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JEM Upper Doubletrack

The JEM Doubletrack (JEM DT) is a dirt road along the northern skirts of Gooseberry Mesa. It was the uphill part of the old classic JEM loop ride.  It connects eastern Goosebumps to the JEM upper trailhead.

Because upper JEM is now downhill-only, the DT is again being used as a climbing route. It's also found new life as a downhill for a loop route that combines Goosebumps and upper Dead Ringer (with a side tour of More Cowbell.)

View to the north near the JEM trailhead. The slopes of Gooseberry Mesa are on the right. Photos and review by Bruce on March 17, 2015.

The doubletrack is a nice route for beginners and is compatible with tow-trailers. I recommend that true beginners and out-of-shapers go only to the viewpoint spur (the blue side-trip on the map below), for a two-mile round trip. This first portion of the DT is virtually flat and super easy. The trail follows an erosion-resistant layer of Virgin Limestone that forms a platform.

Looking up at Gooseberry. The crown is Shinarump Conglomerate of the Chinle Formation, then Moenkopi Upper Red Member, then Shnabkaib (gray). We're riding on the Middle Red Member of the Moenkopi Formation. The test will be on Tuesday. Bring a #2 pencil.

The DT traverses the skirts of the mesa on a flat clay slope just above limestone ledges. The first mile and a half are flat, then there's a little bit of up-and-down.

In the east you'll see the sandstone cliffs of Zion National Park. The monoliths are Navajo Sandstone from the Jurassic Period.

View northeast toward Zion. The yellow-gray ledge is the Virgin Limestone, a harder layer that creates a bit of platform for the DT.

On your right, the Moenkopi slopes of Gooseberry Mesa rise above you. The red clays are interrupted by the grays of the Shnabkaib member. At the apex is a bit of Shinarump Conglomerate, the bottom layer of the Chinle formation.

To the left the escarpment breaks to a broad valley, with the granite Pine Valley Mountains in the background.

We're seeing a bit of the Pine Valley Mountains on the left here, as the DT follows hill contour above the ledges.

At mile 2.7 from the trailhead, the road forks. Take the left (downhill) option. You'll drop down into a wash and head toward the bottom of the mesa skirts.

At mile 3.2, the dirt road pulls leftward and out of the wash. At the crest of this little hill, Goosebumps crosses.

Looking west as we pass the head of a deep wash.

Your options here are: 
(1) Straight on DT, which takes you down to Sheep Bridge Road. From here you can go left to Highway 59 or (1/3 mile before reaching 59) to catch JEM to Dead Ringer for the uphill climb to the TH.
(2) Left on Goosebumps for a very nice loop ride, using the uphill third of Dead Ringer for the final climb. This option is for riders with at least intermediate skills.
(3) Right on the Goosebumps downhill to Cryptobionic or Sheep Bridge Road.

We've descended below the limestone layer and are about to hit the valley. The Lower Red Member of the Moenkopi Formation forms the mudstone and clay cliff on the right.

If you arrived here with a bike trailer, you need to follow option 1 above. Goosebumps is absolutely NOT compatible with a tow trailer.

Older children should be able to manage the right turn onto lower Goosebumps down to Sheep Bridge Road. If in doubt, stay on the dirt road.

We've made the left turn onto the Goosebumps singletrack.

For intermediate to advanced riders, the westbound ride on Goosebumps is highly recommended. (You can also do the loop clockwise, taking Dead Ringer to Goosebumps, then climbing the DT to complete the loop). This 9-mile ride has brought new life to the formerly lonely doubletrack, just so riders can get to the east end of Goosebumps! Add More Cowbell to stretch the loop to 11 fun miles!

Following the bumps back toward Gooseberry.

Update, April 2015:
The upper portion of JEM (from the Highway 59 trailhead down to the Goosebumps intersection) is now one-way, downhill only. When climbing to the Highway 59 trailhead, you must use either Dead Ringer on the west or the JEM Doubletrack from the east.
  
JEM DT - Goosebumps Loop ride notes:
0.0   Cross cattle extruder, straight on DT
        N37 08.348 W113 14.522
1.0   Viewpoint spur out-and-back on L
        N37 09.085 W113 14.457
2.7    Left downhill N37 09.537 W113 13.422
3.2    Left on Goosebumps ST
         N37 09.747 W113 13.599
5.1    Keep L on Goosebumps (R = Crypto)
         N37 09.782 W113 14.519
5.3    Keep L (temporary split)
6.6    Keep R (temporary split)
7.1    Cross JEM to Dead Ringer
         N37 09.111 W113 15.109
7.2    Keep L and uphill
         N37 09.035 W113 15.086
8.3    Keep straight (L = More Cowbell)
         N37 08.410 W113 14.743
8.6    Keep straight (R) N37 08.487 W113 14.648
9.0    At DT, R to TH
Getting there, Sheep Bridge Road trailhead: From I-15 north, take the La Verkin exit on UT-17. From the south, take the Hurricane exit on US-9 and go through Hurricane towards Zion National Park. 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.

Upper JEM trailhead: In Hurricane, turn south on US-59 (towards the Grand Canyon). Drive exactly 5 miles uphill. Turn left on cindered doubletrack right as you approach the base of Gooseberry Mesa. Drive another 0.3 miles to the parking area and head northeast on JEM.. N 37 08.329' W 113 14.527'

Highway 59 Sheep Bridge Rd:  Drive toward the upper JEM trailhead on Highway 59 as above. But at mile 3.3 (while still on the flat area), turn left on gravel road. Immediately park on the right, just inside the fence. Pedal 0.4 miles northeast to where the JEM singletrack crosses. Navigate to your destination trail.

Hurricane Hill trailhead:  As above, turn south in Hurricane on US-59 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 Hurricane Rim trail begins along the fence, heading northeast. To get to Gould's, roll down the highway (caution!) 0.1 miles then veer left to the steep doubletrack.

Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files (right-click and "Save as..."):
     JEM DT only    DT - Goosebumps loop ride
     JEM area multi-track file  Map datum WGS 84
Connecting trails:
     Hurricane Cliffs Trail Summary page
     JEM trail page   Goosebumps/Cryptobionic trail page
     Hurricane Rim page   Goulds Rim page    Dead Ringer page
Map for printing:  View
Lodging, camping, shops:
   Links to St. George area resources

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