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Navajo Lake Loop Trail

The Navajo Lake Loop Trail is an intermediate technical singletrack loop running around Navajo Lake near Brian Head. The trail is located at 9100 feet altitude in cool pine, fir, and aspen forest. The trail base is mostly packed dirt, with a little cinder riding over the lava flow at the east end of the lake. The ride is 11.5 miles; total climbing only about 200 feet vertical. It's fairly easy aerobic, with almost all of the climbing in the first 1.5 miles.

Dominic cranks along the north edge of the lake, passing quakies and spruce. Photo July 13, 2001 by Bruce Argyle.

The first section of the trail climbs towards the Virgin River Rim (this is actually part of the Virgin River Rim Trail). You're climbing on smooth dirt among pine and fir, with a few aspen. After an initial mile and a half, you'll turn and descend on a fun curving track. Just before the road, you'll turn right and ride parallel to the road and lake.

Bruce rolls around a curve on the fun descent after leaving the Rim Trail.

Rounding the east end of the lake, you'll pass lava flows among flower-filled meadows and quakies. This terrain is unique and beautiful. While they appear fresh and new, the broken chunks of lava originated in flows a few thousand years ago, when volcanoes were active on the Colorado Plateau.

Dominic, Mike, and Bruce pause in the middle of a lava flow, on the east end of the lake.

The north side of the lake is more open, with grass and wildflowers among moderately spaced quakies and the occasional fir. You'll have plenty of views of the lake on this side of the loop. You'll see plenty of penstemmon, gilia, and daisy species.

The woods are full of Sego Lily on the north side.

This is one of the easiest true alpine trails in the state, and it's quite pretty. While the kids are trying to catch a fish, Navajo Lake is a great place for a quick ride.

 The trail is covered with snow on the south side until mid-June, with a return of snow in mid-October.

Bruce cruises through a field of penstemon. 

Trailhead: left side of road, 5.4 miles from highway GPS N 37 32.020' W 112 49.303'
1.6 trail leaves Virgin River Rim Trail, go left GPS N 37 31.238' W 112 48.594'
2.7 trail fork, go right uphill
3.6 trail fork, go right uphill
3.8 trail crosses
6.3 cross Navajo Lake Road GPS N 37 31.056' W 112 44.996'
10.7 north trailhead GPS N 37 31.792' W 112 48.525' go straight ahead on doubletrack
11.4 meet paved road, turn right
11.6 back at trailhead
Getting there:  From Cedar City, drive up the canyon on U-14 for 25 miles. Turn right on the Navajo Lake road and drive 5.4 miles past the lake. The trailhead will be on the left, with parking about 200 feet down the road on the right GPS N 37 32.020' W 112 49.303'.

Riding resources for this trail:
Single-page riding guide
GPS track files and route (right-click and "Save as..."):
   Garmin     National Geographic     Google Earth     GPX
High-res topo map (300 KB):  View
Lodging, camping, shops:   Links to Cedar City - Brian Head area resources

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