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Red Hollow Trail
Cedar City North riding area

There are a confusing number of Red Canyons, Red Hollows and Red Mountains in Utah. This one is in the Cedar City northern mountain bike trail system, located in the hills east of Cedar City and north of Highway 14. The Red Hollow trail itself is fairly short (less than a mile), but connects to the Thor's Hideout trail at the top, and has options for loop rides around The Red Hill using the Red Mountain trail.

Looking down the Red Hollow Trail towards highway 14. Photos and ride review by Bruce on April 3, 2016.

The bottom of the trail is on Highway 14, 1.5 miles from Main Street. There's unimproved trailhead parking to the left of the canyon. (It's across from the nature trail, where a bridge connects across Coal Creek to the paved trail.) This is where you'd park for an up-and-back ride, or if you're leaving a shuttle vehicle on a point-to-point ride -- with a plan to start pedaling at Thunderbird Gardens using Thor's as the uphill.

Looking across Highway 14 at the trailhead, with The Red Hill on the left. The trail climbs the slot between the two hills.

The Uphill

The pitch of the trail averages 10% (400 vertical in 0.8 miles), so it's a stiff climb from the bottom. The riding is intermediate technical except for a couple of rock plays that non-experts can step over. The new trail is very solid and flat, but with a bit of rock litter that can affect traction.

Just getting started. The pitch is tolerable, and the wide smooth track makes it easy to take your time and crawl up.

There are a couple of short steeper pitches where traction comes into play. If you can hold the tread on the trail, you can grind your way up. The new trail-cut is pretty wide for singletrack, so there's room to bobble if you're struggling with the climb.

About mid-way up. The trail is surrounded by pinion pine, which occasionally gives a bit of shade.

To your left as you climb, The Red Hill looms above you. The salmon colored sandstone is pretty. And on weekends, you'll pass hikers who are there to enjoy the scenery.

Looking west up the face of The Red Hill.

The canyon faces south. And with plenty of rock to absorb the sunshine, it will get toasty hot on a summer's afternoon. Not a problem if you're doing the combo Thor's Hideout and Red Hollow north to south, so Red Hollow is on the downhill.

Getting closer to the top. You can see a bit of the ridgeline on the far right between the trees.

The Downhill

Red Hollow is a fun descent, with a broad track featuring gentle curves as it plunges down the draw. Sight lines are good, but keep your head up so you can spot hikers and climbing bikers with plenty of time.

A fun way to ride this trail is a 5-mile loop starting at the Thor's Hideout trailhead at Thunderbird Gardens. The loop will climb Thors, descend Red Hollow, link to Red Mountain, then connect back to the trailhead.

Flags show a new and longer route -- yet to come.

After climbing Thor's to the ridgeline, drop down Red Hollow to Highway 14. Resist the temptation to cross the creek and jump on the paved trail -- it doesn't cross the river again until you're back in town. Head 1/2 mile down the road and turn right into the small primitive and unmarked parking spot for Red Mountain. Climb the wash.

About half-way down. Yeah, it all looks pretty much like this.

Take the Red Mountain trail to the ridgeline. My recommendation is the western route, staying on Red Mountain until you're almost to the golf course then heading northeast up the white wash to the gravel road. (There's a push-a-bike when riding south-to-north on the eastern side.) See the map.

Now just turn right on the gravel road and pedal back to the trailhead.

Almost to the trailhead.

Loop ride, Thors and the Reds from Thunderbird:
0.0   East through opening in fence
       N37 41.413 W113 02.591
0.3   R uphill (still DT) out of wash
        N37 41.423 W113 02.346
        (follow ST designators, see Thors page
        for more details on the climb)
1.55 Fork R uphill N37 40.891 W113 02.275
        (L = unfinished future trail)
1.65 Top of ridge N37 40.867 W113 02.257
        Descend ST south
1.7   Connect to new Red Hollow
2.3   Bottom of canyon, R to parking
        R on SR 14 N37 40.332 W113 02.233
2.8   R to Red Mountain Trail
        N37 40.450 W113 02.731
3.3   Veer L on ridge, pass E route on R
        N37 40.799 W113 02.721
3.4   R on traversing trail northwest
        N37 40.730 W113 02.788
        Descend, work north on ATV track
        Keep generally R
4.2   Veer R (don't approach golf course)
        N37 41.210 W113 03.013
4.3   Enter wash going northeast
        N37 41.224 W113 02.965
4.4   R up gravel road N37 41.284 W113 02.935
4.8   Back at parking
Getting there, Highway 14 Trailhead: 
On Cedar City's Main Street, turn east (towards the mountains) on Center Street, Highway 14. As you pass The Red Hill at 1.5 miles from Main Street, turn left into primitive parking. Hug the mountain edge as you pedal toward the entrance to the canyon and begin climbing.
Thunderbird Gardens TH:
When southbound on I-15, take the first Cedar City exit (the same one you'd use to head for Three Peaks) and turn left towards the mountains. The road will make a broad turn to the south to become Main Street in Cedar City. Turn left at 900 North (it will be just as you reach the cemetery on the right-hand side). When you reach the golf course buildings, the pavement ends. Keep straight ahead onto gravel road. Pass a couple of flood-control basins, driving 1.2 miles from Main Street. Park in the fenced white-gravel trailhead area and start your ride eastbound by the trail kiosk.

Camping: none
Water: none
Bathroom: none
Bike services: Cedar Cycles

Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files for this trail (right-click and "Save as..."):
     Loop ride as above  (note: top of Red Hollow is old trail track)
     Area GPX multi-track file 
     Eastern return Hwy 14 to Thunderbird 
High-res area trail topo for printing:   View topo map
Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to Cedar City area resources

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