginning to climb the hill, turn into the small rough parking area on the
left (north) side of the road. The trail is at the northwest corner
(unmarked in December 2016). If you don't see it, pedal up the road 200
feet to the Overlook trail, which will join Lakeside in about 100 yards.
Quail Overlook trailhead: Continue east on the road and drive up to
the top of the little hill. Turn left into the Quail Overlook parking area.
Camping/picnic: sites along dirt road south of dam.