The St George Airport trail system lies just west of the airport.
There's 8 miles of singletrack, with trails ranging from easy to very
difficult. The trails run in a general north-south direction with many
loop options. The average elevation is 2700 feet. Weather allowing, the
trails can be ridden year-round.
Southbound on the western side of the main loop.
Photos and review by Bruce on February
I don't recommend these trails to riders who are new to the
area, unless you're going with someone who already knows the area well.
Trails are unmarked and the options can get confusing. Just finding your
way to the trails will be your first challenge. There's no developed
trailhead. You can pedal into the system from Banded Hills Road on the
north end, or from Desert Canyons on the
south. If you're exploring on your own, I highly suggest GPS navigation
such as Trailforks.
Most riders will hit the more-difficult expert bits
on the west edge of the bluff. You can use them as alternates to the west
side of the main loop, or as little loops off the ride.
I'll divide the system into three main options: an eastern
3-mile doubletrack that extends all the way through the system (which a
surprising number of riders use), the easier 3-mile main singletrack loop
in the center (with access singletrack at the north and south ends), and
the 4 expert ridgeline options that leave and reconnect on the western
side, which can be used as mini-loops or as alternates to the western side
of the main loop. In general, the further west the trail is, the harder it
The main loop is mostly dirt. The southwestern side
has some intermediate level up-and-down, but overall the trail is straight
My suggestion is, once you find your way into the trail
system, ride around the central loop first. That will help you understand
the area and you'll see where the expert routes leave and reconnect. Then
have fun exploring the western expert lines. I'll spend most of my
explanation-time here just telling you how to find the trails.
Looking toward the 0.7-mile double-black loop option
that drops off the bluff then climbs back up to the main loop around the
corner. I'd save this for last, or even skip it.
3 miles around. Reached from the north or south via singletrack
connectors. Eastern side is very easy. The western side has an easy
northern half, and a southern half that I'd rate intermediate because of
some dip-and-climbs. In general, you can tell which way to turn at any
trail forks because the main loop just looks easier. There's a short-cut
across the loop about 1/3 of the way from the southern end.
Looking north toward the Pine Valley Mountains on the
easier eastern side of the main loop.
There are 3 main expert lines on the western edge of the bluff, plus a
double-black loop that drops off the bluff. Some of these are obvious
trail forks, while others are more subtle. I'll let you figure it out.
North rock: 0.6 miles, alternate to main singletrack connector on north
end of loop.
Northwest: 1 mile, bypasses northern half of west side of main loop.
West rock: 0.6 miles off middle of western side of loop:
Dropoff: 0.7 miles with steep drop and grunt climb, techy.
View from the northwest expert option, just off the
northern end of the main loop.
The far north strip of tech riding can be hard to find. On
the north, it can be picked up from the pavement, about 50 feet west of
the dirt road. Or catch it at the apex of the little valley about 1/10th
mile from the road.
From the south, it's a singletrack
consisting of a steep series of steps heading uphill, just a few feet east
of the entry into the northwest tech singletrack from the northeast corner
of the main (easy) loop. The more broad smoother (but still steep) trail
east of it connects up to the main access trail.
Rolling into a bumpy steep ramp on the northwest tech
On the northwest singletrack there's another spot that
deserves mention. You'll get lost briefly when heading south, because the
continuing trail isn't obvious. Shortly after you begin the rim westbound,
the trail will turn 120 degrees left and drop southwest steeply down a
chute to a sage brush meadow. But you won't see this, and you'll continue
northwest for another 100 yards until you get lost in a bunch of dead-end
viewpoints. Just backtrack and you'll find the continuing trail. The wrong
way trail is much more ridden, of course, because everybody misses the
turn and has to ride back looking for it.
Looking down the steep bumpy chute to the continuing
trail at the spot where everybody gets lost.
A little loop to show what
the trails are like...
If the above video does not appear on your
browser/device, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking
Getting to the main loop, details!
From the north!
This is the easiest way to locate the trails. From the Southern Parkway
(Highway 7), take River Road northbound to 4150 South and turn right
eastbound. After 1.3 miles (at the base of the bluff) the road
will veer left twice to become Little Valley Road heading straight north. Turn right on
Auburn Drive after 1/4 mile, then right again after another 1/4 mile onto 2820 East.
As 2820 East climbs the bluff, it will become Banded Hills
Road. Just after cresting the hill, look for a dirt road on your right.
