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A technical climb Green Valley Raceway Trail

The Green Valley Raceway Trail is southwest of St. George in Green Valley. You cross the assembly area for the racecourse as you drive to the Bearclaw Poppy Trail northern trailhead. The racecourse interconnects with the Barrel Trail. It's also a path to the Stucki Springs Trail.  

Note 2017: Construction of homes is scheduled to begin in the bottom of the valley. The master plan preserves the main trails. These will connect through the homes to a paved city trail. Access may be challenging during construction for those not well-acquainted with the area, but can be done by riding trails north from the Bearclaw Poppy Poppy Green Valley trailhead.

Dominic Bria fights up a ledge and into a turn on the uphill. Here we're headed UP the downhill race track. August 4, 2000.

If you follow the route we describe below, you'll do 6.5 miles and about 1100 vertical. (Absolute altitude change is only 650 feet, but you'll drop practically back to the bottom again in the middle of the loop. But there are many different ways you can ride.

To the north are the red cliffs near Snow Canyon.

The loop is strenuous aerobic, intermediate technical with a smattering of advanced technical. This trail is the site of a popular Intermountain Cup spring race and of the Huntsman World Senior Games mountain bike race. This is a great trail to play on, anytime. However, because brainless ATV-jockeys have started following some of the singletrack, the trail is a shadow of its former self. If you're looking for pristine narrow desert singletrack, use the DH portion of this trail to connect to the Barrel Trail, which is right next door.

Navigating the narrow passage through Keyhole Wash.

 

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

The trail starts north from the huge parking area on a boring dirt road. After 3/4 mile, you hit singletrack (on the left side of the DT, just before the road ends) and the fun begins. Roll up and down. Yes, the trail's been widened to a big fat road by ATVs, but if you can get past that, it's still good riding.

Almost to the top, we see the Pine Valley Mountains in the distance.

Things can get a little confusing among the ATV trails and roads. Keep heading generally north until you find yourself on singletrack dropping  into Keyhole Wash. There are two rock-bottom washes on this loop, and they're a riot to ride.

While most of the trail is hardpack dirt, you'll be contending with rock and ledges.

Exiting Keyhole Wash, you'll climb a winding course up to touch the DT near the top of the cliffs. Here you turn left and head over to the ridgeline downhill. (At the ridgeline, there's a fork. Right takes you up to the DT along the cliff edge. Turn left and start downhill!)

Attacking a ledge series in Rock Wash, as we climb back uphill after the ridgeline descent.

After dropping to the bottom of the hill, the trail turns 180 degrees into Rock Wash (also called Cowpond Wash). As you drop down toward the cow pond, fork right uphill into the wash bottom. Climb up the wash and enjoy attacking the ledges.

When the trail reaches doubletrack and climbs to the saddle, continue uphill and ride to the viewpoint at the top. It's worth the climb. GPS N 37 05.355'  W 113 39.947'.

The big downhill on the south side of the loop defines this race course -- and it's good to ride uphill, too.

Right at the saddle, there's a 4-way intersection of doubletrack. Cross the DT intersection (uphill) to the downhill singletrack. Note: If you went up to the viewpoint, there's a second trail about 150 yards uphill that connects to the DH raceway (on your left when going uphill, on the right heading down).

Head downhill for high-speed fun. Just after the BIG PLUNGE -- you'll know it when you ride it -- select a route back to your car. Singletrack and techy to your right, or left on doubletrack up and over the rise.

Bruce rolls down the rock ramp on the DH portion of the raceway. Photo March 2006.

 

 And here's another video! This one is from 2003.

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

Riding notes, ICup race loop (counterclockwise):
0.0   North on doubletrack
        N37 05.542 W113 37.967
        Keep straight (R) as DT's fork
0.3   Veer R at fork
        N37 05.743 W113 38.149
        (L = 9-and-under loops back)
0.5   Follow DT up small hill
0.7   L off road onto ST
        N37 06.034 W113 38.345
1.0   Trail hits forking DT, go straight across
        N37 06.086 W113 38.618
1.0   Next DT, straight across
        N37 06.102 W113 38.636
1.3   Straight across DT
        N37 06.273 W113 38.781
1.4   Drop L down into Keyhole Wash
        Head up wash
1.5   L out of wash, then keep R, join DT
        N37 06.253 W113 38.853
2.0   L off DT
        N37 06.141 W113 39.200
2.2   L uphill on DT
        N37 06.073 W113 39.300
2.3   Straight on DT for ICup
        N37 06.032 W113 39.342
        (L = classic ST ride)
2.6   L at top of cuesta
2.9   L on ST, head downhill
        N37 05.712 W113 39.553
3.0   Classic joins on L, keep straight
        N37 05.727 W113 39.503
3.7   Drop off ridge, hard R up Rock Wash
        N37 06.024 W113 38.767
        Stay in wash bottom
4.4   R on DT uphill
        N37 05.727 W113 39.315
4.6   L at DT intersection at top
        N37 05.656 W113 39.538
        drop straight through dip then up
4.7   DT intersection, go straight to ST
        N37 05.607 W113 39.533
4.9   DH ST joins on R, keep downhill
        N37 05.519 W113 39.447
5.0   Connector from Barrel joins on R
        N37 05.574 W113 39.300
        At dip, keep R to avoid cheater routes
5.8   Steep drop toward slickrock area
5.9   DH ST joins on R, keep L
        N37 05.607 W113 38.443
6.0   Veer L on DT
        N37 05.603 W113 38.390
        Keep L at fork, cross wash
        N37 05.612 W113 38.373
        (R = classic finish)
6.1   R on DT, over small hill
        N37 05.665 W113 38.348
        Follow this DT to finish
6.5   Back at start

Getting there: Take the Bluff Street I-15 exit in St. George and turn west. Immediately turn south (left) at the first light. Go over the hill and turn right when you reach Dixie Drive. Drive about two miles. Turn left at the sign for Green Valley Spa. (If you reach a "Green Valley Market" with gas pumps, you just passed it. Turn around and backtrack to the second road on your right.) Drive past the spa onto dirt at the end of the road. Turn right at the top of the mesa, then immediately left to drive down into the deep valley. Park in the open area in the valley bottom and pick your route west uphill. (Note: the staging area is private property with a plan for development into homes. This area may change, making these directions invalid.)

Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
   GPX area trails
   Green Valley Race Course   Cactus Hugger race loop
St.George southwest, interactive map:  Load 
High-res topo (200 KB):  View map
Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to St. George area resources

Original review 2000. Updated 2012.
Copyright 2000 Mad Scientist Software Inc