The Hurricane Rim trail climbs to the cliffs over the Virgin River near Hurricane. This is a nice
7.5-mile singletrack. Many riders do this trail as an out-and-back, often adding
the northern 1.5 miles of the JEM Trail.
Advanced riders do the Hurricane Loop, a 21.5 mile trip that includes Gould's,
JEM, and Hurricane Rim. (My favorite starting
trailhead for the loop is Hurricane Hill -- the radio tower parking -- on
SR-9, but there are lots of fans of the upper JEM or lower JEM
Bruce climbs along the Virgin River
gorge on the Hurricane Rim trail. Original review and photos in June 2003.
This picture March 2017.
Some riders do Hurricane Rim one-way. To ride this trail with
a shuttle, the popular routes begin at the upper JEM
(SR-9) trailhead and the lower JEM (SR-59 Sheep Bridge Road) trailhead.
These options take Hurricane Rim east to west after completing a portion
of JEM. You can also access the trail at the Virgin River Dam parking
area, which you can reach via a side-road from Sheep Bridge Road.
from June 16, 2003. Bryce, who works at St. George's Red
Rock Bicycle Co, heads west on the Hurricane Rim, with Gooseberry Mesa in
The riding surface is twisting and dipping narrow singletrack. Overall,
I'd rank it upper intermediate to early-exert technical.
Although there's only about 300 feet of altitude difference, up-and-down riding will raise the
climbing total to around 1000 vertical feet.
The trail is a bit more "cindery" with chunky rock than many
nearby trails which tend to be dirt and clay. There's also about a mile of
trail strewn with rough rock slabs. This is to punish hardtail
Looking north, a wash heads towards
the Virgin River Gorge. We're 1/2 mile from the JEM Trail.
East to West
My favorite riding direction is east to west. That is, start at the JEM
Sheep Bridge Road trail off SR-59, then turn west to Hurricane Rim after a
mile and a half. On a shuttled ride, this saves you 300 vertical of
climbing. (On the counterclockwise loop, you'll continue to Gould's
from the lower trailhead.)
Out-and-back riders will usually prefer to start from the Hurricane
Hill (SR-9) trailhead at the radio towers. This puts most of the climbing
early in the ride as you grind your way to the cliffs above the Virgin
Heading westbound. Ahead, you can see
a bit of the Pine Valley Mountains. To my right is the gorge. To the
north, colorful slopes of Moenkopi clay lead up to Shinarump caprock on
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West to East
For the west to east ride from the Hurricane Hill trailhead, you'll climb
300 vertical feet in a bit under a mile. After the initial climb to Panorama Point, the trail follows the Virgin River gorge eastward.
As it veers south away form the gorge, it ends on the JEM trail
after seven miles.
Lucas climbs along the edge of the
Virgin River in the early-morning sunshine.
From this trail fork, you can turn right southbound to climb
JEM to Dead Ringer and
SR-9 (where you can take Gould's or the pavement back to the trailhead).
Or you fork left to follow the lower JEM trail to the Sheep Bridge Road
trailhead. This is a very scenic option, as there's more riding along the edge of the chasm.
Most of the trail is in brittle sage,
with an occasional cactus. Looking east, we see the sandstone monoliths of
Zion Canyon in the distance.
Riding notes, Hurricane Rim eastbound:
0.0 Northeast on ST along fence
0.7 Panorama Point
N 37 11.169' W 113 16.179' Alt=3850'
1.9 Keep R (L = Virgin Dam trail)
2.8 Cross wash, then L (R = China Wash)
3.5 Gooseberry Lookout
5.5 Dam trail rejoins on L (toilet)
5.7 Virgin Dam trailhead (toilet)
Keep L on ST
7.5 JEM trail, fork L
N 37 11.261' W 113 13.862' Alt=3650'
9.0 JEM lower trailhead
Riding the edge of the Virgin River
Riding notes, Gould/JEM/ Hurricane Rim Loop:
Start from parking area on US-59 above Hurricane
0.0 R (downhill) on US-59
0.2 L uphill on DT
1.8 Top of DT climb
2.3 R off DT onto ST
N 37 09.606 W 113 16.330 Alt=4000'
5.4 Trailhead, L on DT, head NE
N 37 08.142 W 113 16.280
6.2 At corral, find ST rear on R
N 37 08.310 W 113 15.649
8.0 ST comes in from R
8.3 US-59. For Big Loop, cross to DT
N 37 08.096 W 113 14.564 Alt=4350'
For small loop, head downhill on road
8.6 JEM Trailhead, cross
N 37 08.329 W 113 14.527
Immediate R onto ST
9.0 Cross DT, descend toward cliffs
9.3 Keep R (L=More Cowbell)
N37 08.863 W113 14.661
Drop off ledge on switchback
10.0 Straight (R =Goosebumps, L=Dead Ringer)
N37 09.119 W113 15.103
10.8 Keep R (L = China Wash)
N37 10.541 W113 15.154
11.0 Cross Dead Ringer
Cross Sheep Bridge gravel road
11.1 Cross Cryptobionic
N37 10.798 W113 14.354
14.0 Fork L to Hurricane Rim
N 37 11.261 W 113 13.862
15.8 Virgin Dam trailhead
N 37 11.781 W 113 14.109
(Cryptobionic start on L)
16.0 Keep L (R=Virgin Dam trail)
18.7 R across Chinatown Wash
Straight = Chinatown Wash trail
19.6 Dam trail rejoins on R
20.2 Panorama Point
N 37 11.169 W 113 16.179 Alt=3850'
21.5 Back at parking
Getting there, main trailhead: In Hurricane, turn south on US-59 (towards the Grand Canyon). Follow the road
uphill 0.9 miles, then turn left into the trailhead parking near the cell phone towers. GPS N 37
10.740' W 113 16.601', Alt=3650'. The trail begins along the fence,
heading northeast. US-9 Trailhead: At the junction of US-9 with UT-17,
turn east towards Zion. 4.8 miles after the turnoff, turn right (south) on a gravel road
signed "Sheep Bridge Rd." 0.5 miles later, you'll
cross over the Virgin River. Just uphill is a cattleguard, then a
doubletrack on your right 0.1 miles after the bridge. Take the doubletrack
0.2 miles to a turn-around overlooking the Virgin River. The singletrack
is at the end of the turn-around. Head up the JEM trail until you reach
the Hurricane Rim trail on your right.