Pioneer Rim Trail
(Plus Pioneer Park mini-trail)
"Pioneer Park" is used to refer to two trails: Pioneer Rim,
an advanced-technical trail skirting the cliff-edge above Pioneer Park,
and a short trail within Pioneer Park itself that features a beginner's
taste of slickrock.
Photo above: View east as the
morning sun hits the bluff. The trail is mostly slickrock, but the brush that grows in
every crack gives the impression that it's soil! April 5, 2000.
|Pioneer Park is located in the red cliffs on the north side
of St. George. Kids love to explore the trails between red hoodoos, and
there's some easy slickrock to try your beginning biker skills. Our map
shows a short loop within the park that climbs onto a slickrock shelf,
heads west, then returns via a slot between hoodoos to the starting point.
The Pioneer Rim trail does NOT start in Pioneer Park. It goes
above it. You can get to the trail from the Snow Canyon Parkway about 1/3
mile northwest of the last gravel parking area in Pioneer Park. Or you can
climb up a dirt doubletrack to intersect the trail right in the middle.
Or, you can drive to the parking lot at top of the hill on the parkway and
try to find your way south to the trail.
| (Note spring 2008 - Route is
messed up due to powerline construction. You're welcome to blunder your
way down to the trail using our map or GPS track files, but I'm not going
to waste time explaining how to get there, because it will probably all
change within the next year!)
A prickly pear cactus blooms along the trail.
|For now, I suggest you ride up along the road and look for
the trail on your right. When you see it, climb over the fence and hop
aboard heading east. The trail begins as a dirt single-track. It climbs east onto
slickrock, and hugs the junction between the sagebrush of the mesa and the cliffs along
St. George's north border. Occasionally, the trail can be a little tough to follow, but if
you just keep heading straight east on the slickrock near the mesa's border, you'll pick
it up again quickly.
||The ride is about 90% slickrock, two miles each way. After crossing a small 4-wheeler road
above Pioneer Park, the rock becomes more technical, and much more fun. About 1/2 mile
later, you'll come to a turtle-fence. There's a little loop here (might be
hard to spot if it's your first time). Most bikers use this as a turn-around spot, but you
can continue east another 1/3 mile to connect with Industrial Drive if you want.
Bruce Argyle accelerates for
the next rock ramp. We'd rate the trail an advanced intermediate. Photo May 5, 2000 by
|If you have time (and it's not too hot), you can hit the Bluff Street Cliffs
(Owen's) trail, which starts on the west side of the Snow Canyon Parkway
as it turns north and begins to go uphill. This has some excellent
technical rock, a bit more challenging than the Pioneer Rim.
The trail is located
in a desert tortoise protection area. Here an 18-inch mojave tortoise craws out into the
morning sunshine to warm up. May 5, 2000 by Bruce Argyle.
||Watch where you're putting your tires. We don't particularly care if you
break your clavicle or leave some skin on the rock, but don't hurt our pet tortoise! The
bump (right in the middle of the trail) in this picture is a tortoise.
view of the trail, with one of the local residents out for a morning stroll.
|The park itself is a good place
for your beginning bikers to play, and for the non-bikers to explore fun trails among the
many sandstone canyons. Newbies will NOT enjoy the Pioneer Rim trail --
reserve this ride for advanced or upper-intermediate riders.
Jessie, Alex, Diane, and Kristen rode
the one-way paved picnic loop, then explored the many dirt trails leading up into the
cliffs. May 5, 2000.
||Getting there: From St. George Blvd (the main drag), head
north on Main Street (towards the "Dixie" painted on the big rock above the
cliffs). When you reach Hope Street, turn right, then immediately take the left fork and
climb Skyline Drive to the top of the cliffs. Turn left on Snow Canyon Parkway (labeled
Skyline Drive on some city maps, and called Turtle Road by many locals). 1/2 mile up from
the intersection, find a singletrack trail heading off to your right at GPS N 37°
07.261' W 113° 35.011'.
Thornapple) blossoms in the morning sunshine.
|To ride this trail, you should follow small rockpiles (cairns)
and watch for tire marks. The trail generally countours the space between sage
and cliff-edge on slickrock. Connecting to the trail from the parking lot at the
top of the hill can be confusing (2008, recent powerline construction).
The most certain way to find it is by spotting the trail on the right side
of the road at its western end and crawling over the fence.