Repairing or upgrading your bike! Look for items on UMB site Discussion board for bike fanatics! Visit the UMB store!
Css Menu Javascript by Vista-Buttons.com v4.3.0
Gooseberry Northeast Rim
"The Gander"

This singletrack trail follows the northeastern edge of Gooseberry Mesa. It starts at the Windmill Trailhead and heads east to connect to the mesa road near Smithsonian Butte. The length of the singletrack is around 10 miles. A loop ride using the mesa road to return to the trailhead would be about 14.5 miles.

Looking east from the rim toward Zion Canyon. Photos and ride description by Bruce, based on a ride November 17, 2010.

There are a lot of quick ups and downs, from a high of 5100 to a low of 4600 feet elevation. Total climbing at about 1300 for the full loop. The trail is typical Gooseberry singletrack meandering through the pinion and juniper, with lots of crunchy Shimarump conglomerate rock to navigate. It's advanced technical, but can be handled by an intermediate with some short judiciously-chosen hikes.

One of the straighter sections of cliffside singletrack.

The many quick little turns, but not as many up-and-downs as other trails on Gooseberry. The riding is not as technical. Compared to other rides on the Goose, it's a cruiser. However, the track is narrow, and the brush is a little close to your arms. Arm warmers might be a good idea if you have tender skin.

Looking east about half-way into the ride. We'll follow each little side-canyon south, then return north to the edge again.

To reach the Windmill parking area, fork right at the outhouse and drive a mile north. The Windmill parking is usually near-empty while the Cattle Grate trailhead is overflowing with cars. (You can also park at the toilet to begin this loop.)

Gene Poncelet rolls the rock edge along the northern cliffs of Gooseberry with the Pine Valley Mountains in the background. February 2011.

Start the ride by heading toward the windmill, then turn 90 degrees right (north) on the singletrack. 0.4 miles later, the trail turns left along the rim. Don't go left. Notice the fainter singletrack heading east on your right. That's your trail.

View northwest.

Critical navigation! At the viewpoint (the wide area where the mesa road ends), cross over and take the middle doubletrack. (The one closer to the cliffs (furthest left) seems the logical choice, but it doesn't connect to the singletrack. It goes to the Gooseberry rental yurt -- see our review page.) Within 0.1 mile, find the singletrack heading south. It crosses the doubletrack three times. Once you're on the ST, just keep riding.

The singletrack alternates between rough orange conglomerate, while sandstone, and a narrow dirt ribbon winding through the trees.

The trail constantly returns to the cliff edge for 8 miles, then begins a descent into a fork of Grafton Wash. Now you have a navigation decision. You can bail out on the DT at mile 8.5, or descend toward Grafton Wash for a slightly longer ride. The shortcut via the DT cuts a mile off the loop, and eliminates a tough climb up to the corral (see below). NOTE: Until land-permission issues are worked out, I suggest you take the shortcut above and bypass the corral. This gives you a 12.5 mile ride, missing only a tiny bit of the singletrack.

Bruce rolls around a point with Zion in the background. February 2011. Photo by Gene.

At the bottom of the wash, cross over, hike uphill. (On your left, cairns mark a trail that continues left downhill. That trail crosses Grafton Wash to Grafton Mesa, with connections to the Grafton Mesa singletrack "social trails.") Another trail starts uphill by the end of the fence on your right. That's the one you want for the loop.  Continue on DT after the corral. When you hit the mesa road, pedal 4.1 miles back to parking.

Getting there. This is the right fork of Grafton Wash. The band of Moenkopi slope is called Pastry Ridge.

 

 If the above video does not appear on your browser/device, you can watch it on YouTube by clicking here.

Getting there -- North: As you approach Zion National Park in Rockville, turn south (right) on Bridge Road. After crossing the Virgin River, the dirt road winds up the mesa. Keep left at the fork at 1.5 miles. Continue to a total of 6.2 miles, where you turn right at a sign "Gooseberry Mesa." Another 3.6 miles after the turnoff, take the right fork as you pass the outhouse. One mile later, you'll see a windmill on the left side of the road. Turn into the parking area at the windmill GPS N 37 09.090' W 113 09.973'.
Getting there -- South:
As you pass through Hurricane heading east, turn right at the Highway 9 sign. (If you start exit town without making a right-turn, you went past it.) 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. 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 right fork as you pass the outhouse. One mile later, you'll see a windmill on the left side of the road. Turn into the parking area at the windmill GPS N 37 09.090' W 113 09.973'.
Riding notes, clockwise loop:
0.0   West from parking N37 09.090 W113 09.940
         Turn right at the sign N37 09.091 W113 10.004
0.4    Right as trail turns 90 degrees L
         N37 09.346 W113 10.112
0.6    Cross view area, take middle DT
         N37 09.424 W113 09.993
0.7    Leave DT for southbound ST
         N37 09.414 W113 09.921
1.5    Straight. DT on R bails out
         N37 09.165 W113 09.505
4.9     Cross fence 
         N37 08.581 W113 08.213
4.9    Cross fence 
         N37 08.581 W113 08.213
8.5    Cross DT for long loop, R on DT for 12.5 mi loop
         N37 08.366 W113 06.607
9.1    Cross wash, R uphill (9.0 by GPS)
         N37 07.953 W113 06.496
9.6    Pass through or around corral (9.4 by GPS)
         N37 07.706 W113 06.798
10.4  R on mesa road (10.2 by GPS)
         N37 07.225 W113 06.935
11.2  Pass bailout DT (from mi 8.5) N37 07.826 W113 07.190
13.5  R at bathroom
14.5  Back at parking  

Option:   Tour de Rim. The Whole Gander.   This will give you a ride of over 30 miles. It's brutal. Begin the ride as above. When you reach the outhouse, keep left and ride to the Cattle Grate trailhead on the White Trail. Turn left onto the Cattle Grate trail. Keep going into God's Skateboard Park, then turn east on the Secret Trail. Connect to the South Rim and head to the Point. Now start east on the White Trail, with a detour onto the Yellow Trail, then take the North Rim to Rim Job (the northern limb of the Windmill Loop). 

Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
    GPX files  12.5 mi NE Rim Loop   Longer Loop 
    Tour de Rim, The Whole Gander    Garmin     GPX
Interactive Gooseberry track map:  Load
Topo map (600K) for printing:   Click here
Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to St. George area resources

Copyright 2010 Mad Scientist Software Inc