||Black Brush Trail
(Santa Clara River Preserve)
This trail starts at the Barrel Roll trailhead. It's marked for horses
and foot traffic (not for bikes). My suggestion is, have a nice 80-minute hike (or 30-minute run) and
enjoy some nice views into the Santa Clara gorge.
We're at the lowest elevation of the
ride, in the loop over the Santa Clara River gorge. It's January 10 and
it's 50 degrees. Perfect weather for a hike with the dog. Gotta love St. George!
Ride description and photos January 2008.
|The Black Brush trail is 4.2 miles in length, with a lariat
configuration. Black Brush has more of a horseman's "let's just get
there" approach to its climbing. The pitch is good for hiking. Most
of the trail is fine for running, but watch out for loose boulders in a
few horse-churned spots on the loop. This is a good trail for running
along with the pooch for company.
The trail starts at 3100 feet altitude and rolls up and down
for the first mile. When you reach the loop 1 mile from the start, you'll
swear you've climbed a lot, but you'll actually be about 150 feet lower
than you started. There will be 900 total feet of climbing for the entire
Typical trail section, with grainy
dirt alternating with small rock steps. At age 10 in this 2008 photo, Jackie's old
enough for doggie social security, but running on trails is still
her favorite thing. In 4 days, we'll explore over 60 miles of trail in
When you hit the loop, I suggest you go left. Clockwise
seems to work best, because it breaks the uphill hiking into two sections,
separated by over a mile of downhill and flat trail.
Did I mention that the trail is not
signed for bicycles? Snow caps the Pine Valley Mountains in
the background, with the red and white sandstone of Snow Canyon in the
||At mile 2.7, the ride reaches its lowest point at 2900 feet
as you flirt with the cliffs over the gorge. Now it's time to close the
loop. The climbing gets steeper as you approach the junction. Often the
surface is loose with horse-churn here, so watch your ankles.
Clockwise lariat loop:
0.0 Start up Black Brush trail
1.0 At fence, fork L uphill
1.9 Crest of hill
Start switchback descent
2.7 Views over Santa Clara river
3.2 Back at loop
Down in the gorge, I think that's
Thelma and Louise's car. On top of the cliff, the Anasazi
trail lies north of the river within the Preserve.
|Getting there: In St. George, head north on Bluff
Street and turn left on Sunset Blvd. Drive 3 miles west on Sunset through
Santa Clara. As you're reaching the end of Santa Clara, look for a road
crossing the river on your left. It's about 200 feet before the Jacob
Hamblin Home (which will be on your right if you pass the turn). Turn and
cross the river and follow the road as it turns right. About 0.4 miles
from Hwy 191, just after the road turns right, turn left uphill onto the dirt Stucki Springs road. At mile 0.7,
turn right at the sign "Santa Clara Preserve" or "Cove Wash
Trailhead." Pass the water
tank, and at mile 1.3, turn right again through the fence. This road will
veer left to at a log-fence parking area at mile 1.5, N37 07.253 W113 40.508.
There's a singletrack trail you can ride from the valley to the trailhead.
After crossing the river and following the road as it turns right, pass
the dirt Stucki Springs road. About 100 feet past the road, a doubletrack
heads obliquely westward uphill on the left, turning quickly into
singletrack heading up along the wash. at about 1/3 mile, keep R at the
fork (L rejoins the road). The trail will climb up and west of the water
tank, then join the road right at the fence of the preserve.