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Handsome Cabin Boy

This is a scenic ride in the Red Fleet mountain biking area just north of Red Fleet Reservoir in the Vernal area. It has some taxing climbs, so attack this one while you're fresh. It requires advanced technical skills. The singletrack is 2.6 miles, with pavement closing the loop for a total of 3.2 miles. Dirt options include riding the part (or all) of the Jazz Chromoly trail as your return route. 

We're angling generally downhill to the south early in the ride. Photos and ride review by Bruce in 2007, new photos and updated maps 2016.

The Handsome Cabin Boy trail may be short on miles, but it will take a lot out of you. Absolute elevation change is 400 feet, but climbing will total 800. Peak altitude is 6100. 

You can also link to Jazz Chromoly for a longer dirt loop, but I don't recommend this unless you either adventurous, following a GPS track, or riding with somebody who knows the area. (The track files for the Red Fleet area include waypoints and tracks where these alternate connectors hit the paved road.)

This is the fork where you go left through the wash and up the rock.

The trail begins in the red dirt of the Moenkopi formation, and heads toward the Chinle formation as it approaches Red Fleet Reservoir. As the trail enters a canyon leading to the reservoir, you fork right across a wash. (If you reach a fence, backtrack 30 feet and walk through the wash.) Up to this point, the trail's pretty easy to follow.

This is the climb from the wash. Very tough.

The right fork (which crosses the fence) goes to a cove at Red Fleet Reservoir. Seems like a pretty well-traveled trail. I followed it just long enough to see the water, but didn't have time to map it to its destination. I'm told it does NOT connect to the nearby campground.

At the trail fork to J-Boy. If you're up to it, this very-technical route climbs up and over the escarpment to your right. After crossing the road, it will return to HCB.

The route now climbs brutally over Shinarump conglomerate at a 15-20% slope. You'll do about 1/2 mile of advanced-technical climbing. Once you come out on top, keep left at the fork with J-Boy. Continue to the road.

On top, there's a mellow flat cruise as you head towards the Dinosaur Tracks road..

Cross the road and head leftward on more open rock. The trail now twists through more red dirt, with occasional short stand-up-and-fight brute climbs, as it ascends. Keep left as J-Boy rejoins the trail on your right and climb up to the ridgeline. 

On slickrock again after crossing the paved road.

This is fun, if you're not totally burned out already. You'll think you're through climbing several times, but the trail is just toying with you.

At the next trail fork, keep left and veer southwest to stay on Handsome Cabin Boy as J-Boy continues northwest.

March of the penguins? An unusual rock formation looms over the trail at the intersection where J-Boy rejoins.

Keep straight and climb to the road as a spur to J-Boy leaves on your right. After the trail crosses the road and descends a bit, it will meander back uphill to the road at a cattle grate. A connector to Jazz Cromoly is just across the road, left of the grate.

Heading on up to the ridgeline. There are a few grunt pitches on this trail section before you fly downhill to the road.

Cabin Boy, riding counter-clockwise:
0.0  Exit parking, L on paved road
       N40 35.923 W109 27.470
       100 feet later, R on narrow ST
       N40 35.926 W109 27.430
0.6  Keep straight R (L=bailout to road)
       N40 35.720 W109 26.896
0.7  Fork, L through wash and up rock
       N40 35.619 W109 26.858
1.0  Climbing eases 
       (you've done 200 vertical in 0.4 mi)
1.1  Keep L (R = J-Boy)
       N40 35.847 W109 26.653
1.4  Cross paved road, up rock on left
       N40 35.927 W109 26.404
       (Northwest, uphill to find ST)
1.6  Keep L (R = J-Boy)
       N40 36.031 W109 26.219
2.1  Keep L (R = J-Boy)
       N40 36.351 W109 26.127
2.6  At paved road, go R
       N40 36.181 W109 26.373
Option paved road only, go R
    Stay on pavement
    3.2  Back at parking
Option full HCB to Lower Jazz
    Cross road to continue ST
    2.9  Cross road, go L of grate
            N40 36.142 W109 26.621
    3.0   Fork L
            N40 36.248 W109 26.708
    3.4   Keep R and R
            N40 36.227 W109 27.015
    3.7   L on DT
            N40 36.355 W109 27.184
            Option B
            Straight on ST for more JCM
    4.3   Back at parking
Getting there, Jazz Chromoly TH:  
In Vernal on US-40 (the main drag), turn north on US-191. Drive to mile 10.7 and turn right at the paved road signed "Red Fleet Dinosaur Trackway." Drive uphill 0.6 miles. At the top of the hill, turn left onto a dirt road and immediately park in the wide area on the left. On your bike, go back to the paved road and turn left. 100 feet later, find the narrow singletrack on the right side of the road, heading south.
Alternate, cattle grate:  Drive to the cattle grate at mile 1.5 and park in the small spot on the right side of the road. Find HCB southbound along the fence and follow it until it crosses the road again.
Alternate, J-Boy:  Drive to the Dinosaur Tracks parking area at mile 2.4 then take J-Boy either direction to HCB.

2.4 miles from US-191 on the Dinosaur Trackway road is a bathroom at the the trackway trailhead. No water.

Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
    Red Fleet area multi-track file     Handsome Cabin Boy GPX
Large-format area topo map for printing:   View
Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to Vernal area resources

Copyright 2007 Mad Scientist Software Inc
Updated map and directions 2016