That's your target. Find a spot to park. Many riders drive 100 yards
further east to the road stub (where a future road will be
built) and park there, as shown on my map and GPS track. (Note that this area will change with future
Seeing the airport on the northern singletrack
On your bike, pedal away from the paved road on the
dirt road southbound. You must immediately commit to one of three ride
1. Doubletrack. Easiest. You'll have a couple of chances to sneak over
to singletrack as you go south. Many riders make the jump at mile
0.5,where a crossing doubletrack heads uphill and intersects the
singletrack about 200 feet later. You can also continue south on the DT to
reach the southern end
of the main loop where the singletrack connector crosses at a fenceline at mile
1.8 of the doubletrack.
Rolling down toward the main loop southbound on the
2. Access singletrack. Just 200 feet after the dirt road leaves pavement,
a cindered road goes uphill to the right. Turn onto it, then in 50 feet
turn left onto the singletrack. After 1/2 mile, keep left after you
cross the fenceline and navigate a slightly techy turn downhill. (The
right-hand option drops down a steep loose slope to rejoin.) When you
reach the trail fork, go left for the easier side of the main loop. If you
go right, there's another fork in 50 feet. Here a right takes you to the
expert line and a left turn is easy riding on the west side of the main
loop (but with some steeper climbs and
descents coming later).
3. Expert ridge. On the singletrack as above, go 1/10th mile
then watch for a line heading right (west) uphill. It was not well-marked
on the day of my ride. This route involves a bit of technical rock,
dropping down to the main loop after 0.6 miles. As you reach the loop,
right turn then immediately fork right again and you'll be on the next bit of expert
View looking southwest as the trail meanders near the
edge of the bluff.
From the south!
This option lets you hit the Desert Canyons
/ Pushing Tin trail system first. But finding
the Airport Trails from here involves a bit of navigation. Start from the
main Desert Canyons parking area north of the Southern Parkway on the
Desert Canyons Parkway. You'll need to find your way to a spot at the base
of the bluff 3/4 mile northwest of the parking lot. You have two options
to get there:
Looking south toward the motocross track area.
1. Motocross track road. As you head west on the Pushing
Tin Connector, there's a singletrack crossing the wash on your right
after 1/10th mile. Take it uphill then veer left and approach the cement
barriers. Cross to the road and go a tiny bit left downhill before turning
right onto the gravel motocross track access road. Pedal 1/2 mile west,
and as you see the gates of the track, look a route over to the bluff on
your right (singletrack or doubletrack). If you aren't following my track
file, I'd suggest going further west to the wide area right in front of
the gates, then taking the doubletrack across the wash. Then just follow
the doubletrack uphill until it intersects the singletrack access trail at
the fence after 0.9 miles from the motocross track. If you head west (a
left turn) on that singletrack, you'll reach the south end of the main singletrack loop in 1/4
mile. Here a right turn takes you on the easier eastern side of the loop.
Typical trail view on the southwest side of the loop
2. Wash at Pushing Tin. Just off the east side of the Pushing
Tin loop, find the side trail that drops into the wash northbound.
Follow the wash north to the fence and get onto the motocross track road.
left on the road and as you reach the wide area in front of the motocross park, veer right
on the doubletrack as above. Note that as the doubletrack reaches the base
of the bluff and veers left, you can keep straight uphill to find a
singletrack climbing steeply along the fence. This singletrack (after an
initial steep and loose grunt) will take you to the southern end of the main loop.
Bouncing over a bit of rock.
Desert Canyons Parkway Trailhead: Southbound on I-15,
take Exit 2 for the Southern Parkway (Highway 7). Keep left on the exit off-ramp. Drive around 6
miles to the Desert Canyons Parkway exit. Turn left on Desert
Canyons Parkway, pass under the Southern Parkway and drive 1/10th mile
north to a trailhead on your right. On your bike, find your way northwest
Banded Hills Road: From I-15 on the Southern Parkway
(Highway 7), turn north on River Road. Next turn right on 4150 South. This
will veer left to become Little Valley Road northbound. Turn right on
Auburn Drive, then right again on 2820 East. This will become Banded Hills
Road. Just after cresting the hill, look for a dirt road on your right.
You can park here, or go to the road stub (where a future road will be
built) 100 yards further and park there. On your bike, backtrack to the
dirt road southbound. (Note that this area will change with future
construction!) 200 feet after the dirt road leaves pavement, find the
singletrack to your right on the uphill side.
Bathroom: port-a-potty at the Desert Canyons main trailhead.