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Hurricane to Gould Connector Trail

This technical singletrack connects the city of Hurricane to the Hurricane Loop ride via Gould's Rim. It can be used by expert or skilled upper-intermediate mountain bikers as a climbing route or a fun downhill. The trail is 1.7 miles, consisting of 1.4 miles of challenging cliff-hugging singletrack and 0.3 miles of dirt road at the upper end.

A Rocky Mountain Blizzard fat bike sits on the trail. (Going to do some sand-and-slop riding later in the day.) We're looking northwest. Track, photos, and review by Bruce on December 12, 2016.

As a climbing route, the trail gains 300 vertical feet in 0.5 mile through switchbacks to get above the cliffs. Then comes a long traverse above the cliff edge. There are techy rock challenges and off-camber spots, often with a significant drop-off to your side. A few areas feature very narrow trail on steep hillside -- not enough room to safely walk alongside your bike. Seriously, this is an expert-level trail with significant injury potential for newbs who over-value their ability.

From the road's end the singletrack heads into Gould Wash. But in about 100 feet, we'll turn back 180 degrees. The cliffs here are the Toroweap Formation, formed about 260 million years ago in the Permian Period. This rock makes up most of the Hurricane Cliffs, with the Kiabab Limestone on top.

As a descender, the trail is superbly fun. But again, the rocks and cliff exposures require good skills. A nice quick ride is an up-and-back to the viewpoint at the end of the singletrack. Round trip is just under 3 miles.

If you're heading for the trail from above, look for doubletrack going west through a dip, 0.2 miles uphill from Highway 59. After you fork onto the trail, keep right to head south on the west face of the hill.

Southbound with rugged chunks of basalt watching the trail.

This trail offers a direct dirt-and-rock connection to Goulds from the city. That's a big deal if you're staying at a motel in town -- or if you're lucky enough to live here. From Goulds Rim, you can hit JEM, More Cowbell, Dead Ringer, and all that fun stuff. 

(Yes, I suppose you could climb up Highway 59 to the Gould's doubletrack or Hurricane Rim trailhead. But that portion of 59 is steep, there's no shoulder, and the traffic can be deadly. I would never do it.)

Understand that this trail is NOT a bypass to the dirt road. You'll still do that. It bypasses the paved highway.

Approaching a bridge, with basalt cliffs from a prehistoric lava flow above.

So here's how to find the trail. In Hurricane, go to 100 South and 100 East (that's the corner where the Over The Edge bike shop is located). Go south on 100 East until the road forces you to turn west (right) at 400 South. Quickly turn left on the narrow 60 East Street to go south again. Continue on cinders as the pavement ends. My GPS trail track starts at the dead-end, but you can also short-cut across a break in the old canal about 100 yards before the end of the road.

There are 10 of these tight corners (some tighter) above drop-offs on the southern end of the trail. This is basalt from a lava flow that occurred about 2 million years ago.

You'll see that shortcut on your left as you drive along the cindered road. As you hit the canal, climb the opposite wall, then after 30 feet make a 180 to join the northbound trail. (Do not pedal along the canal itself. That's a foot route.)

To enter from the road's end, keep straight and drop a little downhill on singletrack heading into the canyon. As you near a drop-off, veer left over a flat spot where you can reverse directions to join the northbound trail.

We're above the basalt now, and the rock is limestone. This is the Kiabab Limestone layer. We're talking Permian Period -- before the dinosaurs, but with mammal-like reptiles -- when all of Utah except the southeast corner was covered with ocean.

Once you're on the trail, there will be no trail forks as you climb to the top of the cliffs. At mile 1.4 you'll hit doubletrack. To your left is a viewpoint over the cliffs, and the doubletrack heads uphill to your right. Keep straight to join the dirt road, heading north.

Just after the road turns east, you'll come to a multi-road fork. Any of the paths to your left will take you through the gully and over to the white dirt road -- and that's what you want to do. The white road is the doubletrack route up to Goulds Rim, just 0.2 miles from where it left Highway 59.

Looking north as the trial undulates above the cliffs. That's Highway 59 to the left.

Another option is to continue to circle to the right. This will put you on a loose, steep, and rocky doubletrack that climbs above the Hurricane "H" on the hill, then joins the Goulds Rim doubletrack road just before the last push to the summit.

Viewpoint where the singletrack meets doubletrack. Under my handlebars is Highway 59. Highway 9 is the curved road at mid-photo.

Bottom Line:
Great trail, very fun, with nice views. I recommend it only for advanced or good upper-intermediate riders, as it's too techy for true intermediates.

Getting there:
On Highway 9 eastbound in Hurricane, turn right at the Highway 59 sign. Go four blocks south to 400 South and turn left (east). Turn right on the narrow 60 East Street to go south again. Continue on cinders as the pavement ends. My GPS trail track starts at the dead-end, but you can also short-cut across a break in the old canal about 100 yards before the end of the road.

Conditions and current trail information at Over The Edge bike shop, on the corner of 100 East and 100 South in Hurricane.

Copyright 2016

Other Resources:
     Hurricane Cliffs Trail Summary page    Gould's Rim
     JEM     JEM DT   More Cowbell    Dead Ringer 
     Hurricane Rim Trail   Goosebumps/Cryptobionic
GPS track files (right-click and "Save target as..."):     Map datum WGS 84
    Gould's Connector Track only  
    GPX master file of area trails    Loop ride Gould-JEM-Hurricane 
Lodging, camping, shops:    Links to St. George area resources