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City Creek - Rusty Cliffs Trail

Beginning on Turtle Road above the red cliffs north of St. George, the City Creek trail offers some rocky options before it drops down and crosses the road, to become the Rusty Cliffs Trail. The combined trail makes a 5-mile (each way) out-and-back with about 300 vertical feet of climbing.

The trail runs up and over a small hill, among small outcrops of sandstone. Photos June 21, 2002 by Bruce.

Most of the trail is intermediate technical, with an advanced technical optional side loop on City Creek. The trail begins at the top of Turtle Road, above the red cliffs north of St. George. The trail is across the road from the parking area. 
When you hit an open area, the official trail continues straight. But if you head left, up the broad set of step-like rocky ledges, you'll find a fun alternate route. The trail will turn northwest. Right when it begins to veer back southwest again, watch carefully for a singletrack that climbs up and over the small ridge. This advanced-tech trail will take you back to the main City Creek trail.

View north, as we're about to roll over and down the hill.

Note:  A new power line was installed winter 2008. Access roads were bulldozed right over the City Creek Trail. When the trail disappears under a mass of 'dozed dirt, just follow the scar until you see continuing trail. The GPS track file has waypoints to indicate the start/stop of the bulldozed areas. We'll watch to see how the rehabilitation of this trail proceeds. 

The trail will head towards the road, going north around the small canyon that begins at the golf course. From here, it heads back southwest and over the hill to the road.

The Rusty Cliffs trail is across the road. This trail was an old pioneer road. Not many people ride it (as of 2008) because, frankly, it really doesn't offer much.

One of the City Creek Trail's local residents out for a stroll. Do NOT touch the turtles. This trail is in the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve -- you break the rules, and bike trails will be history.

The cliffs here are Navajo sandstone, similar to that in Snow Canyon. Low scrub with occasional cactus grow sparsely in the sand and rock.

View from the Rusty Cliffs trail, as we follow the old pioneer road.

Getting there: From St. George Blvd (the main drag), head north on Main Street (towards the "Dixie" painted on the big rock above the cliffs). When you reach Hope Street, turn right, then immediately take the left fork and climb Skyline Drive to the top of the cliffs. Turn left on Snow Canyon Parkway (labeled Skyline Drive on some city maps, and called Turtle Road by many locals). After the top of the hill, turn right into the parking area. The trail starts across the road, about 150 yards back (south) from the parking lot. Look for the stepover gate.

Alternate:  Head north straight up Bluff Street until it leaves town. At the light where Bluff intersects Snow Canyon Parkway, turn right. Drive back about 2 miles to the parking area.

Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
   Garmin      GPX
High-res topo of trail system (500 KB):  View
Lodging, camping, shops:
   Links to St. George area resources

Original ride 2002. Updated 2008.
Copyright 2008 Mad Scientist Software Inc