|Secret Harris Trail
Gooseberry Mesa east and southeast rim
Note: This trail is not part of
the official Gooseberry system. The eastern end lies on private property.
Until all issues are resolved, obey any posted restrictions and private
The Harris Secret Trail is one of the toughest trails on Gooseberry.
It's 6.2 miles in length, but the shortest ride that incorporates the
trail (assuming a DT bailout) is at least 10 miles. There's about 1000
feet of climbing, in short brutal bursts. The trail is narrow, twisting,
overgrown, and has non-stop technical features. No cruising. And on the
south rim, there's soft surface and some boggy sand between tech features.
The track is narrow, the turns quick.
Original ride 2007. Updated February 2011.
|So if the "regular" Gooseberry rides seem old and
tame to you, consider the Secret trail. If you're just getting acquainted
with the Goose, ride the classics. The Secret Trail will kick your butt. And
scratch your arms -- over the last three years, the gooseberry bushes, pinion and juniper
have grown into the trail. As of 2011, consider arm and shin protection.
The ride described below is 13.3 miles. You can do a longer ride by
heading west on South Rim after completing Secret.
This is the spot where the Secret
Trail forks off the South Rim Trail. It's the first time you spot the
cliffs. Photos by Gene Poncelet.
||The trail is hard to find. You'll need a GPS unit, or
excellent navigation skills and an odometer. (It's the "SECRET"
trail.) Start on the Cattle Grate
trail from the main Gooseberry parking. Ride 2.2 miles. The Secret Trail
forks left, just before a 4-foot uphill rock ramp, 1/4 mile past the long steep
staircase climb. If you're cruising juniper-covered singletrack, you
Two miles at the western end have soft
dirt and a few patches of ugly sand. Trailside vegetation is close, with
juniper (soft), pinion (occasional sharp dead branches), and wild
gooseberry (very scratchy).
|To find the south end (easier) for a counterclockwise ride,
stay on the South Rim trail. 1/4 mile past Hidden Canyon, just as you see
the edge of the cliffs to your left, drop off the rocks at a cairn. The
Secret Trail heads east, while the South Rim continues west and turns
slightly away from the Rim for a short distance.
Bruce fails to clear a ledge with a
||For the clockwise ride, exit the South Rim trail at mile
2.2. Head straight east, watching for the small white paint dots on the
rock. After about 1/4 mile, drop off the rock (straight east) on a dot-marked
ramp (shown in the photo with the rider going the opposite direction). Now
follow the singletrack.
At mile 7.7, you'll reach doubletrack. The continuing ST is left along the
cliff edge. The DT shortcuts to the South Rim trail (and continues to the
main mesa road if you want to bail out). If you take the DT, keep L at the
first fork at 1/2 mile.
Open rock area showing the ramp to
descend to singletrack.
|Assuming you took the sandy ST along the cliff edge, at
mile 8.8 veer right toward some white sandstone humps. On the top of the
hump, you'll find the South Rim trail. Right takes you toward Hidden Canyon and the bailout
DT (and parking). Left continues with the
South Rim for a longer ride.
For the loop through Hidden Canyon and the North Rim, head right
(northeast) on South Rim. At mile
9.0, fork left on Hidden Canyon. Follow Hidden Canyon to the main mesa
road (White Trail), jog right 200 feet on the road, then catch the North Rim trail to complete
|Secret Trail - Hidden Canyon Loop,
0.0 Depart main parking, south on ST
N37 08.519 W113 10.286
2.2 Secret Trail on left, head east
N37 08.114 W113 10.995
7.7 Cross DT, keep L N37 07.433 W113 11.098
8.8 R away from cliff onto rocks, R on South Rim
N37 07.771 W113 11.846
9.0 L on Hidden Canyon N37 07.791 W113 11.713
10.9 Mesa Road, N37 08.324 W113 11.763
R 150 feet on road, then L 150
(east) on North Rim N37 08.388 W113 11.691
11.5 Fork R (L=Bowls and Ledges)
N37 08.553 W113 11.251
11.8 Keep L (R=bail to road) N37 08.508 W113 11.078
12.3 Straight (L=Bowls and Ledges)
N37 08.662 W113 10.633
Fork in 40 ft, either route OK
12.5 Routes rejoin N37 08.780 W113 10.507
13 L on mesa road N37 08.477 W113 10.600
||Getting there from Hurricane or
St.George: As you pass through Hurricane
heading east on Highway 9, turn right at the Highway 59 sign. One block later, turn left and drive out
of town. About 15 minutes later, you'll pass a gas station on the left-hand side, then
some fields. Watch for a "Scenic Byway" sign, and turn left onto a dirt
road (14.8 miles from the turnoff in Hurricane).
Two miles later, just as you reach the mountain, the Gooseberry Mesa road turns off on
your left. Another 3.6 miles after the turnoff, take the left fork. Now stay on the bigger
road, ignoring any forks. 1.1 miles later, you'll cross a cattle guard. Park there. The
South Rim trail begins along the fence on the left side of the road. Trailhead GPS: N 37°
08.491' W 113° 10.299'
Copyright 2008 Mad Scientist Software