||Paradise Canyon Trail
The Paradise Canyon Trail is one of the more technical rides
at Brian Head. It includes the toughest section of the Dark
Hollow Trail, then heads off on its own advanced-tech downhill course
as it branches away from Dark Hollow. It can be done by an
upper-intermediate rider with a few hike-a-bikes, but if you don't think
of yourself as an expert, our recommendation is pass on this ride and do Bunker
Paradise Canyon has been severely affected by
the summer 2017 forest fire and is closed. UMB will watch for the
re-opening of the trail, but you can contact the bike shop for current
ducks under a fallen aspen as he pivots a tight turn. Photos by Bruce,
|If you start on Brian Head Peak, you'll drop from 11,300 (11,000 if
you start from the shuttle parking area rather than the peak) to 6600 feet
at the mouth of Second Left-hand Canyon. If you roll into Parowan, you'll
drop a full vertical mile to 5,300 feet.
launches on the Sydney Peaks portion of the trail, before the left-hand
turn down towards Dark Hollow.
But to avoid riding on the highway, most riders
park their shuttle vehicle at the mouth of Second Left-hand Canyon. Length of the combined singletrack and doubletrack to the highway is
12 miles. Add 4 miles of paved road if you're going into Parowan.
My mileage on this trail isn't exact, because we blundered
onto this trail when the Dark Hollow trail was closed for logging. But
you'll find it's not hard to navigate. There are only three forks, and
you'll go left-right-right.
There's plenty of fun stuff to do
here. Mike takes air off the volcanic rock
of Brian Head Peak.
|The Paradise Canyon section of this ride is in damp lush
forest. Spruce gives way to aspen, with an understory full of wildflowers and ferns. This is a beautiful ride.
Dom and Matt cruise downhill along the
||The trail twists tightly downhill, with a few steep drops.
On our ride, the UMB crew was ambushed by a rainstorm, which made the
steep root-and-slime plunges a tad more interesting. Near the bottom,
you'll take a few dips through the creek before reaching the Second
Left-hand Canyon road.
In Paradise Canyon, Dom leads Matt
through one of countless hairpin turns.
Here's the basic ride description:
0.0 From the parking lot on the road to Brian Head Peak,
go uphill slightly and across the
road to start east on ST
1.4 4-way fork, go L down the Dark Hollow Trail
Vicious tech rock ahead...
2.2 Fork right in a meadow area and drop steeply downhill
off the Dark Hollow trail onto
5 Keep straight as the Dark Hollow trail rejoins
6 Sharp L onto the Second Left-hand Canyon Road
12 At U-143. To loop, turn left uphill.
Matt rocks down the mean section of
upper Dark Hollow.
||Shuttle service is available from the bike shops at Brian Head. Cost
per rider (summer 2001) is $12.
Getting there: Leave your shuttle car on U-143,
anywhere below Second Left-hand Canyon (the canyon is the second gravel
road on the left after entering the canyon above Parowan). GPS of the intersection of
U-143 with the Second Left-hand Canyon road is N 37° 47.931' W 112° 49.350'. On U-143, head up
the canyon from Brian Head to the summit. Just 1/4 mile past the summit
sign, turn left on a gravel road (N 37° 40.136' W 112° 50.350').
Drive 1.8 miles to a parking area on the left. The trail starts on the
singletrack slightly uphill and across the road from the parking area.
(NOT the singletrack heading west directly from the parking area, which takes you back into Brian
Head.) Or, you can continue another 0.7 miles to the peak of the mountain to start your
ride at GPS N 37° 40.904' W 112° 49.827'.