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.
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
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
||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°
1.6 trail leaves Virgin River Rim Trail, go left GPS N 37° 31.238' W 112°
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
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°