(Bull Mesa riding area)
The Country Club trails are on Bull Mesa south of Helper. The trails vary in difficulty from easy-intermediate to expert. As the trails circle the edge of the mesa, expect great views. At an altitude averaging 6000 feet, the riding season will be mid-April through November.
You reach the trails from Carbonville Road, taking Chapman Lane (2500 North) to go underneath US-6, continuing around the border of the golf course on Rim Rock Drive. The road then climbs Bull Mesa. There's a small parking area on the first "shelf" of the mesa, marked by a very short carsonite post.
The trail alignment occasionally has "flow" issues. For example many turns wrap too closely around trees. (Probably used to be perfect, but then the tree got bigger.) A large rider will be unable to avoid taking dozens of branch-hits on the arms. Momentum Killer turns galore. OK, that's my quibble. Otherwise the area earns a recommendation for the views and the rock riding on the south rim.
If you want to start with the technical stuff on Cliff Burton on the south rim for a clockwise ride, pedal past Driver. After 1/2 mile, also ride past the entry to 3 Wood (on your right). After another 0.4 miles climbing uphill on the gravel Bull Mesa road, veer left onto Cliff Burton.
If you're riding counterclockwise, Driver will skirt the mesa edge above Garley Canyon for 1.1 miles to reach 3 Wood. At the trail fork, go right -- the left spur connects to Bull Mesa road.
3 Wood is 2.1 miles. It follows the mesa edge for a time, then climbs south through juniper, pinion, and grass. At the trail fork in the meadow, fork right to 5 Wood. (Again, the left spur takes you to the mesa road.)
On the western limb of 5 Wood, not too far from the cliffs, there's a trail fork labeled "Out of Bounds." But after wandering around in the trees I wasn't able to identify a trail I could follow here. So Out of Bounds isn't included on my map or tracks. If you want to include it in your ride plan, check with the local bike shop for its current status.
Putter is an easier trail. The surface is almost all soft dirt. Riding east to west -- counterclockwise -- it's gently downhill. (Beginners can reach this trail by riding west on the mesa road. There are a few tight turns around trees that could give beginners trouble.)Putter is 1.7 miles long, ending at a doubletrack. To the right, the doubletrack takes you back to the mesa road. Straight ahead is the Cliff Burton singletrack.
At mile 1.7 of Cliff Burton, you'll find yourself at a doubletrack. The trail seems to flow to the left, north. But that will take you to the mesa road. Instead, turn hard right and follow the doubletrack back to the cliff edge. Enjoy another 0.9 miles of cruising before Cliff Burton ends on the Bull Mesa gravel road.
To return via Driver, ride downhill on the mesa road 0.4 miles. Find the singletrack entry to Driver on your left, then fork right after 50 feet. When Driver puts you back on the mesa road, coast down to parking. This ride is 12 miles with 1100 feet of overall climbing.
Meander is 1.9 miles long. After a circling around the cliff edge, it meanders up and down. The riding here is slow and technical. Not a quick way back to the car. When Meander ends on the dirt road, turn right and descend. Keep straight until you're back at parking.
Great views, beautiful in a desolate-sort-of-way. Enough riding of varying difficulty to satisfy most riders. But the Country Club trails definitely need more tires on them, both to improve the riding lines and to make certain trails (example Out of Bounds and Fairway, which I couldn't find and/or follow) more obvious. And "range improvement" heavy machinery recently damaged 5 Wood. For now that shouldn't stop you from enjoying this ride.
A visit to the Country Club trails...
0.0 Out of parking southbound
N39 38.269 W110 51.991
0.2 Fork R uphill on road
N39 38.104 W110 51.964
0.4 Keep L on DT N39 38.180 W110 52.034
0.7 R to Driver N39 37.966 W110 52.144
1.8 R on 3 Wood (L = to road)
N39 37.602 W110 52.240
3.7 R on 5 Wood (L = to road)
N39 37.418 W110 52.936
4.6 Keep L (R = Out of Bounds)
N39 37.808 W110 53.046
5.5 Cross road to Putter
N39 37.392 W110 53.333
N39 37.409 W110 54.582
8.7 Hard R uphill (L = DT to road)
N39 37.159 W110 53.423
Start DT portion of Cliff Burton
9.6 R to join Bull Mesa road
N39 37.372 W110 52.648
10.0 L on Driver, 50 feet, then R
N39 37.598 W110 52.228
11.1 L on mesa road
N39 37.967 W110 52.145
11.6 L at road fork
11.8 Back at parking.
One-page riding guide
Counterclockwise lariat loop as above
GPS track files (right-click link, then save as a file:
GPX Bull Mesa with individual trail tracks
Lariat CCwise loop
Loop, through Meander
Map for printing
Aerial view as above
High-res area topo
Lodging, camping, shops Links to Price area resources
Bike services: Price